I recently posted this on Facebook:
I am an evangelical, Bible believing, born again, die in the wool follower of Christ, a Christian pastor–and I’m voting NO on Amendment 1 on May 8. Oppressing others and denying them equal civil rights is no way to “protect” my marriage or my family from anything….Jesus always always always stood on the side off those who were outcasts of the 1) Religious Establishment (Matthew), 2) Political Establishment (Mark), and 3) Social Establishment (Luke). I can’t imagine my following Him and still finding myself voting to harm members of a minority community that falls into all three of those “outcast” categories from The Gospels–and then say I am doing so in the Name of Jesus. Everyone must vote what they feel is right, but for me, there is no other choice. Blessings…may we be one body even in our disagreements on such issues.
(you can add me as a friend if you wish, but let me know you are from this blog): http://www.facebook.com/herev
For the most part, only my more “like minded” friends commented and about 30 folks “liked” my post. Some of my GLTBQ friends or their family members offered thanks. Many of my preacher friends chimed in with agreement (made me proud to be friends with so many of them). All of my friends that are not so “like minded” refrained from comment at all. I know what they were thinking, but perhaps they just didn’t want to argue or simply chose to move on.
A couple of my cousins–one a very conservative Church of God member (I believe that is what denomination he still is) and one who is from a very conservative Lutheran church, both chimed in. My COG cousin was not happy with me at all, telling me that he wanted me to “move out of Sodom and Gomorrah.” The other, the Lutheran one, had some minor complaints and questions and presented them in a fairly compassionate manner.
Oh boy. I have to say, I love my cousins. My wife and sister both complain that anyone I can trace any family relationship to up to 10th cousins is simply my cousin and I claim to be related to everyone. But both of these are first cousins of my dad, so fairly close–I grew up knowing them and loved their parents (only one of which is still alive). I don’t WANT to argue with family over Politics or Religion. I just don’t. I don’t think either of them was trying to be mean or evil, or even argumentative–both were speaking with passion and speaking what they felt were the right words in this situation.
The COG cousin wasted no time in getting down to brass tactics when I simply told him we would have to disagree, to the point of finally having to, in his words, “preach to the preacher” and offering to help me with any scriptures if I needed them (both direct slaps in the face, but again, he is passionate about it).
I tried to respond to him simply that I love him and we must disagree on this. The other, I tried my best to answer her questions and I felt less “attacked” by her and more on good terms when it was over.
But DANG, I just hate it when it comes to these things. Friends, fellow pastors, church members, strangers on the Internet–those I have no problem debating such issues, but I really feel somehow inhibited trying to talk to my family, especially my “elders” about such a passionate issue in which I KNOW we will see things differently. I don’t want to judge them and I don’t want to feel judged by them, so–I tend to just show love and resist any argument.
So the question is…Since I genuinely feel no one is going to change anyone’s mind anyway…Am I being a coward, or am I being a peacemaker when I just don’t go there with them….
let me restate again, I love my cousins and will continue to love them no matter what. I harbor no ill will towards them for offering their “input.”