[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text] Why LGBTQ Affirming Christians Should Still Talk to Conservatives
If you’re anything like me and have arrived at a fairly strong, affirming position to fully include LGBT Christians in the Church, you may feel drained by the prospect of having that conversation again with people of faith who think otherwise. I attend a congregation that has gay and lesbian parishioners, people who don’t feel afraid about mentioning their gay partners during coffee hour, or bringing their children to Sunday School. To me the thought of recycling conversations about the biblical validity of my LGBT brethren has the tinge of an enervating project — like going to a high school reunion where old classmates inquire about the last decade of your life. These days, I just like to be where I’m understood.
But I was reminded this week why I love Level Ground’s vision, and why I talk with those who don’t think like me: because there are so few places to have real dialog. Social media snippets, Tumblr feeds, news articles, and expert panels aren’t really great venues for a highly politicized and intimate part of our humanity. The nuance of our experiences— conservative, liberal, affirming, queer, literalist, whatever camp we find ourselves in— cannot be conveyed in full form with anything but in vivo, face-to-face conversation. Art is by nature dialog, and I believe Level Ground is a place for the elemental language of lives lived in real time. I understand you’re tired, you’ve moved on from the arguments and want to find peace. But here, you can say what you think. Here is a place to find a table, a plot of shared land. And maybe you’ll end up finding more common earth than you think. What are the next steps of the Church and LGBT community? Come and see. Come and make.
- Chris K.
“The goal of both Abélard and Lombard was not to win an argument or to prove that “this is the only way you can believe.” They simply laid out all the arguments on one side and all the arguments on another side and trusted that truth and the Holy Spirit would lead and teach the authentic believer from there. We no longer enjoy that kind of trust.
We lost the ability to think and dialog in this way. By the Protestant Reformation, our style of conversation inside the Catholic Church was to prove the “enemy” wrong; this was the form of discourse that has held sway for the last five hundred years. We really went backwards with this idea that we had the right to certitude, that we needed to prove we were absolutely right and therefore did not have to listen to any minority positions. It was the triumph of dualistic thought and has lasted till our time.
Abélard points out that in Luke’s Gospel (2:46), the little boy Jesus, symbol of all wisdom and truth, is sitting among the teachers and listening to them and asking them questions. If Jesus can listen and ask questions, Abélard says, who are we to think we are better than him?”