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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Wounds We Haven't Inflicted

Brennan Manning once shared with a group of pastors about his work with the Regional AIDS Interfaith Network in New Orleans. One of the pastors demanded "But what should the Christian posture be toward the gay community?"
Brennan went on to give one of the most anointed answers I've ever read in response to homosexuality. This is found in his book "Posers, Fakers, and Wannabes."
"In one of Jesus's farming parables, he said to let the wheat and the weeds grow together. Paul caught this spirit when he wrote in 1 Corinthians, 'Stop passing judgment and wait upon the Lord's return.' The sons and daughters of Abba are the most nonjudgemental people you'll ever meet. They get along brilliantly with sinners. Remember the place in Matthew where Jesus says, 'Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect'? In Luke, the same verse is translated, 'Be compassionate as your heavenly Father is compassionate.' Biblical scholars say that the two words, perfect and compassionate, can be reduced to the same reality. ...
Besides...I'm reluctant to push God off his judgment seat when I have neither the knowledge nor the authority to judge anyone. [emphasis mine] No one at this table has ever seen a motive. How can we know what inspired another person's action? Remember Paul's words after his discourse on homosexuality in Romans 1. He begins chapter 2, 'If you think that leaves you on the high ground where you can point your finger at others, think again. Every time you criticize someone, you condemn yourself."
A gay friend called me one night breathless with hurt and rage to tell me there had been a protest in his neighborhood. A man carrying a sign saying "God hates gays" had tried to beat him up. Even now it sounds like a nightmare. A bad dream.
That's why this passage from Manning meant so much to me. I pray that God gives us all compassion and grace as we try to reconcile wounds that perhaps we have not inflicted.


Anonymous Julia Brunet said...

When it comes to the topic of gays and lesbians it is hard for me. I think because I AM guilty of judging them. I'm angry at them because they have chosen such a lifestyle and I'm sad for them because they think that lifestyle is correct. They joke about it and we joke about it, but it's not really that funny. But I remember listening to a woman on the radio who had been delivered from homosexuality and she was weeping and broken and you could tell there were scars left behind - but she had an assurance that the Lord had saved her and that He had changed her and she never had to live that life again.....and I thought, 'Wow, the Lord can deliver them........their sins are no greater than mine - they're all the same to Christ...."Don't think of yourselves more highly than you ought...."(Romans, I think)This is all jumbled. Intelligible, I hope.

7:21 PM  
Blogger Christin said...

Yeah, I definitely felt the pressure in college to be ready to witness boldly at any moment and not be afriad to tell people when we think they're wrong. We are to be champions of "truth!"
But I think this is a miseducation. I believe truth should never condemn the person it's spoken to, but instead, empower them to change. Therefore we should watch our motives closely and always be sure to share our heart in a way that brings life not condemnation.

8:49 PM  

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