If I could write a letter to Lisa Larges:
I read your article “The Advocate: God vs. Gay,” at "That All May Freely Serve.” I am almost certain that I am one of those Christians you are calling “extremist right,” and “homophobic.”
And I feel bad not because you have called me this but because you have called millions of Christians who have lived out their faith in the midst of joyful witness with bloody persecution, for almost two thousand years, this name. For they stood where I and others stand now.While their Lord loves them in their faithfulness you dishonor them.
In the seventies there was a Christmas song I loved, the title escapes me. But to paraphrase, it says something about the few shepherds and wise men that attended the Savior’s birth but then goes on to say and a multitude of angels. In the same manner I see that you give as the most obvious reason for staying within the Christian Church that you want to directly counter ‘my presence’ as well as thousands of others. You write:
“First, there’s the obvious. The Christian extremist right, which has increased its influence in mainline churches, must be countered. Many of the Christian denominations have a history of being moderate on many things and progressive on others. In the last three decades that moderate Christian voice has been drowned out, silenced, or taken over. The influence of the Christian right must be countered directly and from the inside. While the Christian right is regrouping, reviewing the payout of its last homophobic spending binge, and wearing that deer-in-the-headlights look, now is the time.”
This only leaves me with a few more words to say about your feelings about myself and my brothers and sisters. We do love you and pray that you might find the transforming power of Jesus Christ in your life.
We pray that God’s perfect will, will happen in your life. That is not praying something easy for you; instead it is a journey taken by all who call Christ Lord. It means dying to self and sin. It means repentance but new life. May it be so for you.
But to go on, you write of God and spirituality and suggest that those of us you consider homophobic are religious but have no spirituality! You also write about the Church and God.
“God still shows up at these things [the trial]. (You might be thinking that it was just caffeine, some other hormonal imbalance, or a perverse quirk, but let’s just call it God for the moment.) It was a God that was patient but frustrated, loving but forceful, and alternately laughing and crying over what some followers do in God’s name. There was a magnificent gaggle of young queers who turned out to observe the trial. Some of them were asked to leave on account of illegal twittering. So there they were, full of love, vibrancy, strength, and faith. I say that’s the church. So sue me.”
Well, I don’t wish to sue you, but if that is your understanding of God and the Church, may I sadly say you hold a kind of spirituality that is foreign to the Scripture. You are equating God with the sinfulness of humanity which leaves us all out in the cold.
Only one human who is also God has that uniqueness. Jesus Christ is the unique incarnation, the one who died for all our sins, whether homosexual or heterosexual. We all need his redemption. We all need to bow before his cross offering him our brokenness for transformation. Love, ”does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth:” (I Cor. 13:6)
Lisa, you are asking others to return to their faith tradition, including those who were raised in the Christian Church, for the purpose of insisting that those already in a faith tradition learn to be inclusive as far as sexual orientation goes.
Once again I am sad. You, who are seeking to be ordained, rather than call people to Jesus Christ, you call for others to join our Churches to teach Christians to allow unrepentant sinners to continue in their sin. You are calling for the destruction of the Church of Jesus Christ.
May you find mercy and forgiveness in the blood of Jesus.
Sincerely from someone who prays for you with sorrow.