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While I always appreciate the journey of building the bridge between the two communities my overall concern remains within compromising the legitimate truth the Bible lays out vs. establishing a false premise of what the post-salvation life will be.
Obviously this provides a slippery slope that can burn the bridge faster than build a long-lasting one. I would suggest that this compromise could be established for any non-Christian and what portrayed to them in terms of a post-salvation life. This discussion is needed not only for clarity but also in establishing the missiological structure that you are partaking in. Just a thought from that guy you know.
Thanks for posting the reflections by Ashleigh. It’s great to see a Christian involved in this way who also is so intentional about reflecting on what she will be doing, and articulating it for others to understand.
The “false premise of a post-salvation life” which Ben refers to really depends on how one understands the Bible’s view on things. There are many committed Christians who do not share the typical conservative view of homosexuality. For them, the premise of a post-salvation life would be the that sexual behaviour happens between two people in a committed relationship.
For more on that, I would recommend checking out Wendy Gritter’s posts tagged “disputable matter” on btgproject.blogspot.com.
Thanks for sharing my thoughts – You guys are great!
Great post, Ashleigh! Everything I’ve ever heard in church about LGBTs has been inaccurate, based on misinformation, ignorance and lies. If anyone is truthful, should it not be the church? I hear “tell the truth in love”, but what I hear told is neither truth nor loving.
In my experience, the last people on earth who will apologize are Christians – They are so convinced they are right, and when they discover they weren’t, they kind of try to disassociate themselves from what they said and did rather than apologize. All of my LGBT friends also share this observation, based on personal experiences.
An apology from your group at Pride is great! Personal apologies from the offending person to the persons they offended are even better.
Ashleigh, one of my colleagues runs a lot of business workshops and runs a business herself. So lots of planning with groups etc. One day, on a hunch, she ran a word check for her email files… she has hundreds of emails coming in all the time. The word search she did was for the word “sorry,” in the headline. To her great surprise, she found that this word was used hundreds of times by women starting out in business, but it was almost never said by men. She told a group of new business women to STOP USING THE WORD SORRY… that it was undermining women, and making them servile and second class citizens. She’s a very rational highly trained techie, and I respect her quiet observations. Unlike me, she is quite conservative, very analytical and has never ever even used the word “feminist” much less “lesbian.” So I was struck by her observation, that even she was onto something.
Yes, when you look at the church, and you look at how many women have written columns here (this should be counted BTW and posted), I find the “I’m Sorry” story written by a 20-something woman who probably never gave a hate filled anti-gay sermon in her life kind of … well something a feminist should question. So Ashleigh, while I certainly appreciate what you have to say, and certainly have had christian hate groups denegrate and demean me as a lesbian and a woman, somehow someone like you has nothing to be sorry for. I don’t feel you have ever harmed me as a lesbian, or attempted to silence my feminism. I’m happy that you’re getting to know your lesbian friends, and certainly I love my straight women friends too. But the people who run these churches and have controlled the doctrine and the theology for centuries are not women like you. I’m glad you are learning and reflecting and speaking out. That’s great, so I hope you write some heavy hitting christian lesbian affirming/straight women affirming dialoging type stuff on this blog soon. But in my opinion, the pastors of your church should be writing the I’m sorry blog post, the patriarchal men who go along with the boys club to get along should be sorry. For women, I’m sorry is something we say too much, and men in power way too little. Food for thought…
Sheila – Everyone, including myself, on this blog has been so gracious to you and your comments since you started commenting. But I’m now really, really tired of your anti-male rhetoric. You have managed to offend hetero men, gay men AND a friend of mine who is post-op male-to-female transgender. Your potential self-fulfulling prophecies about men and probably your response to what I’m writing now is too much. I have no problem with you commenting, but if you write one more comment degrading men of any type, I will ban you. Please see my comment policy on the header tab. Thanks.
Hey your sign actually was the one that stood out the most to me among your groups.. probably because it really did strike me as the deepest, and most sincere… I wish more of my former co-worship band leaders, and co-bible study leaders had the same mindset as you.. and even though people say that you don’t owe an apology because maybe you personally haven’t wronged us— i get where you are coming from with it, and it means more than you know.
We have a son who is gay and lives in Chicago. He attended the parade recently and was so encouraged to be among people who truly understand and accept him as he is. We are thankful for the Marin Foundation and its challenge to churches to “re-think” their traditional response and to reach out to the gay community with unconditional love with no strings attached. Our son is a Christian but has been very damaged by well meaning heterosexual Christians that explain their “bullying” as “scriptural truth.” Our hope and prayer is that through organizations like the Marin Foundation, our son will someday feel safe enough to be drawn back to Christ rather than sent running the other way. Great strides have been made, but we still have a long way to go. Let the healing begin!
