Enough... this kind of thing needs to stop
So there's a "Tent Meeting" of sorts being held in Lynnwood this weekend, characterized in an article found here as an "Anti-Gay" group. The challenge is that this group is indeed, anti-gay, with one of its primary spokesman declaring that homosexuals were, in part, responsible for the holocaust of the Jews in WWII (never mind the reality that homosexuals were herded, with Jews, gypsies, and others, into the gas chambers)! That such a conference occurs at all, that anyone would attend, is astonishing to me. Such groups gather with the express purpose of seeking to enact legislation that would forbid homosexuals basic human rights, which ironically, embodies the spirit of der fuhrer himself with astonishing parallels.
What's even more disturbing is that this is a 'christian' event (I can't bring myself to use a capital 'c'). What's even more astonishing is that several leaders of large churches from the greater Seattle area will be speaking at this conference. These 'evangelical' leaders distort not only the meaning of the word Christian, but do a great disservice to many of us who are trying to take the scriptures seriously, because their publicity leads the general populace to presume that a high view of scripture and denying other humans basic rights go hand in hand. This gives Jesus a bad name, causing many people to reject Christ, because the view they've received of Him is that He's a hater, as learned through these conferences.
The reality is that Jesus, whose ethic we seek to make visible through our lives and life together, has elevated loving God, and loving one's neighbor to elite status among all the ethical commandments, declaring in fact that the fulfillment of these two elements will result in the fulfillment of all the law and the prophets. When the religious experts question Jesus regarding 'who' exactly their neighbor might be, Jesus tells a story about a man who these experts would view as a heretic, but who nonetheless went out of his way to love the outcast, the downtrodden, regardless of the victim's belief system (which interestingly is never revealed). "This guy gets it" Jesus says, while pointing out that those who parsed the text so finely also completely missed the point because they failed to care for a human in need.
I could share with you my views regarding homosexuality in this little diatribe, as I'm sure those on the left and the right want to know. But that misses the point here, because the point this weekend isn't what I think about the ethics of homosexuality. There's something greater at stake. I'm incensed that 'in the name of Jesus' people would pour out hatred, ridiculous accusations, and incite their listeners to persecution and the denial of basic human rights for any people created in God's image and loved by God. Such a rally is embarrassing, angering, and I for one, feel the need to go on record as declaring that no matter what the sexual ethic, or race, or gender, or religion, or political affiliation of my neighbor, my calling and commitment is to love and bless them in Jesus name. Anything less is a different gospel, and not good news at all.
And so I pray that we who carry His name will pause a moment and be certain that we're building on the right foundation, remembering that the right foundation, the sign of maturity, is our capacity to show demonstrable love to all people, serving and blessing each one in Jesus name. I cry out with Van Morrison when I see this kind of garbage happening, "When will we ever learn to live in God?"