This is over a year old, but a reader sends it to me, and it’s worth looking at, as a portrait of contemporary trends in Christianity. Seems that a group of young Christians went to a gay pride parade to demonstrate, but did so in a different spirit:
While the most vocal “Christian” presence at the parade was in the form of protesters with “God Hates Fags” signs, Nathan and a team from the Marin Foundation took a different approach… they chose to apologize.
The volunteers wore black t-shirts with the phrase “I’m Sorry” on the front and held signs with messages of apology, on behalf of all Christians, for the way the church has treated the gay community.
While the ultimate message Jesus came to preach was one of love, grace and compassion, we’ve sadly misrepresented Him and alienated sons and daughters from their Father’s embrace… and I’m so excited to see how Nathan and his team took a different, humble approach and in the end, did something far more powerful than preaching or shouting… they showed love.
My favorite though was a gentleman who was dancing on a float. He was dressed solely in white underwear and had a pack of abs like no one else. As he was dancing on the float, he noticed us and jokingly yelled, “What are you sorry for? It’s pride!” I pointed to our signs and watched him read them.
Then it clicked.
Then he got it.
He stopped dancing. He looked at all of us standing there. A look of utter seriousness came across his face. And as the float passed us he jumped off of it and ran towards us. He hugged me and whispered, “thank you.”
I think a lot of people would stop at the whole “man in his underwear dancing” part. That seems to be the most controversial. It’s what makes the evening news. It’s the stereotype most people have in their minds about Pride.
Sadly, most Christians want to run from such a sight rather than engage it. Most Christian won’t even learn if that person dancing in his underwear has a name. Well, he does. His name is Tristan.
… I hugged a man in his underwear. I hugged him tightly. And I am proud.
Evidently you are. Gosh, it’s just like the early church, innit?
Actually, I think it’s more likely Jesus would have told this guy: “I love you, man. Now go home, put some clothes on, and then go forth and sin no more.” But I wouldn’t presume to say. One of my pet peeves are Christians, both left-wing and right-wing, who can’t just do something and let the act speak for itself, they have to add, “Jesus would do the same thing,” or “the Lord told me to do this.”