I believe that we all as people need to understand where we are coming from, as in what informs and forms our perspectives on life and the world. This is especially true if one identifies themselves with a specific faith perspective and loudly claims it. In light of this I have been reflecting on two things today: one a question my brother posed to me this weekend and second the fact that Jennifer Knapp came out and held her own in a conversation with Ted Haggard and another pastor on the Larry King Live show.
When I think of the church, so many emotions well up in me. These many emotions have lead to me saying or doing things that I am extremely and humbly thankful for and things that I wish more than anything I could take back. In many ways, in spite of the degreed training I possess, I feel as if I know very little about faith. Yet what I do know is the basis view of how one understands the world permeates how they look at everything. Whether you believe that all people are in essence good or whether you believe that all people are bad becomes the filter through which you encounter people. Our ways of being in the world are based in our fundamental understanding. My brother asked me if I believe in universal salvation. While I could not give a answer that he felt wasn't hedging the bet so to speak, his question made me think about what is central to my outlook on life in this world. In pondering a. why i couldn't come on either completely for or against the idea of universal salvation 2. why that was I realized that I hold to and sit in the middle of certain theological ideas because of what I believe to be central elements of God and my relationship to God. This thinking was good, it was a reminder of whys. And into that reminder of whys came Jennifer Knapp.
I HATE(in full understanding of the power of this word) when people are told that if they are gay or transgendered that they have to choose between God and this deeply rooted understanding of themselves. Most likely this is because one of my dearest friends was told this, the subsequent fall out broke my heart. It bothers me deeply that especially when it comes to issues of sexuality and gender, at least in the churches I grew up in, are the kick you out issues. Why is this some how worse or more flawed than anything else? I mean it's like the one friend in a community who gets pregnant and is treated differently and you know there are so many other people with in the community having sex. I think of all the further harm that happens, when someone isn't able to leave the church for whatever reasons but also isn't allowed to acknowledge their sexuality and there for "plays" at being strait (Ted Haggard). How much more damaging and destructive is it when someone is caught having an affair with a gay prostitute that would have happened if they had been offered space to wrestle with their faith and sexuality? I tell you one thing there would most likely not be a wife, children, and shocked church community...in stead how about a committed monogamous relationship with a person who loved them and is committed to growing in relationship with God. For me the latter is less destructive. And while I could be wrong I choose to support commitment and people seeking to connect with God. It doesn't matter to me that Jennifer Knapp is in a relationship with a woman what matters is that she is able to be in a committed relationship and that commitment doesn't cancel her journey with God...faith isn't lost in her being honest about who she loves.