Oh, not the gays – the church!
You’re not going to see many gays in the church until the church cleans up its act.
By church, I mean the ‘non-affirming’ church.
The church that doesn’t affirm people, but only affirms behavior. Behavior within a certain range is acceptable; other behavior is not. And they get to pick and choose.
And by cleaning up its act, I mean moving its focus to loving God and loving others – exactly what Jesus called us to do – instead of behavior-modification. This has been the problem with religion and churches over the millennia – all the way back to the Pharisees. Jesus told them then, as he tells us now: love God, love people, don’t worry about behavior.
And don’t think we have no Pharisees today. We certainly do. They are the religious leaders who decide what we should and should not do, who falsely interpret and use the Bible as a weapon to support their choices. They are the leaders, pastors, and others in the non-affirming church who focus on your behavior, instead of loving as Jesus says to love.
They don’t understand that behavior follows relationship.
Behavior comes from the heart, and only God can change the heart.
Jesus tells us to love God, love others – and let the Spirit work with each of individually for everything after that. Period.
Only God can ‘clean up’ anybody’s act. Or to put it another way, only God can help us to ‘live more godly.’
That is a trigger phrase, isn’t it? Be more godly, live more godly.
Well, what does it look like to live more godly?
Jesus said, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” Maybe to live more godly means to believe in the one he sent. Maybe it means simply to love God and love others. Freely, wildly, unconditionally, with limitless grace and forgiveness.
Churches that focus on that will be full of the godliest people you know.