Erin read my post from yesterday and said, "I'm disappointed in your blog today."
Now, Erin has used a lot of words to describe her reaction to my blog, but "disappointed" was a new one. I therefore asked her to explain.
She said, "That blog entry does not really reflect your true feelings. I saw you yesterday, I talked with you, I know how you feel about these decisions, and you just didn't show it in that blog."
As usual, Erin was right. My entry yesterday was a pathetic attempt at levity, which I was using as a defense mechanism to mask my emotional reaction. Jackie Thomas, my CPE instructor, would not be very happy with me, either. She was always pushing me to express my emotional responses, trying to dig into the shallow facade of "I-have-it-all-together-ness" that I always try to project. And yesterday, I definitely did not have it all together.
To use a trite cliche, my heart is broken. Yesterday, I was convicted of my sin - namely, thinking of homosexuality as an issue that we can somehow discuss and dialogue in order to resolve or not. It is not just an issue that we can get tired of talking about and let drop somewhere. I know now that it is not an issue among issues. It defies comparison to other issues - i.e. slavery, idolatry, hot buttered corn on the cob. It is much more.
The United Methodist Judicial Council decisions of yesterday represent systemic devaluing of people based on arbitrary criteria set by the powerful.
Here it is again:
...systemic devaluing of people based on arbitrary criteria set by the powerful.
I spent a lot of time wrestling with God to come up with that sentence, and I will defend every single word in it.
The term that is likely to cause the most stir is "arbitrary criteria," so I'll just go ahead and take that one on now. "It is not arbitrary, it is the Bible, and if you disagree with me, you are denying the authority of the Bible," is how the argument goes. We have heard it many times before. The problem is, in the "pick and choose" method of naming sins, there is no pattern. There is no discernable method by which the "practice" of same gender sexual contact has been elevated above any of the others on the S list - lawsuits, divorce, not selling all your possessions and giving the money to the poor, etc.
And furthermore, while the Bible is clearly talking about same gender sexual contact, it is most often talking about elevating one's desire for sex above one's desire for God. Either that or child abuse, gang rape, or other "shameful and degrading" sex acts. It is simply not referring to two grown people who are in love with each other expressing their love sexually. Reading every single word of the authoritative Hebrew and Greek texts very closely and delving deeply into the meaning of every line of the text has convinced me of that.
So yes, I am sticking with "arbitrary criteria," and I will until someone convinces me of my error. The United Methodist Judicial Council decisions of yesterday represent systemic devaluing of people based on arbitrary criteria set by the powerful.
I am sorry that I did not emote yesterday. I was trying to put up that mask of levity and I-have-it-all-together-ness. Sometimes I wish I had some of my brother's raw, in your face emotive capacity. But just a little bit. (He scares me sometimes ;) But now I can say, my heart is broken about these decisions. I know that I am not alone, either. And for those of you reading this whose hearts with mine have been smacked around for way to long, please help me. Please help me discern a fitting way to speak the truth in love so that God's will might be done on earth, as it is in heaven. I don't know what's next. So please help me to know. Please God.