Sharing in Faith: Compassion, not judgment
I did not create the heavens and the earth. I did not create males and females. I did not write the Bible. I did not invent sex, and I did not invent marriage. I did not even design and create myself. If I could have created myself, I would be very different, believe me.
I have no control over the truth. The truth does not depend on me, and there is no need for me to defend the truth. However, I find that it is in everyone’s best interest to understand and believe the truth as best as we are able.
I have no doubt that sex acts between two people of the same gender is a sin. At the same time, I don’t think that is the real issue.
My personal encounter with the real issue came several years ago when my sister called me. You need to understand that I was a horrible big brother to my sister when we were growing up. My sister was the youngest and only girl of four children. My sister got things like a room to herself, which in my young, selfish eyes was completely unjustified; as a result, I tormented her relentlessly. This is one of the biggest regrets of my life. If you ever want to put me in my place, just remind me of how I treated my sister and I will slump in utter shame.
My sister began the call by swearing me to secrecy — to which I hesitantly agreed — and then she “came out” to me. My initial shock was then followed by horror when she asked me if I thought it was wrong. I was on the spot. Do I lie to her to spare her feelings or tell her the truth and hurt her yet again? I hesitantly and weakly chose to tell her the truth and she burst into tears and asked me if I could still love her. I assured her I loved her. I told her I had done worse things, such as tormenting her as a child. I told her that my opinion, along with $4, could buy her a latte at Starbucks. In the span of a few minutes, we were both exhausted.
My sister has now been in a monogamous homosexual relationship for several years. I have watched as other family members have struggled with the inner conflict over her relationship. We all love my sister and care about her well-being. Some believe it’s just fine and some of us cannot agree it’s right any more than we can agree that 1+1=1.
However, in my case I have come to understand that at a personal level the question of whether or not sex acts between two people of the same gender is a sin is not the issue. The real issue is relational and has to do with acceptance vs. rejection and compassion vs. judgment.
Sins like overeating are socially acceptable while others must be kept secret for fear of rejection and persecution.
I have come to see the issue of normalizing homosexual behavior as a good thing because it affords us the opportunity for growth, which often involves pain.
In my case, I value a relationship with my sister more than I value us agreeing on a definition of sin.
God is so smart.
Posted February 2, 2015.