Christians and the price of bigotry
Strife between Christians and gays has come to the forefront.
Gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson asserted that religion, and its rejection of homosexuality, played a crucial role in suicides among LGBT youth. A Wal-Mart employee’s firing made national news because she claimed the harassment she dealt a fellow gay co-worker fulfilled the requirements of her Christian faith. At this year’s “The Awakening” conference, a gathering of conservative Christians held at Liberty University, panel moderator and school dean Matt Barber was quoted as saying homosexuality was “hedonism repackaged.” At conservative Christian college campuses around the country LGBT students are speaking up and being silenced.
The fact of the matter is, God continues to save LGBT people.
God loves gays
The mere existence of significant numbers of individuals who are boldly gay and Christian should be proof enough that God is still extending His love toward “Whosoever believes in Him.”
Strife between Christians and homosexuals is an outgrowth of an even deeper dilemma. It started when the first Christian took it upon his/herself to usurp St. Peter’s position at the gates of heaven and broadcast their own very human assessment of who was Heaven-worthy and who was not. It has turned the foot of the cross from a safe space into an exclusive club and turned many unsuspecting children of God into Christians who are truly doing a disservice to the name.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
It is a Christian’s duty to share “good news” to those who are in need (Mark 16:15). How you do that makes all the difference. Many individuals form their first impressions about Christianity after an “evangelical experience,” in or outside of a church, where someone has tried to convert them. Sharing your beliefs with someone can deliver fresh revelation or a fresh wound.
Be a Witness
Here are a five salient suggestions on how to represent a faith built on the concept of unconditional love. Because the truth is, if you can’t figure out how to reach a soul without being judgmental and offensive, then you don’t want to reach them badly enough.
- Judge not lest ye be judged: Talk about Jesus – not other people. There is enough material within the gospels of Jesus Christ to address all the concerns that people face. Tell people about Jesus, not about themselves. They are likely not interested in your opinion (John 21:25).
- Share your beliefs without devaluing other’s: Most people don’t hold their beliefs lightly. Some of the most ardent Christians started out in a different faith. It’s dangerous to create converts to Christianity by undermining other religions. Christianity shouldn’t just be someone’s last resort. Meet a person where they are. Only take them as far down the road to discovery as Christ allows (I Corinthians 3:6-9).
- Allow people the right to disagree with you: Not everyone is going to believe that Christianity is the way. Not everyone is going to accept Christ the instant you speak with them. You may just be planting a seed. The point of your interaction may simply be for you to become the first non-annoying Christian someone encounters (Proverbs 15:1).
- Don’t be so easily offended: Christ died to save us. You did not. God doesn’t need us to defend His supremacy. A seeker’s process of discovery is fertile ground for growing faith and relationship. Being defensive only pushes people away (I Corinthians 8:9-12).
- Leave LGBT people alone: Making the assumption that gay people are lust-driven hedonists condemned by God only reveals deep-seeded ignorance. The fact is, whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. Help someone believe. Leave the rest to God. (John 3:16)