Where do we begin if we believe in the power of “with,” the power of loving gays and lesbians? This is perhaps the central issue addressed in Andrew Marin’s new book, Love Is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation With the Gay Community
One of Andrew’s suggestions is that we need to get our heads around the word “love” again. This is his concern in chp 6. Marin suggests the coaching philosophy of tearing the players down until they become malleable, though it occasionally has breakthroughs with the GLBT community, does more harm than good and he proposes that Christians learn to love the GLBT community.
Andrew estimates that only about 20% of the gay community has an interest in changing orientation, and that means Christians need to have an approach for both the 20% and the 80%.
Andrew sees four options at work in these issues:
1. The Straight Ideal: get married to the opposite sex and have kids.
2. The Gay Ideal: come out, live a happy sexually reconciled faith as a gay person.
3. The Celibate Ideal: live a life without sexual intimacy.
4. The Acceptance Ideal: “It’s OK to be yourself before God and not conform to any of the other three ways that seem ideal to the outside world” (102). This Ideal focuses on our identity in Christ.
Two common questions Andrew gets. From the GLBT community: Is homosexuality a sin? From the Christian community: Can GLBT persons change? Both are close-ended questions and want either Yes or No. Andrew suggests changing the question to an open-ended question: What is your relationship to God like? From Billy Graham, Andrew learns this: “It is Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge and my job to love” (108).
So what is love? “tangible and measurable expressions of one’s unconditional behaviors toward another” (108).