Saturday, October 29, 2005

Caught In The Middle

I wasn't planning on writing today since I have a full day in store for me but I really need to process through some things right now so please excuse the raw thoughts....

Friggin A!!!

Okay, not completely raw right there - i just thought some innocent eyes may be reading this. But hell, i'm sure feeling like yelling and cussing right now. Aaarrrrgh!!!

I feel like I'm in the middle of a divorce and since I've already gone through that (and figured I was over it by now) I'm noticing all these emotions coming up again. I think Elizabeth Marquardt is right - "Divorce shapes children in their inner lives in lasting ways that turn up in young adulthood." What's stirring up all this inside me?

Maybe it has something to do with yesterday's post. Earlier this week, Ninjanun wrote a great post that included a link to another blog post called "Peanut Butter and Gays". Now, first off, i want to make clear that I love the fact that Ninjanun and many many people out in the blogosphere are supportive of gay people (or at least speak against injustice) and they are calling out those in the Church that are hostile towards us. I take no offense to reading these blog posts - in fact, i'm thankful that there are people willing to step up and advocate for justice, mercy, and grace.

So here's the thing. I feel caught in the middle of a divorce between mom and dad who are yelling and arguing with each other and here I am feeling like it's my fault they're arguing. Now, of course I know it's not my fault - for the homosexual debate nor for my own parents' divorce. But i'm noticing the same emotions coming up and its frustrating. I read the peanut butter post and Ninjanun's post and all the comments people made in there and I just found myself about ready to cry.

For my first 13 years of being a Christian, since I was a junior in high school I was surrounded by the parent (Church) that proclaimed that homosexuality is a sin and that it's wrong and that, even though they didn't know I was, they said that "those" people are not acceptable in the Lord's eyes because of what they "do". I agreed with them and took the Side X perspective that I should be and can be transformed to be straight. Now, for the past 5-6 months or so, I have surrounded myself with the other parent (Church) that says that being gay is not a sin and further, the other parent ought to be ashamed of themselves for being so ignorant, discriminatory, and hypocritical.

My journey has been about looking at all the sides and exploring this for myself. What would it look like for me to be gay and Christian? And while I tread this journey, i feel like there are people on both sides of the road. On my left are those cheering me on. On my right are those throwing rocks. On both sides, they are yelling and hollering at each other. All I'm trying to do is look ahead of me - that's where Jesus is with His arms wide open.

I know things need to be said. In fact, I hope Ninjanun and many other friends in the blogosphere will continue to advocate for "people like me". It just hurts to be in the middle of the argument feeling powerless to bring peace. Of anything, i know it'll get worse as this country and the Church is polarized by the issue.

I can't make the Church love each other. I can't make the Church get along. I can't even make the Church love a 'sinner' like me. But this makes me think that maybe that's the real issue. Jesus said that it's not about adultery, it's about lust. He said that it's not about murder, it's about hate. Perhaps, it's not about homosexuality or even the debate about it - but rather, it's about all of us not loving each other properly. Love God, love your neighbor. We all need to get this right. The Church needs to start loving people instead of condemning people in judgment. The gay community needs to start loving people (of both genders) instead of objectifying the flesh in lust. (Note: so far in my journey, i think that the references to homosexuality in the Bible were referenced in the context of unloving actions - idolatry, prostitution, pederastry, etc. Committed and loving same-sex relationships in today's context don't fall in that category. However, i think the promiscuousness in parts of both the gay and straight community do fit in that category.)

If the Church is ever going to reconcile, instead of divorcing each other, maybe we all ought to take a step back from the issue and assess our own walk with Christ and get back to the basics. Love God. Love your neighbor.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I remember feeling just before and after I began to come out 3 years ago that I felt a bit like a battleground with my anti-gay church on the one side and my pro-gay family and larger society on the other. I remember feeling that I really did not want to be a battleground; I really just wanted to be me.

I love your blog, Eric. Please keep it up!

mark

geek_boi said...

Eric,

I know what it feels like to be the center of a religious and political malestrom. We all do! Hang in there and do the best you can. Keep on loving just as God loves you.

Dave_62 said...

Eric,

When I came out of the closet 15 years ago, I felt very disillusioned about the sex base and unloving Gay community. However there is hope, several of our very young (under 25) brethren on GCN are perusing loving and lasting relationships with another of the same gender. They’re not just hoping in the sack every time they get an opportunity.

I can’t say this enough Jesus is so desperately needed in our community and God will reclaim his Gay people.

Dave

Ash said...

Good posts as usual Eric. I too have a lot of mixed feelings about my church. I love it, but I'm not so sure it'd love me if it knew the truth...

E said...

Perhaps, it's not about homosexuality or even the debate about it - but rather, it's about all of us not loving each other properly. Love God, love your neighbor. We all need to get this right.

I came to the conclusion some months ago that we're asking the wrong question in this debate. That still leaves a lot of unanswered questions (What could be more important than whether it's right or wrong? What question(s) should we be asking? What does that mean for me personally?), but at least it's given me a starting point.

Never stop pursuing truth!

olympiada said...

hi eric, i finally got through this. phew! i am currently discussing with the evangelical-orthodox group and the most sane member i have met says that it is not a sin to have attractions to members of the same sex but it is a sin to act on them.
i like your covenant relationship thinking. you are stronger than i, and you need to be. but to hear some one say that it is not a sin to be attracted to the same sex sounded progressive to me compared to the rest of the bullshit out there.
keep up the good work and thank you!

Angel said...

((((Eric)))) I'm sorry you feel caught in the middle.

When you feel guilty for the fighting, let me say that you and your dignity are worth the growing pains that the church is going through. My shame lies in that I used to be on the other side. So I am incredibly grateful that you and others have so bravely stepped forward to share your stories, because you all have made me realize how much we have in common, rather than our differences.

And as a Christian, I learn quite a bit from this blog as well. Words can't completely express it, but thank you. (You rock ::grin::)

Steve said...

Happy Birthday Eric!! All the best for the year and decade! Congratulations and thanks for the invite. Looks like a GREAT party! .BG. I'll bring some wine from Niagara region (Canada). btw, we really do make good wine. :)

Eric .. you gotta get "E" to come to bridges. (i wanna ditto everything E said.)

the best! SteveC

Anonymous said...

Hey Eric,

HAPPY 30th!! We are celebrating YOU today, and of course God who created you. I know He's excited about you and how you've turned out so far. Enjoy the day and feel our good wishes and mighty-in-Jesus prayers.

We make great bread here on the prairies of Western Canada with our #1 hard wheat. So you can have that with the Niagara Peninula wine from my fellow Canadian, Steve C.

I just turned 50 about a month ago, so I can tell you first-hand, at 30, THE BEST IS YET TO COME!! :)

A Fellow-Bridger and Sis in Christ,
Elisa