Posted by: jamesthethickheaded | May 13, 2012

Same Sex, Same Conversation?

So everytime someone comes to Same-Sex whatever, we Christians seem to step in it. Problem is that this happens over and over, and the insistence that we don’t really hate the sinner but hate the sin and only the sin… well… if we did, then why do we keep stepping on the sinner? I mean most people signed up to religion when we decided we kept flunking this test, and since we couldn’t get it right, the thing to do was to help folks out and redefine sin right out of existence. Yeah… that’s an approach, but most see through that approach and bail. Problem is we know deep down we’re just kidding ourselves. Did we change anything? Did we change ourselves? Nah. Same old, same old. And if the best we can do is a dodge to pretend we’re all just peachy… then why bother?

So it’s the same old mud. Once we’re stuck in it, we can’t seem to shake it.

I’d have to read a lot closer than I do, but I doubt  St. Paul would ever once have found himself stuck like this. Asked, wouldn’t he instead turn and point to those three tests at our personal judgment? “Did you feed the hungry? Clothe the naked? Visit the sick and in jail?” I mean… why do we answer a question about someone else’s life when we’re having such a hard time with our own? The point is less about what anyone thinks about our passions and obsessions, but whether they are standing between us and love of Christ and the angelic life he wants us to live.

The point of a revealed religion is what it reveals. There is much as well it is silent on. There are also places where it offers little, but what is said discourages rather than encourages or blesses. We believe there is a point to this, and yet we respect the silence… wishing only that we had more respect for the silence than our own noise signifies… whether noise of agreement or protest.

We ask for mercy for ourselves in the things we hope to continue, can’t stop ourselves from, and show little resolve to do much about. Yes, these are things we’re not proud about, might even be recalcitrant about, and ought to do something about. We’re reserving mercy… banking on God’s bit about the rich man… for having banked a lot more money than mercy in our lives, we hold seriously to the bit that “nothing is impossible with God”. Even us.

So why would anyone think it is impossible for someone else struggling to manage another sin… something that is completely mysterious to us and we can only admit to knowing that in our soul… there is only silence where we touch this and those who deal with it? Seems a bit presumptious does it not?

If sin is something we truly suffer, and that our efforts to manage and through prayer address… then is this suffering not like Job’s and require patience, not just with the problems we encounter, but equally with those who like Job’s friends offer in effect bad advice… blaming the sinner, or even suggesting the suffering is a consequence of some incompleteness on their part, missing the mark somewhere else, or that God intends something special for them… and is teaching them something? Job rightly finds little satisfaction in these. Yes, he lets them rattle on and on… as if. But it is not until he experiences God directly that he finds peace… peace in knowing that much is unexplained, and even God admires the wildness in His creation, and the way in which His creatures struggle within their nature to bring themselves under control as a gift… the way a stallion paws the earth and might even throw it’s rider, but then come back… as if to think again and try another round.  (Credit this view to the podcast on Ancient Faith’s “Theodicy and the Book of Job”)

Plenty have suggested we could make these conversations go better. Yet the thought that others really just want to give us more time to explain ourselves simply seems odd. More reasoning won’t do it. We do share their suffering, only we’re not admitting to it… because we’re too uptight to admit to our own sins and then identify with failing Christ’s tests. Nah… guess if they give us more time, we can make that a better dodge… because we really do have a better position on THEIR sins? Yeah right. Who cares? What about our own? When do we admit the spotlight’s the same, and start acting like we’re a cockroach on our backs with our own stuff… and maybe admit we don’t know about their’s but we’ve got something to say about our own… they might find that worth at least a hoot.

Our vulnerability in these discussions seems to me to extend from our discomfort in dealing directly with sin… and our pre-occuppation belies a hope that if God can show us a way for the same-sex afflicted to deal with themselves, then maybe… just maybe… I can hold on to all my “stuff” and not worry a bit. Or maybe it’s even more than that… we’re not just hoping for a miracle that can make all these things go away, but for it to happen and prove that the whole of it is real… and THEN we might consent to work on our own problems. Otherwise…. our “Christian Atheism” (as some call it) wins, and the whole just might be something we can stop bothering about… yeah… especially the part about my stuff.

So there’s a thought or two. See what you think.


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