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This past week, the Methodist church voted to ban gay clergy and gay marriage.  This move reinforced their church policy that stated “the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.”

I have friends who are now torn.  Stay with the church they grew up in?  Or stand with a gay grandchild?

This is a choice that saddens my heart. No, I’m not Methodist but I have family members who are – it is the church my father was raised in.  So I find myself asking – How is it that the leadership has failed, yet again, to truly hear Christ.  Christ, who ate with sinners.  Christ, who healed on the Sabbath.  Christ, who accepted water from the adulteress.

I understand why these people think homosexuality is incompatible with Christ’s teaching.  I don’t agree, but I do see the steps they took to reach this conclusion.

But I have to ask – why aren’t you picking on adulterers, thieves, liars and those who break the sabbath?  You could, with the Bible, make a case for this type of prosecution as well.

Or, even better, why not truly follow in Christ’s footsteps. Welcome those who are different from you.  Those who believe different things, were raised different ways and who are attracted to different people. It will take bravery but it will definitely cause much less damage to those you claim to serve.

Follow Christ.  Walk gently.  Be brave.  Make a space at your table.

–SueBE

 

So there I was, standing in line, waiting to receive the sacrament of Reconciliation (known in some circles as “Confession”). I was cogitating on my sins of course, but also regurgitating a conversation I’d had on the drive over, one filled with angry questions for my otherwise beloved Church: Why doesn’t the Church seem to care that the third largest religious affiliation in the country is “lapsed Catholic”? Why have priests been excommunicated for supporting the notion of women priests or married priests, or even simply for blessing gay people, while bishops that protected known pedophiles for decades have not been? Why are nuns being chided for their work with the poor and desire for social justice?

And then I looked up. I was standing under Station Eight of the Stations of the Cross: Jesus speaks to the women. Five words. And I realized my true sin. I have not trusted God to work through His Church, to bring change and healing. How did I get from Station Eight to recognition of sin? Easy. Jesus spoke to women. That doesn’t seem all that revolutionary now, but it sure was then. Women were considered chattel, property. For a man to speak to a woman — well, it was tantamount to speaking to a cow. The Jewish word for widow literally means “unable to speak.” Not due to grief or anything, but because a widow has no husband, no man, to speak for her. Yet Jesus spoke to the women. And He listened to them, too.

And if that is true, then anything is. Maybe things need to get to crisis levels before the Church changes its views on homosexuality, birth control and the like. Maybe this time of waiting — this Advent — is necessary to effect change. Who knows? Certainly not me. But what I can do is trust that God will work His will through the Church. It is not up to me to worry about it; it is for me to trust. So trust I will.

I guess the women of Station Eight weren’t the only women Jesus spoke to, huh?

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