I didn't want to write about this topic. Not because I don't care, I do, but as an accredited Pastor I know how my voice could sound. Also, I feel like so much has already been said that I don't want to risk being an echo.
I hope I'm not.
I hope I can be a tiny voice for a demographic of Christians who aren't often heard from regarding this topic.
There has been so much hatred spewed from both sides of this conversation that it's hard to discern any voices beyond the two extremes. People verbally going for each others throats, and speaking with tones and terms that are dehumanizing. It's savagery. People continue to be more concerned with opinions than conversation or PEOPLE. Some of the things I've heard and read can only be described as barbaric.
I hate it.
It's disturbing to see how quickly human decency can go out the window. I don't understand why we have to treat others with such disrespect just because we have varying world views? I don't think hatred is right. As a Christian, I think it's the antithesis of EVERYTHING the Bible teaches. Also, I don't think it's impossible to love someone even though you don't condone choices they make.
Just because someone doesn't fully support something doesn't mean they are a bigot, discriminator, accuser, intolerant or hate filled. This is often how all Christians have been painted. This mindset is presumptuous, un-informed, and offensive.
Is it actually impossible to believe that two people can disagree on something and still have a healthy relationship? I hope not.
If I don't condone something that doesn't mean I HATE people who do. It shouldn't be assumed that all Christians are insolent, rude, discriminatory, hateful, rejecting, and offensive--some Christians are, but I'll address them shortly.
If you think that's what all Christians are like, I hope you hear this; THEY AREN'T. WE AREN'T. I AREN'T ( I mean, I am not).
Quite often, people who think this way of Christianity have A) Had a bad experience with "Christians" or B) Think they know what the Bible teaches. I'd like to highlight the fact that, beyond the LGBTQ+ topic, the Bible has a significantly larger amount of things to say about how we should treat, love, and relate to one another. "One another" meaning those who share our faith and those who do not.
The Bible is packed full of instructions and examples on how to treat people--even those who have different world views then us. It say FAR MORE on how to love people than it does on how to condemn them. I promise you, Jesus kept company with countless people who did not share his morals and views and he loved them regardless. Besides, wouldn't showcasing TRUE love (which Christians are called to do), involve loving someone regardless of your differences?
The Bible is adamant about Christians LOVING people. At no point in the entire book does it flex on the importance of that. Bible believing Christian should be the last people to discriminate and hate. Christian Faith that devalues human life is extremely misguided.
Jesus had more tolerance and love for people who saw things differently than him than ANYONE. On numerous occasions the Bible says that Jesus healed EVERYONE who came to him. Personally, I have a hard time believing that the EVERYONE the Bible is referring to was a gaggle of people who saw, thought, acted, and believed the same as Jesus. No. These were people from all walks of life, and guess what, JESUS LOVED THEM! He didn't turn them away. In fact, there was really only one group of people Jesus had little tolerance for. They were the people that claimed to know God, claimed to know the Bible, probably went to church every chance they had, but had no grace, no compassion, and no love towards others. Jesus didn't have much time for religious finger pointers and those who ostracized others.
If you are a Christian reading this, might I say, conversations regarding LGBTQ+ are not an opportunity to force our beliefs, argue someone into submission, and be arrogant about what we believe. We should be less interested in attacking and arguing and more focused on loving, caring, and shifting the stigma around our faith. We are supposed to be known by our love and care for others. Yes, there have been blanket statements made about Christians being discriminatory, however, many people HAVE been hurt by the way Christians or the Church have handled this topic. This is a chance for us to change that by showing people how we are called to love, and how we are striving to live. If we really want people to know Jesus, the best thing we can do is BE MORE LIKE HIM. This isn't easy, but if our primary focus is on a person and not an argument, I think it would go a long way.
Before I start getting e-mails, I'll also add this. I stand by the Biblical outline for marriage, I believe God designed sex and marriage for men and women. That being said, I HATE NO ONE. I'm not here to argue, and I'm not scared of differing viewpoints. I am simply here to do the best I can to live and love like Jesus Christ, period. If you ask me how I feel about a certain topic, lets's talk about it, but only if it can be done in a loving and conversational way. It will not be demeaning and hate-fuelled. Oh, and if you never want to talk about it, that's fine, I'd still love to be friends!
In saying all of that, I'll close with a few words specifically to anyone in the LGBTQ+ community who might happen upon this post. I want you to know, "I am sorry." On behalf of many Christians who feel the same way that I do, I apologize if you have felt mocked, attacked, belittled or worse. Don't reject all Christians because of the media storm caused by intolerant zealot's who leave me wishing Jesus could sit them down and have a talk with them. With all sincerity, you are loved.
"THE ONLY THING THAT COUNTS IS FAITH EXPRESSING ITSELF IN LOVE."
- GALATIANS 5:6