Saturday, April 25, 2015

Madam, would you sleep with me?

At a
“Hey Pastor! Can I Bring My Gay Child to Church?” (crickets)


At a dinner party Winston Churchill says to his dinner companion, “Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?”

The woman responds, “My goodness, Mr. Churchill. I suppose I would.”
Churchill replies, “Would you sleep with me for five pounds?

She answers, “Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?”

Churchill answers, “Madam, we’ve already established that. Now we are haggling about the price.

Okay, let’s tell a similar story but with a completely different setting: church. let’s imagine another conversation between a visitor and the pastor at church…

Do you welcome people here who are remarried?”  “Of course.” 
“Minorities?”  “Sure.” 
“How about interracial couples?”  “Why… yes.” 
“People who sometimes struggle with drinking?”  “Of course – we’re not perfect here.”
“How about people who are overweight, or who don’t wear head coverings, or who do wear mixed fabrics?”  “Don’t be silly, of course we do.”  
“That’s so good to hear, because I’d like to bring my son — he’s gay.”
“Oh.”

Variations on this talk occur in countless churches, homes, family gatherings, communities and political parties, regularly all over the map. Sometimes only silently conveyed.

You may claim to be all about love and grace, but if you are deciding which people can come in, which people can serve, which people can marry, then you’re legalistic. Why is that important? Because legalism means adherence to the law for moral approval. It’s approval earned rather than given, a result of works instead of grace, a payment instead of a gift.
Dictionary.com says:
Legalism
a. the doctrine that salvation is gained through good works.
b. the judging of conduct in terms of adherence to precise laws.

Legalism leads to bondage and spiritual death. Love and grace leads to life.

If you are deciding who can be part of church, or who is warmly welcomed in church, and not looked at with subtle superiority — then you’re a legalist.

If you are behavior-focused, then you are a legalist.

And if you’re legalistic “only” on the gay issue, you’re a legalist – period. You’re just haggling over specifics.

It was the legalists of his day, Pharisees, who Jesus stood against and condemned –"You brood of vipers" to be precise.

They are easy to spot today… law-focused, behavior-focused, shaming, non-affirming Christians.

Jesus tells us to be love-focused… love God and love your neighbor. It really is that simple.

Jesus was talking about life!

And by the way Pastor, if anyone ever asks if they can come to, and be welcome at your church, no matter who they are, the right answer is always, “Yes!”

Susan Cottrell

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Edited to protect church identity

RLT Detroit suburb said...
I'm certain I speak for many in acknowledging our gratitude to you for your commitment in sharing the 40 shades of gray in which the LGBT debate is clouded. And your sensitivity, transparency and the grace exhibited in posting the scores of differing opinions, Christian and otherwise, provided the widest and most honest insight I've seen anywhere. It's been a godsend in facilitating discussion for young and old.

Thank you Salvation Army.

Methodist Church
Michigan, USA

Anonymous said...

Now this article falls unde the banner of:

"Doing The Most Good!"

Anonymous said...

I've already said more than enough on the gay issue in the past for anyone to know what my position is concerning the Army's need to change it's stance on how as an organization it views the six or so "clobber" passages on the subject.

My comment today is on the picture used in the article. If anyone still has any doubt about it, that picture definitely proves that smoking is glamorous! (lol!)There's nothing more lovelier than a body with constricted blood vessels and a face that's been pummeled for years with smoke clogged pores.

Thank God the Army has been getting something right since the 1880s and the 1978 decision by the Army's leadership to ban the practice amongst any people who want to be soldiers, was for sure the way to go! (And before anyone starts protesting about self-righteousness, let me reiterate that nobody ever said that you can't be a Xian and smoke, just that one can't be a soldier and smoke!) God Bless TSA!

Daryl Lach
USA Central

FORMER SALVATION ARMY OFFICERS FELLOWSHIP said...

(Let me reiterate that nobody ever said that you can't be a Xian and smoke, just that one can't be a soldier and smoke!)

Thank you Daryl for making that important distinction.

Anonymous said...

Why would Christians want to smoke? It's a complete waste of money, causes damage to your body and affects others who have no choice but to inhale second-hand smoke against their will. And before anyone bangs on about other 'sins' like gluttony etc, they are 'self-contained', ie. only affecting the 'sinner', but smoking does have unwelcome repercussions for others.