Going public.There's a video featuring the late, revered Christian Reformed writer Lewis Smedes that's been getting a lot of press in the web-circles I run in. I finally got around to reading the transcript today, and I felt that I couldn't let another minute go by without adding my "amen" to the chorus.
Like the Real Live Preacher, I abandoned any hope of orthodoxy on the matter of gay folks in the church a few years ago. I just gave up. Because I couldn't bring myself to believe it's a sin, and I couldn't bring myself to believe that gay people should be excluded from either general community, the eucharist or leadership in the church. I've known too many gay people, and I've loved them too much. I've never felt right agreeing that they ought to be prohibited at the outset from experiencing romantic love in their lives, was the main thing.
I got tired of arguing about it with others, though, those cyclical debates in which no one could win but everyone lost. It all came to a head last spring when a group of my friends from college got together for a reunion and ended up debating homosexuality over Cheerios one morning. I simply didn't have the energy for that discussion and so sat there silently--but as a result, I ended up hanging one of my best friends out to dry. She carried "our" side on her own, and when we were alone later, she became furious with me for leaving her to be torn apart by friends she loves, to be questioned on her doctrine and the very grain of her faith. She was right to be angry.
It's taken me awhile to admit it, but reading Lewis Smedes put everything right in my mind and heart. If you read what Lewis Smedes has to say on the topic of homosexuality, you know what I have to say, too. I'm still reluctant to take part in debates on the subject, because they never seem to go anywhere useful or gracious. But it is important to speak up for the people you call your friends, even if you are a vanilla, heterosexual white girl like me. I know where I stand now, for as I always suspected, I can do no other. Amen.