I wrote the fol…

Aside

I wrote the following post on a blog post from a Christian that I really enjoyed for it’s openness to perspective.  I recommend reading his post.  Happy reading!
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Disclaimer:  I’m gay and am a former believer.  “Former” being a direct result of the persecution and hatred that was displayed toward me.

I don’t think this dialogue needs to go away, but *both* sides need to stop their doomsday rhetoric.  Just because you look at a situation and interpret it it neither means that you are right, nor that the other person is wrong.  It’s a difference of perspective… that’s all.  I think where you and I agree is that we agree it should be the church’s function to help Christians strengthen their relationship with God given the reality that we are all sinners.  Sin is sin, regardless of the “level of severity.”

But the church by its very nature (good vs. bad, moral vs. immoral, black vs. white) is interested in moral imperatives, not dialogue about interpretations.  THIS, like everything, has pros and cons.  I will not partake in the “all or nothing” approach that we are used to in these sorts of discussions.  It’s this features that gives the church the resolve to be able to persist throughout the ages because if we pay homage to rituals and adhere to practice, these rituals and practices will continue through the ages.  Said differently, it is more likely to not be destroyed by social trends.

However, everything comes at a cost.  And the cost here is (usually) the dialogue and interpretation through the ages that allows would allow the church to be relevant to those people who live more in present society and are more swayed by social shifts.  Right or wrong, as we teach kids to be independent thinkers and “higher order thinking” we are telling them to consider all the facts and come to their own conclusions.  But ut-oh… this makes it harder for the church to be relevant when it now has to explain in a logical *and current* manner.  When the church can’t or doesn’t make this convincingly, they are more likely to be skeptical or even dismissive.

But my main complaint is that in being nit-picky about the level of “sin” again distracts us from the bigger picture… which is that the Christian God calls us to love one another and help one another regardless of their sinfulness.  The current rhetoric takes us away from this.  Why?  Because the rhetoric keeps us from feeling empathetic toward one another and empathy is the prerequisite to love.  The rhetoric only allows us to judge, not understand.

I propose that it would be best if we all came to the same table and just said, “We’re all imperfect.  But I love you anyway, man.  You’re hurting and I’m hurting and this isn’t what God wants for us. So let’s not judge each other but just get to know each other.”  This will build a loving, Godly community.

Assumptions about Right and Wrong

I have begun my summer celebration by setting my reading list and getting to ‘work’ (pun intended).  Within one book, “What The Dog Saw” by Malcolm Gladwell, I found an interesting chapter about what at first seemed to be a very counter-intuitive investment strategy.  I immediately felt inclined to send it to my uncle (a hard-core republican who works for an investment firm) and wanted to write him a note.  Here is part of that note:

Reading it [“What The Dog Saw”], I came across a fantastic chapter about investment.  Having been an Econ major I remember all about risk management and I know that that is a huge part of your job.

What struck me most about the article was it made me look at myself and others and ask not “What and how do we make decisions?” because that is complicated in itself.  However, it did get me thinking this:  all decisions are made on a set of assumptions we have created based on pure experience and schooling… then we base decisions off of mainly logic that builds off those assumptions.

But what if our assumptions aren’t wrong… but simply that there is an alternate (and usually ‘opposite’) way of teasing reason out from those assumptions?  Is that “wrong”?

I don’t know about you, but I think often times it comes down to what “feels right.”  Time and time again I find that I may not agree with someone, but I always find they are trying to do “right”… even if it’s just a feeling…

I feel this is just one more step in trying to understand instead of just demonize the “others” in my mind– republicans, for instance.