I just heard about an incident where Answers in Genesis, an apologetic ministry focused on creationism, hosted a date night at their facility that included dinner, a concert and a talk by their President Ken Hamm. (As the blog I heard about it on noted, nothing says romance like a sermon about young-earth creationism). A male couple was denied entry into the event, specifically because they were gay, though they had bought tickets in advance.
Now as I always try to do, instead of picking apart this one incident I want to look at the bigger picture and ask larger questions. To me, it isn’t much use to complain about something that’s already happened and therefore cannot be changed, but we can explore the greater trend this incident fits inside of.
I’m not trying encourage us to go the total opposite direction of what our stance on homosexuality has been in the past – to go from one extreme to the other. But if we’re gonna square off so definitively against homosexuality I just want some reason and basic logic to be clear. I understand why so many Christians fight so hard against homosexuality, I just think some big thinking errors are made in the process that need to be pointed out.
1) A rant: gay people are showing interest in your religion!!! How remarkable is that? And you won’t even let them in the door? Churches these days try all sorts of gimmicks and tricks to persuade people to come into their building – it doesn’t make sense to put forth so much effort to entice people closer and then put a bouncer to keep them out. That’s an exact recipe for bitterness.
2) How do you ever expect them to change if you won’t let them anywhere near you? Because certainly condemning and yelling at them from a distance hasn’t produced a great success rate. As I noted yesterday – this Jesus things spreads like a fire from tree to tree, which implies proximity.
I’ll be very strong here – I think how we’ve dealt with homosexuality is killing Christianity. I recently read that a celebrity proposed to his girlfriend, but that they won’t get married until marriage is legal for all people. It’s starting to feel like us versus everyone else, and that’s fine – if it’s something worth standing up for.
But here’s the thing: I don’t think Jesus called us to be the morality police – especially for people who are not our brothers and sisters in Jesus. I think this is a grave misunderstanding – that we are in charge of cleaning up the riff raff on the earth. And I use the word “grave” for a reason…
I apologize if you’re tired of posts about homosexuality and the church, not just from me but everyone else. I know its on every radar screen. But I really do think it’s that big of a deal. It’s getting to the point where we are marginalizing ourselves and discrediting all the worthwhile and beautiful things we offer.
Am I being too dramatic? Do you think this is the one battle that could send us into obscurity? What is worth fighting in this battle?
(though the Answers in Genesis event was merely used as launching pad for a great point I want to offer a few footnotes: 1) apparently it was made known during event advertising that gay couples wouldn’t be permitted, so I don’t know why they tried 2) I do understand the reasoning that their presence would distract other attendees. Then again we are in bad shape if we are a bunch of perfect people sitting around distracted by sinners)