(Photo: Facebook/Craig Gross)
Pastor Craig Gross of XXXchurch advises Christians to look beyond the "black and white rhetoric" about homosexuality and focus on the people most affected by the church's stance on surrounding issues instead.
In a recent blog post, Gross noted that while the church and companies like World Vision state their views on homosexuality, the ones who end up negatively affected are individuals caught in the gray area of the subject.
"I've said this before, but it needs to be said over and over: be quick to listen and slow to speak. Most people and companies issuing statements and talking about a definitive black and white God have never sat and listened to the people and lives on the other end of their statements," wrote Gross, also referencing World Vision's reversed decision on hiring same-sex married couples. "…You have to blow past the black-and-white rhetoric of the establishment and get down in the grey dirt with the outcasts. You know. What Jesus did."
Gross also noted that instead of actually helping people who struggle with homosexuality like Aaron, a reader who recently wrote a letter to Gross about leaving Christianity after failed attempts of gay reparative therapy, the church oftentimes leaves individuals with unbelief.
That is why he says Christians should realize that taking a stand against homosexuality is not about morality, culture wars or doctrinal differences.
"It's about people. Think about the people who were welcomed to work at World Vision one day and unwelcome the next? How do they feel about Jesus now?...What about Aaron and a 15 year struggle that has left him on fragile terms with his family, as well as without a church family or God? How should he feel about Jesus?," he wrote.
Aaron's letter, which Gross also included in his blog post, says he sought counseling thinking that he could become straight and was even sent to "straight camp" by his church that spent thousands of dollars on his treatment. However, he continued to wrestle with homosexuality before giving up and becoming agnostic.
Gross said he can sympathize with Aaron and noted hat he would most likely feel the same way.
"If I was told for years that what I was doing was wrong and the feelings I felt were wrong and that God would give me a way out, but still felt all that stuff after thousands of dollars and thousands of hours invested…yeah, I'd have trouble believing, too," wrote Gross.
In an interview with Relevant Magazine last month, Gross admitted that he has very few opinions that he considers to be black and white. As a result, he recently started the website, www.greygod.com, where he hopes to continue similar discussions.
"[I] have no clue what to do with it or what else I will write about this but I think there is something here. Maybe it is a book or maybe it could be a blog…And for all you people reading this thinking I spelled grey wrong, that too is just your opinion because there are two ways to spell grey and both are right. Grey or Gray. Imagine that two different ways to spell the same word…kind of like two different ways to see the same God. Just saying," wrote Gross.