I am fully affirming of LGBTQI people BECAUSE of my faith, not in spite of it. I came to believe what I believe after extensive theological study, my own life experience, examining the lived experience of others, research, prayer, and following the leading of the Holy Spirit.
It was a journey. All I did was stay on it, take the next step, and love – while God brought answers.
I am now more in love with God, with Jesus, with my family, with my children – my faith is deeper and richer than it has ever been.
That is the hope I offer to you.
But let’s talk about right now.
What if you are as convinced as I am about your beliefs, but we have ended up on opposite sides of this?
What do we do now?
I suggest that maybe we use Jesus as a model and focus on humanity and on the heart. Instead of debating theology, can we just talk about people?
Every single day a family – struggling with their child coming out as LGBTQI – is shamed and rejected in churches. I am not talking about a radical church like Westboro Baptist with their ‘God Hates Fags’ signs. I am talking about churches with grace in the title, who preach that all are welcome – like the ones I used to attend. Maybe one like yours.
Every day a parent is put in a devastatingly painful position of being made to believe that they must make a choice between God and their child.
And every single day an LGBTQI child is shamed and rejected, told they are abominable to God, disgusting to God – simply for being who they know to be their true self.
Every day a child is kicked out of their home, just because they are gay. 25% of all LGBTQI homeless youth became homeless on the same day they came out to their Christian parents.
Can you imagine that?
If you love and follow Jesus, I know that this breaks your heart – as it does mine.
So, what do you and I do now?
Is this what you want to be known for? Is this how you want to love?
Is this where you want to leave these families and your LGBTQI brothers and sisters – is this the message you want to convey?
I would ask that we both press into Jesus, listen to that still small voice of the Spirit in our hearts and ask ourselves if we are both able to love God, focus on our OWN life, and love others the way that God has loved us.
God is able to handle everything else – especially the things we understand the least.
I’m in. Will you join me?
– Robert Cottrell
We have ‘pay-what-you-want’ video courses helping parents love, accept & affirm their LGBTQI children; helping those in the faith community be more loving & fully inclusive; 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.