I get a lot of mail from my religious friends. Most of it I have requested and I have "deleted" more than just a few. The reason is - as I have said before, I will say it again, I am deeply concerned about the future of Christianity as we know it. Actually, I am even more concerned about the direction we are heading. Sports fans know the term - momentum. Take a well trained team and have them win a few games they were not supposed to win and you have momentum. Now, they are hard to predict and the team is difficult to beat.
We have seen momentum in religious circles. Our Bible records the work of the Apostle Paul in the days following the Crucifixion and the growth that could not be contained in Judea and Samaria, but crossed the Mediterranean to Italy and on to Rome. That was momentum. Recall what happened after Martin Luther broke with the Catholic church and Protestantism came into being. More momentum.
And so it went for centuries, crossing the Atlantic Ocean to the new colonies and across this land that we love. As the settlers, decided they would build a town on the prairies, the first thing they did was build a church. Still more momentum. And a case could be made for the growth of our Universities on the basis of religious momentum. That was what some called the Age of Accountability and the rules were being written by the church fathers.
Then, momentum took a new course. We had begin to enslave blacks who had been kidnapped from their homes in Africa and sold to farmers so that primarily Southern plantations would profit and that resulted in our going to a war against ourselves. It wasn't that long before religious Mothers and Fathers, under the teachings of the church, realized their children were becoming wards of industry and we began to enact child labor laws. A woman's right to vote was the next casualty to fall prey to momentum. Then, we watched as our blacks began to sense they were not considered as equals in a nation that boasted that "all are created equal" and momentum again ruled the day.
Momentum requires the energies of those directing its course and by this time in our history, we were getting tired, not only by momentum, but by the wars that had sapped the strength of our young.
And so now, Human Rights has became the next focus of momentum. This time it threatens the church.
Many of their leaders opened their Bibles and realized that the sin of homosexuality could be used as a "just" cause in stopping momentum in its tracks. They have made a terrible mistake. There have been homosexuals as far back as the earliest pages of the Bible and apparently it was condoned by many facets of the church. The first time I ever heard of it - in church, was when our choir leader was identified as "one of them" and he would continue in place because it was not a problem in society.
Now, we have a genuine war on our hands between the self-proclaimed righteous ones of the church and the increasing numbers of the young who were being attracted by this assumed to be, the new intriguing life style of the homosexuals. The sad part of all of this is that homosexuality is not a new intriguing life style, it is older than most history books. Its own history is replete with horror stories most of us would not want to read. And because there are few who have ever seemed to earnestly cared to study the motivation of these citizens, most of us are ignorant as to now we might approach the matter civilly.
Of this we can be certain, their movement is gaining momentum. In those states where the leaders are aware of the fact that homosexuals vote, their restrictions are falling away.
What do we do? If we know anything about the Bible, we need to repent. Acknowledge the hypocrisy that has prevailed in far too many churches and move on. We have a pattern laid out for us by our Catholic brothers and sisters. They have been dealing with his matter - at its most sickening level, and are working their way back to civility.
I was asked the other day, do I condone homosexuality? I hope I left that person with the impression that I do not necessarily condone it, but I certainly understand it. I have either known many who are either involved in it or are condoning it among their friends. It my opinion, it is not a matter to be settled in church as unfortunately, many churches have a history of covering sin over rather than trying to deal with it as an individual issue.
We are instructed to go into the world, loving one another, and so we must. And that must include all others, regardless of their sexuality. Do this and the war is over, the momentum is halted.