What is your stance?
That’s the question I keep hearing these days, from friends, from family, from perfect strangers. And it’s a fair question, one I have expected. I think people ask this question for one or more of the following reasons:
- They are acquainted with me personally, have genuine care for me, and are fearful that I might be heading down the wrong path with how I interpret Scripture or how I am approaching the LGBT or traditional Christian community.
- They genuinely desire to get to know me better and this is one thing (among others) that they are interested in knowing.
- They are considering supporting this vision in some way and want to make sure their money or efforts will not benefit a cause they don’t believe in.
- They want to know if they disagree with me so they can work against what I’m doing.
I will go on the record now and tell you all that as a rule, I will not speak about my personal convictions on the matter publicly. And I have good reasons for it. I’ll explain these reasons by responding to each of the motivations I’ve listed above for why people would want to know.
#1 – If someone truly cares about me and is already a good friend of mine, he/she probably already knows where I stand on things. I don’t hide it in personal relationships. So generally, these people won’t feel the need to ask me. However, if this is not the case, or if they’re starting to wonder where I stand (based on what they read from my posts), all they have to do is ask me personally. I don’t hide this information from people who know and trust my heart on things. I just don’t think it is helpful to share with the public at large. It actually could have the tendency to hinder building relationships of love and trust with both communities of people (LGBT and conservative Christians).
#2 – If someone knows me personally and is growing in relationship with me, eventually it will come up and I will share with you my take on things. But not right away. Sharing these things requires some amount of intimacy and vulnerability that we may not achieve upon our first meeting. We both need to feel we can trust each other before we delve into controversial discussions.
#3 – This is the hardest one to respond to. While I appreciate the need for people who support me to feel as if they can really get behind what I’m doing, I still feel I cannot bend to this wish and make a public statement. I feel doing that would automatically cause certain people to write off the message I am trying to get across – that our viewpoints are to be shared in loving relationships. It would be a poor example of what I’m trying to teach others. Also, it would inevitably make it about the issue again, and I’m not about the issue! I’m about loving, respecting, and serving each other, despite the issue and despite our tendency to disagree over it. The whole purpose of what I’m doing would be thwarted if I took a public stance because those who agree with me would flock to me, and those who don’t would seek to destroy what I’m doing. I know some of this will still occur by me not taking a stance – but I really believe it will be more avoidable if I remain silent. Lastly, to those that feel conflicted about whether to support me or not, I would say, don’t. Seriously. Honestly. If you don’t feel you can get behind me, that is totally okay. Not all of us are called to do what I’m doing. Not all of us will feel comfortable with it. If you cannot feel comfortable supporting me in the vagueness, I respect that. I would never hold it against you. But for those of you that do feel okay about it, awesome! Let’s get going! Let’s do this!
#4 – Okay, it’s kind of obvious. Why would I feed a flame that doesn’t need feeding? I’m not going to give people ammunition to hurl back at me.
Lastly, I ask of you all just one thing. Don’t mistake my unwillingness to speak publicly about this as being afraid to be honest. I’m not. I know what I believe and why. Afterall, as I’ve said before, I have spent years agonizing over this question. And I am not afraid to share my personal convictions with people, but only within loving and trusting relationships with them, once I have earned the right to share my perspective, and when they know that I will love them and care for them, whether we end up believing the same thing or not. Like Jesus did. (If you don’t know what I’m referring to, check my last post: My Approach).
Now, do I have all the answers? Absolutely not! Am I convinced that my viewpoint will never change? Nope, not at all! I am in a constant pursuit of God’s truth on these issues, and completely open to being utterly and totally wrong (although I sincerely hope and pray that 3 years of agonizing and searching haven’t led me totally wrong!). I know I don’t have it figured all out. But I do think I have a grasp on the most important things, and though I know some of you will disagree, I don’t think my “stance” is the most important thing. I don’t think me ascerting my stance is necessary, or even helpful, to achieve the goals I’m working towards (if you want to know what those goals are, read “My Story and My Goals”). The call I feel has little to do with my personal convictions on the topic. It has much more to do with helping people realize theirs, showing God’s love to people who haven’t felt it before, righting some wrongs, and encouraging one another in pursuit of God’s truth. Lastly, I have two important things to say:
First, I do not know everything. In fact, I hardly know anything. So I’m just trying to stick to the basics: loving like Jesus loves.
Second, Conservative Christians – you probably think I’m being too “non-committal” LGBTQ – you might think I’m not driving a hard enough stance for your full acceptance into society, the church, etc. To both of you, I say, I’m sorry if I have offended you. I had anticipated it, but I don’t revel in it. I’m just a person and I will fail you. But I hope that you know that when I do, I’m sorry. I will just keep trying to do the right thing the best I know how. And trying to love the way Jesus did. I hope I get at least some of it right. I’ll keep on working on it. Just keep coming back!
Keep the faith! Much love!