Christians differ on many things.
We differ in style, from very casual to very formal; from free-form to strict liturgy; from no music to guitars and drums to organs.
And we differ in beliefs. We have held differing opinions since the beginning of the Church: should Gentile converts be required to become Jewish (i.e., be circumcised) in order to be part of the church? Must people of The Way keep Kosher (follow specific dietary laws)? Are Christians permitted to eat meat that has been offered to idols?
We figured those out, but not without a lot of wrangling.
And in modern times: What is the will of God concerning women covering their heads in worship? Men cutting their hair? How do we respond to the fact that the Bible condones slavery? Is drinking alcohol ever OK with God? Is instrumental music appropriate in worship? Can women be ordained to the ministry? What does the Bible say about interracial marriage?
On some of these issues (head coverings, hair cutting, slavery, interracial marriage) most American Christians have reached agreement, but some of them required a lot of pain and conflict to get there. In other conversations (drinking alcohol, ordination of women, etc.) there is not yet agreement, and may never be.
One of those areas of disagreement among Christians relates to gay and lesbian people. There are varying opinions within congregations, within denominations and within the larger Christian community. That’s simply where we are right now. What’s not OK is to be hateful toward anyone in the conversation. What’s not OK is to decide that folks who disagree with you are not really Christian or don’t believe that the Bible is God’s Word. Or, for all of us, the true status of our relationship with God is known only to God (Remember some of those very public preachers who were preaching against other sins while conducting dalliances of their own? God knew the whole time…).
How we look at Scripture, and the decisions we ALL make as we interpret scripture (unless we are time-traveling native Hebrew and Greek speakers, we are all interpreting scripture) is probably a column for another day.
For today, I simply assert that it is much easier to decide whether other people’s behavior is sinful than it is to deal with our own sin. It is much easier for me, as a straight married woman, to opine about other people’s sexual behavior than it is for me to deal with my own behavior about the consumption of natural resources. It is easier for me to decide what poor people ought to be doing about their lives than it is for me to examine how my own middle-class American lifestyle contributes to impoverishing other people in the world (I love a bargain…but whose work was exploited in order to get me that bargain?).
If I, and we, spent more time dealing with our own lives and relationships with God, and less time discussing or debating about other people, I believe we’d all be better off.