Grapes from Briers

Luke 6:44- Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers.

Much of what I understand about God I have learned from observing the world around me.  After all, this is the world that God created, and it carries in itself the rhythms of who he is.  I strongly believe that everything testifies about God to us- even my compost pile.  Here’s the thing.  In my yard I have several pots of plants that sprang up from the compost.  It may be a “trash heap”, literally speaking- full of the discarded remnants of yesterday’s dinner and the tops of root vegetables that are inedible… but regardless of that, sometimes a seed volunteers to grow.  Should I judge that seed based off of it’s location?  Pull it out and discard it because it jumped up from the trash?  Or should I applaud it’s spirit and let it grow, and in watching it grow discover who it is?  Six concord grape shoots, two squashes, three tomatoes, one eggplant, some kind of melon that has yet to show fruit…  These plants tell me, by their nature, that they are good.  Just like the weeds in my garden show by their nature that they are bad, despite their better location.

And people are much the same way.  Just because one is found in a church on a Sunday morning doesn’t mean one is good, any more than being in a bar means one is bad.  Judge based off of the product of one’s life.

This morning I am agitated at hearing a lesbian friend called a heretic, despite the multitude of good things I can demonstrate coming from her life.  Regardless of her orientation, she is a woman who seeps love from her very pores, a woman who would show compassion to everyone around her- even those who defame her based off of prejudice and not knowledge of who she truly is.

Much in the same way that an usher on a Sunday morning demonstrates his true nature by seating a black family in the back of the church and well-dressed white folks at the front.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that if we are to accept the “Romans One” view of homosexuality- that gay people are gay because they have already rejected God, that they are evil- shouldn’t this be demonstrated by the fruit of their lives?  A man who has fully rejected God and thus carries his orientation as a judgment should not bear good fruit.  And yet…

And yet I find myself sitting here this morning, agitated.  I read Romans today.  I find it irritating that the first chapter is used to accuse, to level judgment, when so much of what follows is about being  freed from the law.

That out of one side of their mouth, people say, “Gay people have already rejected God as is evidenced by their orientation, their life shows the fruit of this judgment” and then clap and sing to the words “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”…

Words fail me.

2 thoughts on “Grapes from Briers

  1. As usual, I find this article thought provoking.

    Mike Bickle states often, “God offends our minds to reveal our hearts.”

    So, could this be true with gay and lesbian Christians? Probably; and if it is, then how we handle this issue will be important to the Church sometime in the future.

  2. They say that the US Constitution is a living document because it can be changed to reflect the new concerns of the generations. The Bible is not because we don’t change it. We just interpret it. Perhaps this is our problem. That we outgrow and move away from it because we know so much more than our older counterparts. Hence that we see such huge contridictions.

    Or maybe it has to do with what Christ said versus the prejudices of his disciples.

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