DMINLGP

DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Stop the Fight, Understanding the Differences!

Written by: on March 22, 2017

Introduction

The book Love Is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community by Andrew Marin exhibits the meaning of the Gospel’s real teaching. The book quotes Billy Graham, “It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge, and my job to love,” to highlight its controlling idea that being loving and accepting are among the primal duties of human beings. Andrew Marin talks about the complex multiplicity of human sexuality, especially nearly universally repressed transsexuality and homosexuality. The book’s preface hints at building a bridge between Christians and the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual) community to encourage coexistence. The author elucidates that the LGBT community seeks the same association with God that evangelicals relish and want to be able to settle spiritually as well as sexually without being judged. In essence, the book Love Is an Orientation is about showing love towards gays and lesbians, just like Jesus Christ, with an objective of helping them sustain their relationship with God. In the book’s foreword, Brian McLaren writes that Andrew Marin is the hero that follows Jesus Christ, who knew how to reconcile humanity.

Summary

Andrew Marin is a straight and devout Christian man who has recorded his endeavor of acclimatizing himself to his three friends’ sexualities as they approach him, bearing in mind the lessons of the Bible. The author narrates a story based on his communications with them surrounded by religious study and how he embarks upon a journey to shape his outlook. The initial chapter introduces a fifteen-year-old boy named John who has just discovered he is gay:
What happens in the long run to an individual who begs to be changed every night and wakes up every morning not having that request answered? If John lives to the age of 75, he could look ahead to 21,915 mornings of speculating whether there really is a Supernatural being, or compelling himself that he belongs in the hell because of his sexuality that he can’t understand.
This excerpt from the book points out the desperation and anxiety associated with being different from others. The narration provides insight into the feelings one experiences while learning about one’s sexuality.
The author had studied the Christian approach towards LGBT community in detail and he comments on it by writing, “Christians have given the gay community the impression that only their sexual behavior is worth discussing.” Another passage from the book, “In a traditional explanation of Scripture, gay sexual behavior is identified as a sin, and because of that many Christians have taken that sin and, in their mind, fairly excluded an entire group of people. Think about what that means to a gay or a lesbian person who is trying to discover church,” further draws attention to the discouraging behavior of the Christians towards the LGBT community.
The succeeding chapters criticize the Christian beliefs that provide only three acceptable and severe choices: “being a heterosexual, being a celibate or being a sinner.” The author writes, “Once Christians have presented these three alternatives to a gay person, most consider their job successfully complete as it is now up to the gay person to either embrace or reject this truth.” The LGBT community, as a result, hurls a similar message about the incongruity of homosexuality and Christianity by questioning the keenness of gay Christians to take part in an institution that rejects them. It is clear from the author’s words that he wants us to understand that our objective is not to judge people by our accepted standards, but to devotedly assist people in connecting with the Divine being.
Andrew Marin stresses that the definitive duty of a true devotee of Jesus Christ is accepting others as they are and preaching love. If sexuality did not have to undergo the biased judgments, the LGBT community would not feel rejected, as being modern-day pariahs. He talks about the unconditional love of God and his affirmation regarding those who are different; in the end, what matters the most is love being our topmost orientation in life.

Reflection

Homosexuality is an important question in contemporary political discussions, yet we still do not comprehend how the public feels about sexual orientation and why it frequently sets off negative attitudes and behaviors. The book Love Is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community is about an unambiguous task to preach the real meaning of being a Christian at heart. Throughout the world, personal religious convictions and associations are naturally seen as influential forecasters of approaches regarding homosexuality. Most religions have a tendency to sort out attitudes related with different sexual orientations as “aberrant,” “irreligious,” and “impious.” This is a must-read for all Christians, preachers, extremists, homophobes, and whoever is concerned about the crumbling humanity as it can help us narrow the gap between Christians and the LGBT community.

Endnotes

. Andrew Marin, Love Is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community (Grand Rapids, MI: InterVarsity Press, 2009), 10.
. Ibid., 25.
. Ibid., 27.
. Ibid., 43.
. Ibid., 29.
. Ibid., 36.
. Melissa M. Wilcox, Coming Out in Christianity: Religion, Identity, and Community (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2003).
. Gabrielle Filip-Crawford and Steven L. Neuberg, “Homosexuality and Pro-gay Ideology as Pathogens? Implications of a Disease-Spread Lay Model for Understanding Anti-gay Behaviors,” Personality and Social Psychology Review 20, no 4 (2016): 332–364. doi:10.1177/1088868315601613.
. Andrew K. T. Yip,“Queering Religious Texts: An Exploration of British Non-heterosexual Christians’ and Muslims’ Strategy of Constructing Sexuality-Affirming Hermeneutics,” Sociology 39, no. 1 (2005), 47–65.

