The parable of the wedding invitation

Here are two conversations: one I am having a lot at the moment, and one I would like to be having. They both take place between me and a friend (or it could be a relative) who has had little or no contact with the church, but is quite curious about faith and might be open to the idea of finding out more.

Compare and contrast.

***********************

CONVERSATION A

Me: So, I have some news… we’re engaged!

Friend: Oh wow, congratulations! That’s brilliant news. When’s the big day? I guess it’ll be a church wedding, right? Am I invited?

Me: Actually, I can’t get married in the church I serve, because I’m gay. And I can’t get married at all if I want to be a priest. So we’re having a quiet civil partnership for now, and waiting for the church to change its mind. Then we’ll have a big do, and of course you’re invited.

Friend: What?! That sucks.

Me: Yeah, I know. But it’s how it is. Lots of us are working to change it, but that’s how it is for now.

Friend: But.. that’s ridiculous. When you talk about your faith, it sounds like it’s all about love. I like that. But… this doesn’t make sense.

Me: I know. It’s hard to explain. It is all about love. God is all about love. But… *sigh*

Friend: To be honest, this puts me off the whole idea of religion. I like the sound of the God you talk about. But I don’t want anything to do with a church that treats you like this. I’m sorry.

 ************************

CONVERSATION B

Me: So, I have some news… we’re engaged!

Friend: Oh wow, congratulations! That’s brilliant news. When’s the big day? I guess it’ll be a church wedding, right? Am I invited?

Me: Yes, of course! *hands out wedding invitation*

Friend: *comes to wedding – the first time they’ve ever been to a church service* *feels welcomed and likes what they hear* *gets invited to church again by me, or another Christian friend, and says yes*…..

*************************

So I ask you, which is more missional: conversation A or conversation B?

Which does more to spread the gospel? Which does more to further the mission of God? Which does more to bring in the Kingdom?

In which conversation does the church look more like Jesus? In which does the Christian faith sound more like good news?

**************************

Jesus has very little to say about gay relationships. But he has quite a lot to say about wedding invitations (Matthew 22.1-14, Luke 14.7-24).

Let anyone with ears to hear, listen.

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “The parable of the wedding invitation

  1. Ruth, I’ve been following this blog for some time now and you bring up some interesting and thought provoking ideas, as usual. Let me immediately respond to the questions you’ve posed. Yes, convo B stands head and shoulders above A as how a conversation like that should go and does seem to be more inclusive the way Jesus lived and responded to those around him. However, I hope you find my response to this as graceful and grace-filled as you have been in your posts. I believe the bible has said what it needs to say on the subject; no more, no less. Romans 1:26-28 is something hard to ignore when it succinctly indicates that men were “…inflamed with lust for one another” and that this is shameful and a distortion of God’s original design for sexuality. That being said, I fall squarely on the John 8:7-11 response to anyone’s sin. I shouldn’t condemn anyone because I know the sin in my own heart. I am righteous enough to judge no one. I should forgive and have grace toward others only because God forgives and has grace toward me. But in that grace-filled response to their sin, i should also encourage them to “go and sin no more” and take a second look at the mysterious beauty of the Gospel.

    • Hi Brenden. Thanks for your comment, and for your gracious and restrained tone. I have spent a lot of time considering the Romans passage you mention, and other texts used to support a conservative view of sexuality. You will probably not be surprised to hear that I (and many others) do not interpret Romans 1.26-28 in the same way as you do. If you are interested in learning more about other interpretations of this passage which are more inclusive of LGBT people, this Bible Study is a good starting place: http://www.acceptingevangelicals.org/2011/10/bible-focus-part-4-romans-1/

  2. Thank you Ruth for your refreshing blog. We Christians are great at talking about love. But when it comes to loving people who seem different than us many of us struggle. I have many GLBQ friends in and outside the church. Our church and world are blessed by my friends. In the United Church of Canada our current and last Moderator are gay and lesbian. I do not think Jesus is worried about our sexual orientation, but is concerned about how we love others. Blessings Roland

  3. Pingback: Why the Sex & Gender debate matters for Youthwork & the church – Detached Youthwork – Learning from the Street

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s