Today I reconnected with a friend of mine who has been serving as a pastor the last several years in San Francisco. Gordon has helped create a way to remove barriers between the gay community and the message of Jesus through iVent and “What is Hagar’s Well?” booths at the Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco.
He shared a fascinating story with me. A few years ago, he was in the barber shop that he frequents in his predominantly gay neighborhood. He asked his barber and the others there how he could remove barriers between the Gay community and the Christian community even as he acknowledged that he believed that living a gay lifestyle is a sin. After pausing for a moment, his friends began sharing advice with him on how to accomplish his goal. His barber even mentioned that he was willing to be there at the booth at the Gay Pride Parade fearing that Gordon and his group might get beat up.
His barber went on to say: “Maybe I should come down to help protect you, because you know how those Christians can be.”
Gordon’s barber wasn’t concerned with violence coming from the Gay Community. He feared that Christians would have a violent reaction to Gordon and his team.
How sad it is that so many people who do not follow Jesus see those who do as opposed to them?
Originally I had given one of the chapters in Not Like Me the title “Why Homophobia is So Gay,” but my editor encouraged me to broaden the topic and discuss serving, loving, and reaching out to all people no matter how the live their life morally – not just those who are living a homosexual lifestyle. The chapter is now called “Lots of Sex in the City: Engaging Others in a Post-Sexual Revolution World.”
What are other ways that we can remove barriers between ourselves and those with whom we may differ or disagree?