How to Be Right and Wrong at the Same Time

In preparing for a workshop at the EFCA Leadership Conference, a church leader spoke to me about his frustration with Christians being right and wrong at the same time regarding the issue of the gay community. Right in the sense of theology, scripture, interpretation, etc.; and wrong in the sense of ethic and posture. I understand that many of us see gay rights as a threat to the institution of marriage and the family structure, and I’m definitely not promoting gay lifestyle as normative, but I wonder what message it sends about Christians who are quick to condemn without engagement. The gay community is not going anywhere, whether it is a sin or dysfunction (they are getting their own pride month from the pen of the president), and evangelical Christians must not build up theological walls to throw stones over. I think even if we disagree with the way they read Scripture, the ways in which they experience sexual gratification, and for their lifestyles, we have to treat them with a sense of Samaritan-like kindness. There has to be shift in the way we live out our theological correctness in an age of political correctness, lest we comfort ourselves in being right, but our witness loses all credibility.

About David Park

Christian 2nd-generation Korean American; Atlanta Georgia; more details to come. View all posts by David Park

5 responses to “How to Be Right and Wrong at the Same Time

  • timinthe2

    Great insight. I really appreciate the challenge to greater integrity/fidelity to Jesus’ way.

    In my own heart I see the wrestling being akin to the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant, where I forget that my debt to Christ is a million-fold greater than anything owed to me. So instead of identification with the confused and rebellious, I posture and play power politics.

    If I keep the right perspective from the parable then – I think – that my approach first off isn’t right vs. wrong about a sin; but a conversation about greater integrity to the one Lord and his mission. It’s what you’ve said, David, that if we re-direct the conversation toward Christ and fidelity to him we move from judgment to common-ground and struggle in living for Jesus. Now, we’re at the center of all of our problems – justifying our compromises and preferences (whether homosexuality or greed or privilege or materialism or whatever).

    • David Park

      Great parable to apply to this situation. Have you been doing a lot of work with parables recently (haha inside joke! :))?

      But yeah, the more interaction I have with gays and lesbians, i realize that the posture that many Christians take is very dangerous in terms of the mission of God and that is really counterintuitive. I think that we think too highly ourselves as defining and defending truth, rather than exemplify Christ. That is a very difficult tension to address in church, and evangelical Christians have tended to shy away from that tension. Thanks for the feedback Tim, and I will definitely post more stuff on this topic soon.

  • Eating as a Path to Yoga

    “wrong in the sense of ethic and posture.”

    Kindness goes along way.

  • David Carlson

    i’d like to hear more of your thinking on this. There are lots of verbal land mines out htere that many of us seem to delight in stepping upon repeatedly. “quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger….”

  • Greatest Hits Of 2011 « Reconciliation 101

    […] 10.  How To Be Right And Wrong At the Same Time […]

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