Please let me help you to understand this issue.
Here is a letter I sent out to Pastors in my local community, I extend it to others here as well.
There is a conversation happening in most churches today whether openly, behind office doors or silently in the minds of people: What do we do with the issue of homosexuality and the Bible? You may feel more comfortable ignoring it or standing firmly on the belief statement from your own individual church. Neither of these will not erase the question however.
I am a straight Christian who is in the midst of this very sticky arena of “what to do”. I can assure you that no matter what your theology, there are gay and lesbian people sitting in your pews. They range from fully “out” to sitting silently. But, be assured, they are there.
Did you know:
- Over 60% of the LGBT community describe their faith as “very important” to them and 58% have made “a personal commitment to Jesus Christ” (Barna Research)
- Most traditional churches have not been open and affirming to the LGBT community
- Families are struggling with reconciling their Biblical beliefs and full acceptance of their gay loved ones/friends. The families are leaving churches over this issue or are feeling guilt because they have a gay child
- 91% of 16 to 29 year olds view the church as “antihomosexual” and this keeps most of them from coming to churches
I have five years experience in doing ministry work in the area of the LGBT and Christian communities. I would like to offer you the insight of my expertise in this area. In whatever capacity you would like-from conversation with your staff to preaching in your pulpit. From talking to your congregants that are LGBT to helping you, as leaders, see how the LGBT Christian community see the 5 to 7 verses used in this topic of homosexuality and the Bible.
My intention is not to alter your theology, my heart is to help others to follow the directives of Jesus in the treatment of LGBT people with grace. Quoting verses and making a “no gay” policy at your church will not work in restoration and healing. And, what do you get when you become a people of grace? That is the ‘bonus” part of Isaiah 58—guidance, strength, brighter lights and satisfaction of your needs.
You can hope this issue goes away and ignore my offer. The time is soon coming when this will explode the church and you may want to be prepared for how you as a people will handle it. I promise you that about 5% of your church population is LGBT –they are married “heterosexuals (yes), they are in your music ministries, they are off to the side not letting anyone into their lives for fear of exposure, they are walking out your doors, they are not walking in your doors.
Here is a challenge to you as leaders; ask yourself these questions:
What is the mission statement of my church?
What do you believe the message of the Gospel is?
What is the mission of a follower of Jesus?
How are believers to treat one another and others?
How does your church body show tangible love to the LGBT community?
If someone were to walk into a room of LGBT believers and you and Jesus were amongst those present, could they tell you apart from Him?
There is a serious disconnect going on in our churches and how we express the love of Jesus to a population of over 15 million in our country. I am asking you to really think about the lives of people that we gladly toss to Satan because of theological differences. Look to the example of Jesus and the outcasts in His path. When the Phoenician woman pushed her way to Jesus, He did not send her away. She was not of the Jewish nation, His mission statement was “I am here for the Jews”. She was a woman and a completely unculturally acceptable pagan to Jesus and, he announced her acceptable for her faith. No rules, no sitting down with the Torah.
My path to this place of ministry work was not through the need to validate a gay child’s place at His table. I am asked this quite often. People want to think that I have a need, and agenda. It was through relationships, compassion that God put in me and now extensive experience that I got here. Go to a video I put up on youtube; that may help you understand. (see the links VIDEO)
I hope you will consider my offer. Look at your mission statement. What are you doing to reach out to the 5%? Jesus said He will go seek the 1 in a 100, this is 5 in 100. It all comes down to two things: love God and love others. Is there a way I can help you to love these others?