Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Love Is An Orientation by Andrew Marin

Andrew Marin's life changed forever when his three best friends came out to him in three consecutive months. Suddenly he was confronted with the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community (GLBT) firsthand. And he was compelled to understand how he could reconcile his friends to his faith. In an attempt to answer that question, he and his wife relocated to Boystown, a predominantly GLBT community in Chicago. And from his experience and wrestling has come his book, Love Is an Orientation, a work which elevates the conversation between Christianity and the GLBT community, moving the focus from genetics to gospel, where it really belongs. Why are so many people who are gay wary of people who are Christians? Do GLBT people need to change who they are? Do Christians need to change what they believe? Love Is an Orientation is changing the conversation about sexuality and spirituality, and building bridges from the GLBT community to the Christian community and, more importantly, to the good news of Jesus Christ.

My review:
  My best friend kept telling me this book was good, and that I should read it, and since it is an issue important to me, I finally got it and read it. And I am not sure what to think.

  I agree that the church needs to reach out to gay people more. It is a sad and pathetic fact that so many people that struggle with same-sex attractions are sitting in our church pews, scared to death to tell anyone. Yes, homosexuality is a sin, but so is any sex outside of marriage, and we don't treat people like lepers who have sex outside of marriage. It is time the church has a more compassionate attitude towards gay people, and all sinners.

  However, I feel the author goes too far in his efforts to bridge the gap between Christians and gay people. He has a whole section on how not to say homosexuality is wrong if a gay person asks if you believe it is. He has had gay people tell him God told them it was OK, and he never contradicted  them. We do have a responsibility to people's souls we come in contact with, and I don't feel we need to be beating gay people over the head telling them they are sinning, as we don't do that with other people who are not right with God, yet are we really doing them good by refusing to tell them it is a sin, especially when asked?

  I am not trashing the book, as Andrew does have some good ideas and good intentions. I just fear his refusal to call sin a sin, may help damn some people to hell.

About the author:

   Andrew Marin is President and Founder of The Marin Foundation (www.themarinfoundation.org). He is author of the award winning book Love Is an Orientation (2009), its interactive DVD curriculum (2011), and most recently, Our Last Option: How a New Approach to Civility can Save the Public Square (2013); while blogging at www.patheos.com/blogs/loveisanorientation. Andrew is a regular contributor to a variety of media outlets and frequently lectures at universities around the world. Since 2010 Andrew has been asked by the United Nations to advise their various agencies on issues of bridging opposing worldviews, civic engagement, and theological aspects of reconciliation. For twelve years he lived in the LGBT Boystown neighborhood of Chicago, and is currently based St. Andrews, Scotland, where he is teaching and researching at the University of St. Andrews earning his PhD in Systematic Theology with a focus on the Theology of Culture. Andrew's research centers on the cultural, political, and religious dynamics of reconciliation. Andrew is married to Brenda, and you can find him elsewhere on Twitter (@Andrew_Marin), Facebook (AndrewMarin01), and Instagram (andrewmarin1).