There’s been a lot of talk lately about whether or not there are Gay Christians. There’s been a book written about it. And then another book written in response to the first book. And before you write this off as another example of dispensable doctrinal discrimination, let’s take a peek at how each side frames the debate.
Conservatives believe that nothing less than the authority of Scripture is at stake here. If it’s possible to practice homosexuality and also be a Christian, then (according to Conservatives) we have collectively decided to abandon Scripture, rebel against God, turn away from the Gospel, deliberately send people to Hell, and become false teachers. Not only that, but we’ve cut ourselves off from our heritage. If conservatives are right, then to accept homosexuality is to proclaim that the church of Jesus Christ has been wrong about an issue of salvation for 2,000 years. If the church was wrong about homosexuality, what else has it been wrong about?
Liberals believe that nothing less than the entire moral code of Christianity is at stake here. If it’s possible to (according to liberals) practice discrimination and hate against sexual minorities and also be a Christian, then we have collectively decided to abandon the Golden Rule, the Second Greatest Commandment, the compassion of Christ, and the entire point of Christ coming to Earth. If liberals are right, then the refusal to endorse and affirm homosexuality is tantamount to defending chattel slavery in the American South, Jim Crow laws, or the Indian Caste System.
Both sides make powerful appeals to extremely significant ideas. What does this mean for us? It means that unless:
1. There are two sides in this debate, but neither side understands the issue at all.
2. You are the only one who actually understands the issue.
…then you must concede that this issue really matters. Let’s dispense with the childish “Why are we letting this divide us?” appeals. Let’s stop with the empty, absurd oversimplifications that do no justice to the significance of this topic.
Division is not a vice if we are refusing to participate in evil. Unity is not a virtue if we hold hands and jump off a cliff.