Does the Church owe the LGBTQ Community an apology for the their treatment?

Jesus loves gays It’s almost time for the next Forum, And this should be a hot one.  According to Barna’s research as well as others this has to be one of the most tension filled question in today’s culture. Do we owe the LGBTQ an apology and if so for what?

I’ll be honest the question for me is simple. YES, We owe a huge apology. The tough part is for what, and how that looks.

Now before you get to freaked out on their sin being an abomination, etc… Lets start with this, Lets assume for the sake of the argument it is. I still say we own Our Brothers and Sisters an apology. Why you ask? Let me tell you a story and then I would love your feed back.

Many of you know that once upon a time I was a professional fighter. I fought in the MMA Arena (mixed martial arts) for years and had the opportunity to travel  all over the world, meet tons of people and grow deeply in my walk with Christ.  While training at AMC (One of the top gyms in the world) in Kirkland, WA. I had the privilege of meeting a great guy named Kim Mason.  Kim came to AMC and showed tremendous potential. He became close friends with all the guys, attended our bible study,  sweat, bleed, and had fellowship with  the rest of us daily. After a few years I retired and moved to Tucson, AZ to pursue full time ministry. Kim stayed in the Seattle area and did very well in the fight game. A couple of years later, I received a phone call from a friend and was told that our friend Kim was arrested for murder. What? I was shocked, how could this be, what happened?

The details where sketchy but it turns out that Kim had broken into the victims house, cut his throat, stabbed him repeatedly and then disposed of the body (which has never been found) and then took the car to the airport, to make it look like the victim had left town. It took two years for the police to put together all the evidence and now Kim was being arrested.  I was sick, it turns out the victim was Hartanto Santoso, a friend of Kim’s that used to come to the Gym occasionally with Kim. A nice guy but really quite, not a fighter. Why? Why did this happen, I was in shock?

Fast forward to me visiting with  Kim in prison (being a pastor has its privileges). Bro what happened, I asked. The answer changed me forever. Kim and Haranto had been having a relationship together and Haranto was going to expose Kim. I could hardly breath, Why, why did you have to kill him? Why didn’t you come to us? We are your brothers. The answer, “You would have never accepted me, I heard what you guys called people like me, I came to the bible studies, I knew God wouldn’t  love me because of who I am…

My apology had to start that day, after a tragedy that can never be taken back, with a friend a brother that will be in jail for the rest of his life without the possibility of parole. To “Kim the Sensation Mason” and to Hartanto Santoso my heart breaks and I am eternally sorry, my heart breaks for you your families and your community.

Have we brought so much shame that there is no room at the foot of the Cross?

What are your thoughts, please share.

On November 3rd, we will be taking on this issue @ Bellevue College. We are going tackle this issue head on seeking after truth without apology. So join us if you can 12:30pm in room N201

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19 thoughts on “Does the Church owe the LGBTQ Community an apology for the their treatment?

  1. The Word of God teaches us that we are to love our brothers and sisters, just as Christ loves us. There are no exceptions. We are to speak the truth in love and we should never profess to be better than anyone else. The Word also says that we have all fallen short and only find redemption through the blood of Jesus. I am saddened by your story Doug and I pray that people will read this and take a second look at this issue.

    1. Thanks so much Sarah, I’m really hoping that we will be able to elevate the conversation following next Tuesdays Forum. Hopefully we as a Christian community can find the right tension between grace and truth.

  2. This is one of the issues I think we’re biblically inconsistent about. Sin is sin. The Bible is blatantly clear that homosexuality is sin, and the church needs to steadfastly hold to what scripture says. But for some reason, we have applied the truth of scripture to the issue of homosexuality more harshly than others. How do we treat people we know who are liars? Who lust after the opposite sex? Or who commit any other sin? For some reason, we tend to think if we aren’t harsh about the subject we’ll appear as if we condone the sin … very inconsistent.

    I will add an “however.” Our culture has embraced the sin of homosexuality as just another way to live life and be in relationship. It’s becoming more deeply seeded in our culture, to the point that many churches are adopting CULTURAL views of homosexuality rather than biblical views. It’s important the church NOT do that.

    We simply need to be biblically consistent, and follow of the example of our Savior who loved all sinners while not condoning their sin.

