Thursday, March 28, 2013

Equals sign or Bible verses?

photo found here

I'm nervous about writing this post because lately, it seems any time a person does two things in any social media outlet, there are two responses:

Action 1:  A Christian actually owns up to being a Christian, and by that I mean literally utters the words "I am a Christian."  Not "Jesus is awesome" or "Um...I'm not comfortable with that term..." (I'm talking to you, Marcus Mumford).

Response: Always either A.  The non-Christian community is incensed, or B.  The Christian community is annoyingly smug and pious about the whole thing.

Action 2:  Here's where it gets a little nerve-wracking.  A Christian gives an honest opinion about the gay marriage debate.

Response:  Always either A.  The gay marriage supporters are incensed.  You disagree?  You're an ignorant bigot, or B.  The Christian community is annoyingly smug and pious about the whole thing.

So here's the thing.  Action 1:  I'm a Christian, yes, but more than that (as Andy Stanley so aptly pointed out recently), I am a disciple of Christ.  God didn't call us to be Christians - it's a term the world adopted.  He asked us to be disciples.  I am not ashamed of loving my Savior.  Say whatever you want about that.

Action 2:  There's no way that making any statement (for or against) this issue on Facebook or Twitter is going to make you look the way you want to be perceived.  My sister and I had a conversation about this today, and she reiterated a great point we all know, deep down: Social media has become a stand-in for issues that should be spoken about in person.

Just like Facebook isn't the correct platform to send condolences when someone loses a loved one, it also shouldn't be a medium to discuss relational issues that mean a great deal to other people.  Slapping a Bible verse on a status and saying "because the Bible says so" just makes you look as proud as a Pharisee.  It completely removes the relationship you are throwing away from the conversation.  In the same way, replacing your profile with an equals sign doesn't explain why.

Because the thing is - this issue just isn't one of those black and white issues.  There are many who will adamantly disagree with me on this, but that's ok.  For me, it's a matter of tension.

I've written about this a few times, but for the past couple of years, I've really begun to attempt to embrace the reality that being Christ's disciple means living in constant tension.  How do we love as Jesus commanded, yet not compromise our strongly held beliefs?  How do we walk that tight-rope without falling off?  It's so hard.  It's tension.  And it's never, ever going away.  And let's face it, gay marriage isn't the only issue that's going to punch us all in the gut with the question of how to respond.  It's part of our life.  Jesus navigated the tension better than anyone else alive, but He faced it every single day.

Do you want to know where I stand on the issue of gay marriage?  Do you want to know if I think that someone's sexual orientation defines their entire lives and sums up their personality?

Then call me.

Let's go for coffee.

Because I want to talk with you.  I want to have a relationship with you.  Not your computer.

And we might argue a little bit.  We might get a bit annoyed with each other.  But that's ok.  We'll still be friends when it's over.

I promise.


Alicia Mathewny said...

Bravo! Love you