I’m house-sitting for a few days, watching dogs and eating the owners’ food. Well, sort of. I ordered out for Chinese last night.
I got two phone calls yesterday which affected me greatly. The first was from a ministry director whom I’ve never met. I’ve applied to work with the organization he represents and I filled out an application. It had many questions on it, but one of them was something like this:
Have you done anything in the last ten years which could be considered worthy of reproach in your conduct?
Of course I answered “yes.” I don’t know of anyone who could, in good conscience, answer “no.” I haven’t been sinless, even as it relates to sexual sin. (I’ve only met one who made it to maturity who has: Jesus.) But the man on the phone wanted me to have direct accountability on the subject from someone overseeing my internship at church. I have a problem with that: namely, that this is what you do for an issue of sexual addiction. Issues related to homosexuality can indeed lead to addiction…but so can issues related to heterosexuality.
I asked him if a guy had made out with a girl several years ago if he would insist on accountability for that guy. He said yes. I’m sorry; I don’t believe that. I’ve never yet met the ministry that insisted on accountability for a man because he locked lips with a girl who wasn’t his wife at the time.
The whole conversation was, honestly, demoralizing–and yet, it seems par for the course. It hurt me greatly. I was speaking to my internship director about it and he was very understanding of my hurt. Out of deference to him, I won’t quote what he said, but he’s a good man and the Church Universal needs more like him.
The second call I got last night was from a good friend whom I haven’t seen in a while. He wanted to drink some beers on the roof of his new residence, so I headed to where he was. We drove to and from his new building in his Miata, weaving in and out of traffic and listening to Ke$ha. (That was his preference.) I got to see his new digs; it’s a nice place. Great old brick building; spacious apartment.
We had a great series of conversations. We talked about how difficult it is to be single and not sleep around. I felt very, very loved.
Both of these men are Christians. One of them treated me like I was something to be watched. The other like one to be loved.
Granted, one of them knows me and the other doesn’t. But the one who didn’t know me should have loved me because I’m his brother in Christ.
By this everyone will know that y’all are my disciples, if y’all love one another.
Don Hartness said:
While reading this, I had the thought that this will be par for the course for you in your journey through ministry. It’s not fair, right, or loving. However, in a Christian community filled with confusion, animosity, and fear, churned by political rhetoric generated in response to a secular viewpoint and agenda, there are not many with a balanced and rational outlook on the subject.
You will change this, one opinion at a time.
You are one of the forerunners. Like all forerunners, you will be subject to a disproportionate share of abuse. Your turned cheek will become red with hits. But after reading many of your posts, I’m convinced you are the appointed one for the job. You can do it. Take joy, my friend, in the realization that you are a powerful instrument for God’s grace and love in this area. My prayer for you is that you are given the strength and grace to continue.
I really appreciate you, Don. Thank you.
Larry Who said:
The Apostle Paul had the same problem just after his conversion. People did not trust him, but eventually one man did. His name was Barnabas. So, go find your Barnabas and turn the world upside for Jesus. Your failure or success will not depend on what others may think, but on how much fire you have in your heart.
Thanks…some days it feels like a lot of fire is there…other days it feels like it’s about to go out. But if Jesus is its source, it won’t completely go out, right?
No, it’s not fair, and I wish it was otherwise. You make some good points; I agree wholeheartedly that the church needs to realise that it is condemning some sins while others are condoned and even openly accepted. While I don’t think the right answer is just to accept people sinning, I do think that we must recognise that we are all sinners – and that Christ has broken open the way for all of us. God bless, and give you grace sufficient!
PS: Loved the link article, “A different kind of coming out”.
I’m sorry that guy was such a jerk to you. If I had any advice it would be to not grow to think of a skin for those kind of people. They don’t deserve your patient answers. When a conversation turns that south, best to finish it quickly. No one needs to be put through that kind of hurt.