    1. Thanks a ton Scotty, love your blog… Like your comment here, strong balanced truth. I’m hoping at the Forum next Tuesday I’ll be able to get the students and participants at the College to grasp the tension. Blessings

  3. I recently had an ongoing conversation with a long time friend of the family who has been open about his homosexuality for over a decade now. I came to this conclusion: one of the differences between us is this- I am willing to admit my sin and I’ve found forgiveness for it, and he finds his identity in the very sin he denies is a sin. He also tried to say that there is some genetic evidence that Homosexuals might be born that way. I do not beleive there is such evidence, but even if there were, so what. They have found some evidence that alcoholism is genetic. Does that mean that we can no longer speak out against such a devastating disease? My church has a recovery program for alcoholics (as well as others). Does that mean we are being hateful toward alcoholics? I agree with one of the others (Scotty, I believe) who pointe out tht the apology we owe to the LGBTQ is for treating their sin different from everybody else’s sin. Jesus did not die on a whole-nother cross just for homosexuals. My sin was just as damning as anyone’s until Jesus saved me! His death was for them too, if they will only repent and believe.

    – @kaleopastor

    1. Hey, Dan. Thanks so much for your comment, I think you hit the tension on the nose. Certainly we cannot enable people in their sin or allow them to distort the gospel and carve away the Word of God that they find unpalatable. Yet I find I’m stuck in this tension. How do stand firm against those trying to distort the gospel, yet provide a place of grace toward those non-believers that are not aware of the beautiful truth of Christ.
      Tell me what you think about this because it seems, like we have moved to working on the don’t ask don’t tell policy in the Church. If someone comes in and says here is my junk we want to police their sin and say what they should manage first, is that our Job or the sanctifying work of the Spirit. I think we would all agree that at the end of the day we should count all thing rubbish compared to the knowledge of knowing Christ. But what does that look like. Are we willing to accept a LGBTQ person into our church and not to manage their sin? Next is how do you train your congregation to deal with the believer and the non-believer in the church, since I would assume your response would be different to both.
      Thanks again look forward to your thoughts

  4. For those of your who think that you owe an apology and if you are Christian – basically you are saying that gays are ok, that you should accept them as members to Christian churches, let them take part in communion , etc? But if this is the case, you go completely against the Bible; it is as if to say: go commit your sin and we will close our eyes. This poster is a total blasphemy and if you are a real pastor you should debate about something else and not about homosexuality. If they want to be gays, it’s their choice, but what is the point of putting two gays next to Christ? This is offensive to me and I am not religious person. Look at Muslims, they have their beliefs and they keep them – look at you Christians – you follow the direction of the crowd and completely lose all your values. You should be embarrassed.

  5. Hey there Tanya, Thanks a ton for your thoughts, I really appreciate your honesty. I as I said in this post as well as one earlier. I don’t question the sin of a homosexual sex nor do I question the sin of gossip or envy or murder. The point is have we treated this sin with a distain that is above others and in doing so have placed a blockade between Christ and those who need him? The poster is supposed to be shocking, would you be shocked with a poster that had Jesus and two scantily clad prostitutes? Maybe but we know that Jesus drew those that were most ashamed to Himself. Yes he brought change in there lives, and that is a good thing. Are we the church drawing these people to the foot of the Cross that they may be cleansed, or is that to offensive a thought?

  6. Doug,

    you make an emotional appeal that really doesn’t offer enough information to decide if we should appologize or not.

    one of your friends, who you don’t know is gay, makes a vague accusation about acceptance and you want all christians to appologize to all lesbians, homosexuals, transgendered, bisexuals and queers?

    what did you refer to homosexuals as? what did you do that caused him to hide his homosexuality? maybe you need to repent and appologize!

    How do your actions and/or the actions of your bible study lead to this global guilt trip?

    you make us culpable in his crime? i can’t imagine even you were. so, he imagined losing your friendship. there are so many people who if they were in his position would never murder their partner.

    he was clearly a deeply disturbed individual. there is no causual relationship between your group’s comments and his actions. his actions were completely irrational and extraordinary.

    obviously, we should never make mean spirited comments, deride people and show selfishness and hatred to them – never. such behavior wouldn’t be christian.

    still, your blog is really weak. you don’t establish the reason for every christian to appologize to all lghtb’ers.

    one time i was walking down a sidewalk. there was a large group ahead of me. they were banging on drums and shouting really loud. i had no idea who they were. they had no idea who i was. i was dressed in a suit and headed to my office.

    all at once one of them spit on me. another one out their grotesquely made up face so close to mine our noses actually touched as he screamed profanities in my face. it turned out they were a bunch of drag queens protesting outside of a meeting held to promote traditional marriage.

    when i got toward the other side. i managed to make it clear to some that i was just trying to get through the crowd so i could go to work. there was no appology. nobody wiped their spit off me.

    instead they started making comments about how they’d like to be the person who introduced me to the “other side” and “open my mind” and various extremely vulgar comments.

    they had no idea i was even a christian. they had an agenda. they were trying to break into the christian’s meeting place. they were assulting and harrassing everyone walking by that looked “christian”.

    thanks doug for joining the enemy! really appreciate it. i’m sure that community will love it when we shut up and sit down.

