A parishioner called me a few weeks ago. He said, “I have been on Facebook and some of the people from the church have that equal sign symbol as their profile picture. It means that they approve of same sex marriage. Other church members are posting that they are against same sex marriage. I’m not sure what to think. The Bible is against it, but I have friends that have children who are gay, and they are good people. I don’t want to discriminate. Pastor, what do you think?”
I asked, “What do you think?”
The parishioner went on to share that he found himself in a difficult place, questioning and re-thinking beliefs that he felt, at one the best place of all. While it may be frightening to be in a position of seeking answers rather than standing by a long-assumed truth, it is also a place for growth and freedom.time, were firm. I told him that I thought that he was in
We talked about the few verses sited in the Bible when it comes to this issue and the guidelines in the Discipline of the UMC. We spent the rest of the phone conversation deciding on questions that he could ask people who had posted opinions on Facebook when he saw them in person. The main question would be, “How did you come to believe that way?”
Consider the conversations that he is having now with people who have multiple perspectives. Rather than choosing up sides and closing off conversation and even relationship, he is generating dialogue. It is a gift for this community.
I’ve decided that on the issues of the day, a little less certainty might make us all a little more civil. What if instead of carrying signs, proof-texting verses, shaking our fists at politicians or posting symbols for profile pictures on Facebook, we asked questions and then listened to all sides? Hearing the viewpoint of others, creating meaningful relationship, is a place of grace. It is the best place to be.