To Covet Community (Does the Church owe the LGBTQ Community an apology) a follow up

First thing I would like to say is that I am incredibly grateful to all the people that came out and brought such incredible value to The Forum. You are all incredible. Id also like to thank everyone who commented or emailed me in regards to the last blog.

Today I want to share what I would say has to be my biggest takeaway of the day. I think one of the biggest apologies that we need to make not only to the Gay & Lesbian Community, but to ourselves, and to the world is that we have not maintain a true community. That is one of the things that hit me the hardest as I stood up and took questions. The LGBTQ community is immediately and openly welcoming of people that share in their lifestyle. Their community sees, beyond color, economics, gender and education. We seem to be constantly divided,  why would people want to be involved in with us.  I heard this over and over in the large group as well as in the smaller discussion after the Forum. Why would we expose our hearts when inevitably we will be rejected. We get all the love all the support all the family and fellowship that you could want. Why would we come to the church where even of some might look past our sexual gender surely we will be rejected, its just a matter of time.

As someone that has run in the Criminal community, there is a greater understanding of a general acceptance than in Christianity. Now certainly I am generalizing, and I have people that I have incredible community with some in the Faith. But I think we need to really examine what is the state of our community. How does it look to the outsider? And shouldn’t the Body of Christ bring from the world because of the love we demonstrate to one another?  It was the Commandment that Christ gave us that if we obeyed the world would recognize us without a banner of a building.

Later on Tuesday the group of guys (the Barbarians) that I meet with took a long hard look at Psalm 133

Psalm 133: 1 Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!2 It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes!3 It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.

Do we realize that our fellowship, our unity is not only just holy, and good, and right before the Lord. But that it is beautiful, and life giving, and it is a demonstration of grace and hope?

Consider this, do  your relationships  say more to the world than your religion.

I hope to have a audio and video link uo in the next week for The Forum

Blessings

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9 thoughts on “To Covet Community (Does the Church owe the LGBTQ Community an apology) a follow up

  1. Doug, thanks for doing something like the Forum. I think the church must have the courage to have conversations with everyone. If we cannot even converse, we can’t begin to be Ambassdors for Christ in this world.

    But I wasn’t quite clear about part of what you were saying. First, in the homosexual community, as with ANY kind of grouping in which you find human beings, you will find a great deal of strife between persons. The Church does not have ownership to that aspect of human behavior, it simply stands out in the church when we behave in those ways that are nit Christlike. Yet, as ugly as the church gets, I would put its fellowship up against any fellowship known to humankind, for what you can often find experienced between brothers and sisters in Christ is extraordinary to the world when Christ is in the center of it.

    A final thought. It stirs my heart when the question of “why would we come to the church when we would ultimately be rejected” is raised because that is the behavior some Christians have exhibited. But not all. However, what the homosexual community must understand is that for the Church to be the Church, we should love them as any other human being, but like any other human being we will never accept their sin. There is a very real difference there.

    I think we need to apologize any time we do not treat others as Christ would treat them. And likewise, the Church must never apologize for opposing sin just as our Lord does.

    Quite frankly, I don’t think this is all that hard. But our biblical illiteracy and poor disciple-making will result in failures that ought not to happen.

    Talking about apologies, sorry this “comment” is so long! Thanks, again for the leadership you displayed!

    1. Hey Scotty, Thanks. I always appreciate your feedback, and as a Christian counselor I really respect your heart in what you have to share. Two things, I think anytime we compare our community with others as “with any grouping” it is a mistake. If there is not something supernatural about our community we are missing something. It must look different.
      Here is a question, and I totally get the whole we should not accept sin, however I think it is easy to fall into the trap of trying to manage the sanctification process.
      Here is an example a young man walks into your Church, He is practicing a homoerotic lifestyle, he also uses vulgarity, drinks to drunkeness, has issues with unforgiveness, gossips to his co-workers, and is coveting his bosses car to the point of bitterness. When his partner tries to talk to him he gets angry and occasionally lashes out physically in anger. So he walks into the average church in America and what do they do? They want to manage his sin. Lets deal with the Homoerotic actions first. We don’t first try to move them closer to Jesus and let the Holy Spirit make the changes that he wants to make. I’ll be honest I look at this list and go Oh’ yeah dump the dude and half these issues will go away. However understanding that the Gay / Lesbian community finds a tremendous amount of identity in there sexual behavior, shouldn’t we help them find an identity in Christ before we strip away their old one? Maybe? Is it possible that we need them to experience some victory and community in Christ before they are strong enough in the Lord to change the sexuality. Do we put a time limit on these things or is this a God thing.
      Scotty, I don’t claim to have the answers to any of these thing. I only want to be honest enough to say, it worries me and I think we need to change who we are. We have a growing community that are raising children to believe that the Church and their God are enemies, this is a problem.

      Last thing, Never apologize for a long comment, I appreciate it. I’m wrestling with all this and the input is great.

