The Civilized Church

We talked about gays in church yesterday, so how about gays at Christian rock festivals today? Po-mo emergent guy and fellow Twin Citizen Tony Jones offers an interesting recap of a panel discussion held at the recent Cornerstone festival titled “Gay Rights or Wrongs.”

I’m very interested in this conversation as it relates to Christianity because it’s so difficult. But that also makes it dangerous. It’s easy to stick your foot in your mouth (or in someone else’s) and easily offend. That’s not my intention. And I’ll be honest and admit that it’s an issue I don’t have a solid stand on. I’m swayed by arguments on both sides and see positives and negatives to both cases.

At any rate, I thought one particular comment in Tony’s piece was interesting:

What, I asked, does the church do to a boy who is born with undescended testicles? Is Jesus’ day, he would have been thrown into a field to die of exposure, but we would consider that inhumane. However, where does that person fit in our communities of faith?

The first century response is shocking. But if we harbor prejudice or worse, outright hostility, to someone in that situation, are we any less inhumane? If we’re not willing to welcome a hermaphrodite (or anyone else for that matter) into our congregation with open arms then we’re just as inhumane as the first century people who toss that infant into the elements. We think we’re civilized because we’ll save that child. But if we give that child a cold shoulder or a strange look when we encounter them as an an adult then we’re just as uncivilized.

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