In light of Sunday’s tragic and horrible event, Christian’s are dumbfounded as to why they are being compared to this mass murderer. What Christians in general fail to recognize is the enormous amount of rejection, threats, bullying, physical harm, and hate, that the LGBTQ+ Community has endured most of their life. Christians in the name of God justify all sorts bigoted language and behavior. I know that Christians will deny this, but let me give you a few examples in my own life.
I’m not LGBTQ+, but I love them and I’m fully accepting and affirming. The reality is, this is nothing new to me. Let me say this upfront, God loves the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender person unconditionally and so do I. But when I chose as a Pastor to be inclusive and affirming of the LGBTQ+ Community at our house church I was ostracized by my church group organization. I was asked to resign, so I did. This was just 9 months ago. Yes I was very hurt by this, still hurts today. I do miss some of my friends and wish that they would be more open. Have I responded to all of my critics in the best possible gracious way? No, not always. If you know me personally you know how highly bothered I get when people are mistreated.
So these were the sorts of questions asked of me and the sort of statements made by my Pastor, leaders, and Christian friends within my church organization.
Will you let them be in ministry?
Will you marry them if they ask you?
I understand your desire to show compassion, but you will tell them that they need to repent of their homosexual practices?
Homosexuality is abomination.
The Bible is very clear on this matter.
Are they practicing abstinence?
Are you struggling with homosexuality?
Allow one sin, and you must allow them all.
I welcome all homosexuals to my church… but their sin is still sin.
Homosexuals are destroying our families.
Homosexuals are the enemy of the church.
I simply cannot change just because society is pushing so strongly for acceptance and a very shallow love.
Are you really surprised that I would question you regarding this subject (homosexuality)?
If the phrase “gay Christian” refers to a person who actively, perpetually, and unrepentantly lives a homosexual lifestyle – no, it is not possible for such a person to truly be a Christian.
There is nothing I see that needs to change in my local church.
Why get together for coffee I’m not going to change my views? (response from a pastor friend that I invited to coffee after I submitted my resignation).
A letter was published by my friend and pastor on Facebook to make it crystal clear that they are not at all associated with me and in no way are they in any agreement with my views regarding the LGBTQ Community.
Let me say this there are some Pastor’s (a small number) that did reach out to me, that have befriended me and are seriously thinking through their views. They even apologized to me for the way this was handled and how I was treated.
So when LGBTQ+ hear this sort of ignorant language of course they think you are bigoted and hateful. Your phrase “love the sinner, hate the sin” is about the most hateful, hurtful, ignorant thing you can say. Christians think that they can say any hurtful, ignorant words so long as they think that their god supports them. Because of this they will continue to behave and talk to the LGBTQ+ Community in a way that is both shameful, and hurtful. But that is the Christian way, according to them god is always on their side, and ironically their enemies are also god’s enemies.
Christians operate under the rule of the bible. To them the bible contains The Very Words of God, all of it. They read it without ever questioning it and view it as having one unified view of God (which it does not). They are very good at memorizing text that supports their hateful views. There are various extremes within this sort of commitment to the bible. But more or less this is the underlying doctrine that determines their views. Within Christianity it is called inerrancy, it’s the teaching that the bible is the word of god and without error. Once you are committed to this belief then you are stuck and forced to support idiotic thinking that comes from a 7,000 year old culture that is patriarchally dominated, views women and children as property, where slavery is endorsed, and homosexual should be stoned until dead. Because of this it makes it virtually impossible to have any meaningful conversation with them since their only objective now becomes to defend their views. Yes they will smile, shake your hand, say you’re welcomed, and even hug you. But they will make sure to tell you that if you don’t repent of your homosexual practice, you will go to hell for all eternity. Oh yeah this literal belief that the bible is the word of God, coupled with the idea that it contains a unified view of god leads to all sorts of weird beliefs that are littered with identity markers to ensure there is always an us and them, a holy and unholy, the righteous and the unrighteous.
Within Christianity there is a major shift going on that is splitting the church. Unfortunately it is because of the church’s rejection of the LGBTQ+ Community. I say unfortunately because it never should have reached this point, Christians of all people should have been the first to stand up and walk along side them. The amount of doctrinal differences among Christianity is pretty sad. But when the Good News (Gospel) is no longer good, but becomes sad news of a god that simply has an ego so big that if you don’t get your beliefs exactly right, and can’t change, then his only option is to destroy and torment you for all eternity is utterly absurd. That is so far removed from the message of hope, love and peace on earth that Jesus came to give.
I do apologize to my LGBTQ+ friends and those that I haven’t yet meet for taking so long to take this stance. The power of acceptance is powerful and my group meant a lot to me. But that is no excuse, please forgive me I’ve should have taken this stance many years ago.
So next time you as a Christian are asked why the comparison, stop and think for once in your life.
I encourage you to to read this article at Times Magazine by Matthew Vines
What Christians Must Do in the Wake of Orlando