Bibliography
Filip-Crawford, Gabrielle, and Steven L. Neuberg. “Homosexuality and Pro-gay Ideology as Pathogens? Implications of a Disease-Spread Lay Model for Understanding Anti-gay Behaviors.” Personality and Social Psychology Review 20, no 4 (2016): 332–364. doi:10.1177/1088868315601613.
Marin, Andrew. Love Is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community. Grand Rapids, MI: InterVarsity Press, 2009.
Wilcox, Melissa M. Coming Out in Christianity: Religion, Identity, and Community. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2003.
Yip, Andrew K. T. “Queering Religious Texts: An Exploration of British Non-heterosexual Christians’ and Muslims’ Strategy of Constructing Sexuality-Affirming Hermeneutics.” Sociology 39, no. 1 (2005), 47–65.

About the Author

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Rose Anding

Rose Maria “Simmons McCarthy” Anding, a Visionary, Teacher,Evangelist, Biblical Counselor/ Chaplain and Author, of High Heels, Honey Lips, and White Powder. She is a widower, mother, stepmother, grandmother, great grandmother of Denver James, the greater joy of her life. She has lived in Chicago, Washington, DC, and North Carolina, and is now back on the forgiving soil of Mississippi.

8 responses to “Stop the Fight, Understanding the Differences!”

  1. Thanks for this Rose. I also really appreciate your openness and honesty in our last Zoom. Your personal stories and experiences are helpful.

    • mm Rose Anding says:

      Thanks Aaron P for sharing!

      It has been a long journey these past two years, the books, the blogs and the chats have all enhanced our lives and broaden our worldviews. I am pleased we have traveled together. Thanks!
      Enjoy your Vacation. Rose Maria

  2. Rose,
    Enjoy your vacation!! A much needed spring break. Your life and openness about it in our zoom conversation gives depth to your perspective. In interaction with your son and friends what was the most helpful thing you have learned? How do you express love while giving guidance? Do you give guidance or just love?

    When you converted to Christ how much of a change what that for your whole family?

    Interesting how these books that Jason is having us read have such personal connection through out our cohort. Hope you have a great time away.

    Kevin

  3. Aaron Cole says:

    Rose,

    I enjoyed reading your blog. This book and its message of love and understanding really seems to resonate with you. After being on this doctoral journey with you these many months, I know you have a great heart for the Lord and his people. That is one of qualities I admire in you. On the subject of bridging the gap of loving the LGBTQ community, do you agree with the author’s stance on the statement: “love the sinner, hate the sin”?

    • mm Rose Anding says:

      Thanks Aaron C.
      Great question, I agree with the author’s stance on the statement: “love the sinner, hate the sin”? Because we are called to live out our faith every day, in all parts of our lives. This totality of the gospel is a central part of our witness. Yet, we live in a world of mixed messages, bombarded by ideologies serving human aims. It time the Christian community wake up and bridge the gap, because we all have sinned, and we are command to love one another.
      Thanks for sharing! Enjoy spring break Rose Maria

  4. mm Rose Anding says:

    Thanks Kevin,
    When we look at how Andrew Marin’s life changed forever when his three best friends came out to him in three consecutive months. Suddenly he was confronted with the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community (GLBT) firsthand. And he was compelled to understand how he could reconcile his friends to his faith.

    That is exactly the way it was with me. First I started by covering my son and pretending it was all great, never mention it to his father or among my friends, because thirty years ago this lifestyle was attached by shame. However, when I accept Christ as my Lord and Savior and became into the knowledge of truth, I was compelled by the Holy Spirit to share with him the word of God wrapped with love. After all he was the son that I always loved, nothing had changed, but the perceptive of him.
    The question is, “Are we wrong if we unconditionally love and support our children, in my case my son?”

    There are many folks in the church have yet to form a real relationship with a gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender person; because they are not connected and looking at them as non-fits, but when it is your child or your family member the picture changes. It starts with learning to love those who are not your friends, neighbors, co-laborers. It starts instead with learning to love your enemies, as yourself
    You should always give guidance that is wrapped in love, in God provided time.
    Thanks for sharing! I am enjoying my vacation. Peace & Love Rose Maria

  5. Pablo Morales says:

    Rose, thank you for your blog and for sharing in our past session. I believe that you bring the balance to this topic that is missing in the books. You did not only love, but you also spoke truth in love. At moments I feel that the authors want us to love without confronting. Yet, there’s a moment, like it happened in your life, where the Holy Spirit moves us to speak truth in love. My concern is that when a person thinks that “we just have to love and live the work of conviction to the Holy Spirit,” we may forsake our God-given role to exhort, warn, and correct. Thank you for giving us a good example of what this ministry looks like.
    Pablo

    • mm Rose Anding says:

      Thanks Pablo!
      Your word were touching and heartfelt. It’s amazing how God can takes our experiences, and use it in exemplifying the scripture. It’s the Godly love that are used in building the gap between communities of unlike kinds.
      Romans 8:28 (KJV)”And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
      Thanks for Sharing ! Rose Maria

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