In recent months, I have searched out every resource I can find to help me better articulate what I believe. I read books and commentaries from the greatest of theological minds. As a lifelong student of the Word, I feel like I can answer just about anyone.
Boy, was I wrong.
I came to that realization when I came across a tweet that floored me, recently. I re-tweeted it and added my own commentary on the subject.
Here, it’s self-explanatory.
This is where I found out just how ready I was to give an answer on a subject that many in the Christian community wish would just go away.
I quickly found myself in multiple debates about everything from the gender non-conformity of a four year old child to LGBT equality.
It was probably my subsequent tweet that lit the fire.
Hey Christian parents, let’s be culture non-conforming. Loving & graceful, but smart enough to recognize Satanic influence.
— Joel Barker (@joelabarker) January 16, 2015
I make no bones about the fact that I believe 100-percent what the Word of God says about homosexual practice. I can fully articulate what and why I believe that, but how in the world do you respond to this?
Before long I found myself in conversations with dozens of LGBT supporting “Christians.” Even the mother of the four year child from the interview conversed with me via Twitter.
I was called out by the writer of the article.
If you’re a straight “pastor” saying a 4 year old boy wearing a dress is “satanic”: YOU are the one doing the harm.
— ELIEL CRUZ (@elielcruz) January 17, 2015
And the mother was quick to try and clarify her point.
I still don’t understand how a rationally thinking human being can say that a boy playing with girls toys and wearing princess garb is an LGBT issue (the story was published on the writer’s blog titled Faithfully LGBT).
I have seen many little boys clog around the church in his mother’s high heels. Does that make an innocent child predisposed to gender non-conformity or a homosexual lifestyle? Of course not.
While part of me wants to lash out and go all Romans 1 on everyone involved, that would do very little to actually address the issue. These folks know the scriptures. Many in the LGBT “Christian” community have learned to twist or dismiss every scripture regarding homosexuality in the Word.
Yet, they’re still a people who God wants us to love. They are still a people for whom Christ died.
We cannot simply leave it at “that’s an abomination” or even my preferred response “that’s a demonic spirit.” We can’t just leave it there and actually reach the people.
For at least four hours over two days, I found myself simultaneously defending God’s Word and attempting to reach out with love and understanding to a handful of people from the LGBT community via Twitter.
The writer of the article later tweeted something that brought a sobering reality to light.
These are real people with real issues and real emotions. It’s more than a simple problem with no feelings attached. Believe it or not, the struggle these folks face isn’t just about sex and lust–as many in the evangelical world have believed for decades.
Kids and adults alike are confused. Some are conflicted with their feelings and emotions. Most feel like complete outcasts, especially when it comes to the Church. Many have taken their own lives.
It’s true that Jesus accepted everyone, but I cannot find one story where anyone left His presence the same way the came. And, I believe, therein lies the answer.
Are we allowing gay people to even come to Jesus? Are we more defensive in our posture toward the homosexual than say the drunkard who can’t seem to keep the victory over the bottle for more than two weeks at a time?
Is there enough room for the Spirit to move within our churches that makes deliverance possible for those who are seeking it? Is there enough grace within our community of believers to make change possible?
Make no mistake, nothing about this issue is easy. From the virulence that exists in the so-called “gay agenda” to the massive amount of hurt and fear that many homosexuals have experienced at the hands of hateful “Christians”, there’s a lot of baggage to work through.
Thankfully, we have a Savior who said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.“ (Matthew 11:28, MEV)
It’s time we allow God to break our hearts for the gay community. Beyond that, it’s time we allow the Holy Spirit to truly move in our congregations in such a way that the most bound and blind among us can experience lasting freedom.
Note: For more on LGBT and the church, please check out the ministry of Dr. Michael Brown. Dr. Brown faces these issues head-on on his national radio program, In the Line of Fire. He has also written books like A queer thing happened to America and Can you be gay and Christian that serve as real life references for how to handle questions from the gay community while showing love and grace toward them.