“Queer Eye” and the Divine Gaze: Shame and Grace in 21st Century Worship

(Johnny Carson) #42

I agree wholeheartedly, but, short of extenuating circumstances where someone is abusing another or taking away their choices in some way, it’s not a case of the sinner, the Savior, and any other sanctified busybody who believes they have the right to step into and meddle or pressure or shame the sinner into submission to the busybody’s own perception of how things ought to be.

An LBTQ+ Christian does not need to hear the clobber passages quoted at him or her, for instance. They know those passages better than you or I do. That needs to be solely between themselves and the Savior, through the ministries of the Holy Spirit. And indeed, the HS may well be leading them to a totally different take on those passages at this particular time in their life.

Truth is, you and I simply do not know. What we do know is what our study of Scripture, experience, walk with God has taught us. We cannot possibly know the paths God is leading another person down in their quest for truth, but if we believe it must be a carbon copy of our own path then we’re engaging in idolatry.

(Patrick Travis) #43

You would agree that LGBTQ’S should also share that tolerance and understanding with those with a different view have?
Must they share the same understanding or be considered narrow, bigoted and intolerant? I can accept others to hold their view but I should not have to agree. That is true tolerance on both sides of any issue.
There are churches that openly accept the views of LGBTQ. If one doesn’t find that in another community are they necessarily bad people or maybe following their " present " belief system?
Does that mean the "pejorative term rigid fundamentalist " should apply to them? Just wonder if the “gracious” principle is reciprocal?
I accept the legal majority secular positions given by society for LGBTQ but it is not reasonable to expect those positions to be held by all faith communities.

(Peter) #44

Yes! My grandfather married 3 times and outlived all of his wives. His second marriage occurred when he was 85 years old.

(Johnny Carson) #45

“The apostles remembered what many modern Christians tend to forget — that what makes the gospel offensive isn’t who it keeps out, but who it lets in.” ~ Rachel Held Evans

Saint Peter and the Angel Gabriel had a problem. Peter was sorting people at the Pearly Gates letting some in and keeping others out, but Gabriel was finding more people in heaven than Peter was letting in. They were befuddled. Gabriel told Peter to keep working and he’d get to the bottom of this. A few hours later he came back and told Peter not to worry; he’d figured it out. “It’s Jesus. He’s pulling people in over the wall.”

(Johnny Carson) #46

Hmmm… No, you shouldn’t have to agree. What I find troubling in this whole conversation as it’s developed over the years is the obsession some have with that exact point. It’s like the sibling rivalry in families with Johnny running to mommy complaining about what Susie is doing that’s not fair. Or it’s like people being so jealous of traditional faith understandings that they fail to see the direction God is leading. Caiaphas was a pro at that and look what happened to him and his cronies.

I find in my life I have better things to worry about than what someone else thinks about what I believe, or whether they’re LGBT+, or not, and accepted into the congregation. As Billy Graham said, “It’s God’s job to do the judging, it’s the Holy Spirit’s job to do the convicting, and it’s my job to do the loving.” It’s what Christ’s entire ministry was all about; expanding the Kingdom of God, not limiting it.

(Patrick Travis) #47

Hi John,
Thanks for your reply.
The stumbling block, offense, and foolishness of the cross is that the Son of God died on the cross to save sinners. That we are sinners in need of forgiveness and mercy despite our best efforts is the offence! Not, who is let in and kept out. We need to acknowledge our sins and be reckoned righteous in Christ through faith. There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus who are walking not after the Flesh but after the Spirit.
I have better things to do also John. But, for the Pastor who is called to uphold scripture they are called to preach Sin, Righteousness and Judgment. They are called to preach the cross and repentance for entry into the body of Christ. Anyone can attend church and all should be grateful and kind for everyone’s presence. Membership into the body has different meaning. The kingdom is “open” to all but their is one gate and conditions. Jesus Christ is Savior and Lord.

(Johnny Carson) #48

They are not called however, to preach repentance to individuals on issues to whom the Holy Spirit is not currently convicting in those areas of their life. To call them to do so is confusing your discomfort with other people issues with the job of the Holy Spirit. As I said, Caiaphas was an expert at that. Are you?

“The choice usually presented to Christians is not between Jesus and Barabbas. No one wants to appear an obvious murderer. The choice to be careful about is between Jesus and Caiaphas. And Caiaphas can fool us. He is a very “religious” man. The spirit of Caiaphas lives on in every century of religious bureaucrats who confidently condemn good people who have broken bad religious laws. Always for a good reason of course: for the good of the temple, for the good of the church.” - Brennan Manning

(Patrick Travis) #49

The pastor is to preach a message of Sin, righteousness and judgment and repentance to all that will hear. That is His work of preaching through the Holy Spirit. Accepting the message individually is the work of the Holy Spirit. How shall they know if they have not heard. How shall they hear without a preacher?
Signing off for tonight.

