Why do so many Christians want to keep homosexuals out of their church?
The first time I ever wrote a post about homosexuality in the church, it was in response to a feeling that had been growing. A feeling that this “church versus the world” mentality was self defeating. And I was angry- really and truly angry- that the people who were getting sliced down in the friendly fire were some of the people the church needed the most. I was tired of seeing confused and desperate kids be the ones who carried the heaviest burden in this war of ideas. It was ideas being debated but kids being cut to the heart. It was wrong.
But one of the questions I ask the least is “why?”
Why are so many Christians so bitterly against embracing gay believers? It’s really worth learning what the reasoning is. (And small note to my dear gay readers: the next segment may be incredibly painful for you to read- but if you can bring yourself to read it and leave the thoughtful, emotional, beautiful comments you so often do you may really help someone.)
- The belief that embracing sin means rejecting salvation: Therefore, the logic says, if a gay person wants to be saved, they need to stop being gay. And if they won’t stop being gay that means they are not saved, and our “Christian” duty is to convince them of their sinfulness so that they can truly be saved.
- The belief that sin breeds sin: Therefore, the logic follows, if gay people are by their very nature leading a “lifestyle of sin” then having them around means we will only be breeding more sin, and we can’t have that.
- The belief, based loosely off of Romans One, that in order for someone to be gay that they have already turned entirely from God: I set this one apart from reason one purposefully, because they are different. Not leaving ones sexuality being a rejection of salvation is different from saying that you only got that sexuality in the first place because you have fully turned from God. This logic reads that at some point the gay person made a “choice” to reject God and all of the goodness of God completely and lead a lifestyle of fleshly temptation alone, and to allow such a person in the midst of your congregation is just begging for trouble.
- The belief that gay people are harmful to Children: be it that they will sexually abuse your children, encourage your children to seek sinful gratification, or “recruit” your children for their causes- the logic follows that you cannot possibly allow them to be near young ones, especially in a context that would lead your little folk to believe that being gay is a-okay.
- The belief that the only reason a gay person would want to be around Christians is that the enemy sent them to spread confusion: and, to be honest, I’ve never fully grasped this one. Is it implying that all homosexuals work for Satan? Um…
All of these things hold a common thread- that being gay means being openly sinful, and that being gay means that you have in some way chosen not to follow a path of salvation. The retorts to almost all of these also hold a common theme: a sexuality in and of itself cannot be sinful (it’s the heart of the person that matters), and a path to salvation isn’t like a transporter in a sci-fi flick. You don’t stand on point A, hit a button, and magically appear at p0int Z. You go through the journey, sometimes in confusing and mind-bendy order, and if you wait for people to get “holy enough” to join your church, you’re going to be passing judgment on pretty well the entire world. Which is wrong.
I could write forever, but that’s not what I want to do right now. No, right now I want to ask everyone who is reading this post who ISN’T gay to stick around long enough to read the comments from my gay readers. See what kind of reaction this logic gets from the people it rejects.
Ask yourself if that’s really the “good news” your church wants to be spreading.