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The Gay Religion

November 13, 2012

If you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or whatever the “Q” stands for these days, you belong in the church.

Now that I have offended both sides, let me clarify. We hear much today about “Gay Marriage” and the legal aspects of the question and Chik-Fil-A and all other sorts of chaff. What we don’t often see is a comprehensive view of how Christianity should reach out to the gay culture. There’s a lot of talk, but, as far as I can tell, not a lot of action. The talk never seems to go anywhere. We need to do something different.

Too often I think Christians treat gay (or LGBTQWhatever–it’s just faster and more convenient to say “gay”) people as if they were intentionally all trying to destroy our morals. The fact is, though, that gay people don’t emerge from a vacuum. Christianity isn’t being threatened because Elton John and the cast of Rent! magically emerged from the void. Gay people are coming from the Church, and it is the Church’s failure to act that has created the state of culture that we live in.

One of the results of the Church’s failure to act is that the Christian community begins to treat gays as if they were some sort of special sinner who is more depraved than anyone else. (Certainly there are some in the gay community who would perpetuate this stereotype.) But the fact is that most gay people aren’t nihilistic Foucault-wannabes who think morals are paintings that you put on walls. Many gay people have been hurt–by their parent, by their peers, by the Church. The gay community provides an outreach to these people, and in doing so it fills a void that the Church should be filling instead. When the Church retreats, someone else is going to advance. Evil will only triumph when good men sit at home and complain about “fags.”

Instead of ostracizing people who are gay or otherwise, the Church needs to view them as a mission field. A transgender person from San Francisco may be closer to the Kingdom of Heaven than a straight man in Knoxville. If we continue to vilify them, they won’t come to see the love of Christ. There is no excuse for not reaching out and witnessing to gay people. If homosexuality is a lifestyle choice, then those people who choose it need the Gospel. If it is something more genetically or environmentally determined, those people are no more sinners than the rest of us are. If it is a sin to be biologically homosexual, it is equally sinful to be biologically heterosexual (Matthew 27-30). Even if you go so far as some people and say that there must be something wrong with you if you are homosexual, shouldn’t you at least have pity on people who have something wrong with them? The point is that gay people need the Gospel, and what they’re getting is not the Gospel. We’ve served them up all sin and no repentance, or worse, neglected them entirely or viewed them as some sort of faceless conspiracy designed to turn us all into effeminate milksops who read Karl Marx for fun.  We’ve tried to make them into “normal” straight people, as if the struggle with sin could be solved just by flipping a switch. What we haven’t done (at least in my experience) is brought them into the church. Because if gay people are not in the Church, they’re going to be in the clubs.

Finally, I would like to address the issue of the media. The way that the issue of “gay rights” is pushed in the media and the way pop culture sometimes relentlessly pushes the “gay agenda” gives the illusion that every gay person is wholeheartedly devoted to “the cause,” that being gay means that you are trying to make everyone else be gay. I don’t think this is the case. I think that there are some, perhaps many, people in the media and entertainment who could be classified as “militantly gay,” the people who are over-the-top and can’t seem to talk about anything but their sexuality and their (usually political) agenda pertaining to the same. But I think that a lot more gay people are very complex people who have gone through a lot and feel like they get short shrift or worse from the Church. We should start listening to them.

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