Bill Leonard says in his post “A Baptist Shame” (May 24, 2012): “But tonight I am ashamed, because I heard a Baptist pastor say things so abhorrent to the gospel of Jesus that I could not keep conscience with my Baptist forebears and remain silent. In what appears to be a May 13 sermon, Charles Worley declared: “Build a great, big, large fence — 150 or 100 mile long — put all the lesbians in there,” Then he continues: “Do the same thing for the queers and the homosexuals and have that fence electrified so they can’t get out. Feed them, and you know what, in a few years, they’ll die out. Do you know why? They can’t reproduce!”
Baptists have a lot to learn about love – the love that Christians are to show other Christians. Instead, we choose to beat people down. It is a choice. Just like choosing to limit women from serving in the church. It is a choice. We can choose the slant we want from the Bible. We can choose to find those scriptures that tell us to treat others as we would have them treat us, or we can choose to find the scriptures that tell us to stone them to death. The Bible says both, and we must choose.
A friend who is a member of a fundamental church (but which accepts women preachers), sent me an email about American Family and their fight with Home Depot over their stance about homosexuals. She wanted me and others to boycott Home Depot. I don’t think Home Depot would notice if I am boycotting them or not because I haven’t been in their store in years. But that is not the point.
The point is that my friend has a brother who is gay.
Her fellow church members probably don’t know that. It is never spoken of in their family. The man’s mother has condemned her son to hell.
I was thinking about her email today when I came across the above letter from Bill Leonard and what one Baptist pastor chose to say about gays.
We make choices. Jesus touched the unclean woman, healed the leper, talked with the Samaritan woman, taught Mary at his feet, and demanded that we look at the individual human being before quoting the law. “He who is without guilt, throw the first stone.” Or “You would run to get the oxen out of the ditch, but you love your precious law more than you love this sick person and choose to let them remain sick one more day because it is the Sabbath.”
We make choices when we decide that one interpretation of the Bible is right, even though that choice will forever limit one-half of the congregation from being full members of the family of God. We want it to be right. We want to prohibit women in our churches.
If we didn’t want to, then we would make the choice to open our hearts and our minds and let the scriptures that speak of love, and Christ’s redemption for all men and women, rule our actions.
I would search for every scripture that gave a son and a brother God’s grace, instead of beating up on him.
I would search every scripture that gives a woman God’s grace to be a woman in the church, called for service or not, but to be an equal member of God’s family sitting in the pew.
What will you choose? Jesus was all about choices. It is your choice. Will you choose to speak up for the oppressed women in your church? Will you be bold enough to tell others that the Bible that we say is about love, is just that. It is about love, and you cannot love Christian women and tell them what they can or cannot do. You must choose.