We’ve all heard it. This smiling, friendly person says, “I’m so glad to see you. I love you, and God loves you… but I don’t approve of your lifestyle—the Bible is very clear.” (sigh)
Why do you feel compelled to add your assessment of someone’s “lifestyle” (which you likely have no understanding about if you use the word “lifestyle”).
Why must this disclaimer be tagged onto every conversation you have with or about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people? If they have been on planet earth more than a week, they already know how many people feel not only about their “lifestyle” but about them. (If you don’t know why I keep putting quotes around “lifestyle,” that’s another thing to learn before you spout opinions about this intensely personal area of people’s lives.) They already know how many people feel—they’ve lived it.
But my question is for you. Why do you feel the need to mention your opinion on this?
Let me put it another way: Do you sit at the dining table with your friend and say, “I love you, and God loves you… but I think you’ve had quite enough pie—the Bible is very clear about being overfed.”
Or, do you ride with your brother in his car and say, “I love you, and God loves you… but I think you were wrong not to stop the car and take care of that homeless man we just passed—the Bible is very clear about caring for the poor.”
Why then must you speak your LGBTQ disapproval into every conversation? It is not love.
You may believe you are “helping” by “speaking the ‘truth’ in love”—all trigger words, by the way—so let me say something very clearly: you’re not helping. You are hurting, more profoundly than you have any idea when you utter those words, as if they are anything more than the false teaching Christians have been repeating and repeating and repeating.
Digging a little deeper here, I don’t really think you say them because you think they will help. I think you say them out of some misplaced obligation to God, or to the church—an obligation laid on you by the church, not by God.
I understand. I really do. I am a pastor and have been in the church more than 25 years. This judgemental message is not having the impact you are hoping for, and it is not conveying the love of Jesus. I hope that breaks your heart just a little.
Please open your eyes and you will see the tragic results of this message in the lives of people who just so happen to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, especially the youth.
So let me clear this up for you. There will NOT be any questions from God about why you didn’t weigh in on someone else’s behavior. I’ve seen the test, and there’s nothing about homosexuality on it.
Jesus was clear when he told us to love God, focus on our own behavior, and just love others and leave everything else to God. The question is, do we trust God enough to do that?
Here’s something else Jesus said. “If you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.” Matthew 10:42. (On a related note, a friend said her church would not hand out water bottles at the local marathon because some gay people would be running. How do they not see the irony here?)
As my two-year-old said, leaning into my pregnant belly where his sister kicked within: “Stop hurting people!”
Church, stop hurting people.
Even a child can tell you that.
We have ‘pay-what-you-can’ video courses helping those in the faith community be more inclusive while strengthening their faith; helping parents love, accept & affirm their LGBTQI children; and helping LGBTQI heal shame from family, church & community wounds. We also have private Facebook support groups for parents, and other resources. Please click here.