a christian’s open apology to gay people.

Dear gay people,

Yesterday World Vision, a Christian organization that sponsors needy and hungry children all around the world, announced that they were lifting a ban they’d previously had in place on hiring people who were married to/in love with someone of the same sex. And I, a Christian, was elated.

“Oh, this is going to be huge!” I told my youth pastor husband when I got home from work. “Finally, we’re turning a corner!”

When I went to bed last night, I thanked God for this public proclamation and I also thanked him for making you, each and every one of you, just the way you are. And I thanked him because in that moment, I felt like you might actually know that you are really loved by Jesus. Because you are

This morning my son woke me up at 5:30 (he’d had a bad dream, I think) and after I snuggled him back to sleep I found myself having a hard time drifting back myself. So I mindlessly checked my Twitter feed, hoping the methodical scrolling through tweets would make my eyes heavy enough.

What a huge mistake.

I tumbled down a black hole of tweets from fundamentalist Christians and Christian organizations who were withdrawing their support from World Vision. Unfortunately, it seems that these people/organizations hold doctrine over love and serving the poor. And I got angry. And very awake.

I tossed and turned in my bed, fighting the anger, and then thought there was only one way to go about this. So I got out of bed and opened my laptop just to say one thing:

Gay people, on behalf of all Christians everywhere (including the ones who treat you this way) I’m sorry. I’m sorry that you’re consistently battling against a group of people whose entire platform is love. I’m sorry that you are made to feel like you’re broken by a group of people who are called to lay their own brokenness at the foot of the cross. I’m sorry that you’re made to feel like the “least of these” by a group of people who are called to serve and love the least of these and who also somehow ignore that call when it refers to you. I’m sorry that you’ve been told that your marriage is any less God-honoring than a heterosexual one, even if that heterosexual marriage ends in divorce.

Please know that you’re not alone, gay people. While I’m not gay and have never had to endure the pain you have endured from Christians, I’ve been hurt by them, too. And I grew up in the church!

When I was nine years old (a baby!) I was brought into a meeting with the children’s director and the lead pastor of the church I was attending. They sobbed as they told me that I was too outspoken and too loud and that, “God didn’t like that.” Being an opinionated kid without a shy bone in my body, I furrowed my brow.

“But didn’t he make me this way? And doesn’t he love me? Why would he make me be a certain way if he didn’t like it?”

They didn’t have an answer for me.

This was the first of many encounters like this; I’ve always had Christians wag their fingers at me for the way I talk, behave, or think. And as a Christian, sure, I believe that God does call me to be one of his priests. I do believe that he calls me to a higher standard of living. But he also calls me to be an ambassador for Christ, the one who dined with sinners and threw parties with tax collectors. And above all else, he calls me to love him and love his people. (Mark 12:30-31)

People have told me that I have a low view of scripture because of my love and affection for gay people. Maybe I do. But if loving others regardless of their sexual identity (and, you know, also occasionally sporting a polyester cotton blend) means I have a low view of scripture, then fine. I’ll concede that argument.

One last thing, gay people: if it makes you feel any better, my marriage isn’t any more biblical than yours. Sure, I may be a woman who is married to a man, but last I checked, my husband isn’t splitting his time between four other wives and 700 concubines. So fret not. You and your “unbiblical marriage” are in good company.

I love you. Each and every one of you. And Jesus does, too.

And once more, I’m so very sorry. Please forgive us/them. We know not what we do. (Someone said that once.)

Love,

Lindsay

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10 Comments

Filed under God, personal, rants, the media

10 responses to “a christian’s open apology to gay people.

  1. mom

    Good one, Lindsay. Jesus said “Love one another” – not just the ones who are just like you are. The bible does have many scriptures against homosexuality but it does not say to not love them. We are all sinners and Christ died for us while we were yet sinners. He loves us all. So love one another. :-)

  2. And- this does not mean that you disrespect scripture, but that you respect different passages: arguably more important ones.

  3. Momma Langhan

    We are told to love one another and leave the judging up to God.

  4. Vicki Bellamy

    Beautifully said!!!!

