If you haven't yet, it will be helpful to read the first part of this blog / interaction with Preston Sprinkle's new book, People To Be Loved: Why Homosexuality Is Not Just An Issue - posted yesterday - before jumping into this one.
If you're coming across this blog post, I think that it should probably carry the same disclaimer as Preston's book does: "This book [blog] is primarily written for Christians - those who consider the Bible to be authoritative." Some of those Christians' interpretations of that authoritative word end in different places regarding same-sex engagement, depending upon whether they believe scripture allows for it ("affirming") or not ("nonaffirming").
However, I know that a lot of people who read or listen to what I write are not Christians, and they do not believe that the Bible is authoritative. As I considered whether I was going to write this blog or not, I saw the faces of and recalled the letters from Levi The Poet fans and followers who live life as a part of or in support of the LGBTQ community (not to mention my real life friends and acquaintances and people I see on a daily basis), and I feared whether it would be the end of our engagements with one another. Not fear because I need their approval, but fear because I care about them, and I don't want to forfeit our relationships. I see faces and smiles, not of projects, but of people. I know that as soon as anyone says anything about trigger-words like "homosexuality", you're in for it, no matter what.
But I've got scene kids in my mind who already have a hard enough time feeling welcomed in and by the church for wanting to pit at shows. How're they supposed to wrestle through questions like these when they've already been cast out for listening to the Devil's music? And I wonder why love and / or acceptance is predicated upon agreement. Or did we as Christians forget that we agreed on nothing with God before we were loved by him?
I'm writing about Preston's book here because I think it is helpful - I hope people will have ears to let it be helpful - and specifically helpful to us who have been called sons and daughters of King Jesus. And therefore - inevitably, I hope - specifically helpful regarding the ways in which we interact with one another as equally fallen family, and as those who would like to invite others into the saving kindness we've received here. I can't say that ours is a family all that appealing - in relation to this conversation - when the culture wars we've become synonymous with demand that imperatives precede indicatives, which is actually opposite the gospel. Jesus' message is not, "obey, and then I will love you," but rather, "I love you," and that love is irresistably such that obedience becomes the desire. I hope that this can be helpful to us who, if found with any delusions of reason to count others more lowly than ourselves, have arrogantly and grotesquely dismissed the truth of our own depravity as those "who were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind."
I think that Preston's book is as much a tough call to repentance as it is a tender pleading with the church to compassionately live with biblical and spirit-filled faithfulness in obedience to the same creator who designed each of us with inherent value and dignity according to the Imago Dei that - though distorted - every single human being carries.
This blog post is the second of a three-part series (Pt. 01 here), with the final to follow tomorrow. I rarely split things up like that, but "simple explanations delude us," and I think it's an important enough thought to warrant making it absorbable. Check back tomorrow. Thanks for reading.