Things I’m thinking about: Worth Celebrating

A same-sex marriage supporter waves a rainbow flag in front of the US Supreme Court on March 26, 2013 in Washington, DC, as the Court takes up the issue of gay marriage. The US Supreme Court on Tuesday heard arguments on the emotionally charged issue of gay marriage as it considers arguments that it should make history and extend equal rights to same-sex couples. Waving US and rainbow flags, hundreds of gay marriage supporters braved the cold to rally outside the court along with a smaller group of opponents, some pushing strollers. Some slept outside in hopes of witnessing the historic hearing. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Today I really wanted to join in on the countless Facebook posts regarding the Supreme Court’s ruling on Same Sex Marriage.  Reading the comments of folks was both encouraging and disheartening as the full spectrum of humanity- love to hate, was exposed yet again like it has been by so many events this year.  Thankfully, there was grace for me and I had restraint to craft my words more intentionally and think about what I want to communicate.

To my friends who have felt second class, judged, and kept from equal rights, I stand by you and celebrate with you today.  This is big.   As a Christian, and a Pastor, I know there is a tremendous amount of healing that needs to be done and that my community has deeply hurt the LGBT community for decades.   For that I mourn and ask for your forgiveness.   While I fully acknowledge the need for healing and reconciliation, and that this must to continue on into the future, today we can celebrate together.

Congratulations to my teachers, my friends, my family, and to those in my church community who now stand with equal rights and privileges.  I can’t imagine what this day must mean to you.

For my friends in the LGBT community, today must be overflowing with emotions.  The beauty of feeling free to love.  The relief of never thinking this day would come.  The comfort of feeling heard, respected, and treated with dignity.  The pride of equality.  The hope that justice is real and that things can get better.  The joy of not having to be alone forever.

Today I stand with you.  Stoked.

To my friends who identify with that infamous first century jewish radical who loved so sacrificially that it cost him everything, let us lead with the grace and humility he modeled today.  Our call is not to be right on a particular position on any given issue, but rather to follow Christ as he loves all.  Today let us be challenged by the reality that reconciliation is a higher call than rightness of belief or position.  So no matter where you lean with regards to how you theologically define marriage, your first obligation is love.

For those of my friends who don’t agree with today’s decision, that’s alright.  Take a deep breath.  The sky hasn’t fallen.  Consider what love obligates you to today, and at the very least try to understand and empathize with those who have felt oppressed and unheard for so long.

If you’d like to seriously engage this conversation further, I’d love to process with you- but mostly in person.  Also, I’ve added a list of books in case you’re ready think through this stuff with a fresh perspective.

Oh and also- know that at least at our church community all our welcome, and we really mean it:
http://oaklandlocal.com/2015/02/oaklands-new-church-promotes-spiritual-inclusivity/

Recourses:

A Letter to My Congregation:
http://www.amazon.com/Letter-My-Congregation-Ken-Wilson/dp/1939880300

Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gay/Straight Debate:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1455514306/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_2/188-6357464-2023029?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_r=1B1DQT7ERD9G397DQYA5&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_p=1944687702&pf_rd_i=1939880300

God and the Gay Christian:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/160142518X/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_1?pf_rd_p=1944687502&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=1939880300&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1W4EC4KYAFP5AYX90615

Cheers!

5 thoughts on “Things I’m thinking about: Worth Celebrating

  1. We’ll said, Thank you for showing that not all Christians should be painted with the same brush. Bravo! From a grateful Jew!

  2. Thanks, Chris…
    I’ve been working through where I stand on all of this for a while now. I’m going to purchase those books and read them while we are in Colorado to think about it more. I really appreciate the resources.

  3. Hi Chris,

    I agree with you that Jesus wants us to love.

    When I look at the Bible I see that, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a). I see in this definition that one aspect of love is celebration. But not just any celebration. Love celebrates truth.

    But what does the Bible say truth is? In John 14:6 Jesus says that he is the way, the truth, and the life. If truth is Jesus then we should celebrate Christ. Jesus is 100% good. He is the ultimate good. Of course he is the reason for our celebration. We (only Christians) are called to be like Jesus, just like you said.

    I have heard people say that love is a choice, love is a feeling, love is acceptance, but more importantly Christians believe that God is love. That love came through Jesus’ death on the cross for all sin. Christians should celebrate because we get to live forever with our Creator.

    Jesus came to save the world so that the world could be forever with God. He tells his followers, “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you” (John 14:15-17). I celebrate because God has sent the Spirit so that Christians do not have to be alone. I believe that really loving someone, the way that Jesus has commanded us to love, is to help them find Jesus. If someone is with out Christ they are lost. Love is pointing everyone to Christ, who is the truth that I celebrate.

    Like you said in your article, it’s alright to not agree. I thought that I would just share my thoughts because I have been feeling challenged to really look at what I believe and check my own beliefs with what the Bible says, since I believe that the Bible is 100% true, and this is what I found.

  4. Pingback: Things: Books I Read in 2015 | Things

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