October 21, 2018, 6:00 AM

"Torn" Session 6: Chapters 9&10

Torn Chapters 9&10



            In chapter 9 Lee states that he finds it difficult to reconcile his experience with Christians before he came out and after.  He admits that if his experience with Christians after coming out has been his first exposure to Christianity, he’d have wanted nothing to do with it.  Lee blames much of this on misinformation.  Christians are basing their judgments on what they’ve been told.  Lee confronts an “ex-gay” speaker, Mark, at a Christian conference who says biological explanations for sexual orientation should be dismissed because they can’t be proven by asking if his reparative drive model can be proven.  He answers in the negative.  A conversation between the two leads Mark to ask probing questions regarding Lee’s childhood until he finds something less than idyllic to blame his orientation on.  Lee pointing out that no one has idyllic childhoods does nothing to persuade Mark from his insistence that some childhood “trauma” made Lee gay.  Lee’s conclusion is that he needs to continue to fight this kind of misinformation. 

            In chapter 10 Lee counters the view that the church is under attack from gays by suggesting that the church is actually under attack from its own people.  Christians, he says, are killing Christianity as Christians have a reputation, not for love and grace, but for condescending judgment.  He brings up his experience waiting tables and how no one wanted to work on Sunday afternoons because that’s when the church crowd goes out to eat and they are usually very demanding and lousy tippers.  (On a side note, I waited tables for nearly a decade and can personally attest to the fact that this is absolutely true.  The after church crowd is the WORST).  This kind of behavior turns people away from the church.  It also turns people away from God.  Lee quotes that old saying that Christians are the only “Jesus” most people will ever see.  The way we act matters.  We represent God to people.  Lee highlights the importance living out the love of Christ.  We are called, as Christians, to be known by our love.


Quotes of note:

            “The reputation of Christianity in our society is poor because the reputation of Christians in our society is poor.” pg136

            “If our reputation can be damaged by poor tipping, how much more can it be hurt by the perception that we are actively hostile to an entire group of people!” pg138

            “Instead of Christians sometimes looking like jerks in spite of our faith, it now looks like we’re jerks because of our faith.” Pg139


Questions to consider:

            How can we, as Christians, better reveal Christ through our actions?

            Is it possible to be judging and loving at the same time?  If so, how? 

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