The Sixth Thought

I really enjoy Jon Kuhrt and Jon Chilver's blog Resistance&Renewal and recommend you read their posts which are often insightful and refreshing in a Christian world that often gets stuck in various ruts.

sexuality is the unmentionable issue of evangelical christians
I particularly enjoyed reading Jon Chilver's post on whether the Church as lost her right to speak on the issue of homosexuality.  If you read the comments you will see that I had a conversation with another commenter on the way that we approach this issue.  I think that this interaction epitomised what I see as a fundamental problem in the discussions on sexuality.

It saddens me that to *even discuss* the ethics on sexuality is taboo.

Recently on Fulcrum forums, we have become stuck on this issue, sometimes the tone of the comments has become highly unkind and when I challenged that I was accused of not knowing Christ.

It tells me that people are really very insecure.  To not even be able to discuss a subject, does not speak of certainty.  It speaks of a desire to control and to hold on to a 'world' that is under threat.  I suspect that there are a lot of people out there who really want to have the discussion on sexuality but who are implicitly or explicitly being given the message that it is 'the issue that must not be named'.

I see it all the time, when this issue is raised, people are cagey, they don't even want to give the impression of an impression that they might even have given this issue a second thought.  To give the issue a second thought (presumably beyond the 'first thought' of 'euww that's just yucky and doesn't the bible mean I don't have to think about that...?') is deemed as irredeemably beyond the pail.  If you give it a second thought then you are on the path to the wide road of destruction.

Now think about that....a second thought.

A SECOND thought?!

We're talking about *human beings*, and we can't even get beyond our own comfort zone of belonging to give this our attention?!  We should be giving this the focus of not only our second thoughts, but our third, fourth, fifth and perhaps even our sixth thoughts too.  We at least should deem our fellow human beings that dignity, surely?  Let alone those who are brothers and sisters in Christ.  Of course some of the language I see and hear is that gay people are barely human, let alone flourishingly so within the love of God.
go on....admit it

But my observation is that my gay Christian friends have to turn to God for their identity and security and love and belonging so much more than other Christians who too often get it from conforming to the implicit rules of belonging of their particular Church community.  To behave as if this is not the case and to deny that they even have a relationship with God is simply deceitful.

The discussion on sexuality, in reality, leads people to a full spectrum of opinion.  But the sad thing is that we are having to do 'figuring this out' on our own, without the help of each other.  The only conversation that is allowed to happen is on the ends of this spectrum, normally throwing verbal bombs at each other across 'No Man's Land'.  There's no space for *any* recognition that there's a bunch of us who don't sit at either end of that spectrum.

I hope and pray for the day that it will be encouraged and tolerable for people to say 'I don't know' or 'I'm thinking about this' or even (as is my desire these days) to say that we will make decisions based on the human beings who stand in front of us and not who we imagine them to be in our head.  Maybe then we will be able to listen as we look at them, and hear, as the God who made both us and them whispers in our ear.