- published 3/27 (Larry) - unpublished ?

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Opinion Letters Is Christianity discriminating?

It's been stated there's a double standard within Christian thinking, in that we talk against discrimination in racism, but yet discriminate against homosexuality, and this seems like a contradiction to many. This subject, which no matter how you identify this, you will more than likely offend someone, which I'll try to approach in kindness towards all, because all of us are affected in some way.

Let me first state that the reason Christianity is opposed to racism, is because the individual is sacred no matter what race you or I come from. God places the ultimate value in human life and the soul of every individual. But also within Christianity, sexuality is also “sacred” and should not be violated, but considered a treasured gift from God. So if both are sacred, both are to be protected and held with respect and high regard. Protecting the individual made in the image of God, as well as marriage, where God has made man and woman for each other.

The deterioration of what is called sacred, in trust, love, and commitment shows itself within all of us. Today, there's no certainty in anything, its forever fluxing with no guidance for life or its meaning. Life comes with its challenges, but our goal should strive towards the betterment of life, marriage and family that has proven itself true. This takes some working out in most of our lives. As in Henri Nouwen, professor of theology at Yale Divinity School who has written numerous books and had taught in many universities. He, as for many, had struggled with his sexuality. His homosexual inclinations were only known by those who were close to him, and he never published any of these struggles except in his most private journals. But even within this he knew he had a greater 'commitment to God', and was able to follow in this commitment in keeping his vow of celibacy. He wrestled these two worlds within him for sometime.

He also came upon a life changing experience after looking upon, for over three hours, Rembrandt's painting “The Return of the Prodigal Son,” which displays a unconditional forgiveness of a father and son; or placing ourselves within this painting, - “Gods forgiveness towards us.” (Luke 15:11-32)

This so profoundly impacted Nouwen that he came back and gave up his place at Yale, and dedicated the rest of his life to the “L'Arche” community in Canada to work with the mentally handicapped. Nouwen displayed his commitment and trust in the foundation (Christ) that carried him through difficult times.

Words, time, sexuality, and life are all sacred, if not, life begins on a downward spiral. If these are truly sacred they must have a foundation, embedded in a trust that can only be found outside of the human element, for history shows we cannot do this on our own. If this is not true, where can we point or show to others anything which is otherwise?

Keep thinking,

Deni Shepard — Franklin, N.C.





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published: 10/18/2013
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