Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Media, Movies, Mindset

This is a recent article that I wrote for New Direction's Newsletter. Wanted to share it on here...what do you think?

The last few months the media has been full of articles, reviews and high expectations of the movie Brokeback Mountain. I am not surprised with how the media covered the movie. I heard statements like, “this is the last frontier” and “now people can see what being in the closet can really do to someone’s life”.
I have not seen the movie and do not plan on seeing it. I have been there, done that, wore the T-shirt and then burned the T-shirt. Thinking about the media blitz made me contemplate what the mindset we as Christian’s in particular might form.
Movies like this, and there are a lot now that are coming out in theatres, should be a wake up call for us as believers. The Gay and Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered (GLBT) activist groups are rising up and are narrowing their gaze at what we as Christians are really like. What is our mindset? Does this movie put us into a rage against the GLBT community and to those loved ones who adopt this false identity or does it spur us toward a better understanding for those who struggle with their sexual identity? Does it make us want to become better educated so that we can fully understand this issue and thus walk with a heart of compassion and love?
The homosexual issue has been with us for thousands of years, so this really is not the last frontier. It is not a new issue for believers to try and understand, but it is an issue that we have shunned away from because it makes us uncomfortable. Now is the time for us to truly rise up and become the compassionate and loving people that we are intended to be. This does not mean we adopt the position that being gay is okay. It does mean that we educate ourselves. We immerse ourselves in understanding those who struggle with their sexual identity, particularly those in our churches who struggle in silence. We need to be aware that we are being watched and judged by those in the GLBT community.
Romans 2:1-4 says this, “You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things. And we know that God, in his justice, will punish anyone who does such things. Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God’s judgement when you do the same things? Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?”
In Chapter one of Romans it talks about the “very things you do”. It links us all together as sinners. No one is exempt from death…no not one, but we as believer’s have the hope, mercy, grace and most importantly love that has been given us through Jesus Christ, that needs to be shown in our lives. With the human condition becoming ever darker, does this mean we hide ourselves away and shelter ourselves in our man made fortresses or do we step out and bring the light that is in us to people around us?
1Peter 3: 15- 17 says “Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer from doing wrong!”
So as I think of all the movies and discussions that might take place, I think we are reminded that we are to look first at our own lives. What is our representation to the world? Are we being the salt and light? Are we living our faith the way Christ showed us to or are we hiding away, hoping this will pass? Being someone who has been active in both the Christian community and the GLBT community, I pray more than ever that God will increase the compassion he has for the GLBT community within me. That way when they come and inspect my life, they will see God’s grace and mercy flowing freely, and my mindset will be that of Christ’s, full of love and compassion for those not yet free

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