Monday

Gay Christian Network

Many years ago I was a frequent poster over at the Gay Christian Network when they first started, one of the largest gay Christian resources and gathering places of gay Christians on the net then and now.

It was founded by a man named Justin Lee who came from a fundamentalist background like myself and I almost made it to the GCN Los Angeles gathering (each city has it's own) to actually meet these people (the boyfriend and I did eventually meet one at a Mexican restaurant that serves outstanding menudo). GCN was set up to be a meeting place for gay Christians who didn't all believe the same religious doctrines or Bible beliefs, but had that commonality with being gay and Christian.

If you know even a little of the history of the Body of Christ, you know they don't always get along, I mean, look at the conflict between the two powerhouses of Paul and Peter? Here's Paul telling Peter he's doing it wrong and Peter resenting this 'new to the show guy' telling him what to do when Jesus told HIM he was the rock the Lord's church was going to be built on (I'd like to think when Paul traveled to finally have a showdown with Peter in person, it wasn't to hit him over the head with a big rock). Then there was the war between the Orthodox and Gnostic Christians, Paul attacking Christians who were teaching heresies, not to mention all the in-fighting within the churches Paul was always writing letters to telling them to stop. My point with all this is that even though we are all Christians, we are very much still human and there will always be conflict between us even on the day the Lord takes us into the sky.

Sometimes conflict is necessary because some Christian beliefs need to be banged out and corrected, it just has to be done and the victors of those conflict is an example why we don't have Gnostic or Cataphrygian Christianity today instead of the one we have now. Paul also didn't mince words with telling heretics off, like I said, it needs to be done.

My leaving GCN started with attacks on a friend named Rick Brentlinger who was also writing at GCN, a guy who towed the conservative Bible line of the Bible being the inspired Word of God, a belief that makes up my own Christianity. Without going into the specifics, GCN was split in two with what was a nasty war between the more Orthodox Christians and those who weren't. The weird part is that I was fronting the Orthodox side (Rick bowed out because he's a lover and not a fighter) and the other side heralded a ex-seminary student as their anti-me and everyone else ran for cover to stay out of the line of fire. Because I was pointing out the truths of the Bible as literal truths, I came off as the bad Bible-thumper (irony) who's poo pooing everyone else's form of goofy types of Christianity and practices the Bible said weren't correct or kosher if you were a Christian (much of it had to do with the practice of Christian "mysticism"). I had some great Titans on my side during that conflict and one Pentecostal lesbian was a real scrappler (keep fighting the good fight Heather) who always had my back, but I knew this conflict was doing this body of gay believers no good and I dusted the dirt off my feet and left.

I bring all this up now because I just watched a video of a debate between Justin Lee and James White with my responses in the comments section. As long as people like Justin try to justify homosexuality apart from the yes or no of it in the Bible, people like White will always get the upper hand if you hold the Bible as the very Word of God. Even though White fell on Justin like a cartoon anvil, this comment gives a perspective benefitting Justin:

"Justin Lee came into this meeting at a severe disadvantage. He was confronting James White, a more experienced speaker who seemed insistent on  debate. Lee admitted he did not want to go into head to head cross discussion for fear of alienating many in his own organization who believed that Christians were called to live lives of celibacy. Another reason NOT mentioned in the video is that the audience was almost entirely unanimous in its belief that same gender relations were sinful. A head to head argument would very likely have only created animosity with such a partisan assembly if they were to hear Lee continually say their personal beliefs were mistaken. White tried to compare this with his visiting a Mosque in England with a mixed Christian and Muslim congregation in which he stated that Christ was the way. But while the situation he described was (somewhat) similar it was hardly the same as what Justin Lee was facing since there was scarcely anything "mixed" about the people he was addressing. These factors combined with a natural shyness he admitted to on a GCN podcast a few months following this event are why Justin Lee should be credited just for having shown up. What's more, it appeared that instead of trying to "win" the audience over, Lee was trying to get them to simply know him better, perhaps in the hope they would like him and (MAYBE) want to know why he feels and believes the way he does by going on line to GCN. In this, he just may be able to claim some measure of success."



Inside a GCN conference.

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