My friend Renee sent me this and introduced me to Sojourner’s Magazine where this article appears.
I must say, it is making me revise my views about organized religion and admit there are some Christians who are not as judgmental, self righteous and self-absorbed as I thought…
Kind of a weird journey for this New Age Spiritual,agnostic, psuedo-Buddhist, Jewish Wannabe, Gay Man who was raised in- and detests- the judgmental Southern Baptist Church and the Right Wing Political Evangelical’s message of hate….
I’m going to try to be more open-minded as I ask others to be…
It’s easy when Christians start saying some of the same things I do…
From Cathleen Falsani at Sojourners.com:
Some of my dearest friends are gay.
Most of my dearest friends are Christians.
And more than a few of my dearest friends are gay Christians.
As an evangelical, that last part is not something that, traditionally and culturally, I’m supposed to say out loud. For most of my life, I’ve been taught that it’s impossible to be both openly gay and authentically Christian.
When a number of my friends “came out” shortly after our graduation from Wheaton College in the early ’90s, first I panicked, and then I prayed.
What would Jesus do? I asked myself (and God).
According to biblical accounts, Jesus said very little, if anything, about homosexuality. But he spent loads of time talking, preaching, teaching and issuing commandments about love.
That was my answer: Love them. Unconditionally, without caveats or exceptions.
I wasn’t sure whether homosexuality actually was a sin. But I was certain I was commanded to love.
For 20 years, that answer was workable, if incomplete. Lately, though, it’s been nagging at me. Some of my gay friends are married, have children, and have been with their partners and spouses as long as I’ve been with my husband.
Loving them is easy. Finding clear theological answers to questions about homosexuality has been decidedly not so.
That’s why I’m grateful for a growing number of evangelical leaders who are bravely offering a different answer.
In his new book Fall to Grace: A Revolution of God, Self and Society, Jay Bakker, the son of Jim Bakker and the late Tammy Faye Messner, gives clear and compelling answers to my nagging questions.
Simply put, homosexuality is not a sin, says Bakker, 35, pastor of Revolution NYC, a Brooklyn evangelical congregation that meets in a bar.
Bakker, who is straight and divorced, crafts his argument using the same “clobber scriptures” (as he calls them) that are so often wielded to condemn homosexuals.
“The simple fact is that Old Testament references in Leviticus do treat homosexuality as a sin … a capital offense even,” Bakker writes. “But before you say, ‘I told you so,’ consider this: Eating shellfish, cutting your sideburns and getting tattoos were equally prohibited by ancient religious law.
“The truth is that the Bible endorses all sorts of attitudes and behaviors that we find unacceptable (and illegal) today and decries others that we recognize as no big deal.”
Leviticus prohibits interracial marriage, endorses slavery and forbids women to wear trousers. Deuteronomy calls for brides who are found not to be virgins to be stoned to death, and for adulterers to be summarily executed.
“The church has always been late,” Bakker told me in an interview this week. “We were late on slavery. We were late on civil rights. And now we’re late on this.”