As a pastor, I just appreciate that the quiet, evangelical Christian conservative used bullshit in his blog. What you are doing is so groundbreaking and life giving. Many blessings bro. We need to connect soon.
I meant her blog. Sorry.
Hey folks, I am just commenting on who says sorry the most, and who has controlled doctrine of the church. These are facts, and if you can’t face facts well, don’t fall back on excuses. I didn’t create church as institution, but I can tell you that you have got to face the facts of how these institutions function. This is not male hating to point out that men dominate conservative christian churches and movements, and that there are still many denominations who refuse to ordain women. So take a hard look at this, and stop hiding behind the usual tactics to avoid woman truths. And I think you should post a numerical list of the people writing the blogs and measure the male to female ratio of this. Get to the facts. And male supremacy and the suppression of women in leadership positions is something very common. My friend who wrote about the “I’m sorries” discovered something, and it popped out at me immediately… it was a strange coincidense that the “I’m sorry” female predominant email headings in her email file also popped up here. Perhaps it is the holy spirit clueing me in.
There is nothing male hating in saying the church is male controlled, that this is historical and current. And there is nothing male hating in asking that white straight men step up and do the major “I’m sorrying” which you have done in the creation of the t-shirts etc., but if you keep on bristling when women call on the patterns, and name the history and it’s affect on women and lesbians, it is inauthentic, and avoiding history. It is not anti-white to call people out on white supremacy and the history of racism in the church, it is not anti-male to call this history out front and center, and the “anti-male” comment Andrew is exactly what I’m getting at. Perhaps you still just have trouble with the facts. And the fact is, women don’t write an equal number of lead blog stories here and never have, and I’m just saying. Geez … stop the cover up and the dodging. Lesbians are not going to let this go, and we are going to keep on saying this stuff until it gets through, so women can SEE these patterns. You can now silence me and kick me out of here, but I will not be a silent lesbian and I will continue to call out the facts, the history and how women are subtely made second class citizens. Women don’t run conservative christianity, and they are not the major forces behind the worldwide oppression of both women, gays and lesbians. It’s lengthy, delete it, but it’s the truth.
I just happened to come across this website today and read this blog. It’s weird how some things happen. I’m from Georgia and since I could remember I was raised in the church. All of that changed when my mother came out. We were kicked out of our church when I was 9. I later found another church but I’ve been so hurt by so many people that I thought truly cared for us. I had so many questions to ask the church about why they wouldnt allow us back, but was never ballsy enough to ask them. Many years later, my 3rd year into college, I began dating a female. I had so much trouble allowing myself date a female because I still remember how much the church had hurt my family because of my loving mother’s choice for love. Living in Georgia, it is not easy being gay. Growing up in the Bible belt, homosexuality is nothing we speak of, unless it’s a neighbor or elder talking about how we will all burn in hell for it. Sadly, I just listen to them and nod my head because I’m too ashamed to let them know I’ve been in a relationship with the same girl for 4 years now. I went to my first Pride Parade in Atlanta, GA a few years back and I have not been back to a church since then. Everywhere we walked there were “Christian” groups holding signs telling us how much God HATES us and how we will burn. I had 2 preachers SPIT on me. It reminded me again of being that little girl that the church had kicked out because they found out my mother was gay. I had so many emotions going on and I had so many problems with who I am. I grew up Christian, the Bible is what I know. I went to Church Camp every year until my 1st year of college and later became a counselor. I now am too ashamed to walk back into a church. I want more than anything to go regularly to church with my girlfriend, but that is not acceptable. I do not throw being gay in anyone’s face, I don’t believe in that. I do know that you have no choice in who you fall in love with. We were told that gays cannot be in faithful relationships. We’ve been faithful for 4 years and are now looking into having children. We are not something scary, we are normal people…school teachers to be exact, but we are not allowed to speak of our relationship. We can be fired based to our sexuality. Anyway, the whole point of this response was to say THANK YOU. It just so happened that I was in Chicago during the Pride Parade. Although there were like 51 floats that had their tires slashed, it didn’t put a damper on anyone’s fun time. I had never been up north, I had no clue of the differences from GA to IL in acceptance. I saw your sign and took so many pictures of all the different ones. For one time in my life, I felt like I could attend a church again. The last 4 years I have not felt like God cared for me all because of who I love. After seeing those signs, I began to cry. It meant so much to see straight people walking with signs. Not that I want an “IM SORRY” necessarily, it’s just so nice to know that there are people out there who truly see that we are just like everyone else. It’s also nice to see true Christians out there that can look past that and invite me into God’s House, again. So, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU and your group for the signs. It meant a lot more than you’ll ever know. I believe God put me at that parade for a reason. I had no clue it was going on and we literally stumbled upon it our first day in Chicago. I believe I came across this blog and campaign for a reason, as well. I just want to say to you and I’m sorry as well. I’m sorry that so many ignorant people make the good guys look bad. I’m sorry that there is so much hate in this world that we cannot all get along. I’m sorry that this whole site even has to exist. I’m sorry if you have had any issues with people not agreeing with your views. Thank you for your kind words. God bless you for your kindness.
