Last week I was watching Amazing Race. One of the contestants this season is Mel White, whom many look at as the founder of the gay Christian movement (he founded the gay Christian organization Soulforce, an activist organization that works for the “freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from religious oppression through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance.”) Before he came out, Dr. White was a ghostwriter for the likes of Billy Graham, Pat Robertson, Jim Bakker and Jerry Falwell. I know, some lightweights, huh?
When White did come out he was vilified, and publically hated within the Christian community at large, and I have absolutely no idea what that must have been like for an entire population of folks whom you love and serve, so quickly and so publically turn their backs on you—even as I don’t believe Christ would have turned His back on White in the same situation. I don’t know Mel White personally, but I do know some people who call him a friend. And they have nothing but great things to say about a man who has been through what only very few could imagine.
I have a friend who knows Mel ask me not to write something like this about him because of the effect it might have on a potential future relationship with him. But isn’t iron to sharpen iron? To be honest, it’s not just Dr. White. I cringe whenever I hear any believer swear. Maybe I’m just that old school? But as a professor of mine in seminary says,
“The world doesn’t read the Bible, they read Christians.”
I long that the world can read Christians and see a unique group of folks who put Jesus’ hands and feet to this earth in not only what we do and how we do it, but also with what we say.