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Transforming the Christian Conversation on Homosexuality

video-content-optimizationThis is an item that was posted on my old blog that I am now giving a new home in the new blog.

It consists of two rather long (over an hour) videos. These come by way of Wendy VanderWall Gritter of New Directions Ministries of Canada.

So, you will need to find some time to watch these — if you didn’t watch them back when I originally posted them in April of 2012.

I say this as a person who does not often watch videos of this length on the Internet myself. Nevertheless, they are well worth your time.

The videos are about homosexuality. The speakers are both sincere, same-gender attracted Christians who have come to opposite conclusions about whether or not same-gender sex is a sin. They have also managed to maintain a long standing friendship, in spite of this disagreement. They are: Justin Lee and Ron Belgau.

I first encountered Justin & Ron at the now-defunct Bridges Across the Divide Forum. Bridges Across was an early attempt to get people on opposite sides of the cultural divide over homosexuality and gender variance to talk with one another. it was not an attempt to persuade anyone of a particular position — it was an attempt to build trust, share experiences and learn from one another — without compromising on differences of opinion.  (The web site has been archived, but in other respects, it is gone.)

I post these here because I believe that Justin and Ron model for us how Christians can disagree on a topic as volatile as this one — and still remain respectful of one another — yes, even friends.

Anyway, I commend this discussion to you — in spite of its length.

In the opening video, Ron explains the “Side A” / “Side B” terminology — which I also prefer. Justin & Ron then tell us little bit of their stories. They follow this up by recommending ten practical things the Christian community can do to improve communication and understanding on this issue. Questions & Answers follow.

4/12/12 – Transforming the Conversation – Part 1 from Pepperdine Student Led Ministry on Vimeo.

And, here is the continuation of this conversation. This time they actually discuss why they have come to opposing moral views on the issue. So, while this video more closely resembles a debate over the interpretation of the Bible than the last one, they go about it in an unusual way — each of them begins by presenting the other person’s position. Ron presents Justin’s position, then Justin presents Ron’s position. I appreciate what they are attempting to model here: do we know the other side’s position well enough to present it (more or less) sympathetically? If not, then maybe we shouldn’t be speaking to the issue — there may well be much we don’t understand. They then go on to expand upon their own viewpoints. Questions & Answers follow.

4/13/12 – Transforming the Conversation – Part 2 from Pepperdine Student Led Ministry on Vimeo.

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