|Photo by Wayan Vota|
Now there is Pastor Harris of a NC megachurch church who, amongst other things, said "Dads, the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist. Man up. Give him a good punch." So gay kids don't need to merely fear rejection from Christian parents, they are now being threatened with beatings as well. To be fair though, Pastor Harris could be thought of as a religious progressive. After all, the bible (infallible, God's revealed truth, without error) has told us that the child should be put to death. Pastor Harris is being darn near liberal by comparison.
So why are Christians not putting homosexuals to death? Because Dan Savage was right; Christians ignore bible passages ALL THE TIME. Christians have a bit of a sliding scale when it comes to biblical obedience. Death would be a little drastic for modern society, so we move the scale down to serious societal oppression. When it comes to adultery (also deserving of death a few verses up), we slide the scale even further down. In fact many items (eating shellfish, wearing mixed fabrics, no work on the Sabbath) get moved off the sliding scale all together.
Many Christians want to distance themselves from a Pastor like Harris, but in their practical attitudes and rhetoric, there is little difference. Harris may be a hardcore blatant oppressor, but many Christians are softcore - carefully censoring their words, but maintaining a similar attitude in their hearts. Then they wonder in befuddlement why Christianity is becoming more marginalized and youth are leaving churches in droves.
Which brings me to my Shellfish Challenge. Many new ideas and approaches need to be "tried on for size" before they can be accepted. So, my Christian friends, I challenge you for one year to let go of the homosexual issue. Give it the same attention, worry, concern, and time that you give to the biblical avoidance of shellfish... nothing. No conversations, no sermons, no readings, no political efforts, no wisecracks. In short, you put into the issue the same thought and effort Jesus did... nothing.
Take the challenge for 1 year... then weigh what effect it had on your soul and your relationships.
and.... if you still feel the need to be against something - shellfish is an open field. Remember "God Hates Lobster!" :)