I am in school. No, this is not a flashback story being told as if it were present-day. This is right now. I am in school, working toward a graduate degree in religion.
Few things are more fun than being an adult / husband / father / full-time career man also in full-time graduate classes. Imagine a marathon runner trying to juggle twelve watermelons for three years and you have a close analogy.
One of my not-so-favorite parts of school is the group discussion we have on our class’s website. Online group forum discussions — aka “Fool Festivals” — always make me cringe and laugh. I honestly wonder how some of these people made it into school.
Recently, a discussion forum centered upon theological statements made in everyday life. I, of course, pulled a quote from an episode of Supernatural. Some of my classmates went a different direction, though.
Namely, they stuck to LGBT topics: homosexuality and transgender men and women.
Now, heads up, I attend a southern Baptist seminary. Need I say more about the consisting matter of their posts? I’ll let your imagination run wild.
I read these particular posts aloud to my wife and the two of us were torn: we wanted to laugh at the inherent stupidity and naïveté of these other “graduate” students. We also wanted to punch them in the faces for being so bull-headed ignorant.
These are men and women who are supposed to be preparing to lead churches and communities in the Christian world of the future — and they honestly cannot understand anything outside their own worldview.
Wherever you stand politically or morally or even biblically on these issues, can we not first try to understand all the viewpoints? Can we not attempt to see the issue through LGBT eyes?
Why can’t Christians look at life through the eyes of a gay man struggling to find acceptance from his family who is calling him an abomination and throwing him out to the curb?
And to play devil’s advocate, why can’t the homosexual community see that sheltered Christians are only repeating what has been rammed down their throats for decades and begin to fight against that ignorance?
Why can’t we all realize that our worldviews are created from our genetic and environmental makeup?
As I sat there contemplating whether or not to respond to my classmates with some cold, hard truth, I realized that the issue here wasn’t homosexuality or transgender rights. The issue was that my classmates were not willing to accept that their worldview might not be perfect. They honestly did not believe that they needed to learn anything.
I pray often that I never keep my worldview from growing and shifting as I learn more and more. I also pray that I never stop learning.
I’d like to think that I am as close to accurate with that I believe, but I realize that I am not perfect in that.
I decided to avoid responding to those classmates whose ignorance was especially obvious. The forum was not the battlefield for fighting their ignorance. I wish it had been. I can only hope that that opportunity comes soon. I hate to see the Church continue to remain ignorant about the culture to which it is supposed to minister.
After all, wasn’t Jesus aware of the culture in His day? Another post for another time, I guess.
Do you have trouble seeing through LGBT eyes or others, or does this come naturally to you? How can we as Christians better see through LGBT eyes?
* Photo courtesy a-herzog, Creative Commons.