Reframing the questions as a move to facilitate sustaining the relationship

QuestionsThe focal point of GLBT/Christian relations, according to Andrew Marin in his terrific new book Love is an Orientation (IVP, 2009), is irrevocably linked to a set of questions that both communities not only ask each other, but have already each assigned to their own right answers.

1.  Do you think that gays and lesbians are born that way?

2.  Do you think homosexuality is a sin?

3.  Can a GLBT person change?

4. Do you think that someone can be gay and Christian?

5. Are GLBT people going to hell?

Those are the 5 litmus questions, for sure.  What I do not like about them is that they are closed-ended questions.  I have noticed how Jesus' enemies tried to shrewdly trip in his own words with closed-ended questions.  But rarely did Jesus answer a closed-ended question with a closed-ended answer.

Notice, for example in John 8:19, how Jesus responds to the Pharisees asking about the validity of his testimony.  Or John 8:25 when they ask Jesus who he is.  Or John 11:8-9 when Jesus responds to the disciples asking him if he is really going to go to Lazarus back in Judea.

Jesus often counter-culturally reframed questions in a way that brought intentionality to overarching kingdom principles.  He refused to treat complex questions simplistically.  I think that is also the biblical basis for elevating the conversation with the GLBT community.So question 2 … Do you think homosexuality is a sin? … is certainly the most loaded of all the loaded questions.  Romans 3:23 says all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  James 2:10 says that "whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it."  From God's perspective, you commit one sin you committed them all.

Perhaps in response to that closed-ended question we might respond by asking, "How do you relate to a God whose standards are so unachievable?"  Or "How do you deal with the moral vulnerability we all have to live with?"  Or even this:  ""What does it mean to you that such a perfect God still wants to be in relationship with imperfect beings such as us? I just think if we can somehow elevate the conversation we can move toward putting an end to the other side using these questions as a trap, which doesn't get us anywhere.

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