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The best sermon I've ever heard

I'm not going to say who sent this to me because I think it's TMI on a public post. I am very protective of my own personal information - my real name, where I live, etc., and I will protect my friends' info just as fiercely.

Anyhoo, this is a link to a sermon at a Methodist church in the Kansas City area with a rather large congregation, so perhaps he can afford to lose a few hundred members. I'm sure he wasn't happy about that, but sometimes you have to take a stand for what you feel is right, and he did.

This is about forty minutes long. I recommend you link it, then do something easy on the mind, and you can listen while you work. It's worth your time, especially if you're sick of hearing all the wrong stuff from the Christian population.

One thing: he's got a master's degree in Biblical studies, but he admits he has much to learn about the gay community. He mentioned the possibility of environmental factors as a "cause" of homosexuality. The medical and psychiatric professions have refuted this, and it's a myth I am working hard to eradicate because I think it fuels the belief that homosexuality is something that can be changed with intensive counseling or therapy.

(Check out the comments. Some additional thoughts from blessed_harlot and me.)

When Christians Get It Wrong: In Dealing With Homosexuals


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 26th, 2009 09:20 am (UTC)
"the undead" salutes your courage...
Hi Bonn! I haven't been able to read alot the material here, but your ongoing efforts to promote gay acceptance, and destroy ignorant stereotypes, are a worthy, civil rights based endeavor, for which your courage in the face of overwhelming ignorance, and hatred, should be saluted by your friends, and sympathizers. Keep up the good work. Keep fighting the good fight, and don't let the self righteous, misguided, or hate filled among us dismay you from standing up for human dignity, human rights, and common compassion. Each grain of sand through the hour glass moves us one moment closer to a more progressive world, where the Sea of gross ignorance cannot erode the shores of enlightenment. God bless you...

PS. I just watched a short film on HBO called "Right America." In it,"conservatives" give their "views" on President Obama during last fall's campaign. They ran the gamut from "he's a muslim," to "he's the anti-christ," to "I ain't votin' fer a (n word...)." It was revealing, disturbing, and fairly definitive, in its unfortunate documentation of the degree of ignorance, hatred, and stupidity that exists within earshot of most of us, in virtually every part of our country. It did not leave me feeling proud of my countrymen, and had me fervently hoping that "right-wing" voters, and the GOP, continue to marginalise themselves, in the hope of never ceding control of this nation to such narrow minded zealotry ever again. We can only hope...and vote...

PPS. Get out and vote in the off year elections, in 2010..!!...Our progressive, Democratic power base is fragile, and could easily be undone, if folks don't get out the vote in 2010. The opposition party (the Party of NO...) is itching for a rematch, and could weaken our fragile hold on the Senate, if folks don't exercise their voting skills, by supporting local Democrats, in their respective states. Get out the Democratic vote in O-Ten..!!... Power to the People- Right On..!!...
Feb. 26th, 2009 11:13 am (UTC)
Re: "the undead" salutes your courage...
Hey, Erech. Nice to hear from you. I'm rarely over at FOME anymore. I miss some of my friends, but my energies are focused elsewhere, as you can see, and this sort of thing is unwelcome there. That attitude has been a huge turn off for me, and I no longer have much desire to participate on the forum at all.

Thanks for your encouragement. I hope you're doing better.
Feb. 27th, 2009 05:05 am (UTC)
I just finished watching it. Thank you for posting it. I enjoyed his very loving approach, and he has a masterful pastoral care technique.

I'm steeped in glbt and genderqueer culture, so I'm hardly his audience, and I'm keenly aware of some of his gaps in knowledge -- but the voices that his intended audience need to hear won't come from my circles. He did an excellent job of making accessible some of the concepts that, as he mentioned, are common knowledge in seminary circles but that haven't filtered into the churches. That's amazingly difficult to do, and he does it well here.

Some ministers are working to further the glbt cause by placing homosexuality on par with other sins, as this fellow does here. It is at least a solid theological stance. I have a close friend that uses that technique in his church. It's not a stand I can embrace personally in any way, shape or form, but it may be the only way that some hearts will become more pliable, so hey. If it works it works.

I think the strongest point he makes is that we cannot afford to sweep this topic under the rug or blindly cut "those people" off. "Those people" are us.
Feb. 28th, 2009 01:18 am (UTC)
Heehee, lots of quotation marks in this post. ;)

In listening to this once again, I feel that Pastor Hamilton did a good job of putting forth a neutral position. He is asking his congregation to think - not telling them what to think.

David Kinnaman presented a slightly more biased view when he discussed young people "not willing to be separated from 'sinful' people," implying inclustion of the gay population.

Of course, we are all sinful people.

Although it can be said that Pastor Hamilton was associating homosexuals with prostitutes and sinners, thus implying that they are "just as bad," this group of people could also be described as the "undesirables" of society, and "homosexuals" could be interchanged with the "Samaritans" of Jesus' day - shunned by society, looked upon as unworthy, and subjected to prejudice.

He stops short of placing homosexual "behavior" or homosexuality on par with other "sins." He says, "You have to deal with your sins; I have to deal with mine." He does not point out what he thinks those sins might be.

The only thing that slightly grates, besides the previously mentioned "environmental factors," is his attempt to explain why "love the sinner; hate the sin" is so grating to the gay community. The explanation he used was as close as he could get and still remain neutral, but it is not quite indicative of the reason this is so wrong. I think it's where he truly is in his own understanding of the gay population, however. He is close, but not quite there yet.

Until he can truly cross over to the point where homosexuality and homosexual relationships are natural and not sinful in his own mind and heart, he will not fully understand that homosexuals cannot separate the "sinner" from the "sin," and this is why that phrase is so hurtful and insulting.

Edited at 2009-02-28 01:19 am (UTC)
Feb. 28th, 2009 02:05 am (UTC)
I think there's a couple of points we shall disagree on. While it's not his primary point, I do hear that it's a brief, yet highly significant, point of his that homosexuality is on par with other sins. Structurally, that portion of the sermon is there for a reason, and it follows logically from one of his larger points that compassion and hospitality are what is required of us as Christians. Perhaps that view of homosexuality is the closest sort of compromise possible within certain parts of the body of Christ.

The environmental issue is not a big deal for me, coming from a different theology. If it really is a healthy way to live and be, and it's not a sin - which I feel to be true in my bones - then it doesn't matter whether it's environmental or genetic. But that's my theological structure, not necessarily others, and I applaud your outspoken support for what you feel is right.

Again, thank you for the link. I enjoy his compassion and his strong preaching and pastoral care skills.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


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