    BTW: you should really study up on the history of the aids response. In 1981virtually everyone treated hiv/aids as a homosexual disease and discriminated against homosexuals. there was open talk by state and federal governments of doing quarintines. university, commercial enterprises and government labs tried to capitalize on drugs and screen tests. In fact the disease was first known as GRID or gay related inmmune disease. it was written about and talked about by every sector of media.

    it wasn’t like the world had a loving response and the church a hateful one.

    from the very begining gay activists had an agenda to not allow anyone to moralize. they would not allow anyone to condem the practice of homosexuality. they swept all talk of other sexually deviant practices under the carpet and back into the closet. they lied and forced the world to pretend that homosexuality is the equivalent of heterosexuality.

    there’s a huge difference. aids risk is directly related to number of partners and sexual deviant acts. the reason 92% of all infections in the USA occur in the homosexual popluation is due to their incredibly promiscuous and deviant sexual activities. another 6% of the infections were the innocent partners of bisexual spouses. the remaining 2% were due to blood tranfusions. as hiv/aids has progressed the percentages have changed to represent a broader cross section of society.

    what would your response be to anything else? all sexual sins are now claimed to be genetic. would a child rapist be able to blame your lack of acceptance to excuse his crime? a spouse abuser? why is your call for unconditional love reserved for homosexuals? why isn’t it balanced?

    honestly, i have never met a homosexual in the tradition of a heterosexual. i know many heterosexuals who have only had one partner and had sexual relationships within marriage. i know many homosexuals. none of them are anything like the heterosexuals, sexually speaking.

    why don’t you tell all the homosexuals you love so much to stop abusing christians. christians have done so much for their community. they have done nothing for the christian community.

    thanks so much for condemning me and telling me to stop hating and start appologizing. i really appreciate all of your attributional bias and lopsided approach.

    1. Hey, Mark.
      Thanks so much for your comments. Just to explain a little, My blog was not supposed to be an answer or complete, It was really designed to be a hook for the meeting that we had yesterday @ Bellevue College. Our meeting was two hours and very lively. Your response sounds very traditional in nature and I would guess that your church doesn’t have a very effective outreach to the Gay Lesbian community. Are we called to be missionaries to the world? Who is reaching out to this community? Please don’t point me to a para-church ministry, since it is the Body of Christ that is supposed to be the salt and light of the World.
      I would be happy to discuss any of this with you in detail after we get the audio and video up on the site, So you know the Primary apology that I gave to the Gay & Lesbian community is that we have as a church robbed the Gospel of its transformational power by not proclaiming the Gospel in a powerful way. We have also all but ignored the beautiful charge and praise of Psalm 133. We should have a community of love mercy and Justice that should be the envy of the world. Yet currently the Gay Lesbian community has a community that is more united than ours, that is a tragedy. My other apology is that somehow Jesus had sinners flock to him, yet with out compromising truth. We are not living in a way that attracts sinners to change but repels sinners into rebellion.
      I will have the video up in a few days. I look forward to your response.
      Here was the tragic thing, at the meeting, the gay lesbian community did reject my apology. The pro-homosexual Christians were the ones that were angry because they said I was still trying to change the Gay community.
      Ahhh, Christian unity

      1. i understand about the hook Doug. My daughter attended the meeting. As far as an apology being rejected – well, duh! Like I was trying to point out, the gay and lesbian community has from the very begining been very focused on moralizing and rejecting any help from anyone who would even begin to suggest lifestyle modification, christian or otherwise.

        unfortunately, a lot of these folks won’t return when you have the next meeting and talk about sin.

        as far as being effective goes my approach seems to work really well. no! not everybody is very happy with me but it is effective. i don’t think the church in general is very effective. it would be interesting to see how effective your approach is. it’s one thing to roll over and pretend like you’re on their side to get them out but what’s the outcome?

        it would be interesting to talk to you so feel free to contact me anytime. i want to see the gospel preached effectively. to the extent i can support you i will. i used to do lots of human life issue speaking and debating. it’s really cool seeing someone understand and come to Jesus.

  7. here’s a link to an article that clearly demonstrates the gay agenda.

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2003/april/25.39.html

    Christianity Today was reporting on AIDS in 1985.

