Marybeth mentors women toward wholeness from sexual abuse. Tender-hearted and intelligent, she can uniquely love and empathize with these women, and offer insight to help them overcome great hurts. I liked her immensely the moment I met her.
Last time we talked, she asked about my blog, my viewpoint, my motivation. She then told me what people often feel obligated to tell me.
She thinks homosexuality is wrong. Not the first time I’ve heard that, by the way. It comes up all the time. But my answer is:
So what? So what if it is? So what if you think it is? I mean that with all due respect to all the Marybeths out there who do great work, but have already concluded (without a horse in the race) that this is a sin issue, and so that ends it. That’s where I must challenge you.
She had already admitted that the way the church treats LGBTQ is atrocious. Pause. Okay, so how about if we start there? How about if we start with that “great plank” in our own eye, as Jesus described it — in this case the abominable way we’ve rejected, marginalized, dehumanized the LGBTQ — which is pretty much the way the religious people treated the rejects of society that Jesus embraced. I think that’s where Jesus would start with us, don’t you?
Jesus gave this outrageous illustration to say that only by removing the plank in your own eye can you see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Well then. The church has a great plank in its own eye in not loving the LGBTQ as Christ loves them. I mean huge. I just met a beautiful young gal last week who’d planned to commit suicide because she couldn’t tell her family (…and church) she is gay. What??
The church is terribly wrong to reject the hurting people Jesus died for, and then abandon them with the belief that their own issue deserves death. Seriously?? Jesus showed the tenderest compassion for the brokenhearted, told us to do the same, and we neglect His clear instruction to love, so we can focus on behavior management.
Countless people now want nothing to do with the church, Jesus, the bible, or God, because of their experience of Christians. Is that a plank or what? Sounds more like a tree — which is Jesus’ point.
Some religious leaders will never budge on this — I know. But tender-hearted people, those who love others well, I ask you to seek out God’s heart. Of course it’s easier to put it aside and let it be, but I challenge you to ask Him: What am I missing here? What do you want to show me? What have I misunderstood about YOUR HEART for the LGBTQ? …And maybe You want to show me that plank.