Thank you! Here's another one that struck me.
A person I know had a difficult time leaving the homosexual lifestyle because of the sense of hospitality and community it meant leaving behind. When the woman who had identified as lesbian fell in love with a man, she had a difficult time coming to terms with it because she felt rejected by the rest of society and unable to be in community with those whom she thought rejected her and her friends. However, dating a man meant the homosexual community would distance itself from her, leaving her with no place she believed she could belong as she was.
We Catholics have a balanced outlook on sex outside of marriage, but we aren't doing a good job of conveying that message to people like her who, like us, are still knee-deep in figuring out their journey. This article addressed how we can improve our hospitality to include all sinners, including those whose temptations and sins are sexual. http://scottdodge.blogspot.com/2013/08/gods-kingdom-place-of-unimaginable.html
While I don't believe that it is true that all people who are homosexual, even ones who are actively so, see Jesus differently than I do, I would agree and even go further by saying their hospitality puts almost every church to shame.
There's one other point, which comes towards the end of Dr. Wittmer's third take-away, that bears repeating: "A subtext of the book was how even the ardent homosexuals in her world realized they were 'queer.' The attraction for many, the reason they remained gay, was because that was the one community that loved them. There is a lesson here for us. I know that after reading this book, I am convicted to lead, maintain, and end all of my relationships with love."
I can't imagine how frightening it must be for men and women who are homosexual to decide to approach a church, almost any church.
Please put away your Jump to Conclusions mat and don't misconstrue what I am trying to articulate here. This not a case of trying to turn wrong into right, it is precisely the opposite: acknowledging our own sin and not excusing our own wrong-doing by saying we are acting in the service of truth. Just speaking the rock bottom truth does not in and of itself satisfy the exacting, selfless demands of love. In fact, sometimes even our well-intentioned efforts eviscerate love. This is articulated well in "Jesus Friend of Sinners"- "the world is on its way to you, but it's tripping over me."
It seems to me that the question we have to ask ourselves is, Do we trust that God is at work in peoples' lives, in our lives, in the Church, and in the world, or do we see society held together as the result of our own strenuous efforts? In other words, are we scared to embrace people who are homosexual because we see each and everyone one of them, not as a person beloved of God, for whom Christ died, but as an existential threat to our way of life? I would just encourage us not to mistake what is provisional for what is ultimate and to remind everyone that, at least according to the teaching of Jesus, the Kingdom of God, at least when judged by worldly standards, is a wild and zany place, one might even say a bit upside down. Because I am weak, forgetful, as well as full of pride, I never tire of reminding myself that following Jesus is not an ideological commitment.
As Jesus taught and, moreover, demonstrated, "No one is good but God alone" (Mark 10:18).