I went “you tubing” yesterday morning. Two of the videos I happened upon are worthy of a blog post….so today video number one. Tomorrow…video number two.
Video Number One...a snippet from an interview with Tony Campolo answering the question "what would happen if more Christian people, no matter what their theological perspectives, actually got to know the gay people in their neighborhoods"
Tony replied that for someone who is very “unaccepting” of homosexuality, the turning point often comes when they find out someone they know is gay. A friend, a sibling....a child. He said the plea of many homosexuals is:
Would you please get to know us beyond the label. You may find the same Christ that you love, is waiting to be encountered in me. When you get to know me, perhaps we will feel a spiritual connectedness in a way that transcends the categories.
Then he told a story about a “right before bed” phone call he received...at 10:00 at night… when he was very tired and very ready to call it a day. The caller was a woman he didn't know with a deep theological question.
Do people get judged immediately after death or does the Lord judge everyone together...at the same time?
Tony explained his beliefs....and long story short...his answer was that we all get judged together. Then he said....
Friend, you called me at 10:00 at night. I don't even know how you got my phone number. But I have to ask you a question. Why, at 10:00 at night, would you call up a tired guy like me and ask a heavy question like that?"
"well, 3 weeks ago my homosexual son committed suicide...and when he stands before the judgment seat, I want to be next to him and try to tell Jesus what a good and loving boy he was."
That's brought tears to my eyes several times. There is so much pain condensed into that one paragraph. It contains the pain her son must have endured....until he couldn't endure it anymore and he took his own life. It conveys the pain she felt at the loss of her son....a son she obviously loved very much. And most of all, the pain of believing she would have to plead her son’s case to Jesus and talk him into letting her beloved son "into heaven"...that she would have to somehow convince Jesus to forgive him.
And there is a lot of blame condensed into that short snippet.
The church's status quo teaching that homosexuality is the mother of all sins....and that suicide is even one up on that....has brought so much pain and heartache to so many people. To so many hurting sons and daughters who have assimilated the teachings of the Christian community and translated the message as one of condemnation and rejection. To so many grieving mothers and fathers...mourning the loss of….or the sexual orientation of...their children.
Even more damaging is the church's status quo teaching about judgment...and that Jesus, who was partial to those who were ostracized....society's outcasts....would somehow change into a stern, rigid taskmaster. A judge...quick to condemn and hard to convince, deeming someone worthy of hell for failing to live up the stereotype of a "good Christian."
Jesus came to seek and save the lost. He is still seeking and saving the lost. On both sides of death. In this earthly realm and in the spiritual realm.
No mother's son will slip through his hands.
I hope that mother has come to believe Jesus already knows what a good and loving boy her son was. Jesus knows every nuance of the pain and confusion that drove him to take his own life. And now, without the confines of the flesh...his spirit freed of carnal compulsions....in a realm where there is no male or female or taking in marriage, he will be whole and healed.
More “tubing” tomorrow….