Rhonda, I am so sorry for the pain I see in your comment, please scroll down a ways to a reply to ‘Steve’ and read what I wrote there.
Wait… with all the “bridging” and “conversation” and “partnering” I couldn’t actually decipher whether or not you think homosexuality is a sin. Do you? And if so, your partnering is so that in the end this LGBT community (whom Jesus loves) can ultimately repent of their sin (of which would be homosexuality… of course we all have a lot of sins we had to repent of, no doubt) and come to know Jesus, right?
Steve: Part of this process isn’t necessarily conversion, but coexistence. We live in a world where lots of GLBT people and lots of Christian people talk past each other and yell at each other and generally make each other miserable. It’s not helpful and it rarely brings anyone to Christ. (And I’m not even going to approach the subject of gay Christians with this answer)
This world is tearing itself apart. Part of the solution is learning how to get along better with people who hold different values. There are gay people out there who will never step into the church. There are gay families out there who are headed by married gay adults and possibly even kids. There are Christian folks who will never believe that gay families or relationships are valid ways of living. All of those folks likely will never transform each other to their way of thinking. But they can and should learn how to coexist with each other and learn to validate the reality of those differing belief systems even if they don’t want to affirm the values behind those belief systems.
I must have missed it… and I know this is weeks old… but can someone answer this question:
Is sex outside of heterosexual marriage a sin?
ABsolutely sex outside of heterosexual marriage is a sin. So is lying, stealing, killing, oh and lest we think “oh I don’t do any of that” so is gossip, complaining, worry, pride in self, entertaining unwholesome thoughts about someone, lust….. it goes on and on. AND to God our Father, it all looks and smells the same …rotten! Hmmmm what can we infer from that?…. I am going to burn in hell for gossiping? No! I have put my faith and trust in Jesus, the Son of God, Jesus is also God (by the way)! He loved us so much that He came to earth as an infant, lived a perfect life, took all of my sin past, present and future on Himself and willingly went to the cross and shed His perfect blood to pay for my sin. Died, went to hell and broke death’s grip, came back to life, showed Himself to countless others and instructed us to tell the world about Him, then left earth, leaving His Holy Spirit to be with those who believe and He is preparing a place for each and every believer in heaven.He is going to return one day for all of His people and put an end to all evil and we will be with Him for eternity. How do I know this? He told me in His love letter, the Bible. and what He says, He will do. Wait a minute… I said all His people, a the catch huh?! only perfect people get to be that? NO, NO. Incredibly He offers this free GIFT to anyone, all that is required to is take it! Ahhh, then you are perfect? NO. then you begin to realize things you do and have done fall woefully short of the perfection you would have to attain to get to heaven on your own and realize your ONLY hope is to take the free gift He offers. As you begin to experience the absolutly amazing LOVE He has for you, that He would willingly live with a body of clay and endure hunger, thrist, rejection, ridicule, criticism, persecution, pain and even death at the hands of those He loves and came to save all because He loves YOU too much to not offer you this eternal life with Him ,you will begin to repent (regret, be sorry for and try to change) the sins in your life. (….see way, way up there at the beginning of this rambling discourse). will you succeed? no but you will keep trying. God however will see you as perfect because Jesus stands there and says “oh no Dad, I paid for him (her)” and God will only see His Son Jesus when He looks at you. It is not how you feel that is sinful. it is what you do with how you feel. God says, “be angry but do not sin” we can’t help feelings that come to us, we can only help how we react and when we react/act in a way that is dishonoring to the God who created us, that is sin, and when we repent and try to change, that is what honors Him. He created us…. our environment, and people/circumstances in our life make us the way we are, through no fault of our own. We must then see ourselves in the pure Light of His love and because of our love for Him work to put behind us old ways of acting, again… not to be ‘right’ or to get to heaven but out of our Love for Him. Think of someone you love… whether “right” or “wrong” by others’ judgement…. you can’t change how you feel only how you act out that love. and because you love that person you want to do things that please and bring honor to them….so it is with God. God loves you and so do I and actually all true Christians, we just often get conflicted with what we feel and how we act on it.
Anyone else tired of the spam-bombing of this thead? I wonder why this particular thread is getting repeatedly targeted?