It was Dan who took a great risk in inviting me: He stood to face the ire of his conservative base (and a potential boycott) by being seen or photographed with an LGBT activist. He could have been portrayed as "caving to the gay agenda" by welcoming me.
Instead, he stood next to me most of the night, putting respect ahead of fear. There we were on the sidelines, Dan, his wife, his family and friends and I, all enjoying the game.
Marriage is one of the most significant institutions in our culture. The sacred and civil, church and state dimensions of marriage are complex and often muddled, which makes marriage one of the most challenging issues to discuss in the church and beyond.
On July 4, 2005, at the 25th General Synod of the United Church of Christ in Atlanta, delegates voted to adopt the resolution, "Equal Marriage Rights for All." [PDF]
... Cathy’s intentional and gracious friendship with Shane L. Windmeyer is a model of how all American Christians, high and low profile, should begin in dialog with the gay community.
The fury between America’s LGBT and Christian communities has ignited as the cultural flashpoint of our day. From the Chick-fil-A protests to the ousting of Louie Giglio from the presidential inauguration, Americans on all sides are frustrated, angry and afraid to broach this fiery clash.
Cathy’s friendship, chronicled from Windmeyer’s point of view, is a refreshing picture of what Jesus Christ might do—were he physically here with us in America today. In 1 Corinthians 11:1 the Apostle Paul tells Christians “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” On this matter, I say to American Christians, “Follow Dan Cathy’s example, as he follows the example of Christ.”
Conservative and evangelical Christians often speak of our “response” to homosexuality. But, when we look at the life of Christ, we see that his outreach to humanity was not reactive. It was proactive. “We love him because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). God did not claim to love from a distance. He humbled himself and stepped physically into our lives (Philippians 2:3-11).
If we are serious about following Christ, we must begin loving first, with humility. We must initiate literal get-togethers, as Cathy did. We must reach out, not with public statements and position papers, but with incarnate friendship. Love was the leading edge of God’s invasion into humanity (John 3:16).
Love, we know, is patient and kind (1 Corinthians 13:4), and this is where many conservative Christians falter in dialoging with homosexuals. Fear makes us defensive, constricted and impatient. But Scripture tells us that “perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). As Christ’s agents on earth “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love and of self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).
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