Bad Preacher's Wife

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Can you be Christ-Shaped? (LGB*)

I have, as a conservative Christian, had… we shall say “numerous” conversations about Homosexuality and Christianity. With homosexuals. With bisexuals. With heterosexuals. With conservatives and liberals. With pagans and agnostics. With Christians who understood and with those who hated. And I’ve dealt with many of the issues here very personally, so my heart and my mind are still evolving their understanding here.

This quote came to my attention today. I hesitate to link the article and interview it came from because it contains… frankly, it contains viewpoints that make me feel… both angry and ill in quick succession. I cannot recommend anything but that which is below- not because I have anything (before this, anyway) against Rob Bell, whom the interview focuses on, but because I cannot stand wishy-washy representations of Christianity. As much as I love and am very fed by the language, the culture- yes, even the worship associated with “Liberal Christianity … interviews like his and the attitudes behind the perspective he shares are insupportable.

All to say THIS.

At the end of the day, no matter how sincerely and desperately it might be wished that we can live our own way… this is the truth. This is what we come back to. Because as much as love may be, as much as something may feel and as much as wishing may be had…. it’s a choice, simply put.

Not between conservative and liberal.

Not between hetero-, homo- or bisexual.

But between conforming to Christ… and not.

Says Andrew in the interview**:

We just baptized a number of gay men in our church recently. It’s just wonderful.

But each one of them is saying, “But now, when I get baptized, I die to the old me. I rise again to the new me that is Christ-shaped, that’s eschatologically-informed and transformed. Resurrection life which is a completely different type of creature. A lot of the desires I have had, a lot of the things which I’ve wanted to do, I – like Paul did in the season in which he wrote 1 Corinthians, and like Jesus did – I put on hold sexual desires. I die to a lot of the things I want, in order to follow Christ. And I rise to new life…”

We look and say, “What does Christ-shaped new creation look like?” We’ve got gay guys in our church (and women as well) who say, “Dying to my old life and being risen again to new life in Christ means dying to all the acts of the flesh, including some of the sexual things that – yes, I wanted to do them, just like lots of people want to have sex with lots of people, some may want to have sex with two or three people simultaneously, that doesn’t mean I’m okay to do that. It means I am just like anyone else (greed or desires to slander or swindle) regarding any number of other sins. We say those things die with me. We repent and get baptized.”

To not put that in front of someone is to say, “You can have the kingdom, but if it costs too much, we’ll just lower the asking price…

Because that is always the asking price. Every time. And not everyone will choose it. It is ALWAYS “All or Nothing”. That is the deal. And, like in many things, what you put in is what you will receive a hundred or a thousand-fold.

Can you be Christ Shaped? Will you agree to the price asked- whatever that may hold for you?

Will it be All?

Or will it be Nothing?

* I have, knowingly, excluded trans* men and women from this particular discussion. I have dealt with, spoken with and researched to the best of my ability the situation homosexual men and women who are Christians or who interact with the church deal with. I have dealt, very personally, with the struggles facing those bisexual christians in our number. This is not the case for the trans* community and while I do not want to leave them out of the conversation… I also refuse to speak when I am uneducated and emotionally ignorant on them and their place in this. That’s a poor, poor answer. It’s something I’ve struggled with- as is understanding the trans* community better – but my best answer is a respectful, “I cannot speak on it because I do not know enough to have anything to say.”

** Original Article which drew my attention. It does an excellent job of pointing out the wrongness of the arguments presented by Mr. Bell and the emptiness of some of his statements.

** Youtube Link (Cut to quote)

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