I volunteer for our church's middle school ministry and recently, during the small group Bible study portion of our Wednesday night gathering, Cam - my 14-year old son - was sent out of his small group for being disruptive.
As a side note, I truly believe there is some sort of exponential mathematical equation inbred in all children that gives them the calculated ability to find those moments that will cause their parents the greatest amount of embarrassment ... and seize them!
In an attempt to
I love my church - I really do. It's the first church I have felt comfortable attending since my own teen years (long, long, LONG ago). I know where they stand on abortion (they value life) and where they stand on serving the community (they are all about reaching outside of the walls of the church), but I realized, at that moment, that I was not aware of their stance on homosexuality and same-sex marriage.
It was quite naive on my part. I just assumed that the caring, concern and inclusion I saw so much of in my church extended to ALL people ... not just all heterosexual people. I wondered what the fear was that would cause a 20-something, youth group volunteer to tell a bunch of 13 and 14 year old boys that loving someone was a sin. I wondered how many of those same boys have grown up in homes where they were taught to love everyone just as God does, but to be sure to find out their sexual preference first so that they knew whether to love them as a fellow Christ-follower or as a sinner. I wondered how I was going to reconcile this moral conflict for myself and for my son.
And then Cam told me the rest of the story.
When the small group leader insisted that homosexuality was a sin, Cam spoke up saying, "Doesn't God love everyone?"
His small group leader confirmed that yes, God loves everyone but that didn't mean homosexuality was OK. Homosexuality was still a sin and never OK in the eyes of God.
Cam then asked, "Aren't stealing, lying and killing sins too? And haven't you told us that God loves us even if we hurt Him by stealing, lying and killing?"
His small group leader apparently became a little flustered at this point and tried to backtrack.
Cam then looked at him and said, "That's what I thought. The Bible doesn't say it's a sin to love. God loves all people and doesn't care who they love. In fact, he wants all people to love each other. THAT is what the Bible says."
At that point he was told to leave the small group for
After hearing the story, I realized that I didn't need to resolve any moral conflict for my son - he had resolved it for both of us - and hopefully for at least a few of the other young men in his group.
That exponential mathematical equation inbred in all children that gives them some sort of calculated ability to find those moments that will cause their parents the greatest amount of embarrassment? It works in an even greater capacity when it comes to pride, and at that moment I couldn't have been any more proud of my son's "disruptive" behavior.