After the discussion I continued to think over things and decided I’d write down and post here some of my thoughts I've collected on the issue (and I'd like to say these are not the the thoughts of the cohort as a whole, but only my own):
Campolo's remarks were notable for his criticism of the recently passed Proposition 8 in California which would amend the state constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.To expand out on my own thoughts here, I think the churches made a really bad move with their push to pass Prop 8. In the Bible, Jesus says, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35). Well we like to tell ourselves we love them, but that’s not what the churched community is known for in the gay community. Words like ‘hate’, ‘bigot’, and ‘homophobia’ are what they use to describe the disciples of Jesus. Instead of just saying, “well they’re just wrong, we love them, and they just aren’t recognizing our love for them”, I think the church needs to seriously reexamine what it sees as ‘loving one another’, and ‘love your enemies’, and recognize the fact that we really just aren’t all that loving toward the gay community, and that we need to repent in this.
Interpreting the meeting's theme "Who Is My Neighbor?" Campolo said, "The Samaritans were those who were considered spiritually unclean, abominations in the eyes of God." Some of today's "Samaritans," he said, are the poor, Muslims, illegal immigrants and gays.
Campolo called himself "a conservative on the issue" of homosexuality, but said he opposed Proposition 8. Describing homosexual behavior "contrary to the teaching of God," he nonetheless questioned what was gained in passing the ballot initiative.
"What did we win? ... I'll tell you what we won," he said. "We won tens of thousands of gays and lesbians parading up and down the streets of San Francisco and New York and L.A. screaming against the church, seeing the church as enemy.
"I don't know how we're going to reach these brothers and sisters," he said, "but I'm an evangelical and I'm going to win them to Christ.... And we're not going to win them to Christ if we keep sending them bad messages, and we've sent them a bad message. I think the decision in California was in agreement with how I believe, but sometimes you've got to consider the person before you bang them over the head with your principles."
This is a great day for marriage. The people of California stood up for traditional marriage and reclaimed this great institution. We are gratified that voters chose to protect traditional marriage and to enshrine its importance in the state constitution. We trust that this decision will be respected by all Californians.I can’t help but see this as incredibly naïve. It’s as if conservative churches think they can pass some legislation and then expect people to submit to their will without changing the hearts and minds of people. Somewhere around 18,000 gay couples got married over the past six months or so, and they are not just going to kowtow and “respect” the annulment of their marriages just because some other people’s religious sensibilities are hurt.