This is a mystery.
A person can attend an evangelical christian church for years and lie about who he is, what he believes, what he thinks and what he feels. He can be dishonest by omission or by out right bold faced lying. He can put on the shiney happy people mask and even get rewarded for it. People in the church can smell a rat but never call it because, well, it’s just a little lie, no one is getting hurt.
But if I bring my gay friend this week to the same church, unless he’s prepared to come down front and repent and get hetero in his sexual orientation the conviction of the crowd, if I’m reading them right, is that we won’t see him in heaven even if he says he believes in Jesus and says he want to live to follow him.
Lying is, from the evangelical perspective, the beginning of all our troubles. But we’ll happily call the lie an ‘exaggeration’ or just ignore it all together as long as it doesn’t ‘hurt us’ or make us look bad. I’ve heard some well known ‘preachers’ tell a story in one place and then tell the same story in a book or at another place and change the details. We’ve had the president of the U.S., poster boy for the evangelical right, lie to us all, repeatedly, and I keep getting told about how he’s God’s man, blah, blah, blah…
Ted Haggard did bad things. Did you know I was going there? But doing meth with a gay prostitute was what got him caught, not what got him into trouble. Living a lie was the bad thing that led to all other bad things. Being allowed, empowered and supported in that lie was just as bad. I’ve been around people like Ted and the truth is that someone ALWAYS knows something and after the fact says to themselves or someone they trust, “I thought something was up…” We may not know WHAT is up but we know there’s a lie in progress.
Had Ted come in holding hands with Fred or whatever his name is or given him a big kiss at the door it would’ve hit the fan a whole lot sooner. (I typed ‘then and there’ but realized that the power structure of the situation and the ‘I did NOT just see that…’ of the moment would’ve made it take a little time.)
But lying we tolerate.
Homosexuals we don’t.
Just how crazy are we?