I have lots of gay friends. Lots. My whole family does, actually. Some people find that weird because we’re all also pretty radically ministry oriented Christians. My homosexual friends almost all walk on eggshells around me for a couple of weeks after they find out that not only do I love Jesus, but I’m Baptist and in seminary. (All of those things stereotypically add up to hating gay people, FYI.) My Christian friends, on the other hand sometimes judge me as if loving these friends means that I’m somehow not very good at loving Jesus, being Baptist, or going to seminary.
I had a pastor and friend say to me once that homosexuality will be the defining issue for the church in the early 21st century. We’re almost a decade in and I’m still not sure if he’s right or wrong, but I do think he has a fair point. A few weeks ago, some friends and I went out after work. During the course of the evening, one of my guy friends (who happens to be in a monogamous relationship with another guy) asked me what I think about gay marriage. I felt the table grow quiet and all eyes turn to me, and I’d be lying if I could tell you I remembered everything I said. What I feel, though, is that for Christians at least, it should be a non-issue. Our agenda, as directed by Christ himself, is to love God, love others, and share the love of Christ with others so that they may come to know him. Debating gay marriage, from one side or the other, damages that agenda for all Christians.
I’m not saying we’re not obligated to take a stand. Jesus was pretty clear to the contrary. The only times He ever took a confrontational stand to anything, though, was with those who considered themselves religious, and he NEVER let that impede his ministry. Can we say the same? Whether gay marriage, or alcohol, or R-rated movies, most of us are better at showing the world what we’re against than what we’re for.
Derek Webb is one of my favorite artists, Christian or otherwise. There’s a song on his new album that’s so controversial that his studio is releasing a version of the album without it. I think it’s a message that Christians not only need to hear, but to listen to and internalize.
This isn’t my favorite Derek Webb song ever. It doesn’t have his usual folksy style and the video is distracting. I deliberately picked the version that’s just audio, but if even that’s too much for you, at least read the lyrics by clicking on “more info” on the youtube page itself.
I’m not saying you should wholeheartedly agree with this song; I’m not sure I do. I’m challenging you, though, to pray about and ponder your own reaction to it.