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Waiting to Exhale October 19, 2007

Posted by peterong in Christ and Culture, Gays, Rants, Reflections, Uncategorized.
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It has been a time and trying to find time to pause. Sorry for my lapsing into these moments of deferment. today, i had my first sabbath in sometime. went to mulberry street public library for some reading and just browsing the bookshelves for some inspiration and a momentary lapse of care. no prayer. no meditation. just a simple jaunt through the pages of the New York Sun or the Daily News.

These past few days I am still haunted by my recent retreat at a Chinese church in  Boston. I spoke on a series of talks that I did at the New York Summer Conference this past summer called “Jesus Uncensored.” I talked about how within the confines of Christian and church culture, we have muted some of the most profound elements of our Christian faith. Most importantly, the issue of grace, radical inclusion, outward missional posture and the expression of faith through engagement not disengagement. I found there moments of great connection with several of the conferees as I shared about our concord with those around the world who are in need and how we need to shed some of our inwardness to reach to those around the world who are part of humanity. To see the scriptures as a missional statement for those in bondage, oppression and blinded by grief. Not to shape our theology to cater to our fears. To exclude or demonize those who are so in need of understanding the gospel. Of God’s good news…God’s desire for redemption.

Yet as the days went on, I realized that I need to walk in their shoes as they live in a state where there is an embattled fight regarding same-sex marriage. As I listened to the parents and how they didn’t want their kids to go to schools where there were gay principals. I was yearning to understanding why there was such a venom behind their words. Yet, as I have been reflecting on this issue, I am trying to be very careful about the implications of how this stance is so prevalent in our Christian communities. But I have to confess that there is very little said in scripture about this particular sin and it seems as if we take liberties to choose which are the sins that are of note. Yet, we don’t think twice about our Lord’s word of caution on when we use the word “fool” or when we miss the spirit of our call to be holy not simply for us to be “set apart” as righteous through our morality but by what Christ called to bring people the freedom of the gospel. Not license but a freedom that comes from transforming hearts…to see what is latent with this holy discontent…that in that holy discontent has a destination for our common desire for dignity.

We fail because the the scandal of grace says we are all in the same situation. I take comfort in that, becaus I begin to see that I am part of the problem. I wanted so much to say to them…some of us are more lost then others and the question is to what extent are we willing to what my good friend Hosive says…We are called to “carry the cross for others, not putting people on crosses”

But I realize that it is hard to carry that cross…especially when it comes to an embattled place…where children’s innocence are at stake and I confess, I want to understand more. I want to listen more. Perhaps that would have been wise…to listen, to find places of fear and supplant it with hope. Hope. Gospel hope.

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