(Jeremy S.) #50

So you are suggesting a 15 year old child of a SDA couple do what exactly? Tell his/her parents he/she’s done going to church with them? Done going to the bording academy his/her parents are sending them to? Because they want to attend a church/school thats more affirming of them as LGBT+ people? how do you think thats going to work out for them?

(Jeremy S.) #51

As a man who grew up identifying as gay, who left the church in my late teens because I truly believed God hated LGBT people, having been taught that by “bible believing christians” my whole life. I didn’t come back to the church until about 4 years ago and only because Jesus came and told me how much He loved me. I also believe that homosexuality isn’t what God intended. That scriputure is very clear about what is and is not acceptable sexually. And by the Grace of Christ I no longer even experience same sex attractions. However that is MY experience with my savior. And it did not come about because someone like you came along to tell me how wrong I was. How aweful a sinner I was. But that He loved me. Encouraged me to follow Him wherever He led. So I did. However.

I have to say your insistance on false equivalence is grating. As if the LGBT community could possibly heap on Christian heads the same levels of shame, guilt, and intolerance that Christians have heaped on the heads of any LGBT person unlucky enough to encounter one of “God’s children”. Get back to me on this issue when christians have to fear going into LGBT neighborhoods for fear of their lives. Get back to me with your “there are good people on both sides” nonsense when LGBT people leave christians beaten and bound in barb wire fences to die of exposure. Or curbed on the street nearly killing them like my ex suffered. Or when gays spit in your face and tell you you deserve an eternity in hell for simply exsisting. K? Your post about HIV patients made me sick to my stomach. You and those who think like you are the reason those men were out there having unprotected anoynomous sex to begin with. Because having a safe open monogamous relationship was DANGEROUS in those days. So they might have been a little mad? You think? Good God fearing “Christians” like you were saying of them, well at least this plague is kiling all the right people. That this was Gods judgement on gays for being abominations. So save your smug sense of false moral equivalence for someone who cares bro. Oh somone hurt your feelings? Someone called you a bigot once? Cool if you want ill trade that experience for the death threats i’ve gotten throughout my life, how about that? I mean we wouldn’t want your feelings hurt after all.

Having debated this issue with Christians my whole life I recognize in you this need to make sure LGBT people stay in their place to shame and mock them. But you are right about one thing. Only some places accept LGBT people into their faith groups, those are the ones where Jesus is.

(Patrick Travis) #52

Thanks for your response.

Your post about HIV patients made me sick to my stomach.<<
Jeremy, I have never had a comment on HIV patients. Are you sure your not confusing me with many of someone else’s comments?

So you are suggesting a 15 year old child of a SDA couple do what exactly? Tell his/her parents he/she’s done going to church with them? Done going to the bording academy his/her parents are sending them to? Because they want to attend a church/school thats more affirming of them as LGBT+ people? how do you think thats going to work out for them?<<

The comment I think you are referring to has to do with adults having the freedom to worship anywhere they want. If someone becomes exasperated after long efforts with the teachings of a fellowship my suggesting was simply, Why not leave?

Your hypothetical could be helped by additional details also. Have the parents had a discussion with the “child” about his/her lifestyle? What was the response? Is the “child openly LGBT”? What are the rules of the boarding academy? If aware, what accommodations are they willing to make if any? does affirmation mean that the fellowship must accept the lifestyle? Is it adequate that they certainly allow individuals but not accept the lifestyle? If all these “hypothetical answers” are negative and unacceptable to the parents/child then why “spit into the wind” and create unnecessary hardship on oneself if there are other alternatives?
An additional point. I don’t think a pastor should make a hobby horse out of being critical of LGBTQ’s.
Neither should they be expected to avoid all texts that LGBTQ’s might feel are problematic in normal book by book exegetical preaching,
I do believe in love and respect of all people. I also believe in love and faithfulness to exegeting God’s word without “fear” of who might be offended.
These thoughts above were the intent of every comment I have made whether answering a question or proposing a thought.
You may not believe me but I have had or do have friends from every letter of the acrostic LGBTQ. They, I believe would tell you they got nothing from me but respect, kindness and care.

(Peter) #53

Long enshrined beliefs set aside, there are always people who see themselves as bouncers for Jesus, charged with keeping the wrong people away from and out of the church. Too many Adventists seem to believe in border patrol Christianity, as alliances and coalitions form around shared theological distinctive and declare anyone who fails to conform to their strict set of beliefs and behaviors unfit for Christian fellowship. These people are committed to purifying the church of every errant thought or person, difference of opinion, or variation in practice as self-appointed gate keepers. They shut the door in people’s faces and tell them to come back when they are over, straight (not LGBT), etc. Our church should not be a place for those who are worthy, but a place for the hungry. Remember, in Jesus’ parable, the king invited people from off the streets to his banquet without condition, regardless of who they were or how they looked. (Paraphrased from a friend.)

