Does the LGBT Community Deserve Our Love?

churchI have a confession to make. I have no idea whether homosexuality or bisexuality, or any of the non-heterosexualities, lie in the realm of right or wrong. I don’t know how to tackle that particular topic within the realm of theology or anything else.

But you know what? I’m realizing that it doesn’t matter. Let me say that again. It doesn’t matter. Why? Because. Because we aren’t called to love just the people who are heterosexual. That would be like saying, “We Christians only love people who don’t cheat on their taxes, don’t murder, and don’t commit adultery.” Do we actually do that? I hope not, though I suspect it might happen. But the issue of the LGBT community is a very clear-cut case within the church. It is brought up again and again, plastered across Facebook pages like some kind of sad wrapping paper of the soul: homosexuality is bad.

The most frustrating thing I see is this idea that homosexuality is a choice. What if it isn’t? I don’t know if it isn’t, but if the tables were switched and heterosexuality was the new “blight,” I don’t think I’d be able to change my orientation. Girls just don’t “do it” for me, and if someone tried to force me to change that, I don’t think I could. Some have said being gay is just a preference, forged throughout childhood and brought on by images or pop culture or Katy Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl.” Others have said it’s an actual genetic predisposition. Just to play devil’s advocate for a moment, what if it is genetic? What if it’s coded right there next to blue eyes and brown hair? Right next to your freckles and your big ears? What if, genetically speaking, a gay person is “born gay?” What then? Is it wrong, just like a certain group decided that brown eyes and brown hair was genetically wrong? That was ludacris then, and it would be the same now.

I don’t know. Whether it is inherent or developed, sexuality seems like something incredibly personal to me. I resent those who tell me how to run my sex life, and I’m straight. How much more frustrating, degrading, and downright abusive is it then to get involved in someone else’s sex life unprovoked?

I’m sure a lot of you will disagree with me, and I know there are multiple Bible verses out there proclaiming that homosexuality is wrong. I haven’t studied them, though, and they seem like they’re talking about the act, not the person. Like I said, though, I don’t know whether it is right or wrong. It isn’t how sex was created to be to fulfill the act of procreation, so as sin is defined in the Hebrew – “missing the mark” – I suppose it is. But so are many things we do throughout the day. I yelled at #1 today because he was flopping on the couch. Once. I yelled so loud the baby’s face crumpled. Was that right? No, #1 was just having cabin fever from two days stuck inside. Two nights ago, I did my darnedest to get out of “Mommy Daddy Time” with my husband, because of any number of excuses I can come up with, all boiling down to my own selfishness and resentment. Is that right? Most definitely not. So how is one example of missing the mark worse than another?

What is more, “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16). I’m not sure about you, but I didn’t see “God so loved the world (except for the gays) that he gave his one and only son.” For Pete’s sake, Jesus hung out with the low of the low as well as the average joe and the Pharisee. He gave everyone equal attention and love. Am I called to love only the select few, when God loves us all?

I have a very close friend who is a lesbian. She and her girlfriend have been together for years, but have yet to come out. Why? My friend already has to a few, and she has been burned by the very people who are supposed to be examples of Christ, the Church. What kind of testimony of the church is it when the secular world is more loving than we are? She has been abandoned by mentors, told that it’s a “phase,” and ridiculed. Behind her back, people have made comments and speculated. She was “straight” once, so it must just be a choice. If she really wanted to be close to Jesus, she’d “become straight again.”

The worst thing about that paragraph is that I was one of those people. I still struggle with it, but I’m doing better. Still, I doubted whether she could actually be a Christian since she was doing something so blatantly “against God.” I completely ignored the fact that I, in my straight marriage, was denying my husband of some of the very foundational needs he had. How am I any better or worse?

I’ve begun to have a transformation of heart. Does LGBT community deserve our love? Yes. A resounding yes. Why? Because they are God’s creations, people made in the very image of God. As one post on Rachel Held Evans’s blog stated, they were “knitted together in [their] mother’s womb… fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139) Every person, every person, is fearfully and wonderfully made. Every person, regardless of orientation or identification, was held in the palm of God’s hand, loved from that very first moment. Jesus didn’t just die for the people in the Church. He died for every single person ever. And who am I to butt into someone else’s walk with Him? If asked, I can give my input. Otherwise, my only job as a Christian is to love them. Again, my only job as a Christian is to love them.

I don’t know if it’s right or wrong. I am learning not to care. People are people. We the church need to stop creating a latticework of weighted sins and instead look at the person themselves. My friend is more devoted and loyal to her girlfriend than the majority of unmarried couples I know. They have issues just like any other couple, and they face the same life steps as any other couple. They are deserving of love just like any other couple. And I, for one, plan to give them just that.

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