How do we love? What does it mean to love one's enemy?
This is part 2 of what I expect to be a long dialogue. My friend bwolf30 commented on my post about Roland Martin's CNN article: Martin "uses the failures of one part of the church as leverage to justify silence (or more accurately, compromise) on important issues. He doesn't explicitly say this but reading the article I get the feeling that just like with the EC guys, anyone with a Biblical opposition to homosexuality and/or abortion is scorned as a hypocrite or judgmental, or whatever. Well, its not that easy."
Absolutely, it's not that easy. Either way.
We've started with the premise that we are to love our enemies, and that love has at least 3 aspects: relationship, service and sacrifice. Today I want to talk about relationship.
Relationship is, I think, the greatest thing human beings can experience in life. Relationship with God, relationship with other people--there truly cannot be anything greater. We were made for relationship, made to live in community. Without relational interaction with other human beings, we do not live life.
When was the first relationship? Careful, it's a trick question. You might think it was Adam and Eve. Nope. Then you might think it was Adam and God. Nope again. Uh, God and the angels. Nah uh.. The first relationship was God. The mystery of the Trinity, the Three-in-One God, characterizes the value of relationships today. Relationship has eternally existed. Community is in our DNA, because it is in the "DNA" of God.
So to love is to have a relationship with. Love is not the absence of hate. It is not saying "I love them, but I don't like them." This is nonsense. To love someone is to seek out a relationship with them.
My first challenge then, for myself and for my community is this: it is time that we build relationships with those in the gay community, in particular those who claim to follow Jesus as well. It is time to stop throwing stones from a distance, lobbing holiness hand-grenades from behind the bunkers of the Christian ghetto, and move into the streets and stories of real people, loving them simply because they are. Not to evangelize them, although that might happen. Not to change them, although loving relationships change us all. But because they are, and we are. We all are, because of God.
The leaders of the Christian communities need to decide now that this debate will not be taken to the courts or the halls of government. We will not use the force of the state to enforce our morality in areas that don't involve the life and death safety of society. We will sit down with, break bread with, talk with and build relationships with people regardless of their "status" in life--even their moral status. Many will not understand, but they didn't understand Jesus eating with the "sinners" either.