Questions of Interacting With Differing Beliefs

By | July 29, 2015

This post is part of the July 2015 synchroblog which invited bloggers to write about “Gay Marriage”.

Due to the “hot topic” nature of this subject, I’ve written quite a few times about homosexuality already. In this post, I want to try briefly and (hopefully) clearly state some of what is important to me in regards to this issue. After this, I will pose some related questions.

I do not care greatly which side of this issue a person is on. What I do care significantly about is how people handle their differing views. No matter which side one is on, it is all too easy to start believing that those who agree with you are the good people, and those whom disagree with you are the bad (if not evil) people. I reject this assumption. I care about truth, honesty, and accuracy. While there are bad people in the world, broadly demonizing an entire group with a differing viewpoint is over-simplistic and doesn’t accurately portray many whom hold that view.

I value the Bible. Subsequently I try to understand it as best as possible. I don’t believe the Bible is out of date and in need of being abandoned (as some have suggested). Because of this and the other things I’ve stated above, it upsets me when a people who have spent years studying what the Bible says about homosexuality are dismissed if not condemned by others based on a quick reading of a couple of verses in English. Now I certainly recognize that not everyone who holds that homosexuality is wrong base their beliefs on so little. However, I don’t believe it is an exaggeration to say that a large percentage of professing Christians aren’t very familiar with the Bible. This combined with a prevalent misunderstanding about how to understand the Bible in general means that for many people, “biblical” in reality means what a pastor or some other leader claims is biblical.

Perhaps the most relevant, helpful question is, “How do we in practice interact with people with differing beliefs?”

The question which was a catalyst for this synchroblog was “Should I attend my gay friend’s wedding?” I started thinking about this and came up with more questions. Would you attend the ceremony for a friend being installed as an officer in the KKK? Should a catering business which happens to be owned and operated by a lesbian be unable to decline a request to cater an anti-homosexual marriage banquet? Would you celebrate with a colleague who was promoted after increasing sales by intentionally neglecting to share negative information about the product? Would you go to a church where the pastor struggles with lust toward one of the women on staff? Would you go to a party hosted by a couple who live a fairly lavish lifestyle and aren’t philanthropic in any way? Would you go to a gay wedding? What if it your brother or sister who was getting married? Why or why not? Did the answer to any of these questions seem very obvious to you? If so, why do you think this is? Were you answering these questions in a consistent way? Is there a principal underlying your answer which can be applied to all of these situations? Can you imagine a good reason why another person might answer these questions differently? Can you imagine being one of the people in these scenarios?

Here’s the list of others participating in this synchroblog:

photo credit: -Marlith- via photopin cc

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