Controversial Christian writer and retired pastor Brian McLaren recently led a commitment ceremony for his gay son and his partner. Here are the facts. Brian is a dad, and a pastor. He loves his son and he loves Jesus. Some of his critics, and I've been one on other topics, are holding this up as an example of McLaren's apostasy, that he doesn't love Jesus and advocates for a false Christianity. Years ago, McLaren wished aloud for a long pause on the American church's dialog on homosexuality. I've been part of that conversation for that while and have certainly shifted in my approaches to the issue.I still honor the clobber verses in the Bible, but I'm done with trying to clobber people with those verses. But how is a dad to love his son who is gay and entering into a commitment with his partner in a state that does not legally recognize gay marriage? Protest it? Picket it? Shun the two men? Condemn them? Gather up a group of preachers, kidnap his son, and collect some rocks to throw at him? Is that what the love of Christ looks like?
I don't think so. See John 8.
McLaren and I are not close theologically. I don't think I could lead a commitment ceremony. However, I do know I want to be, in what little clouded way that I can, a reflection of a loving Jesus in a broken world. I, like McLaren, would be there for my son and the love of his life.
It's weird to stand with McLaren on something. But if anything, I can stand with anyone who acts with love.