Beliefs can be stumped. Your child can go off to college or grad school and learn an archeological or scientific bomb that shatters their belief in the Bible. I have seen it time and time again with friends of mine who grew up in the church and are no longer Christians. Taking your kids to a Christian museum where Adam and Eve ride on dinosaurs isn’t going to prevent this or fix it when it happens.
What I love about Wesley is his ruthless honesty. He essentially spends all of chapter 5 making sure the reader understands he is not presenting a quick fix to the emotional ache that gay / SSA people feel. He wants to make sure gay / SSA Christians, as well as pastors looking for the magic bullet solution to all of this, understand that there is no magic bullet. He wants to make sure people understand if they walk down the path of kinship / covenantal friendship, they will meet pain and disappointment. This is not a good sales pitch! But it is real and it is honest. Us pastors hate this. We want a systematic theology that fixes everything. We want the right answer that grounds us in Scripture and that gives everyone warm fuzzies.
What you have to love and appreciate about Wesley and his writing is that he is dealing with real issues for real people. I find it is so easy for heterosexual married pastors to come up with cookie cutter sermons and treatises on what the Bible says on homosexuality that are just preaching to the choir. They are really only intended to help biblically conservative, heterosexual Christians feel good about their biblical position on a sin that they don’t struggle with at all. These teachings have little-to-no intention of actually helping gay / same-sex attracted Christians who are held in a daily chokehold by their same-sex attraction, something they have little-to-no control over. These church leaders give them very little in the way of options or action steps, which is why so many end up turning away from the Church and pursuing gay sexual relationships and/or keep things bottled up inside with no one to help them as they struggle down paths of deep depression and suicide.
Wesley Hill is a gay, celibate Christian. While I can’t speak for all people in all places, his 2010 book Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality was groundbreaking in my corner of biblically conservative evangelicalism. In a topic that had become bifurcated into only two camps, Wesley presented a third camp: Christians […]
Noah interviews Pastor David Swanson on his book Rediscipling the White Church: From Cheap Diversity to True Solidarity.
David W. Swanson is the pastor of New Community Covenant Church, a multicultural congregation in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood. He helps lead New Community Outreach, a nonprofit that collaborates with the community to reduce sources of trauma, and speaks around the country on the topics of racial justice and reconciliation.
It prompted me to write this post about what Black Lives Matter (or “black lives matter”) means and doesn’t mean, looking at the values of Black Lives Matter & All Lives Matter and say-it-ain’t-so, actually finds some common ground between the two.