Here are some ways the LGBT panelists and audience performed poorly.
1) DEFENSIVENESS. While most panelists were very easy-going, one panelist in particular took offense at multiple questions during the Q&A. I will not say that the offense was undue, as each person carries their own history and their own baggage. However, bringing such baggage into the conversation reflected poorly on the LGBT panel, particularly when the panel can best dispel misinformation and miscommunication through a neutral non-attacking position.
2) AUDIENCE. The LGBT audience, during the question and answer session, acted at times like sharks in the water having just caught the scent of blood. This became most apparent during the question on “Where does Jesus say anything about homosexuality in the Bible?” While the Cru panelist opened the answer up to the audience, the LGBT audience members saw an opportunity to pounce … and they did. Voices started being raised, words started being spoken over other speakers, and frustration was evident. It was obvious that some in the crowd were looking for a bit of confrontation, rather than just discussion.
3) STATISTICS. I must admit, I was worried about this discussion when I heard about it ahead of time. This was because previous debates I have attended or seen recordings of can have both sides, but in my experience Christians in particular, abuse statistics to support their side. Imagine my pleasure when the entire panel discussion went without the quotation of a single statistic. Bravo both panels. However, in the middle of the sharks-in-the-water mentioned above, one woman broke out statistics on teen suicide and depression. Whoa there! These statistics were used not to ask a question; rather they were used to attack. This was wrong, and I wish that the LGBT panelist who felt defensive on other questions had seen this attack and disowned the methods used by this audience member.
4) FOCUS. In short, they didn’t connect with the Christian audience. Evangelical audiences have a lingo, just as an LGBT audience has their own lingo. The panelists did not have this Christian-ese language, and so the comments were less likely to be received. Everything they said may have been spot-on, but if it’s not transposed into the language of the Christian worldview, it’s hard to believe it would find fertile ground. It’s difficult to think that a group that is evangelizing during their answers were going to be swayed by LGBT answers that made little-to-no mention of God or of things Christian.