Just a few weeks ago, delegates from our denomination gathered together to discuss a very hard topic, the topic of sexuality. People from all across the world waited with baited breath for the outcome. Some were wondering “Will we become a truly inclusive church or will the exclusive language remain?” While other were wondering if we will stay true to “The Gospel” and maintain our stance on the topic of sexuality in the church. The results of that conference have left the denomination in chaos.
I realize that human sexuality is a very controversial topic in our world. It is even more controversial in the life of the church. For some, it is cut and dry. They look to a few select passages in the Bible that appear to condemn it as the only proof they need. For others, it is not so cut and dry. Reason, experience, and interpretation of scripture play into their interpretation. Even within the walls of our church family, there is divide. For some it is clearly wrong. For others, it is part of God’s beautiful, creative mystery.
This is what I know. Jesus told us that the most important commandment was love. We were called to love God and to love one another. No judgment. No condemnation. Just love. He lived this out. He loved the adulterous woman who was tossed at his feet as if she were garbage. He loved the sinners and tax collectors, outcasts of the community of faith. He loved those who were hurting: the poor, the imprisoned, the sick. He ate with them. He stayed in their homes. Not once, in the whole of the gospel story, have I read about Jesus trying to fix anyone. Sure, he tells the adulterous woman to “go and sin no more” but only after he reassures her that he is not there to judge or condemn her.
Please know that this is something that effects many members of our congregation. When you look around on Sunday morning, know that you have friends here who have sons and daughters or brothers and sisters or nieces and nephews, aunts, uncles, friends, neighbors, or even themselves who are gay. I believe our church needs to be a place where each and every person can feel the love of God for them. We need to remember that Jesus was always reaching out to bring in those the church had cast out and reconnecting them to God’s love.
Our job as followers of Christ is to love people no matter where they are in life’s journey. We are not called to “fix”, probably because we don’t really know what is “broken” and what isn’t. We are called to walk alongside with compassion in our hearts. Love one another…care for one another…accept one another…stop passing judgment on one another…carry each other’s burdens…be kind and compassionate to one another…build each other up…clothe yourself with humility toward one another. There are 59 “One another” passages in the New Testament. If you didn’t get a copy, please pick one up.