As a mother of a gay son, I don’t think you can really understand where an LGBTQ person is coming from unless you come from a place of intense love. I don’t know that the LGBTQ issue would have registered much on my radar if I didn’t have someone whom I loved intensely struggling with his sexual identity.
I wonder how many pastors have actually taken the time to get to know people who identify as LGBTQ?
I can’t comprehend how anyone, after listening to their struggles, could look them in the eye and tell them they are unworthy of God’s love. How can anyone think they have the right to do that? There is no choice in sexuality or gender. There is NO CHOICE!
My son heard for years that he was an abomination to God and going to Hell as he sat in his Christian school chapel. He prayed for God to take away the same sex attractions he had, and God didn’t, because God already knew how God had made him.
When the Christian school found out that my son was gay, they promptly expelled the straight A, Honor Society student even though my son was only just questioning his sexuality and not “out” yet. He contemplated suicide, and went through a horrible time of self-mutilation because the church was telling him that God didn’t love him.
This is not a new phenomenon.
LGBTQ people have always lived among us, struggling to “fit in.” Christian LGBTQ people have it even harder, because they’ve done the research. I think they know the Bible probably better than most pastors because they so often seek the answers to why God won’t change them.
So when Christian denominations turn LGBTQ people away again and again, it’s no wonder they leave the “church” or turn their backs on God.
As a conservative Christian, I always thought the point of being a Christian was to live like Jesus and show people how they were sinning. But After my son “came out,” my black and white glasses were removed, and I saw the beautiful colors of God’s world.
I was striving to follow the rules to be a good Christian, but I neglected to remember that Jesus told us the greatest commandment is to love one another, not judge one another. We should be leading people to Christ and let Christ do the needed work in their lives.
We can’t begin to truly understand God and the Bible.
We are merely human and God is so much bigger than the box we try to put God in. There are over 33,000 Christian denominations just because people disagree on theology, organization, and tradition.
What would happen if, instead of judging people for perceived sins, we just love them instead? What would that magnificent church look like, where no one is turned away from the glory and love of God? Does The UMC really want to be the reason that someone stopped believing in God?
Out of all of the sins I could commit, I feel that is number one.
I left The United Methodist Church because I couldn’t stand hearing that my son wouldn’t be accepted, or able to be married, or even have a place of “power” within the church.
I can’t be in any church where people are denied to serve the Lord.
There was a time when I sat in a fundamental church who separated from The United Methodist Church in the 1960’s because The UMC was becoming too liberal!
I have reconnected with The UMC through a wonderful pastor, and she is filled with the love of Jesus. I like attending this church because of her, but I would never again join a church which isn’t inclusive of ALL people.
I’ll leave you with a final note: just recently, the world lost a beautiful soul, a young transgender man who was very active in charitable service and a Christian. He was denied being baptized by his pastor.
If that doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable as a Christian, then change will never happen.
Let’s stop worrying about making sure everyone else is doing the right thing, and do THE right thing ourselves by just loving and accepting people where they are.
Originally published by Reconciling Ministries Network; Photo via flickr Eduardo Merille