HOMOSAINTUALITY – (from HOMO – “same” + SAINT – “a believer in Christ”) – a sameness within a body of saints (believers), wherein no allowances are made for differences in preferences for peripheral issues.
I don’t know if this term, i.e., “homosaintuality,” makes sense to you, but I came up with it after church a few weeks ago. Our pastor had preached a sermon from Romans that challenged our congregation to evaluate the genuineness of our love and “brotherly affection” for one another. It challenged us to consider whether we were trying to “outdo one another in showing honor” (Romans 12:10), and whether we were loving our enemies and treating others better than they deserve. As an illustration he shared an experience from his days as an associate pastor, when he had walked into the church parking lot after services and spied two cars parked next to each other. One bore a “Gore for President” bumper sticker, the other a “Bush for President” sticker. His conclusion was, “This is how it ought to be.”
It made me think about how I’ve gone about choosing where to worship. I don’t know that I can say that choosing a church where a variety of opinions were represented was always my top priority. But now that I’m convinced that I should enthusiastically worship with people who have different preferences for peripheral issues, I see that it is in fact a much better representation of the Church at large. And I shouldn’t just tolerate others’ differences with a secret agenda to win them over to “my side.”
Here are some questions I’ve asked myself: Do I worship with those who vote differently than I do? Do I worship with those of other races? Do I worship with people of various ages? Do I worship with those who dress differently than I do? Do I worship with those who listen to music I don’t like? Do I worship with those who make educational choices for their children that differ from my own? Do I worship with women who work outside their homes? Do I worship with women who choose to be homemakers? Do I worship with people who have more money than I do? Do I worship with those who have less money than I do? Do I worship with people who have children? Do I worship with people who have no children?
I’m sure I could think of more questions to add to my list, and I’m sure you could make up your own list. It’s our answers that should concern us. If we can’t answer “yes” to the majority of these questions, we need to ask if we are homosaintuals by choice or by coincidence. If we are homosaintuals by choice, we need to see how our choice puts us at odds with the gospel. If we are homosaintuals by coincidence, we need to ask what we can do to welcome people of various peripheral persuasions to our congregations.