An Apology to the LGBTQ+ Church

Current status: I’m sitting on a Bolt Bus waiting at the US border to continue my journey to see the love of my life and get a much needed break from work and life.

And I just finished Searching For Sunday by Rachel Held Evans. The more I see from this woman, the more in awe of her wisdom I stand. Her words tend to clarify thoughts and feelings I’ve had, but in a much more articulate way than I could ever express.

And tonight I had a moment as I read through this book. I’m not quite sure how to truly describe this moment. Perhaps retrospective repentance could be a good term.

She describes the moment that World Vision made the decision to allow those in same-sex marriages to work for them. And the fallout they experienced.

She goes on to describe the “gut punch” she felt when word reached her that World Vision had reversed its decision and all of those boycotters returned and asked for their sponsor kids back.

I must confess that I remember when this happened. I remember the outrage coming from what I considered to be my community then: the conservative Christians. Those who adamantly opposed same sex marriage because it was viewed as a threat to the gospel. For some reason.

By the time I cared enough to look into what was going on to any extent, World Vision had already reversed its decision. And I was left thinking, “well that was a waste of emotional energy from Christians.”

It was lost on me at the time that there was an entire community of Christians, and their allies, who would be hurting deeply by this.

All I cared about was that the status quo had been maintained. And when I saw that all was well on that front, I paid no further attention to what had happened.

To those who were hurt by World Vision, I apologize for not caring more for what you were experiencing. I apologize for not seeing beyond my own limited corner of the world. I apologize for being unable to empathize with you.

I now see that entire situation through fresh eyes. When Rachel described her pain, I felt it too. I wanted to cry for the pain that had been caused. I wanted to cry because I saw how I was part of the problem. And if it wasn’t for people like me, there’d be a hell of a lot less hurt done in Jesus’ name.

Forgive me, dear LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters. Forgive me for how I let you down and left you to shoulder your own hurt and pain for far too long. There is no excuse. I loved my cishet church culture too much. I listened to the wrong people. And I ignored those I should have been listening too.

To the rest of the church: let’s end the hurt and the pain. We need to tear down these artificial walls we’ve constructed that separate us from our brothers and sisters. We need to end the pharisaical approach we’ve adopted that lets us think we have any right to judge who can be a part of the Kingdom of God.

Because that transgender woman? She’s perfectly capable of serving along side you at church.

That gay man? God hears his song when he worships on Sunday morning.

That non-binary teenager? They’re watching you to see if you are serving them with the love of Christ or pushing them away with hate in God’s name.

For the love of God: let them see Christ in us. Not hate for their supposed sin. Not hate for them. Just Christ: loving them. Accepting them. Serving them. Befriending then. With no agenda.

Someone’s life very well may depend on it.

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