Saturday, January 24, 2009

In The Middle

So fellow-blogger "P" has written an interesting series of posts about being the "in-between guy." Part One is here, and Part Two is here. Essentially, his posts are about the difficulty that guys who struggle with SSA have when it comes to fitting in. More than that, he also talks about the difficulty that one can face when they don't quite "fit in" with any of the mainstream ministries that reach out to gay Christians. I'm in that boat as well. I respect and am essentially supportive of Exodus, but I some of their political involvement just really turns me off to their ministry. I also think that the Gay Christian Network is extremely awesome for having a community of people who hold traditional views of human sexuality, also known as "Side B." I also think it's pretty awesome that, at GCN's recent conference, the Side B group had their own panel, and from what P said, people asked pretty good questions.

But still, even though I know people from both groups (and other folks who tend to be unaffiliated and just "go it alone" like myself), I can't say I really "fit in" with anyone. It used to bother me, until I realized that probably every individual, even if they are a part of one group or another, has his or her own ideas about things. As hard as I am on other people for making assumptions before getting to know me, I tend to do it quite a bit when it comes to others. I think I tend to go, "Oh, _____ goes to _____, so he must believe in _____, _____, and _____." Now, granted, sometimes assumptions aren't totally off, but I think if I meet someone and quickly make up my mind about what I'm likely to disagree with them about, then that really limits my ability to be a loving Christian.

I think taking a moderate position can be a good thing, but it can also be one that is just as susceptible to debilitating pride as rabid loyalty to whatever your "side" says. After all, if you're squarely on one side (and like I said earlier, few people totally are), you may have an "us vs. them" mentality, but if you're in the middle and think all of your views are right (which, granted, I don't), then you can have a "me vs. them vs. them" mentality.

Of course, the worst part about this is that there is no real solution. I'm still in the middle in terms of my beliefs and what I think are the appropriate responses to them, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. Mainly, what I need to work on is to stop labeling other people. If someone says they are conservative or liberal, I can't automatically assume that I know everything about their political stances. The same goes for if someone says they're involved in Exodus or GCN. It makes things difficult because it then requires that you actually get to know the person, rather than hitting the ground running with debate. Treating people as individuals is difficult. I get mad when Christians fail to do it with gays, and vice-versa, but I need to start keeping tabs on when I fail to do it, because I certainly am not a model for success in that area.

Other than that, nothing much is going on in my life. Classes are busy and I'm tired a lot (including right now, which is probably why this post is a lot more rambly and not as tightly-wound as I usually prefer). However, I'm doing well. I'm enjoying my work, which is more than I could say for past semesters, and I generally am learning to be a more productive, organized, and less spastic person. Oh, and here's a really cool song (and animation) from Boy In Static. Check it out.

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