It’s LGBTQ+ Pride Month, so it’s time for Christians to turn off social media, ignore the news stories, and further entrench themselves in the beliefs they’ve been told.
Or maybe this year can be different.
We could take this month to consider for the first time that perhaps we’ve been mistaken.
Instead of focusing on corporations, boycotts, and culture wars, we can focus on the people this touches.
Instead of focusing on a few disputable verses in the Bible, consider the themes of scriptures highlighted by Jesus; by Paul; by John. Themes of obedience to the greatest commandment. Themes of restoration of relationship with God and one another. Themes of love.
We could take a cue from Jesus and learn what this means: “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.”
We could sit with a friend or family member that happens to be LGBTQ and listen — actually listen — to their story. Not to change them, or save them, or whatever, but to understand them.
We could read some articles, books, or memoirs that inform us of Biblically Christian arguments that may challenge our firmly held opinions.
We could stop reacting in fear and disgust of “different” and consider things we have in common: love, fidelity, purity, sacrifice.
We could consider that it’s not an abstract or theoretical idea. It’s about real people, creations of God that are tired of being left out.
We could at least consider that not all Christians believe homosexuality is sin.
We could at least admit the Christian church has treated the LGBTQ community horribly.
We could at least remember that lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth were more than twice as likely to have attempted to kill themselves than their heterosexual peers.*
We could, but so many of us won’t.
“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” – Elie Wiesel
It’s LGBTQ+ Pride Month — an opportunity to learn and grow.
We could, if we choose to.
For further reading:
- D. Gushee, Changing Our Mind.
- K. Keen, Scripture, Ethics, and the Possibility of Same-Sex Relationships.
- J. Lee, Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate. A memoir of a gay Christian’s experience.
- W. Loader, M. K. DeFranza, W. Hill, S. R. Holmes, Two Views on Homosexuality, the Bible, and the Church. A balanced and respectful conversation of different views.
- M. Vines, God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships.
- K. Wilson, A Letter to My Congregation.
- Website. The Reformation Project. “Brief Biblical Case for LGBTQ inclusion” A helpful source for a short, introductory read.