Do Gay People Go to Your Church?

“I was starting to feel that I was just a mistake…”

 This was the note I received via email only a couple of months ago. It was from a young man who is funny, kind, and also happens to be gay. I’ll call him Bob. Bob has been rejected by his church & by his family, and now drives across the state to attend worship at First Christian Church because, he said, “It is the first place I feel accepted for who I am.”

Last night I was asked by a local news reporter if gay people attend our church. I felt uncomfortable with the question itself. Of course gay people attend our church! We also have members who are wealthy, who are poor, who are black, who are white, who are fat & who are thin, but we don’t typically identify them by those labels.

I get that marriage equality is a hot topic right now. But as Christians, I feel we are called, not to be the “gay” church in town, but to simply be church. And as a community, if we want to get angry about something, let it be that there are children in our community who go hungry when school is out, or because of veterans who are homeless or teachers who are underpaid.

I am proud to be a part of a church that takes the Bible seriously, especially the commandments that Jesus called greatest, “Love God and love your neighbors.” (Matthew 22:36-40) It seems that throughout the Gospels Jesus was hanging out with people who society put on the margins- women, children, the poor, a tax collector. And as he offered radical acts of healing and hospitality, religious authorities started freaking out, “But Jesus, you are breaking the rules!”

So- if we are breaking the rules, then so be it (although I do not read the Bible to condemn homosexuality.) We live in a world that is harsh. It is full of judgment, expectations & guilt. If we are to take seriously our calling to care for the poor, heal the sick, feed the hungry, and clothe the naked, then we don’t have time to spend deciding who is in and who is out. I’m going to let God choose and get back to work. I hope you will join me.

 

 

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