Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cultural distinctions and the Church

Last night my wife and I watched a movie on television about the life of author J.K.Rowling. As we are both fans of the Harry Potter series, we found the presentation entertaining and enlightening. During the movie another person asked if Rowling is a Christian. Personally, I don't know. I did read in the blog of Dr. Ben Witherington that he heard that she professed to be Christian. The other person pointed out that "professed" does not necessarily mean "yes." The this person made a statement that shocked me. The gist of the statement was that Rowling probably was not a Christian because she had said that the character of Dumbledore was gay. I'm sorry to say that in an instant my ire was raised. My response was, "Yeah, so what"?
The Church today has expended countless hours and dollars trying to keep gays and lesbians away. The homophobic mindset of American has led to naive people judging others. Theirs is an exclusionist theology that effectively negates the gospel and the expansion of the reign of God.
The scriptures that are used to defend their position are, for the most part, ambivalent when it comes to homosexual orientation. The actual word for homosexual does not appear anywhere in the canon in either Hebrew or Greek. Yet, it has seemed important to replace the love and example of Christ with concern for polity and piety. This ought not be.
I wrote in a paper for school, "As sons and daughters of God and joint heirs with Christ it is appropriate for us to treat other people as we have been treated by God. At no time did God require that people become holy before they receive God’s grace and mercy and choose to follow Christ. Jesus did not tell the lepers to go and be cleansed before he would interact with them. Yet, in spite of the fact that God has accepted those who believe and trust in God’s mercy, we in the Church do not." We cannot continue to judge others based on our culture's exclusionist mores. Jesus did not. What makes us so arrogant that we think we can?

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