Honesty Policy

As I was doing Very Important Things on the computer the other day (like checking Facebook or obsessing over my blog stats–hello all 4 readers! So glad to have you!), I saw a new email land in my inbox.  I always check my email eagerly, as if I am expecting something… and this time it was an invitation to chat.  In person.  With Joe.

Now I was really intrigued.  Joe and I attended the same college.  He knew some of the same cats I did.  We have reminisced about fraternity parties and enjoyed bantering about college football.  But Joe is also the pastor at a church I formerly attended. So, the question became… what did Joe want to discuss?

Now, I am open to theological discussion.  And I am apt to speak my mind about why I left the church (the United Methodist Convention decided it was okay to turn away folks because they were gay… I have written about it here before).  But for some reason I felt hedged in by his desire for a face to face talk.  Because I had never discussed my departure from the church with him in person–and, hey, let’s be honest:  I am much more comfortable talking about college football.

I agreed to meet him, as much out of curiosity as anything else.  I think I was expecting some sort of ideological battle of wills.  Or maybe I was imagining a scenario in which he chided me for walking away when I should be leading reform.  At any rate, I was tense about the meeting.

Joe, true to form, plops down in the chair at Starbucks and takes off bantering.  About football.  About Glee (what a fun show!  Watch it.  No, really).  About his kids.  And then…

He begins to talk about the tension in the Methodist church over gays and lesbians.  He, in a rather confessionary tone, admits that he was once a telemarketer for the Republican party.  So, he came into the debate from a relatively conservative point of view.  He always felt that the church had more important things to worry about than homosexuality… but he understood people’s position that it was forbidden in the Bible, and, therefore, the church could not condone it.  He identified his position as one of neutrality… the issue seemed abstract and theological in nature.

Until he met me.  And saw how the church’s teachings have hurt real people that are seeking God.  I was the first gay friend he had.  And I made the “gay issue” more than an abstract debate.  Now it was about how the church, his church, treated his friend who simply wanted a place to worship God, a place to belong without condition. And, ultimately, this led him to began to sift out the Gospel from the cultural baggage that has been loaded onto it, baggage which must be stripped away if the Gospel is to retain its true purpose:  to reconcile God and humankind (these are his ideas–which I whole-heartedly support).

So, it turns out that I have changed the way he views how the Church approaches the issue of homosexuality.  And he is now willing and ready to fight for change from within the Church.  Because I was willing simply to be honest about who I am.

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2 Comments on “Honesty Policy”

  1. martyscot Says:

    Good to read your post, I wish more Christians took the same view as your friend.

  2. Miss Kris Says:

    Wow. Pretty awesome!

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