Friday, October 03, 2014

Fundamentalist homophobia?

What is love? Acceptance? More? I think the author of this article - - should answer that question. His answer might explain - or change - his understanding of some activity going on in an area of our town.

My brief response to the letter:

I can appreciate the guy's point about the possibility of fundamentalist views contributing to the very problems they are trying to heal - but of course, I disagree since any contribution to the problems would come from a misunderstanding or misrepresentation of the fundamentalist views.

He points out that Sojourn preaches a message that homosexuality is a sin, and then he calls it an attempt to demonize our nature. He doesn't want anyone to say that what he's doing - or who he is - is wrong - or sinful. Who are we to judge?

He simply doesn't understand the concepts of sin or of "loving the sinner but hating the sin." And that's because he has a faulty concept of love. Of course, Biblical love, God's love, is all there really is. Anything less is a shadow at best, corruption at worst. Love is transforming. It changes you to give it; and it changes you to receive it. God is love, and He cares for His people so much that He stops them from engaging in sin and changes their hearts to desire His ways, all of which saves them from His own righteous wrath towards their sinfulness, both their behavior and their very nature.

If we have the cure for cancer and don't share it, what kind of people are we? Are we loving? Or hateful?

The author of the letter lost me at the end when he said that he doesn't mind Christianity, but only the details of it. I think that shows his ignorance to the message and method that Sojourn and Access Ventures are putting forth in that community. Sojourn loves Shelby Park and so seeks to transform it and save it from self-destruction, which is clearly the path it has been on in the past few decades. The very same logic applied corporately to Sojourn and Shelby Park fits individually to the love and care that the individual members of Sojourn and employees / volunteers of Access Ventures have for the individual residents of Shelby Park.... Just as CS Lewis has said (paraphrasing), "We are like a house and God's love changes us. We knew we needed a little updating, light remodeling. But God tears down walls and adds a new wing and raises the roof. He takes us from a dilapidated shack to a luxurious mansion. It's painful and we often don't understand why at first. But when we realize that He intends to live with and in us, it makes sense."

Sojourn members are moving into Shelby Park. Shall they not attempt to change it for good? For safety? For beauty? For glory?

The author's one jab at Fundamentalists' Biblically inconsistent application came regarding the text that says a rapist must marry his victim. He doesn't understand - and couldn't apart from the Holy Spirit's conviction - the context and culture and reason for such a requirement. Nor does he understand how Christ both fulfilled and abolished the law for Christians. The only law we have is love. And what Sojourn and Access Ventures are doing in Shelby Park is certainly a proper expression of that. Until he sees his need for transformation, for salvation, for that kind of love, he can't appreciate it.

And all Christians should be changing their worlds - their families, neighborhoods, schools, jobs, athletic teams, etc. - with this same love.