One of the most divisive topics that is dividing the Church today is the issue of homosexuality. For decades (if not longer) this has been an issue (whether we like it or not) on the forefront of Church. Recently some denominations have had decisions and votes on whether or not to ordain open homosexuals; it has caused dissension, grief, hurt feelings and in some cases it has cost ministers their job. Many churches and even denominations have decided that in the interest of keeping everyone happy, they have not or will not broach the discussion at all.
In matters of church conflict or even church doctrine, the normal question to ask is “What does the Bible says regarding this issue?” It is a natural place to start. However, there are varying ways on which the Bible can be interpreted and thus a problem can emerge.
The film, For The Bible Tells Me So, explores the issue of homosexuality as it relates to the Church and Christianity. This film tries to demystify the stigmas that have been placed on a certain group of people and tries to look at the issue from different angles.
Film Synopsis from forthebibletellsmeso.org:
Can the love between two people ever be an abomination? Is the chasm separating gays and lesbians and Christianity too wide to cross? Is the Bible an excuse to hate? Through the experiences of five very normal, very Christian, very American families — including those of former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt and Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson — we discover how insightful people of faith handle the realization of having a gay child. Informed by such respected voices as Bishop Desmond Tutu, Harvard’s Peter Gomes, Orthodox Rabbi Steve Greenberg and Reverend Jimmy Creech, FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO offers healing, clarity and understanding to anyone caught in the crosshairs of scripture and sexual identity.
This film dives into the Biblical text from a number of different perspectives trying to encapsulate the essence of the text as the original authors intended. Scholars from many different denominations and faiths weigh in on this issue.
This film is presented in a way that brings in new ideas and understandings about homosexuality and how the Bible has been used and mis-used to subjugate a particular group of people. The interviewees do not hold back with their position and thought process when it comes to the controversial issue. They are open about their feelings and in some cases have regret for the way that they treated their child when their child came out.
One of the positives of the film is that it does try to show different view points with regards to how different families react to their children telling them they are homosexual– not all families reacted the same way then or even now. For many it has been a journey that they have to take one day at a time.
I believe that this film is an excellent conversation starter no matter what side of the issue you are on; the key (as with many controversial topics) is that those watching must do so with open eyes, hearts and minds. For many Christians this has become a hallmark issue; it has become the benchmark of righteousness and orthodoxy. It is easy to hear something counter to your belief system and immediately get defensive and stop listening. It is in those moments of struggle where we can learn and grow. It is through difficult situations and conversations when we are able to open up to the possibilities of seeing a particular issue in a new light.
The website for the film also has two discussion guides (here and here) for further study and dialogue.
Overall, this film is well done and thought provoking.
I highly recommend it.
5 out of 5 stars