“My husband and I are looking for a church that will align with our values and accept gays and lesbians. Our current church/denomination ‘accepts’ them with limits and reservations. Does God only love part of us?? NO! My son is gay and a Christian, and we want him to feel free to worship with us at a church that loves him too. Any suggestions of denominations we could try?”
That is exactly the problem across much of the Christian church today. They are schizophrenic with a strange notion to “love the sinner, hate the sin”—which is impossible to do in real life. “Yes, I’m so happy they love me and hate my sin,” said no one, ever.
Churches have caught on that their position thus far has not worked. You’d have to be asleep not to notice the backlash for churches that reject LGBTQ. So instead, many go underground with their rejection.
I recently had a meeting with a staff member from a gigantic megachurch, about their stand on LGBTQ. The pastor has taken some hard stands to defend the presence of some gay couples, but not full acceptance. As we shared lunch, this staff person confided: “We have a lot gays and lesbians who attend here, and we love them and include them. We do not allow them into leadership positions, but they may not know that for three years.”
Okay, that is not affirming. Frankly, it is not a favor to hide that important piece of information; people should know the church’s position upfront. It’s like saying, “We don’t allow women in leadership, but you may not know that for three years.” I’d rather know now than after three years of developing relationships and investing my time, heart and money into a church that ultimately will not embrace all of me. Unfortunately, gay Christians have become wary of churches that smile sweetly but still hold the same position. Gay Christians must be wise to seek a church that is authentically affirming, and frankly I think many of them have grown battle-weary.
Studies show that the mass exodus from the non-affirming church is because of their unloving position toward LGBTQ; those people deserve to know the church’s position at the outset, not a bait-and-switch as their church eventually turns on them.
To find a gay-affirming church, go to gaychurch.org. Type in your city to find all the gay-friendly churches.
You, the gay LGBTQ, are a vibrant part of what God is doing in the church overall today. Know that many Christians out here love you and embrace you as a full brother or sister in Christ. Please don’t throw out the baby Jesus with the bath water! We are here for you. As always, feel free to email me.