November 24, 2009

In Our Own Words 11/24/09-The LGBTS Church Is a Sleeping Giant!

Jim's essay was originally published in the Unidiversal Times Nov-Dec issue.

Those are the words I heard from the Lord during our amazing Fall Renewal gathering at Believers Covenant Fellowship, at which I also had the wonderful opportunity to worship with Robbie and Don once again.

As I write this, it’s been a week since the Lord gave me that word, and here’s how I believe He has led my wife Brenda and I to understand it and act upon it.

Our Fall Renewal came only a couple of days after same-sex marriage was struck down by the voters in Maine, marking the 31st consecutive time that issue has lost at the ballot box. In most cases, it has been “the church” that has been the leading voice of opposition and that has provided much of the resources used to campaign against LGBT equality. Clearly, the political process has seldom worked, and when it has like it did in Maine early in the year, it can be overturned making a lasting victory extremely difficult to obtain.

Those who are in the LGBTS (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and straight ally) Christian community know where lasting victory has been achieved and that is at the cross, where Jesus Christ died to redeem us from our sins. Many other Christians believe that, but we in the LGBTS camp know that Jesus did not withhold certain blessings and rights from certain groups of people. He died for us ALL so that WHOSOEVER comes to Him shall have everlasting life.

Brothers and sisters, we had just about every gender orientation represented at the Fall Renewal, and the Holy Spirit flowed over and through everyone. Brenda and I didn’t get an extra dose because we are straight; EVERYONE shared in the power of the Lord and the blessings He wants so badly to bestow upon us. Although LGBTS Christians are a minority, we are a powerful minority because the Word of the Lord will break people out of bondage and set them free (Romans 8:21)!

I believe that in many parts of this country the LGBTS church is a well kept secret. The dynamic preachers we heard last weekend; Apostle Dale Jarrett at BCF, Pastor David Thomas from Abundant Grace Church, Sister Evelyn Shave (another straight ally), and Apostle Randy Morgan bring messages from the Lord that can change lives and people need to hear them! The music from Apostle Dale and Pastor Debbie George is truly anointed—people need to hear this stuff so they can find a new place in their spirits where they are drawn close to God! A loyal, diligent minister like Robbie Ousley, one of the people who inspires our Straight, Not Narrow ministry, is someone people need to know. They need to see the messages at the Unidiversal website and be touched by his sincerity and spirit of servanthood.

Okay, so how can we make this happen? Here are some thoughts:

1) Adopt the attitude that people NEED these messages, these songs, and these relationships. They NEED to know that LGBT and Christian are not mutually exclusive and then to see positive examples of it. We can post them on Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media you participate in. We can talk about them with friends and family who are not accepting of LGBT people.
2) We need to live a life that makes people ask questions like “Why do have this sense of peace about you?” or “How have you been able to over [fill in the blank].” They we need to praise God as the answer.
3) We need to be out of our closets. If people know you are LGBT, do they know you are Christian? If you are a straight ally, do people know that? I know my boss at work just doesn’t get what Brenda and I are doing ministering within the LGBTS community, but I pray that over time he will seriously consider opening his heart and embrace equality.
4) Do NOT underestimate the power of God and His desire for everyone to live a full life in Him. I believe He hates how His word has been twisted and people abused and discriminated against in His name. His strength is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9) and He expects us to use it for His glory. We are all part of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19) and we all have a role to play in presenting the Gospel to the world.

Let’s not accept the idea that a LGBT ministry is no more than a “niche” ministry. Don’t allow the right-wing church to marginalize our body. We have a message to share and the Lord will provide opportunities to share it with the world if we are serious about doing so and actively seek opportunities.

I realize some of you reading this have already shown great dedication to spreading God’s word and have been working very hard in ministry for a while. I believe that time is growing short and we will all be seeing more doors open and be able to connect with more people who need to hear what the Lord would have us say to them.

The Lord told me that the LGBTS church is a sleeping giant and we had two different confirmations with people also hearing the word “awake”. It’s time to wake up folks!

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