(George Tichy) #54

I am glad you stated this above, " I can accept others to hold their view but I should not have to agree." Therefore, I feel free to apply this principle to what you said that the pastor should preach.

Why do I disagree? Because the GOSPEL is the most necessary message. Pastors are to preach the Gospel, Grace, and the Cross. Preaching a message of sin? What does that actually mean? I would probably not stay until the end of a sermon like that… :wink:

(Patrick Travis) #55

Peter, The church should be seen as the organization where no member is worthy of membership based on their works.

(Jeremy S.) #56


I do apologize, you were not the one making the statements about the HIV patients. You and that guy were both making statements of false equivalence and I somehow must have merged the two comments in my mind. It was the comment about the HIV patients that really kind of got me riled up. The level of false equivalence and lack of understanding of context in that comment is something I haven’t encountered in a while. So again I do apologize for that.

Prior to coming back to God I was a pretty militant athiest, and I pretty much debated Christians professionally. Especially about issues surrounding the LGBT community. So often I will see phrases or key words and read more into them then a person who is not as knowledgable about the issue might mean. Most of the time when you see someone who isn’t in the LGBT community using phrases like “LGBTQ’s should also share that tolerance…” or “Just wonder if the “gracious” principle is reciprocal” Its not really about tolerance its meant to be used as a shield against criticism of bigotry. It brings to mind the image of a big guy pinning a smaller guy on the ground, punching him in the face repeatedly, while shouting about how unfair it is that people won’t tolerate his position.

I’ll assume that’s not what you meant.

In fact it even sounds like we hold similar view points.

" I also believe in love and faithfulness to exegeting God’s word without “fear” of who might be offended."

I too believe in exegeting God’s word without fear of who might be offended. But I also believe we shouldn’t be exegeting God’s word with the intention to offend. I fact we should only be exegeting God’s word with the intention of leading people into realtionship with their Savior.

However I do apologize for the sharpness of my tone. I conflated your comment with one that was way more offensive, and read more into what you said then, upon further reflection, I think is there. Its just very frustrating to be fighting to minister to the LGBT community and have the devil working against that from all sides, including and especially from inside the church.


(Patrick Travis) #57

Thank you for addressing me personally. May I suggest you look and meditate on Rom.5:20,21? Also read the work of the Spirit in Jn.16.
When no law is preached there is little appreciation of the Grace of forgiveness. Christ was without sin, What does that mean? Where the strength of the law is preached there should be the conviction of sin. Perfectionist haven’t yet realized the strength of the law that yet condemns them. The law has no power to save only condemn. It does instruct in Holy living: but, we are not holy.
Grace and the the good news of the gospel of forgiveness in Christ, JBF “alone” is only appreciated by those who have been thoroughly convicted of their sins by scripture and HS. Ask Gil if that was not Des’ position as well as all the classical Protestant “greats.”
If I am not a sinner, why on earth do I need Grace and the gospel? If my life is the measure of what is ok, why grace?

H. Richard Niebuhr defined American
liberalism as a movement that had a God without wrath who
brought men without sin into a kingdom that was without
judgment through the administration of a Christ without a
cross. This was a devastating critique. ( The Kingdom of God in America (1937), he also criticized the liberal [social gospel describing its message as, “A God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross.”

This is why Jn.16:7-11 needs to be preached as part of the “good news” to sinners.


(shshsh) #58

And one thing we do know is that DNA and genetic studies have not found anything to validate any science between male and female. We are still male or female. Any preferences or confusion between or opposite of the born gender is misguided. Twisting of humanity has taken place and ventured away from God’s creation simply to fit desires.

(George Tichy) #59

Thanks Pat for your reply.
Now your position is worded in a more mild way, adding more positive elements to the negative you referred to before. Of course our need for change needs to be presented (because we are sinners), but I don’t believe that it makes it to the level of “message of Sin.” In my opinion, it must be a “Message of Hope,” in which a contrast is established between what we are now and what we can become by the grace of God.
Be well.

(George Tichy) #60

The “gay condition” may have nothing to do with DNA and genetics. But it has a lot to do with the structure (wiring) of the brain as we have learned in the past few years. It would be foolish to argue against the fact that those who are gay did not choose ti be gay.

Actually, I haven’t seen one single gay person who was a “straight” who chose to become “un-straight,” thus changing their natural, original condition. “Gayism” is certainly the result of some malformation in the brain, but the person should not be stoned for something they had no part in choosing.

And we, “the straights,” should not be judging them on an issue that belongs to them and their Creator only. Is God still in control of the creation process? :thinking: :thinking:

(Johnny Carson) #61

Actually, science has identified a wide range of issues, in vitro, that manifest themselves post birth in a spectrum of conditions other than gender or hetero normative. One need not be a scientist to be able to research and study these issues. If not formal education, then self-education via books, research papers, the internet, scientific documentaries, a plethora of informative sources that delve into this topic. Educating oneself, rather than standing on dogma, is always preferable. I challenge all who care enough to comment here to do so.