Jim Minnery is the Anchorage incarnation of the gay equivalent devil after he successfully led two campaigns to stop LGBT folks from being added to Anchorage's anti-discrimination ordinance. His Alaska Family Council has been tied to the Koch brothers. And now he's talking about loving his gay neighbors. I needed to hear this.
I have a lot to write about this, but I want to take my time and think it through - what I saw and what it might mean.
But meanwhile, here's a little video of the answer to a question Jim Minnery posed to the panel. The main answer comes from Andrew Walker. Here's a short bio and discussion with Andrew Walker and here are some of his writings that I could find online.
Here's my transcript of the video. A few parts were hard to hear, but I think this is pretty accurate.
Q: What do you do when your child declares himself to be gay and wants to bring his partner to a family gathering?
Andrew Walker: I would say, this is not me saying, “Thus said the Lord . . .” but “Thus said Walker . . .”
I would say there’s no point which you stop loving the child, showing grace to a child who has rejected the biblical truth of the teachings on these issues.
If that were my child, off the collar, identifying as same-sex or gay, homosexual, . . .I would do what I could to communicate the biblical truth to that child, to love that child.
I have a son and a daughter and another on the way, so I could be experiencing this myself.
I would say, out of love, you should allow that child to bring the partner. In so far as they both want to come, you have the ability to freely express your values . .
One of my mentors recently told me that he [had] someone in his office and he says, “Hey, my daughter is in a gay marriage and they have a child by artificial insemination and I love my daughter, ??? where I stand. I love this child who is now my grandchild. I want to influence that child’s life, but I feel that some in my church don’t want me to be extending so much love supposedly not caring about the the lifestyle situation they’re in. And my mentor said, “No. Love. Love, grace. Grace and Truth. Bring them to the house. Love that child. Be a model father for that child. So, that’s what I would do in that situation.
I would be interested in your (Peter’s) comments as well.
Peter Hubbard: I agree. We have been asked that questions, at various levels, consistently, in our church. So with that many people, that size group, you’re going to have a lot of family connections, with a variety of moral choices. I believe you have to distinguish between church discipline and family relationships. The fact that a wife has a husband who, for whatever reason, is under discipline from the church, doesn’t mean she has nothing to do with her husband. The same would be true for children, I believe.
A major issue, as I understand it, for many young gays, is fear of how their families will react to their identifying as gay and this, if you listen to Dan Savage at all, seems to be particularly problematic among fundamentalist families.
So, in one respect, this is a very positive development - love your child first. And Peter's explicit distinction between family relationships and church discipline.
But, they all see homosexuality through what they call "biblical truth" and that means homosexuality is a still a sin. A key note in the discussion last night was that homosexuality has been singled out as a special sin for which there is no redemption. Peter mentioned that while people would publicly share their struggles with a variety of sins - drugs, promiscuity, pornography - he realized no one had every publicly shared their struggle with same sex attraction. This particularly sin was treated as irredeemable, that homosexuals had been given over by God and were no longer candidates for grace.
He talked about changing that in his church and his book, according to a reviewer Jim Challies, puts the sin of homosexuality in line with all the other sins.
Hubbard writes as a pastor, as a counselor and as a man deeply marked by the gospel of divine grace extended toward human sin. He insists that the gospel makes all the difference, for before the cross we are all the same, we are all sinners, we are all in desperate need of grace. He says, “We need Spirit-empowered love to move toward those struggling with [same sex attraction] without despising or excusing their sin, because their sin is our sin—our hearts are no different! … My sin always seems reasonable to me, and your sin inexcusable. Left to myself, I can find a way to justify anything I really want, and the choices I make can hurt the people I most love.”
This is just over three minutes of a three hour discussion. I'll post more soon.
[UPDATE May 12: Here's the follow up: Love Your Gay Neighbor Night At East High - Minnery Tries Out A New Approach