Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What's going on here?

God, what are you doing in my life? I'd really like to understand.

First, last weekend, there were the Jehovah's Witnesses you brought to my door. That was interesting. But okay.

Then, there was the lunch where we stumbled onto friends, and joined them, only to find out that the guest of honor at the meal was a Buddhist monk and writer. The "dedication" for the meal was... interesting. But okay.

And then there was last night.

Dinner with family, friend, and friends of friend. Half the folks there were new to me. Fun, eclectic, widely varied conversation. Loved it.

So then I got to asking my brother about the church he's recently been going to. Sounds like a great place. Anglican with a very contemporary styling, from what I understand.

Then we heard a chime in. "Oh, that isn't one of those Anglican churches, is it? The ones with the gay-hating African bishops who think all gay people should be killed?"

Umm... I know the Anglican churches you're talking about. I'm with one. But the African Anglican bishops have never said that. The only bishop I know of who has said that is Kunonga, the bosom buddy of Zimbabwe's dictator Mugabe, and he was defrocked by the other African bishops.

I then got a passionate earful on how hateful and angry my church is, my church leaders are, and I am, for believing that a relationship between two people of the same gender simply can't fit a Biblical definition of the word "marriage".

I was also told that only western culture has the view of masculinity and femininity where a man ought to be a man and a woman ought to be a woman, that "the rest of the world" has a more enlightened view of human nature. (Oh, really? As I recall, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese traditions have very distinct gender roles. And of those cultures, only Korea, which is I think the most western-influenced, has a stellar record on gender equality.)

I was also told that the Bible-based argument against gay marriage is the same as the argument against interracial marriage from a few generations ago. (Umm... No, it's not. I should know. I married a black woman. The arguments against interracial marriage were made by twisting a few verses, and they fell apart under a broader examination of Scripture. Conversely, the arguments for gay marriage are made by twisting a few verses, and they fall apart under a broader examination of Scripture.)

It blew her mind when I asserted that my views are not based on just "my feelings towards gay people", or just my own view of scripture, but that I have made observations of people, and human nature. "You make it sound scientific." Well, yeah, I went to an engineering school. I think that I usually at least try to reason things out in a somewhat scientific way.

It wasn't a discussion I could "win", that much was obvious. Lord, I just hope that I was a decent witness. I hope that I kept my cool. But should I stand quiet when Your servants are maligned for things they never said? How else should I react when I'm told something about Your Word that I know to be untrue?

What do you want me to do, Lord? What do you want me to say? Are You trying to tell me something that I'm missing here? I have only my trust in You.

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