Rhonda Cagle

Friendly Fire

In Uncategorized on September 27, 2010 at 2:27 pm

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a subject that makes many of my friends and professional colleagues uncomfortable. For that matter, it makes some within my own family squirm. Once again, the subject of homosexuality is rocking the evangelical church. Once again, I’m wondering how to respond.

I know. We’re not supposed to talk about this subject. Or, if we must, we’re to do so in hushed and judgmental tones, quoting 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. As good Christians, we’re to shake our heads, tsk-tsk-tsking, while we throw another church leader to the curb and move on to the next spiritual superstar.

There’s only one problem. I can’t do this. I don’t want to tsk-tsk. And I don’t want to take up my Bible and skewer someone’s life with a few carefully selected scriptures. I’m uncomfortable with this “Christian” response because, well, it’s not Christian. I’ve read the rest of this oft-quoted passage of Scripture damning homosexuals to hell. The list also includes those who have a few too many drinks… those who speak in a way that damages the reputation of another… those who are greedy… those who put other things ahead of God… those who are inappropriate in their sexuality… those who steal or cheat others. In other words, the list includes all of us – people in need of God’s forgiveness and redemption.

Don’t believe me? Listen to some of the prayer requests shared at churches. “Please pray for Mrs. So-and-So. She and her husband are really struggling right now.” The well-meaning prayer then goes on to share what she’s heard about the ugly details of poor Mrs. So-and-So’s marriage. Or perhaps attend a cocktail reception this coming Friday night. Notice how many people – even good Christian folk – have “one more for the road.” For that matter, watch how the color drains from people’s faces when CNN breaks in with news that the Dow Jones has plunged another 200 points. I’m pretty sure they’re not singing, “My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.”

So where does this leave folks like me and, presumably, you who want to follow God but are tired of throwing stones? For that matter, where does this leave the Church?

Well….

For starters, I think we put down our stones. Since our hands are now empty, perhaps we can take up a little humility. While we’re at it, instead of seeing someone as a label, we might try seeing them as a person made in the image and likeness of God, worthy of respect and dignity. Finally, we might try listening more and speaking less, knowing that each of us has areas that are broken and in need of God’s repair.

I realize this doesn’t solve the great divide within our churches. But it may keep one less person trying to follow Christ from being destroyed by friendly fire. Personally, I’ve seen more than enough Christians shot through by hard words and actions. From my perspective, it’s time to lay God’s weapons down.

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  1. Very true. I’ll write more when I have time. I agree. I’m getting ready to blog on this as well. Great minds. 🙂

  2. It is not our place to judge, it is our duty to pray.

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