An interesting aspect of my work these days is the opportunity to have conversations with people who hold different perspectives on the question of whether a covenanted same-sex relationship is an appropriate life choice for a disciple of Jesus. In the early years, most of my conversations were with Christians who held to a traditional understanding that sexual intimacy ought to be reserved for the marriage between one man and one woman. At that time, Christians who held an affirming view of same-sex relationships were seen as a very separate group – perhaps perceived by those with whom I was talking as dangerous, not particularly serious about scripture or the Christian faith, or misguided by their emotions. That separateness was not an easy barrier to dismantle with people – mainly because their focus was not on the shared faith in Christ with affirming folks – but on the moral differences in viewing a faithful discipleship journey for gay people.
Fast forward to today, and in the course of any given 24 hour period I might have several conversations with people from very diverse perspectives. In fact, sometimes those conversations happen within minutes of one another. Sometimes, the individuals with whom I’m speaking assume that I share the same perspective they do …. And sometimes they assume that I don’t. When a person’s position is explicitly stated, some degree of “us vs. them” often creeps into the conversation. Sometimes I am assumed to be part of “us” and sometimes I’m assumed to be one of “them”.Details