You’ve stared down the aisle of homosexuality, perhaps taken a few steps of examination. It didn’t take long for the reality to overwhelm. The issues are complicated with lots of moving parts. From terms like LGBTQ to issues of biology, from political creeds to long held theology. You’re trying, you really are.
With an inner heartbeat pulsing toward love, if only to be free, yet chained to prescribed understandings of an ancient text, lines drawn by the God of your faith upbringing. At best, you’re now straddling a fence. Who’s right, who’s wrong? Bending and twisting, juxtaposing Grace and truth— two chopsticks in hand, insisting that one must be the fork and the other the spoon. Perhaps, the tension is too much, you’ve insisted on landing—the road most traveled, the familiar path. Determined, that as far as God is loving, He is also condemning of all things LGBTQ. One big mess of sin, a grotesque abomination, some foreign reality to God’s rendering that requires transformation. Not just a fork, not just spoon, but a knife, declaring gay doom.
Where you are is where you are, not going to debate that.
But on top of it all, the icing on the cake, you’ve boxed up all your concrete conclusions, wrapped them in black and white paper, and packaged it all as being “conservative.” The genetic codes of your believism, your safe and sure home base. Declaring the inside scoop to a sacred text, years of ecclesial tradition. Self-proclaimed protectors of Christian values, the clear and plain teachings, not to mention… God-inspiration. This is America, the Jesus-sanctioned nation. “Oh-o-say can you see…”
Keep on singing, why stop there. Not just defining what’s in some “conservative” box, claiming it as your own. But labeling all those outside it, throwing shade from your man-made throne.
The hymns of your condemnation. You’ve made it all so loud and clear. To you, I’m a slippery slope pastor. The rest of us, lost and wayward Christians. Heretical to the nines. We’re all just one of them, those liberals, bending to the sway of culture, watering down, sponging in a bath of perversion. Gently tickling, feathering the ears of all that would listen. To make it feel so good, to feel so easy. Living in the grey, postmodern relativism, all with the agenda, to do Satan’s bidding. Looking down your nose, patting me on the back, hoping one day I’ll graduate from this gay-affirmation. Sometimes with words, other times with silence, you say I’ve sold out a sovereign God, joined a long list of false prophets, blinded by culture’s coercion. I’m just another one of those misguided progressives, who simply can’t handle truth.
Well I don’t know who you think you are, but in my humble opinion, you’re way off base. Quite frankly, not even on the planet. You have no idea, not a clue, the journey I have taken, and that of many others.
So, I sure hope you have your adult diapers on, because here comes the truth. My gay-affirmation didn’t come from smoking some kind of progressive liberality, it actually came from the incense of my deep seeded conservatism.
I love Jesus, the Bible, and truth just as much as any other. It’s out of an ardent, soul stirring quest to get this right, that I have come to this LBGTQ-affirming conclusion.
I’m determined, to conserve the singular essence of God who is love, nothing more, nothing less. While you take your liberalities, dancing far outside the box, making Him into a schizophrenic, condemning monster of multiple personalties. I’m holding fast, staying close and true to His clear delight and hand in all creation. While you take your liberalities, twisting, bending, fabricating God into a human-hating, sin-focused old man, sitting at the edge of heaven’s seat, licking his chops for the moment to show the unrepentant the back of His eternal hand.
I’m determined, to conserve the seriousness of the Bible, its sacredness and divinity. While you take your liberalities, raping it, reducing it into a text that should be understood, in all things, only literally. As if God gave you the Bible as a whore of words with which you can simply have your way. Making it all seem so black and white, so you can control, manipulate, label and sway. Adding words, translations, and meanings, stripping them from their context. Treating the Bible like a three-ring circus, parts that seem to light your enemies on fire, gaining the height of your attention, even the rise of your entertainment.
I refuse to play these religious games, to have my faith spoon fed, joining in lines of religious herds, feeding from the trough of self-righteousness.
I’m determined, to conserve the person of Jesus, the only Word of God, who for the joy set before Him, the entirety of humanity, endured it all. His Gospel of Grace, His message of peace. The goodness, value, acceptance and pleasure He takes in all that He has created. The very One who declared our leather-bound Bibles aren’t our salvation, often reinterpreting long held beliefs, always to the displeasure of the religious.
I’m not going to stand aside while you play eternity games with people’s lives. While you hijack the Gospel with your no-gospel Gospel, and pimp it as life. Making “church” into a club of like-minded people whose greatest spiritual gift is to talk amongst themselves and judge the world. Turning Christianity into a moral play, and you, the holders of the script. Scaling the heights of true liberality, truth twisting, backsliding, all while you’re pointing fingers. Puffed up with arrogance, you call it “conservative,” lifting yourselves as the keepers of all that is God’s intention and will.
Well, I’m not buying it, and countless others are beginning to see behind the curtain. You aren’t a conservative Christian, you are a convenient Christian. Anything to keep power, privilege, and authority— the trinity of your ambition.
Creationism, racism, nationalism, fundamentalism. Homophobia, xenophobia, misogyny, all bare the stench of your true liberality, moving so far away from the heart of God, Jesus, and the faith diary of His people. It’s all so convenient.
You are about as truly conservative as crayons taste like their colors. Spiritual shape-shifters, blending into, and making fit, anything that furthers your agenda— the one thing your brand of “conservatism” is good at accomplishing, the conserving of your own religious, self-righteous bigotry. A condemnation in your heart, seated deeper than any scripture.
For if you were truly conservative, you wouldn’t be anti-gay.
You’d stay so close to His nature, His heart, the person of His son Jesus. The thought of moving even just one step from His expanse, the incomprehensible essence of His ways. Seeing His image, his hand in all creation. The science, the biology, the complexity of it all. It would all be enough to give you pause. To stand in one place, on one thing alone… love.
From there, you could not be budged, you could not be moved.
Convinced that God is in all, and that God is good.
He is greater, His love higher, and his affirmation, universe reaching.
Everything His hands have made.
For if you were truly conservative, you wouldn’t be anti-gay.
You’d be like Jesus, and Jesus alone.
Believing in love… all the way.
The thing that most irritates me about my Christian friends is that they don’t see the possibility that they could be wrong. I understand why you would attack them, but I think you’re missing the mark in the same way they are. You, too, could be wrong. And it’s just possible that other Christians are earnestly trying to learn the truth from God’s Word and come to conclusions that are a little different from yours. Side A. Side B. Both can be approached with a love God. A love for the Bible. And a love for your fellow man.
I once heard a conservative commentator say why he was in favor of gay rights and gay marriage. Mainly, he said, it is because with those rights also come many responsibilities…and accountability that gay people didn’t have before. The way they conduct themselves becomes more important than ever, because everything is done out in the open. They have to deal with the headaches of marriage as well as the bliss. Divorce will haunt them just like it haunts the rest of us…dealing with children, money and property…legal pitfalls…all those things that straight people have dealt with all the time. Conservatives should be all over gay rights because of the personal responsibility those rights imply.
Like a seasoned boxer, Kratzer gracefully jabs, ducks, weaves, and delivers a crushing blow to the self-proclaimed conservative Christian. With poetic poise his words strike with transparent precision, challenging his readers to investigate what they’ve been taught and to unplug themselves from the matrix of traditional church.
No it just doesn´t work. To say that God is love and nothing more. You can´t leave out truth when speaking about God´s grace. You are writing a gospel of your own. Thus fullfilling the prophetic words of the apostle Paul warning his followers for false teachings manifesting in the last days. He was right – sadly.