    As mentioned in the article even the gay community was slow to respond. that’s why “the band played on” was written.

    the problem the gay community has with christians isn’t the love and caring actions. it is our acknowledgement that hiv/aids is a sexually transmitted disease and our promoting a godly lifestyle as prevention.

    as long as christians maintain that sex belongs in a permanent marriage relationship between a consenting man and woman we will be hated.

    gays hated christians before aids existed. they will hate us long after a medical solution is found.

    it isn’t about a virus, it’s about morality. the only way christians and gays will ever get along is if the christians abandon their faith and embrace homosexuality in all it’s forms as acceptable.

  8. Today and last night, while trying to figure out a way to get in touch with other people I know in prison, I thought of searching for Kim Mason. I knew Kim, not well, but I trained at AMC and I like to think I showed kim a little different tact for boxing. He got real good to say the least. I can’t find his name in the state prison index, but anyway, his problems haunted me. Haunted me because I saw a person with hope who could have gone a better way. I felt like he had bad models, like most people who become criminals. I’m not christian, hate the christ talk with a passion. But I do care about human beings. I felt I could have done more for kim and for others who in the absence of light chose dark. Recently, another young man, a 20 year old whom I worked with last year is in jail heading to prison. He assisted Maurice Clemmons on his cop killing spree. Again, I feel like I failed the man. Here was a great kid (don’t care that the media calls him a man) who I worked with at a bar. Loved his company more than most people. He was bright, great work ethic, funny but very immature. His downfall was he had nothing but pimps, drug dealers and criminals as role models and relatives. Once again, I feel like I’ve failed a hopeful young person with my own selfishness. Truthfully, until america stops making money and power their true gods we will continue to produce multitudes stories like these men with huge potential who get lost. I tell you, it is so strange to see how the media paints these people, here is a kid wrapped up in some real difficult situations, he does what his elders tell him to do, which is how some people do get lost. I know the guy, so I know, without his relatives telling him what to do, the news would not be quoting officer relatives calling him a “thug” or saying “going to prison is a badge of honor for these people”. After Kim, I swore I would subvert my own needs for younger people, and as you can clearly see, I’ve failed but not intentionally.

  9. Thank you for sharing your experience with Kim, Doug, and relating it to the need for Christians to reach out and understand homosexuality. I stumbled upon your blog while looking up a few of the fighters I trained with at AMC. Kim was my MMA teacher for some time there. He was immensely talented, both as an athlete and as a teacher. Only a few months after I stopped training at AMC, a friend of Kim’s told me what had happened, though at that time, the details were sketchy and didn’t quite add up. I’ve been wondering what happened to him, and what that situation was really about. I liked Kim a lot as a teacher, but socially, he seemed very standoffish. Perhaps this was because he was struggling with his sexuality.

    There are countless examples of LGBT people who suffer tragically as a result of the church’s exclusion of them. This implied condemnation has been in place in our society’s value system from the beginning and – thank God – it is only now beginning to break down. And I stress that it is ONLY BEGINNING. There are still many places in this country where it is physically dangerous to openly identify as homosexual. Until a few decades ago, Homosexuality was illegal in the U.K. – punishable by prison or chemical castration (a famous case of this punishment was Alan Turing – the guy responsible for breaking the German codes that helped the Allies win WWII).

    A brief look at Western history will show that mixing religion with science or politics is always a bad idea.

  10. I’m a christian gay man (not practicing) and I don’t understand the churches stance on homosexuality, just as the church doesn’t understand homosexuality.

    Despite what some think it’s not a choice…i would have killed to be straight growing up (not being harrassed, mocked, looked down upon, robbed of rights in the workplace etc), an unfortunate mentality led me to take an attempt on my life on two occassions. I have absolutely no attraction to the oppossite sex and i never will….its just not in my nature and never will be regardless of how hard i try.

    My question it this….taken this information into consideration what would you expect me to do?

    The way i see it i have two options
    -remain celibate for the rest of my life (not fall in love, not share my life with another soul, die lonely)
    or
    -enter into a sham heterosexual relationship with no attraction (a loveless marriage which could eventuate in kids)

    Either way i am going to lead a shallow empty life….happiness is a virtue i am clearly never going to acquire.

    Another question
    Why is there a plethora of bible passages and actions that are neglected and not enforced in todays context (eg. stoning of women, slavery, etc), yet the churches stance on homosexuality is still in strict enforcement? Just curious trying to understand this. As a christian i would appreciate an answer from a christian in this tough time!!!

    Cheers

  11. The question is not as to whether its a sin or not, its a question of treating others with love and dignity. Unless you can put yourself into someone else’s shoes you can not say that they are being anymore sinful than you. Christ emphasised not judging and not putting shame onto others. We must get to know people and know whats in their heart. Even if homosexuality is a sin, every homosexual is a child of God and deserves respect and dignity.

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