Wednesday, June 15, 2005

An essay to knock you off your feet

For several days I've been wanting to write an essay that would address some of the discussions, specifically about homosexuality, that have been taking place on my blog buddies' sites. I about had it ready on Sunday, but now, it's not necessary.

Instead, let me refer you to an essay on a blog I've just become familiar with. This, in a most beautiful, profound, earthy, real way, covers it all. It matters not what our individual sin is, we're all the girl that Jesus loves in this way.

Let me add one thought before I give you over to this work -- whosoever we condemn here on earth could well wind up being our roommate in heaven. Keep in mind that Jesus did this for ALL sinners, not just us with "delicate" sins. He didn't grade on the curve; He graded on the cross.

And now, an excerpt "The Girl of Your Dreams" from Joshua Gibbs of Chicago.

Jesus had a dream girl. Jesus had a girl that He wanted to marry for several thousand years. But she treated him like shit. She slept with everyone, she didn’t stop until there was a checkmark next to every name in the phonebook. And Jesus, above just hearing the rumors, had to watch every one of these sexual encounters in excruciating detail. He saw every thrust of the hips and heard every whispered word.

Jesus was a rich man, and His dream girl was a poor hooker. They really only had one thing in common and that was that they were both desperately in love with the same person. Jesus loved the poor hooker, and the poor hooker loved herself. The poor hooker never made enough money to pay her rent, and so she went to Jesus whenever she came up short. Jesus never gave her exact change. The fifty dollars she needed was always sandwiched between a stack of hundred bills he would hand her, and he would generally give her a new Lexus and a few homes in upstate New York whenever she stopped by. The poor hooker would always say, “You’re always so nice to me. Man, I’m never going to sleep with anyone else again. I’m with you from now on.” And then she would drive her new car to a pay-by-the-hour motel and sleep with a dozen guys who had AIDS and would beat her when they were finished with her. They would steal her car and her money and then she would call Jesus, and she would be crying and blubbering and saying how awful it had been, and then Jesus would drive to the bad section of town and pick her up, take her back to His home and clean her up. After she showered and Jesus had bandaged up all her wounds, they would sit in the living room and talk.

“I have something for you,” Jesus would say, and then He would give her the moon.

To see the rest of this powerful piece, go to Folding a Map. I don't often say it, but this is a MUST read for all of us.


Erudite Redneck said...

Incredible. I don't often feel touched as well as ... assaulted ... by raw hard metaphorical truth like that. Whoa.

Mark said...

I agree with both of you, Trixie and ER. and I was so proud of my post for today, (the 16th of June) that essay made my post look stupid.

Einar said...

That Josh Fellow wrote quite a piece to be sure, but I am still interested as to what YOU have to say about homosexuality.

Trixie said...

OK, here's my opinion.

Homosexuality is a sin, I agree. I don't believe it is part of God's plan. However, I don't believe that one person's sin is any worse than anyone else's sin. My cousin's homosexuality is no better or worse than my gluttony, for example, or my pride, or jealousy, or resentments, or anything else that separates me from the love of God.
Jesus came to earth and died for ALL of our sins, to bridge the chasm between us and His Father. I dare not tell Jesus OR His Father that the homosexual (or any other repenant sinner) He died for doesn't deserve a place in Heaven.

JT said...

I once believed that homosexuality is a sin, but I abandoned that view in the past few years. My reading of medical, psychological, sociological and philosophical materials convinced me that Paul's writings on the subject were culture bound in the same manner as the admonition for slaves to obey their masters and for women to keep silent in church. I have also known quite a few gays and they simply don't fit the awful stereotypes promoted by the church.

It seems to me that most gays would be spiritually and psychologically healthier if church and society simply encouraged them to commit to stable, monogamous relationships. I wouldn't claim that would be easy with respect to gay males, for in general males are more promiscuous than females and thus the joining of two males is likely to produce a higher incidence of wandering or unfaithfulness.

If homosexuality is a sin (I don't claim that I couldn't be wrong on the subject), I have to say that the church has made virtually no effort to treat it as other sins and I don't think it ever will. For pastors, homosexual relations will get you kicked out. However, mental cruelty toward a spouse, serial heterosexual affairs, theft of congregants' funds, and even mental or psychological abuse of church members will often result in little to no punishment.

If homosexuality is a sin, I'm convinced that failing to tithe is a much quicker and surer way to eternal damnation, for such constitutes stealing from God.

Although I cannot support disregarding the Book of Discipline for United Methodists, I have become convinced that Rev. Beth Stroud may very well be a finer and more spiritual pastor than the great majority of clergy I have met in my lifetime.

There was much opposition to the United Church of Christ "welcoming ad" but a 2003 survey found that 59% of Protestant evangelical pastors said they would not knowingly allow a homosexual to be a member of their church.

Finally, by the United Methodist Book of Discipline, celibate homosexual pastors are to be treated the same as heterosexual pastors. However, in reality, such celibate pastors are routinely denied appointments they are qualified for and prohibited from "high profile" sendings.

The essay is good, but because of my changed position, I didn't consider it as applicable to the topic of homosexuality.

Trixie said...

JT, I think you really expanded and explained a point that is key to my thoughts on this topic. It's not so much the physical aspects of homosexuality that I believe to be the sin.

See, that's what makes things so complicated. It's not the physical relationship, but the lack of emotional RELATIONSHIP between partners.

I hope I can express this correctly, but it's as you expressed -- the (wrong or right) perception that gays (male or female) are more promiscuous than straights, that "having sex" is the key to happiness, rather than loving and caring for another person, wanting to spend your life with them, wanting the best for the other person.

In this perspective, I think a LOT of STRAIGHT relationships are every bit as sinful and hurtful. And they have the potential of causing even more pain. Not only do you face the issues of infidelity, abuse of another's trust and all those things, but all too often straight relationships result in the (humanly) unintended creation of children, which adds so many levels of suffering and abuse.

As difficult as it is to imagine ANY adult in today's society living a celibate lifestyle, I think there's a lot of wisdom in the United Methodist (and other denominations') stance that says "no sex outside of marriage."
Sure makes it hard to date, especially when any more the social standard seems to be that you HAVE to have sex by the second date or there won't be a third. Sheesh!

So, more correctly, my thoughts are that any sexual relationship, outside of a committed, loving, longterm personal relationship between the partners, is sinful. It's wrong to use other people for personal pleasure. People are not sex toys. God made us emotional creatures who seek that deep, committed relationship: LOVE.

My preface to posting the link really was more intended to say that I think it is wrong to try to "rank" sins, one being worse than another. Sin is sin -- it's all a matter of a broken relationship between us and God.

And just to clarify further, I don't consider the essay to be directed at the issue of homosexuality at all. It addresses SIN, which we all have in abundance. There had been so many lengthy debates on friends' blogs recently about how horrible "THAT" sin is that I wanted to say "let's take the moat out of our own eyes."