Redykle

Just a little blog about me and mine.

Homosexuality and the UMC-Adam Hamilton Sermon February 3, 2009

Filed under: the gays,theology — Katie @ 10:01 pm

The first title of this post was “Title that Conveys How Much I Want You to Read This Post.” I’m still not sure what title would ensure that people read this post, but I know this blog is linked on a few others and you can often see the headlines, so I hope people click here. For my regular readers, I hope you check out this post, and forward it (or just the link to the video/podcast I’m about to tell you about if you don’t like my comments) to anyone who needs to hear it.

This Sunday, Rev. Adam Hamilton of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection preached about homosexuality. The last time he did that, he says hundreds of people left the church. If you’ve never heard of him or his church, it’s a 16,000–let me repeat that so you don’t think I added an extra 0 by mistake–16,000 person United Methodist Church in Kansas. He is a person of great influence in the United Methodist Church, and not just because of the size of his congregation–he’s a great preacher, leader and voice for renewal in the church.

The sermon is archived in video/podcast/mp3 form–please check it out by clicking here.

I appreciate that in the sermon he readily admits he hasn’t gotten homosexuality all figured out yet, but acknowledges his views have changed and evolved. I’m not going to comment on or critique the sermon much, except to say, wow. You may or may not agree with him. You may or may not agree with my assessment of the sermon (I bet he’s either too conservative or not conservative enough. Am I right?)

I’m happy to explain to you why I like what he’s saying so much, when obviously, as a lesbian and as a United Methodist, I want him to say much more or say things a little bit differently since I know he’s got at least 16,000 people–in Kansas!–listening to him. I want him, and everyone else, to just go ahead and hurry up and get to where I truly believe they’ll end up eventually–full inclusion of LGBT people in the church–equal rights wouldn’t be half bad either.

I’m not being presumptuous or preachy towards truly decent and loving people who simply aren’t there yet but, with some humor and grace, I’m going to spoil the ending of the story for them. They’re there. They just don’t know it yet.

You’re on the right path. We’re on the right path. How do I know? It’s all about love and the mystery of faith. Adam’s final word on the topic, as I hear it, is to open yourself to love. Love a gay child who needs you. Love your gay neighbor so that she knows her family is welcome and her kids are safe. Love God and know that God still speaks to us today. Love as Jesus loved.

You see, there’s this thing we strange Christians believe in called the Holy Spirit. It’s crazy. It’s unpredictable. And it moves wherever there is a need for love, an openness to love, or a plea for healing. It changes us and makes us to do things we didn’t think were possible. Like loving and understanding when we once only feared and hated–that applies to us gay folks too, lest you think we don’t need to learn to listen to the spirit telling us to give people a chance to love us before we assume they don’t.

The ever precocious Scout, in To Kill a Mockingbird says, “There’s just one kind of folks. Folks.” I think Scout and Jesus would see eye to eye–loving the woman at the well, loving Boo Radley, loving me. My house–you know, the house where those two women moved in together down the street–is full of the same joy and pain and laughter and love and working of the Spirit (probably a bit more folk music and flannel though) as yours.

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