Sunday, April 14, 2013

Meditations of an Intellectual Christian Bear

I've written and talked about my personal faith journey on M3, in a post titled "Jesus Walks", so it surprised me when I read a comment on the fan page where someone said being a gay Christian is an oxymoron. It was a response to the posting of a book excerpt, in which the author travels to The Westboro Baptist Church to try to learn what he can about Christians who hate gay people. The book was subtitled, "A Gay Christian's Pilgrimage in Search of God in America." This person went on to say that he no longer believed in any theory of God. So I began to think about what beliefs he did have. It wasn't that he didn't believe in anything, but rather that he chose not to call that "something" God. I was thankful for that. People without faith in anything are scary.

There is a definite story told in The Bible. It's been augmented and interpreted a few times and in many different ways, but what story hasn't? A story told at one time to three people will be understood in three different ways. Imagine telling a story to billions of different people; you can see why it remains relatively inconsistent, considering the many minds it has passed through to reach us today. Now it is my belief that the evolution of the human super-consciousness is catching up with the many changes and discoveries that we've made about our collective experience in this world. Our views on homosexuality, for example, have changed simply because we understand biology better than any previous generation. So, the story of The Bible will inform us differently when we think about issues like gay marriage, women's rights, and even religion itself.

Faith cannot exist without doubt. Just as light cannot exist without darkness. Darkness is nothing but the absence of light. It's clear that, even in the Gospels, Thomas asks to see Jesus' hands to feel the wounds there and in His side. It was also clear that Jesus welcomed his doubting nature and placed his hands in his wounds. I don't claim to be a biblical scholar, but I don't think it's God or The Church that turns people away. It's the people in the church that make other people feel less than welcomed. There are people who read the story differently than I do and Christians, like me, who welcome the non-believer.

I have switched religions because I felt the lessons I was being taught were harsh and negative to those who had doubts. So thank God we live in a country that has religious freedom and a healthy diversity of thought. I dare not say you must believe in anything, but I also say, "Don't be so judgmental to those of us who do believe." Close-minded individuals lump people of faith into a category with freaks and idiots, not realizing that thoughtful discussions can be had with those of us who do believe in God. And frankly, when they critically judge us, it is all-too telling that they haven't exposed themselves to a wide enough range of Christian intellectuals. This is the definition of narrow mindedness. I know lots of gay people of faith, including pastors and priests of all types of faithful traditions, who are bright, thoughtful people, who are also proud, out, and God- fearing folks. So oxymoronic? Nah. Evolved and open-minded? Yes.

Male Media Mind