  2. Doug, I agree entirely with your statement above. And not only with the homosexual community but with anyone who would walk into the church with the hypothetical you posed. I do think the church has wrongly acted differently toward the homosexual who comes into the church with those problems than if a heterosexual came in with similar problems. I think every person who doesn’t know Christ should be treated … and loved … the same. And I most definitely agree we need to first, and foremost, “love them to the Lord.”

    I am a Clinical Counselor, but also a pastor for 25 years this month, and from what I see with the church, we must address issues like the one you have raised, but we must go beyond discussion to resolution. What change, what action, what steps, what commitments should we, must we, can we take to become more like Christ in any and all of our relationships?

    I think at the heart of the issue is the poor job the church has done with discipleship, of being committed and focused on helping people to grow up in Christ. We’ve so dummied down our preaching and teaching to the point at any time I expect coloring books to be handed out and hand puppets brought out! That a mature disciple does not make. When we reach, teach, disciple & model as we should, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we’ll make disciples in the likeness of the Lord we serve. We have not been doing that. Instead, our churches are full of people who are biblically illiterate, are afraid of prayer, and who are uncommitted to their individual Christlikeness. No wonder, then, they behave poorly toward others.

    I don’t have the answer either, but I think part of it begins with men like yourself seeing the problems and not settling for it. My prayer is that this doesn’t stop with discussion. This needs to be a kick in the pants toward the need for transformation and reformation. Of the vital need of the Church to truly be the church by lives being transformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ.

    ok, enough. 🙂

  3. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to go to the forum, but between what I heard from other people, and what I read before on your blog, I found it extremely thought provoking. However, when I thought about the implications of your forum it made me realize that the treatment of the LGBTQ was only one aspect of our lack of community. I think that group is one we should focus on changing our relationship towards, not only because the church has treated them worse than almost any other, but also because they tend to have an exceptional openness to their character.

    Upon thinking about this issue further I came to the conclusion that the church’s treatment of the LGBTQ community is different than that of other groups, either because of some kind of societal pressure, or because we’re prideful. It’s interesting that we would be extremely happy to get a criminal to come to church, but if a homosexual (sorry, I heard that term was viewed as offensive, but I don’t know which term is preferred) came then probably half of the staff would pull them aside to talk about their problem. Although I still think that behaviour is sinful, I fear that we’ve built a hierarchy of sin. We’ll work with Christians for years on their sin without demanding that they change or leave, but tend to keep the gospel from the LGBTQ community unless they change first.

    As I think more about the church’s relationship with society and God I begin to wonder if the church needs some kind of drastic overhall before it can reach the world as it should.

  4. thanks Doug for doing the Forum. A few comments: first of all, most Gay and Lesbian people wouldnt even think about going to a Bible believing church. Theyd go to an “open and affirming” church which embraces the Gay lifestyle and there are plenty of these churches in the Northwest. Ofcourse these churches do not take a literal interpretation of the Bible and are quite liberal. I think Gay and lesbian people will be won to Christ one relationship at a time.Most Christians in the world know someone who is gay and its going to take them getting over being uncomfortable with them and developing a genuine friendship with them, really just like anyone else. Ive developed a friendship with a transgendered female at work and we talk about all kinds of things ,some spiritual, and we play pool, etc. Recently she payed me a wonderful compliment and said I was an inspiration to her and is going back to church! We have to get over being afraid of Gays and feeling awkward! Also. lets not forget that there are christians in the church who struggle with same sex attraction and weve got to stop shaming people or they will not get the help they need. Case in point, Ted Haggert and Bob Morehead. I really appreciate OCC for having Celebrate Recovery a 12 step program for a host of addictions etc. And Northshore Baptist for a ministry dealing specifically with Homosexuality….” Tower of Light”. If churches really want to know more about about this issue theres always Exodus International Ministries that offers all kinds of resources and education. Speaking for myself, Its the friendships Ive developed in church that have made the most difference in my freedom. I would be interested in talking with you more in person Doug!
    c
    churche

    1. Thank’s so much for being there Leslie. Obviously, you come from a place of being there and I respect your openness and love for the church even when we have been less than sensitive to your struggles. You are right on all counts, the hard part is how does the church repent and start engaging in intentional relationships without treating people like projects, or a trophy to be won. We really need to check our motives. Much love to you lady

  5. thanks for your response Doug.How does theChurch repent? Its probably already been said, but bears worth repeating. The church has a heirarchy of sins, homosexuality being on the top of the list. We shouldnt make some sins worse than others. We have to get beyond seeing the sin and see the person. We need to develope friendships( for the sake of friendship and not just think of them as projects) and that takes time and effort. ( and we cant do that if all we do is hang out with Christians and only go to Christian activities) Instead of telling gays what we believe, why not ask them what they believe. That way we at least develope dialogue. I remember hearing about a church that got involved ministering to people in the gay community with aids and hearing how the gay community was really impressed even though they knew this church was theologically miles apart. It concerns me how the church is known for being against homosexuality and abortion and premarital sex and etc, but are we also known for forgiveness and love and charity to the poor and a life in Jesus and a community in Jesus that transcends anything the gay community has to offer? Does my life reflect the words of Paul who said I consider everything loss or garbage compared to the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord?

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