As a straight Christian I want to issue a public apology to the GLBT (gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgendered) community. First let me say that I’m sorry for my thoughts, my spoken words, and any silent complicities that have contributed to the wounding, damaging and marginalizing of the GLBT people loved by God. Every GLBT person is loved by God, unfortunately they are not loved in the way that honors Jesus by the Christian community and for that I say, “Shame on us.” I am ashamed of myself. I am ashamed of my community. I have sinned against people that Jesus loves. We have sinned and are sinning daily against people that Jesus loves. Our actions and our words convey on a daily basis that they are not worthy of God’s love.
I have failed to act in a manner that demonstrates Jesus statement ‘This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:38-39.
For years I have held the ‘traditional’ Christian view of the GLBT community, and I’ve believed and verbalized that ‘God hates the sin not the sinner.’ I have, however, always objected to the ‘God hates gays’ campaigns and the whole ranting about the ‘gay agenda’ by religious and conservative leaders and medias (despite being a conservative myself). But objecting to something and saying that I object to it are two different things. I personally hate conflict and prefer to hold my opinions to myself when I know others will disagree with me.
My views/opinions began to change a few years ago when I read Stranger at the Gate: To be Gay and Christian in America by Mel White. While I struggled with some of the interpretations of scripture that were presented, the points that he made started the progression of change in my own personal opinion about the GLBT community.
This past summer I read Love is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community by Andrew Marin which further stretched my thinking on the issue. I highly recommend the book Love is an Orientation for a thoughtful presentation to Christians that doesn’t push one way or another... just encourages Christians to learn how to build bridges and demonstrate God’s love to GLBT community. Every Christian should read this book.
Recently I read Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality, Revised and Expanded Edition: Explode the Myths, Heal the Church by Jack Rogers. This book, is written from a Presbyterian perspective. He reviewed the history of the church as it viewed slavery, african americans, divorce, and women's roles over the past 200 years and in the process really helped me to have a better understanding of what a Christian view of the Bible could be. More about this in another post.
I know that God loves us - each and every one of us - and His love is wide enough to include the GLBT community. While there is not yet any definitive evidence for a ‘gay gene’ there is clear evidence that for most of the GLBT community the orientation and attraction to people of the same sex has been part and parcel of them for their entire lives (or as long as they can remember or at least since the first stirrings of adolescence). They did not choose this orientation anymore than I chose my straight orientation.
People who are GLBT are humans created in God’s image and there is no controversy about the passages encouraging us to love others including GLBT people, as ourselves. Regardless of our interpretation of the Bible, it is clear to me that we as Christians, are to demonstrate God’s love to all people. Jesus spent his time reaching out to the poor, oppressed, outcasts, those people that the religious leaders spurned. He told us to do the same.
It is time that we start paying attention to the gigantic log in our own eyes and quit worrying about the speck of dust in the eyes of GLBT people. Let's build bridges with people who matter to God.
If you are interested in further explorations, discussions consider visiting these websites:
Love is an Orientation
Bridging the Gap