  5. K

    We are told not to judge those outside the body of believers (because they can’t yet be held accountable to God or His word if they don’t yet know Him, and because we need to love and befriend them in order to share with them the Good News), but we ARE clearly told to judge and hold accountable those who claim to follow Jesus. Those who call themselves Christians are to be held to a higher standard; if one calls himself a follower, he should be following. A true follower must seek to follow Jesus and the Bible. In order to do this one must read the Bible daily in order to know just what one is to follow vs. following along with whatever the current public opinion happens to favor. Sadly many people claim to be Christian, but have no idea what the Bible actually teaches. When we don’t know what the Bible says or disregard it’s teachings we aren’t really following His word. In the truest sense, being a Christian isn’t a title one inherits from family or via casual association, but is a choice to ACTIVELY FOLLOW Jesus daily, hourly. To claim to follow Him and then disregard His teachings just doesn’t make sense. A true follower should be following, seeking His will and His way even when we don’t understand it or agree with it. A true follower seeks to follow and obey His word and not our own desires, especially when our desires are contrary to His teachings. This includes anyone choosing to blatantly, unrepentantly continue in ANY sinful lifestyle (including drunkeness, gossip, greed, etc). No one is perfect, but a follower should be seeking to follow, attempting to pursue righteousness and repenting (turning away from sin) when sin gets the best of us. A follower should not be pridefully, blatantly embracing old sin patterns. On the contrary. The old sinful self is dead and gone and we are made new in Christ. Rather than clinging to our old life and old sins, we should seek be to transformed by Christ into a new, different life that is foreign to the world. Set apart. And as we seek to follow we are called to encourage other followers to actually follow. To seek to live righteous lives to build up a strong united church body that also seeks to follow and obey. As such, believers are to hold other believers accountable. We are to leave the judging of non-believers to God, but we are to strive to keep our brothers and sisters in Christ on the straight and narrow path.

    Paul was very clear about this: “I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.” ~1Cor 5

    Paul sounds harsh, but he says to take sin WITHIN THE CHURCH so seriously that blatant, unrepentant sin should not be made to feel welcome. All that don’t yet know God should be welcomed and loved, but those who should know better are called to do better. After reading the above verse, I finally understand Amish shunning. It’s not out of hate, but out of discipline and a desire to have unity among those seeking righteousness. A loving father may be forced to tell a wayward teen that if he wants to live under his roof the son must follow his father’s rules. God says the same thing: if you want to call yourself my follower then don’t pridefully plan to continue disregarding Me and expect to be welcomed into my house. Visible, blatant, unrepentant behavior sends a message to others in God’s house that it’s perfectly okay to disrespect God and His word while still claiming His name. Because of that concern Paul said it was better to remove such people from His house rather than have their unrepentant behavior send the wrong message to the rest of the members who were seeking to follow Him. The hope was that the isolation would be temporary, but painful enough discipline to bring the unrepentant to repentance and back into the fold.

    We are to reach out to the lost in love, but once one begins to follow, he is made new and expected live a new, different way. Set apart, seeking to obey God even when it’s hard. As followers, we are to gradually become more like Him, shedding the old, sinful lifestyle, NOT pridefully clinging to our old desires and sin patterns…and not encouraging others to continue in their old sin patterns from when they didn’t know any better.

    There is clearly a double standard. We are to love everyone, and not to judge those who are outside of the faith, but once one claims to follow, he needs to actually be seeking to follow. We all fall short and mess up, but we are called to turn it around (repent). Truly following requires a repentant life, acknowledging imperfections and sin while seeking to root them out. Following means attempting to stop sinning, seeking forgiveness and asking for strength to get back on the right road.

    Following Jesus does include showing love and grace to unbelievers as well as believers, but it should not include embracing and encouraging ANY blatant, prideful, unrepentant sin done by a person who is claiming to follow Christ.

    • Anto

      “on the straight and narrow path. ” sometimes that narrow that it can be suffocating though.
      I understand what you say, it’s said to love but to stop sinning also. Well I don’t agree about gay people as they don’t make nothing bad to themselves and to you, you try to demonstrate otherwise by citing the Bible, which though can’t demonstrate why it’s bad. This is the path of thinking that justify any righteousness against gay people because they “don’t repent”, the point is, one learns to drink alchol while one doesn’t learn to become gay, so the same reasoning is not applicable.
      You cite Paul but try to remember what he says about the women too, not very flattering, so he can’t be used against gays as well.

  6. Ada

    To hold scripture in low regard is to hold Christ in low regard. All scripture is God breathed, and should be read and understood with the utmost reverence and God inspired fear.

    Jesus certainly came with a message of love. But his message of love was saturated with truth. God does not overlook sin. God does not allow his love for men and women to pass over the sins of men and women. We are called to repent. Whether our sin be one of pride, lust, greed, or homosexuality, we must fall to our knees in repentance and accept the grace of God. Christ died the death I deserve for my sins. That is love, and that is the gospel.

    To preach anything differently is not only blasphemous but it is deeply troubling. We cannot sacrifice the difficult truths of the gospel in order to please others. The truth of the gospel is offensive, but it has the power to save the most wretched of sinners like myself.

    • Anto

      Ada, are you saying that the blogger with her message of love held Christ in low regards or is blasphemous?
      It’s true many gays don’t repent and imho they shouldn’t because a gay people does no harm with their supposed sin, but some, somehow repent feeling wrong but unable to help it, it’s not like they can turn straight, so should they observe chastity (:?. To me lust, greed, pride (but also some excessively humble persons which never rebel or servants with no pride), wrath are cause of the problem of the world not gays. Rather it’s excessive pride of some christian (and all fanatics of all religions) not against all sins, but only against the most notable sins which cause violence and war.

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