Friday, February 03, 2006

On finding a pastoral response

There is a string of posts and responses swirling around Brian Mclaren's article in Leadership journal. The article, I believe, was meant to focus on a pastor's response, i.e. how does one respond in love and concern to a defining question, such as homosexuality. I do not believe Mclaren intended to answer the actual biblical interpretation of same sex relationships.

Mark Driscoll's response has also garnered alot of attention.

As has McLaren's reposnse to Driscoll's reposnse. Got all that?

I am fairly confident that God's plan from the begining has been for monogomous realtionships between one man and one woman.

That being said, I appreciate and resonate with Mclaren's choice of the word "agonize," in his original article. I agonize over the separation I may have just put between God and someone in a same sex relationship by the first sentence of this paragraph. I agonize over memories of conversations where I have communicated what I believe to be the truth of God's word regarding same-sex relationships and have failed to communicate the truth of God's grace for us all, straight or gay. I agonize over not knowing how to communicate disagreement with someone on something as defining as sexuality while still communicating respect, love and concern. I agonize over the occasions where I feel like I have done all I can to communicate respect, love and concern and what was perceived was none of the above.

Is it possible to disagree with someone on an issue as defining as their sexuality and still be perceived as caring and loving and interested and concerned? Must we choose between grace and truth?

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Call Me Ishmael said...

This is all pretty agonizing.

Steve F. said...

The very fact that you agonize - that you understand at some level that there are people of faith who experience same-sex attraction, and are not automatically ready to throw them out the door - adds a ton of grace to the discussion, brother.

That grace was not very evident in Mark Driscoll's response to Brian.

You never know when you're going to be heard by someone who is listening for the condemnation, and is blessed by not hearing it...