Ever noticed that brouhaha laughs at itself?
It defines a social maelstrom, an uproar, a crisis of sorts.
You could say that is what has happened since Andy Stanley, senior pastor of North Point Community Church, mentioned a gay couple at our church.
Evidently, a man who was married to a woman decided he loved a man. Eventually, his wife also found a boyfriend. The gay couple wanted to volunteer at our church but, since the husband was still a husband, the answer was no. People engaged in extramarital affairs aren’t allowed to lead in family ministry at our church. So, instead, the husband and his boyfriend and the wife and her boyfriend all decided to attend our church with their children to worship together.
What a mess — but our church works very hard to be okay with messy, since most growth occurs there.
You might say it’s a church that unchurched people like to attend.
I mentioned a gay couple, didn’t I?
That means all bets are supposed to be off.
We certainly can’t allow them to come to church, can we?
I mean, we’re Christians.
This is where all theological debate begins. For those who believe that Jesus Christ is God, the son of God and also a holy spirit who resides within us once we’ve asked for that to happen, there is a certain Christian code we’ve agreed to accept.
There’s just one problem — or 80,000, in my case.
I don’t always interpret scripture — and, therefore, the code — the way that you interpret scripture or the way that my mother interprets scripture or the way that Andy Stanley interprets scripture.
In other words, I get to have a mind of my own.
Sometimes, that is not a blessing. I tend to make a mess of things. So I lean on the understanding of those who seem to make better decisions than I do in life — and have fewer consequences.
I want fewer consequences and I want to honor God.
It’s just that what that looks like for me may be different than how it looks for you.
What is important to me is how it looks to God.
He has searched me and knows me. How I feel and what I believe cannot be hidden from him. Like the parent that he is, God looks at me with whole love, discipline, compassion, understanding and, miracle of all miracles — grace.
Maybe that’s because he knows I’m broken. I came into life that way. It is the legacy I was given and the legacy I have passed along.
I seek him, anyway.
I like that the same seems to be true for that family that includes the gay couple. They are broken… and they are seeking him.
And… I hope you can fight to understand this… they are welcome.
That was really the point, as I interpreted it, of Andy’s sermon series. Jesus gave us a secret ingredient to success in our pursuit to be Christ-like:
Love one another.
Love more than you judge. Love more than you reject. Love more than you despise. Love more than you fear. Love more than you demand.
Love more than you don’t.
There are those among us who are broken. Please, Lord, rip the stone from my hand because, if you don’t, I will fling it and damage what you meant to heal.