Monday, 2 February 2004

John and I saw Latter Days last night. The movie is wonderful, and in the purview of my Preaching and Film class, will be a significant film (actually a significant film in my life, but better understood because of my Preaching and Film class). Dealing with faith and orientation when we come from an Evangelical/Fundamentalist background, one that is not compelled by legalistic righteousness (as are so many these days) or societal domination but by experiential relationship and devotion to God (which is a wonderful thing), wherein Mormonism may fall, is a very difficult thing indeed. Aaron (the Mormon) says to Christian that he (Christian) could not understand the significance of all that he (Aaron) is giving up.

It isn't just about religion; it is about life and everything. It isn't just about shedding rules, strictures, or cult practices, but it is about a deep inward abiding, a still small voice, a caring community, a worldview, peace, perspective, love, joy, passion - it is about everything, including friendships (the devastating consequences of lost friendships I have seen in many of my friends), family, close intimacy, everything.

However, you see, that isn't God's doing, but our own. The Religious Right, and the left buys into this notion, says that people cannot be gay and Christian at the same time. They say that God will not abide with one who engages in such behavior or self-identifies as a homosexual. This movie presented such a scenario, because while touching not directly upon this area the implication is that Aaron finally had to leave his faith behind to find love and happiness in a relationship with Christian. That is our doing, not God's.

While walking back to the seminary, John and I talked much about the film and the struggles of those coming from an Evangelical background. As I said to him, my base, my touchstone, by foundation in deciding issues of morality and perspective is scripture. I have a high view of scripture, recognizing that we screw-up often in our attempt to understand and apply scripture within our lives. John said that he often perceives in me a binding-up, an enslavement, a hindering because of the way I view and relate to scripture. Actually, our beliefs are very similar, but with slight differences of perception that are significant.

So, am I?

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