Cathleen Falsani gets it right
In her recent Huffington Post piece, Cathleen Falsani notes that more and more Evangelical Christian leaders are breaking with the traditional position on homosexuality. There's a high cost to be paid by those of us who do so - including blacklisting, disassociation, and vilification.
But in spite of the sometimes harsh opposition, I think the tide is beginning to turn as more and more people begin prayerfully re-opening what I call (in A New Kind of Christianity) the Authority Question and the Sex Question. Many people share my own experience: the more gay people you actually get to know - friends, work associates, family members, public figures - the less tenable the traditional position becomes, and the more you are forced to go through a rethinking process very much like the processes past generations have had to go through regarding anti-Semitism, anti-evolution, anti-feminism, pro-segregation, pro-apartheid, and pro-slavery.
This doesn't involve rejecting Scripture, as some folks often claim, but rather it involves questioning past interpretations of Scripture ... exactly the kind of re-interpretations we see going on in the New Testament. In my book, I look at the then-traditional assumptions about Gentiles and eunuchs that are boldly re-considered in Acts 8. People who had been considered unacceptable and unclean are boldly accepted when the gospel of God's reconciling kingdom takes root ... and that, I believe, is what is happening now. For more traditional Evangelical readers who are willing to give this issue additional consideration, here are four suggestions.
1. Get to know some gay folks, Christian or otherwise - not to argue, not to fault-find, but to listen to their stories and be open to new perspectives. You can listen in at the Gay Christian Network for starters.
2. Read some helpful books - like Jay Bakker's new book Fall to Grace, or William Stacy Johnsons' A Time to Embrace, or Jack Rogers' Jesus, The Bible and Homosexuality. I would hope A New Kind of Christianity would also be helpful.
3. If in the end you don't change your view, you'll be better informed and you can help each side better understand the other, seeking to be a peacemaker and minimize polarization and misrepresentation of either side by the other.
4. If you do change your view, you'll have the challenge of advocating both firmly and graciously, showing the patience and courage to others you would have wanted to be shown to you.