July 15, 2007

Here's What We're Up Against

By we, I mean folks like the ones I work with in ministry efforts to reach out to GLBT people. Some of them/you have been sooooo hurt and damaged by people preaching their misguided interpretation of God's word, or just using the Lord to justify their own hate and bigotry. Here's an excerpt from a fairly innocuous blog post I ran across earlier that weighed heavily on me during worship today.

From the post "What Would We Do Without Christians?"

Sometimes I wonder to myself if church aren't just meeting places for horrible people rather than places of worship and repentance. I've read the Bible and Jesus sure says a lot about not creating a fuss, being pious, honest and civil. He talks of neighbourliness and kindness. When was the last time I saw a Christian who had truly accepted these ideals? I honestly can't remember. Go around the internet and read what Christians write... mostly it's hateful, dishonest and distasteful. Grr...

While I think this generalization reaches too far, we've all seen people, perhaps even congregations, that fit this description. I'm sure the young man who wrote this has experience to back up his feelings.

This perspective, from my experience, both direct and anecdotal, is very deeply ingrained into a large part of the GLBT community. That is why I believe it is so important for churches that are affirming and accepting to move beyond their four walls and reach out to people like Jae, not by hitting him over the head with the same Bible he's already been beaten up with but by showing the kind of love, acceptance, and humility that he associates with Christ but not with Christians.

Do you know that wonderful old hymn "They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love?" I can understand how GLBT people could scoff at that, wanting to make the last word of the title hate instead of love.

We need to show the unchurched GLBT community Jesus' love, and the only way they can see it is through the love, not hate and condemnation, of His people.

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