Words, Christians, and Homosexuality (Lessons From Expert Feelers 3.12)

10 09 2010

When is courageous speech desperately needed?

Jennifer Knapp and Derek Webb have placed themselves at the center of the debate about what it means to have a "Christian" response to homosexuality.

I have been saying that courageous speech is especially called for on the frontier between that which is known, and that which is shrouded in darkness.  And it is called for every day of your life.

In a family in which nobody is allowed to question why dad drinks so much, courageous speech is one person becoming willing to utter the words – maybe just to herself or to a trusted friend – “My dad is an alcoholic.”

In your dearest friendship, courageous speech dares to say just how much your friend means to you, solidifying the bonds of your relationship against encroaching distrust and insecurity.

In a conflict with a loved one, courageous speech illuminates the source of the conflict, and values the relationship enough to work towards a non-superficial resolution.

At the risk of stepping on a landmine of controversy…

And in a time when some are teaching that “God hates fags”, courageous speech steps forward with a message of God’s love and compassion, denouncing a message of hatred as anti-God, anti-Jesus, anti-gospel and anti-Bible.

On his most recent album, Derek Webb wrote a couple songs in an effort to respond to the “God Hates Fags” message with creative articulation of the gospel.  Here’s one of them:

Derek Webb is one of many Christians of today working to articulate a response to homosexuality with something other than hatred or fear.  Kudos to him for being willing to speak out!

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4 responses

10 09 2010
Emily Patterson

Thanks for sharing Tim! I was really impressed with Jennifer’s openness and she will still be one of my all time favorites. It’s beautiful to see the community of God being open and wrestling and dialogging about these issues.

10 09 2010
Cathryn

OMG, puh-leese. i am so sick of this. on one side of the isle we have the completely wrong, wrong, wrong, people who claim to be Christians but shout untrue garbage like “God hates @$#%”. then on the other side of the isle we have the completely wrong, wrong, wrong, people who claim to be Christians yet LIE about God saying He doesn’t have a problem with homosexuality or who abandon people to Hell by being pro “gay rights”, or saying “I don’t choose it for myself, but whatever they do is fine for them”.

The truth is that God is a beautiful balance of RIGHTEOUSNESS and LOVE. He has clearly stated that homosexuality is a SIN. But guess what? He loves all us sinners so much that Jesus came to reconcile us to Himself!

Bottom line-homosexuality is a SIN. if you say otherwise you are either ignorant or lying and God wants to reconcile all sinners to Himself out of LOVE, so He loves them too.

BUT normalizing the sin by accepting “gay rights” and “gay marriage” is a terribly cruel and dangerous thing to do. do YOU want to be responsible for misrepresenting God? or for removing the “uncomfortableness” that God uses to show people that they are sinners and actually NEED Him to save them? i sure don’t. and that is where i believe the real hate lies-in completely letting people down by misrepresenting God to them.

there is a massive movement today to make homosexuality normal. i will consistently fight against that. but i will also cry for and with homosexuals. i will pray for them and treat them with the love and compassion that any human being deserves just by virtue of the fact that they are made in the image of God.

and while i appreciate Derek Webb’s desire to correct the “God hates @#$%” crazies, when i listened to his song i totally did a face palm. i think he missed his target. it is clear that he is angry and he swears and he only represents one side. it is not a call to love, but a chastisement out of anger with words that are an affront to God.

cheese and crackers, people-we have GOT to get it together. READ YOUR BIBLES.

14 09 2010
Tim Courtois

I appreciate you passion Cathryn, and I have an equal passion for righteousness, and remaining faithful to scripture (as I hope my next post will make clear).

But I disagree with your critique of Derek Webb here. I think there are times when anger is an appropriate response to evil in the world, and I think responding to Fred Phelps is one of those cases. And I think that swearing is a theologically gray enough issue that Christians can healthily disagree about it.

But most importantly, I believe that there are two equally important messages that I need to hear when I’m stuck in sin: “Tim, you are loved”, and “Tim, you need to repent of your behavior”. Often those messages don’t come in the same sentence, or even in the same conversation. Similarly, every time a Christian voices compassion for somebody in a sinful lifestyle, I don’t think it needs to be immediately followed up with, “But I just want to remind you that your behavior is wrong.” Thus, I don’t have a problem with Derek Webb singing “Freddie, Please” and not calling homosexual behavior a sin in the same song.

That’s my two cents. Thoughts?

17 09 2010
Meghan

“Similarly, every time a Christian voices compassion for somebody in a sinful lifestyle, I don’t think it needs to be immediately followed up with, ‘But I just want to remind you that your behavior is wrong.'”

I’m in agreement here (and in general), and I think I’ve been guilty of this as I try to shepherd people. I remember being a sophomore small group leader feeling pressure to clean up the behavior of even a non-Christian. Immaturity.

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