This week in our Young Adult Bible Study (YABS) meeting we're talking about Homosexuality. It's such a personal issue, in many conversations on the topic it gets down to deep emotions and strong convictions so quickly it can be fierce. It's one of those subjects, though the Bible is nearly silent on the issue, where lines are drawn in the sand, sides are taken, and judgments are made. It's hard for one to talk about it for more than ten seconds without people immediately labeling them and placing them on the shelf as either "pro or con," "liberal or conservative." It becomes a "battle for the bible" and a battle of "sin" verses "righteousness"... these are words that are used and these words make the issue all the more personal and the conversation all the more desperate. It becomes about "standing your ground" and "standing up for truth" rather than really listening, understanding, and loving.
What we Christians might want to start doing, even before we "stand our ground," is finding a more creative language and finding creative was of fostering true understanding and mutual compassion. It's all about the words we use. How can we open ourselves, as Jesus did, without ignoring the private and close-to-home nature of the conversation?
I have faith that our group tonight is quite capable of finding that language and holding a productive dialogue... but that doesn't mean I'm not nervous. This is a very conservative town and I think we have, in our group, people coming from both directions on this one. I don't want the conversation to take a bad turn but, in honesty, I am more worried about myself. I am tired of being labeled every time this conversation comes up. I don't want to be labeled tonight. Once again, this points to the personal nature of the conversation.