On the last day of convention, three teenage boys, an adult from their church, and another man came into the hospitality room and asked if there was someone with whom they could have a legitimate theological discussion about what the Bible – specifically a certain passage in Corinthians – had to say about homosexuality. We of course agreed and fetched Caitlin Desjardins, a seminary student with us that week.
The discussion ended up being primarily between Caitlin, Philip Kendall, and the boys’ youth leader, but by listening I learned a lot about the concept of “agreeing and disagreeing in love.” The boys were very polite and good listeners, remaining cool and calm when their beliefs were put to question. I really admire those kids (Carlos, Taylor, and Austin were their names, I believe) for having the guts to come deep into the territory of the people they disagreed with and having a reasonable discussion with someone whose sexual orientation they (presumably) believed was against God’s teachings.
I know it would be tough for me to have a discussion with them were I immersed in a room full of people who disagreed with me. I definitely couldn’t have done it in high school and I would probably have a pretty difficult time doing it even now. It takes courage, confidence, and a lot of maturity to do something like that and to listen for as long as those boys did. And I’m impressed. I’m very impressed.