Getting Tempted in Both Directions

As the profile of The Marin Foundation starts to grow so does the political pressure. Over the last half-year I have had a few memorable political occurrences that I think really summarize faith, sexuality and where our culture is at regarding homosexuality.

It all started last summer when a very well known secular GLBT organization offered to pay me a significant amount of money to release a one paragraph, joint statement with them saying that I believe homosexuality isn’t a sin. Wherever you’re coming from theologically, forget about those implications for a second and instead concentrate on the inherent political nature and its impact of what a statement like that would mean. To me, it meant a few things:

1. This well known secular GLBT organization was either, a) not comfortable with The Marin Foundation’s willful commitment to the Lord’s call on us to act as bridge builders; working within both communities to level the disconnect and the culture war, or b) wanted to gain more public support to accumulate more people on ‘their’ side.

2. That the Majority Mindset of accumulation = domination is the pervasive mindset within this debate as the GLBT community believes if they can have enough influential people/organizations to side with them, conservative Christians are going to have to believe the GLBT community’s version of the Truth.

3. The traditional means of picking a side, staking your ground and then fighting is still the default means to handle the topic of homosexuality.

Here’s the kicker, the last I spoke with that GLBT organization, the offer is still on the table after all of this time. And believe me, The Marin Foundation could use the money. But what The Marin Foundation can’t do is go against what the Lord has put us here to do. As a friend of mine said,

“It’s not free will if people don’t have the free will to go in the other direction as well.”

Then recently I got an email from a very well known conservative ex-gay organization. In that email they asked me if during some of my larger speaking engagements I could mention their name in partnership with The Marin Foundation to give them more exposure; then allowing me to tap into their already large database of people and donors. When I read that email I was fuming because not only had I never been in contact with this organization until they so boisterously emailed me their request, but at that moment I made the connection that their email was the same version of bribery as the secular GLBT organization—it was just done in a “Christian” fashion.

Are Christians now no better than unbelieving secular folks? For the first time I started to actually feel Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 6:5. Are there no Christians wise enough to be held accountable for our actions that have become no better than what the pagans (secular) do?! With that realization I have come to the conclusion that the overarching problems in the Christian world regarding homosexuality falls into:

1. Either a) that Christian organization is not comfortable with The Marin Foundation’s willful commitment to the Lord’s call on us to act as bridge builders; working within both communities to level the disconnect and the culture war, or b) just wants to gain more public support to accumulate more people on ‘their’ side.

2. The Majority Mindset of accumulation = domination is the pervasive mindset within this debate as the Christian community believes if they can have enough influential people/organizations to side with them, GLBT people are going to have to believe the Christian community’s version of the Truth.

3. The traditional means of picking a side, staking your ground and then fighting is still the default means to handle the topic of homosexuality.

Sound familiar? If I only do one thing in my life, I will work until my dying day to deconstruct these mal-spirited, traditional mindsets that have become the only acceptable way to handle this topic. Mark my words: these ways are not acceptable and I will never give in, in either direction. Someone has to put a stop to all of this madness, and if the Lord has deemed The Marin Foundation to be that catalyst, then so be it.

Join with us in this new way of what it means to build a bridge and live in the tension. No longer will Majority Mindsets dominate us or culture! In his book, The Monkey and the Fish, my friend Dave Gibbons recalls an interview with the Leadership Journal through Christianity Today International. When Dave was asked about what it means to be a liquid leader in a third culture church that focuses on a decentralized model of works over a Sunday production (which, by the way, lost Dave’s mega-church 25% of their congregation and giving), he said:

“I was reading Gideon in Judges 7, where God whittled down his army from 32,000 to 300 men. It seemed like the Lord was saying to me, Dave, what do you want? Do you want 30,000 people to attend your church, or do you want 300 radicals? I remember boldly saying, “Three hundred, Lord! Yeah, three hundred warriors” (p. 212).

I hear that Dave! Lord, give me 300 countercultural, distinct followers of the Way and let’s see what our Father will boldly do with the GLBT and Christian communities across the country!

Much love.
www.themarinfoundation.org

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About Andrew Marin

Andrew Marin is President and Founder of The Marin Foundation (www.themarinfoundation.org). He is author of the award winning book Love Is an Orientation (2009), its interactive DVD curriculum (2011), and recently an academic ebook titled Our Last Option: How a New Approach to Civility can Save the Public Square (2013). Andrew is a regular contributor to a variety of media outlets and frequently lectures at universities around the world. Since 2010 Andrew has been asked by the United Nations to advise their various agencies on issues of bridging opposing worldviews, civic engagement, and theological aspects of reconciliation. For twelve years he lived in the LGBT Boystown neighborhood of Chicago, and is currently based St. Andrews, Scotland, where he is teaching and researching at the University of St. Andrews earning his PhD in Constructive Theology with a focus on the Theology of Culture. Andrew's research centers on the cultural, political, and religious dynamics of reconciliation. Andrew is married to Brenda, and you can find him elsewhere on Twitter (@Andrew_Marin), Facebook (AndrewMarin01), and Instagram (@andrewmarin1).

  • P

    Thank you for doing what you do. Today more than ever, we need honest leadership when it comes to the very messy issue of faith and sexuality. May you and your organization emerge to eclipse others that claim Christ but use the same political playbook as their opponents.

  • Jeff S.

    And keep doing what you do without giving in. Once you give in, you lose your credibility and integrity.

  • Kurt

    I am thankful that you live in tension, as do i on this and many other issues. I think your language of elevating converstions and not being labeled in one extreme or the other. Press on my broher and continue to help us ignorant evangelicals (at least on this issue) to build bridges, radically moved by the love of christ!

  • Melanie Kliegl-Johnson

    Andrew, I LOVE living in this tension. I feel it every day in my job since I work for an organization that deals with abortion (the other big debate among christians/non-christians). We live and work in this tension every day. Andrew, I’ll be one of the 300 that stand up with you and live in that tension!


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