Last week Jeff wrote, “It is better to be fat than gay in the church.” This week I want to really examine that statement. For some reason the church, which is supposed to be the most welcoming place in the world, historically has struggled when it comes to welcoming and loving everyone. There is no group of people that have felt the cold shoulder of the church more than the LGBT community. I have noticed there’ve been 3 major things that the church does that turns this community of people away and are not shown love.
1.The misuse of Old Testament Scripture
I cringe every time I hear Leviticus 20:13. This verse from which the conservative Christian camp pulls their flawed theological view that they believe gives them the right to cast judgement. From this view Christians will first say homosexuality is an abomination and is the greatest of all sins. Due to this teaching many do not show people of the LGBT community any bit of the love from Christ.
What’s entertaining is those who use that verse to tear down anyone in the LGBT community don’t realize what it says in Leviticus 11. That you can’t even touch the carcass of a pig cause you’ll be unclean. Well guess what, if you’ve ever played with an old style football then you’re unclean in the same sense of Leviticus 20. We all need to remember that this book of law is before Jesus. We still aren’t performing sacrifices and draining animals dry of their blood for atonement of sins. All I’m trying to say with this point is to stop holding people to the law that God sent Jesus to replace the law with grace on the cross. Now Jesus has paid for all our sins with his graceful sacrifice on the cross. All you must do is believe with your heart and confess with your mouth.
2. Judgement is in our eyes and words.
Seriously ask yourself how you think the church responds to people of the LGBT lifestyle. The fact that I’m even writing this post should tell you something. When the church openly slams the LGBT lifestyle in such a direct way, we have to take notice that the love and grace we’re supposed to have for the lost is completely absent. Now before someone takes a stand on their Christian principles and says, “but it’s sin and you’re saying it is ok.” Not once have I said it is ok. What I am saying is for us Christians to stop holding those who don’t know the truth of the gospel to our standards of biblical living. If someone doesn’t know the Gospel we need to show them the Gospel by opening our arms and getting rid of our ridiculously judgmental words. We need to truly invest in relationships with people and get to know them.
I can almost guarantee that some that are reading this are judging me right now. I will say that I do find sexual relations with the same sex as sinful. I would also dictate that this sin is the same as my pride or your gossip and deceit. We need to stop this concept of sins being of different values of evil. It is because of that concept that the church has turned away so many people of the LGBT community. Then from that community being turned away they have no desire to engage in what a church community might offer them.
3. Our bad tact
The last way the church struggles in being welcoming to the LGBT community is when we try to say what we believe, but it comes out as prejudice. It is ok for you to have the belief that same sex relations is wrong. It is NOT ok for you to be cold, judgmental, or to treat an individual that identifies as LGBT any differently than you do a brother or sister. We are commanded to love one another as Christ loves us. In fact, Jesus thought that was so important that he made it the second greatest commandment. Therefore church, let us stop being so intolerant and remember that we aren’t perfect. For there are a plethora of issues we each need to examine in our own lives and work on.
Lastly, if you know someone that identifies as LGBT please take the time and show them some love on behalf of the church. The time has now come for us to truly be like Jesus and sit down with people of all backgrounds and orientations and share a meal with them while welcoming them to a church.
Now many of you reading this might say I danced around addressing the LGBT community. If you identify in the LGBT community here is what I want to say to you. Even though you might have been told that due to your lifestyle you can’t be saved, I want you to remember what I wrote earlier: if you believe with your heart and confess with your mouth you’ll be saved. So yes, I am saying that if someone identifies in the LGBT community then they can have salvation just as I do. For a more detail explanation check out this video: Can a homosexual live a sincere Christian life?
Disclaimer: I value constructive criticism on my writing; however please refrain from making personal attacks on any lifestyle.