• A call for sanity

    November 13, 2012

    Today I’m participating in a synchroblog calling for sanity among Christians in the discussion of faith and homosexuality. This called-for sanity would cover all aspects of the topic: Is homosexuality sin? If so, why? If not, why? Should gay marriage be legal? Should churches ordain gay ministers?

    And any other question you can think of. Click here to read some of the other entries in the synchroblog.

    There must be a way for Christians of varying viewpoints to discuss this stuff without getting all cray-cray. Let me suggest one simple but often painful thing we could all do.

    Begin with the humble acknowledgement, “I could be wrong.”

    It’s hard to be too defensive, angry, nasty, and generally unloving when you’ve already said to yourself and others, “Hey, obviously I think my view is sound or I wouldn’t hold it, but I’m human, and therefore flawed, and therefore potentially wrong.” Several days ago, I got into a back-and-forth on Facebook (not a good place to discuss anything) with a guy who felt the redefinition of marriage was undermining the family. When it was clear neither of us were buying the other’s points on the matter, I suggested we agree to disagree and move on. The other fella agreed, but not before adding this little postscript:

    “Last statement…to state my case. Homosexuality is wrong because the Bible says it is … Please don’t use the Bible as a reference allowing homosexuality…it doesn’t.”

    Instantly, I wanted to throw rocks at the guy, and every other Christian who says stuff like that. (I know, I know: not a sane approach.) Statements like the one above are the death of any meaningful discussion. When you say something like that, all the other person hears is what I heard: “I’m right. You’re wrong. Period. Regardless of the fact that I’ve done little or no research on the historical context of the passages in question, and regardless of the fact that many Bible scholars who have done such research have come to a conclusion different than mine, I’m right, and you’re wrong. And all of those scholars are too. Just because. The Bible doesn’t say what you say it says. If you try to suggest that it does, you’re ‘using’ the Bible.”

    What arrogance. There’s no way I’m wrong. There’s no way you’re right. So just stop talking. If we go at this issue that way, people will rightly tune us out. That’s not a sane approach to discussing one of the most contentious moral issues of our day. Sanity says, “Hey, I could be wrong, so let’s talk.” Cray-cray says, “I’m right, and you’re not, just because, so what is there to discuss?”

    Speaking of sane approaches, I’d like to plead with you that you buy a copy of “Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays vs. Christians Debate” by Justin Lee. It’s the most reasonable approach to the whole issue that I’ve ever read, and it’s in stores and available online today in hardcover and ebook formats. It won’t take you long to read it, and I think you’ll get something good from it, regardless where you fall on the issue of faith and homosexuality. Please, please, please: read it.

    Posted in: Book Reviews, General, More Gay Stuff

Recent Comments

  • Sara said...


    Done and done! Ok, just the buying part is done, not the reading part. Very excited to come home to Justin’s book on my Kindle. Looking forward to his insights.

    11/13/12 1:39 PM | Comment Link

  • Matt said...


    Let me know what you think!

    11/13/12 1:56 PM | Comment Link

  • Kirstin said...


    Awesome post! That is my goal – to always be willing to admit, humbly, that I might be wrong! It’s not always easy… but when we all do it, we might really be able to have saner conversations.

    11/15/12 10:46 AM | Comment Link

  • Jason J. said...


    Nice read. As for the book, half way through 🙂

    11/17/12 1:05 AM | Comment Link

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