On a few occasions, I have seen posts, blogs, articles, and Nashvagas Chrish pop singles on how the Church needs a good PR (public relations) campaign to get the right image out to the people. It appears that to many, pasty old white guy Christianity isn't getting it done. Neither is the uber hippie "I just don't know" Christianity that is building fellowships the size of cities, mostly made up of people who got sick of the old white guy way of doing things, and still haven't seen that the uber hippie way is equally as ridiculous. So many of those super hip Chish folks think that they can tweet the PR that the Church needs to once again be affective in our culture. Good for them. Hope it works.
But I have a bit different way of looking at it. This week, a group of "evangelicals" gathered in Washington to see if they could get arrested while they condemned homosexuals. The legislate resently handed down some new laws governing over hate crimes against minority groups, homosexuals being included in those groups. The "evangelicals" have been saying for months that this law would make preaching against homosexuality a crime in the US, so they went to Washing to prove their point. Such martyrs. No one got arrested. On the other hand, every one of those guys looked like idiots. I always find it interesting when a 300 lb preacher condemns homosexuality. I guess it really hurts to get that plank out of your own eye. Don't hear many sermons on gluttony.
I don't think that good PR will help in this situation. Rather, I think the Church needs a restraining order against these pillars of religious intolerance. Is there any way to make that happen? Is there any way to keep these guys from doing more harm to the Kingdom than good?
Of course, I am certain that God is not nearly as concerned about it as I am. In fact, He probably isn't concerned about us effectively marketing His brand in the least. I don't think that God was shaken in the least when these guys went to Washington and made complete fools of themselves and what they stand for. God can handle His own marketing, and maybe we are looking at more of a management issue. Maybe someone just needs to put the smack down. I don't know. It's just frustrating.
My niece is gay. She and her partner just had a beautiful little girl. I can't wait to see them next week for Thanksgiving. She knows what the scriptures says about homosexuality. She knows that I am a believer in the ministry who believes that the scriptures are authoritative. So, what would it say to her if I spent my day hanging out with those guys on the Hill? What do I say to her in response, that she's an abomination and going to hell? I don't see her as an abomination. I see her as my niece that I love. Jesus paid the price for this sinner to spend eternity with the Father, and although I will die selfish, prideful, gluttonous, and envious of my brothers and sisters, still I will be welcomed into the Father's arms. Why? Because I believe that the scriptures are true, that all who confess with their mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe that He rose from the dead will be saved. Has my niece done that? Not sure, but I hope so! What then? Well, she is a new creation. She may very well die a homosexual, just as I will die with a laundry list of the "lesser" sins, but I am just not going to make the doctrinal shift that says she will burn in hell for her sin, but I will not for mine.
So this does bring up the question, should Christians be tolerant of homosexuality? No more so than they should be tolerant of Christians beign judgmental, arrogant, prideful, and ambitious. In truth, I as a believer am inhibited in my ability to see homosexuality as God sees it by a hateful culture that has bred the very things that this hate crime legislation protects individuals from. So this is what I ask those who want to preach against homosexuality. When you do so, do you have someone in your mind who is a homosexual that you love, and don't give me this broad BS that you love everyone, because that just isn't true. If you don't actually know a gay person that you love, then you have no ministry to that culture, so maybe you should stick to being blessed to be a blessing. I actually know people who minister in the gay community. The phrase "You're an abomination and are going to hell" has never come up in their discussions or the presentation of the Gospel. We are all sinners. We all fall short of the glory of God and are in need of a Savior. That Savior is Jesus. Let He and the Holy Spirit handle the sin. Let's just love people for a change.