Friday, January 25, 2013

how then do we love?

Last night, I went to my first Marcella Project Salon. Dr. Jackie Roese left her position at my church to start this organization which, quoting their twitter page, "exists to transform women to be critical spiritual thinkers & excellent teachers of God's Word." With that they already had my attention, but as an added bonus, most of the salons are held in a local winery. Awesome!
This month's topic was homosexuality. (If you are a DFW local, you can read about the others and purchase passes & materials here.)

At first, I was a little surprised (and nervous) about the older ladies and gentlemen walking into the winery with me. For some reason, I was thinking I'd be surrounded only by like-minded peers. (And oh! In walked in some leaders in our church too!)
Nonetheless, I got settled in amongst the 40-something other attendees–with a now-needed glass of red wine in hand–next to a friend from Bible study.

So, we began.

One of the first questions Jackie asked us was, "Why are you here?"
Several answered her, but all of the reasons could be whittled down to this: it's personal. These are our friends, sisters, brothers, parents, children. This is not something that is happening "out there." This is something the church needs to deal with, and in a different way than it has been. (Basically, we have SUCKED.)

We went over a lot of great material. We read articles, journals, and excerpts from books. We watched videos and listened to personal stories. We read the always-quoted verses in the Bible, and the history, culture, and people behind it all. We discussed which arguments on either side were strong or weak and why. We talked about the history of marriage, and how it has looked over time. (Hint: not like it does today.)

Most of the material we discussed was actually not new to me; I've done a lot of my own research. But, it was amazing seeing some other believers' eyes being opened to such new information (and truth), overriding some serious myths* that have been told–many from the church.
(Like one lady asked, and I'm paraphrasing, "If you think your way is right, why did you need to make up lies about it to get other people on your side?" Amen, sister! I feel that way about a lot of things...)

There were a lot of lightbulbs and wonderful discussion, and then there were some things that just made me cry.

One of the women had a daughter who came out to her as a lesbian several years ago. The mom told us there were times she couldn't be in the same room or even look at her for fear she would vomit. GUYS.
You guys. We HAVE to do better than that. That story put tears in my eyes.

Then, I think Jackie rocked about everyone's world when she said, "Gay marriage is GOING TO HAPPEN."
Not if it happens. When.
How will the church deal?

That led us to the ultimate question of the night: not, "Which side are you on?" but "How do we take this knowledge with us? How then do we love?"
And I will push a little further and ask: are you more concerned about being loving, or are you more concerned about being right? (I will err on the side of love.)

What do you think? How do you think the church needs to change?
I have my own ideas, although I don't know if they will happen for a little while. ;)

*Examples include: pedophiles are gay, ex-gay ministries can cure homosexuality, you can't be gay and a Christian, etc.