A short while back there was much emotionally charged dispute again filling my Facebook page- this time as a result of Eugene Peterson’s statements regarding LGBT ‘s and then his recant.
You easily and understandably will focus on the gender and sexual issue, but this is NOT the point of my writing.
Yes, I do have a ‘stand’ as to what I believe. But I have more than one ‘stand’. The motivating focus of my writing at this point is the need to turn our focus back to ourselves and reflect on how loving or judgmental we are towards others. To enter into another person’s journey. To listen well and walk with them while connecting to God! To follow James’ advise (James 1:19) Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger,
The division that comes from our ‘stands’ is what is bothering me the most right now. Even if we are 100 % right, if we lose our love, we are wrong.
As the years have gone on, I continue to recognize there is so much I do not understand and my strong opinions have been inaccurate. At times they have held truth in them, but I was proclaiming them from a lack of full knowledge.
There is a standard God gives us. And He desires us to follow it so that ‘it may go well with us.’ It would be great if we were to interact with the One who came up with the standards as we attempt to understand how they apply in each situation. And how He wants us to proceed in interacting with others. He may want us to connect with a person, learn their journey and how they got to be where they are on their journey before we assume it is ‘right’ to proclaim our belief and standard to be applied.
Unfortunately, my life experience in the evangelical church set me up to believe that I could use His standards as a platform to announce what is ‘right/ wrong’ from a place of arrogant condemnation. At times, subtle. And guised in a cloak of love. But nevertheless, still judgmental.
I have a friend who is transgender. As I spent time listening and learning his journey that brought him to this place, I was left with compassion. He grew up in a cult that ‘prized’ blond hair, blue eyed girls.. The horrors he underwent since infancy are greater than we can wrap our minds around. It became 1000% unsafe to be ‘female’ through ever cell of his body. What that does to the development of a brain & one’s sexuality is bigger than anyone can fully grasp. Who am I to give the quick response I was taught to give in my evangelical upbringing? Our God is a big part of my friend’s life. God has called him child, friend, confidant. And it is up to our God to interact with him in whatever way is best. Nothing (!!!) can separate my friend from the enormous and tender love of God. All sin, whatever our God defines it to be, was lovingly taken into Jesus when He was on the cross! My friend has tender intimacy with our God in ways that leave me longing! I am even certain that God was with him as he married his male companion!
As I have studied epigenetics, and how the emotional turmoil of those 3 generations back are embedded into a person’s genetic makeup, I recognize how it is not so easy for us to untangle another person’s sexual preferences in a manner that allows us to set up ‘judgment’.
My own childhood left me with great insecurities and confusion. During my healing journey, I struggled to understand myself and my confused desire to be loved, I wondered if I was gay. During some rough days, I had a sense God let me know that my own struggle had to do with my wounded-ness. Rather than focus on the ‘right/ wrong’ of the gay issue, He related to me, being more concerned with the reasons for my angst. He wanted to bring restoration to my soul,- and the side affect of His love would impact my decision of sexual preference.
There are the times that a person is born with both testes and ovaries. Talk about sexual identity issues! Did the parents ‘guess’ right when deciding which gender their child would grow up to be? What is happening in the person’s hormones as they navigate life and relationships?
Before we quickly make our stand, would it not be wise to step back and learn how to become safe people. How to be ‘shepherds’ of a soul more than adamant ‘preachers’? To enter into another person’s journey and walk life with them, as we all get to know the heart of God better?
This is what I want to take a stand on:
Only God knows a person’s entire life story and what has contributed to the choices made! I must leave the judgment up to Him!
Including the judgment we lean towards making of Eugene Peterson! There is much to this part of his story that we do not know.
Without all the puzzle pieces, it would be wise to use the debate to turn the focus back to ourselves and reflect on how loving or judgmental we are towards others.