My parents loved art. This mutual interest likely began during their early years living in Europe after my father got out of the Army. As a result, our house was full of art.
Growing up in this environment I, too, cultivated an appreciation for art. I have been in some fantastic museums around the world: The Getty, The Louvre, The Tate Modern, the London National Gallery, The Kunsthaus in Zurich, The Israel Museum in Jerusalem, and The Chicago Art Museum.
I have not only seen some amazing works by Van Gogh, Rembrandt, and Dega, but I have learned what I like and appreciate in a piece. I like Baroque art a great deal. The detail, the colors, the tension created by trying to capture religious or biblical themes all grab my attention and pull me in. I only came to this realization after a good deal of observation.
The same has been true for my religious beliefs. When I was a Junior in college, living away from my parents, attending a school outside of my church tradition, I was asked by a professor what I believed. In order to answer him, I had to examine my beliefs — kind of like examining the color and composition of a painting — and articulate my understanding of the physical and spiritual worlds. Miracles, baptism, Jesus, and the Bible were among the things I wrestled with.
Lately, I’ve spent some considerable time observing the topic of homosexuality. Homosexuality isn’t a piece of art that does not care what we think about it. It’s not an idea to be debated. I even hesitate to use terms like “subject, and “topic,” because these words alienate the human interest from the pursuit of understanding.
I have read articles and books, had conversations with people, and have listened to interviews with celebrities and modern thinkers in an effort to formulate what I believe and why. I have struggled to know what I think and believe, about its appropriateness, and about how Scripture addresses it.
As a result, I’ve written a brief position statement on how I live with the tension between homosexuality and the Christian faith. But I am not going to share it here.
Our culture practices a public form of processing and so, for a time, I contemplated sharing my statement. Perhaps too, I needed or even felt convicted to declare my position, own my beliefs and no longer be silent on the subject. I sat down to write a blog post outlining what I thought, to communicate my carefully crafted stance. However, I quickly stopped writing. Not out of fear or worry over the potential criticism but solely because of the medium.
The topic of Homosexuality is not a sterile or impersonal subject, like math. When we talk about homosexuality we cannot do so as scientists in a laboratory. We are talking about people and their understanding of themselves and the world around them. No matter how we view the tension between homosexuality and the Bible we must never forget this!
There are tensions that exist between the Bible/Christianity and homosexuality. The subject is complicated, personal, multi-faceted. Blog posts (or Facebook, Twitter or any other social media outlet) are too one-sided, too vulnerable for misunderstanding, to conducive to self-righteousness.
A blog post does not allow me to listen, to hear and to understand another’s heart as well as their argument. There are no clarifications, questions or revisions. Simply writing a blog post to declare what I believe does not do justice to relationships or people. No matter the level of articulation I might achieve in a post, misunderstanding will happen.
So, I have decided to not blog about what I believe about the tension between the Bible and homosexuality. Yes, I know what I believe and you may or may not agree. But the only way to find out is to ask me, is to engage me in a conversation and dialogue where we both might grow and learn. Because when we talk about homosexuality we are not talking about “statements” or “positions,” we are talking about people that deserve love, respect and dignity, regardless of whether we agree with each other or not.