he who has ears to hear, let him hear.
not long ago, i wrote a post asking for ideas on how to find a better way forward in the conversation between the evangelical and gay community. there were several helpful comments (feel free to add yours here), one of which comes from a reader with an acute understanding of the missteps taken by many – and offers these words to those who desire to move forward ::
Here are some specific things that you can do / realize while you try to show love to homosexuals:
• Stick up for gay people. Speak up when you hear derogatory statements being made within your sphere of influence. Speak up when you hear misinformation being given.
• Keep the presumptions to a minimum and to yourself. Nothing will kill trust like a Christian wielding a stereotype. Lifestyle || Recruitment || Choice || Agenda|| et cetera, are all buzz words to steer clear of.
• Reserve confrontation. If you’re not comfortable enough with someone to tell them they have broccoli in their teeth, then I would say confronting them about such a personal sin – specifically – isn’t going to go very well.
Another test is if you can’t talk about your own life and your own sin at a deep and personal level with a homosexual, then confronting the homosexual regarding his life and sin at a personal level probably won’t go too well.
• Find out more about gay people. Go to your local gayborhood and interact with the people there with the goal of seeing them as people. Listen to them talk about how they feel about themselves and how people view them. (No, I’m not asking you to go to the Eagle. I’m sure there are coffee shops, home stores, restaurants, bookstores, etc. there)
You could even read up on it — lurk on message boards on the internet & find some serious gay-issues blogs.
• Realize that church is for married people. Don’t deny it, the older the age group, the more family oriented the activities (if there are any). A gay person attending church is likely to be single and not comfortable with being “encouraged” (a.k.a. pushed) toward straight relationships.
Being a single adult at church is difficult enough, but throw in being gay and single and it becomes a minefield.
• Realize that a typical gay male is not going to fit into the typical male groups offered at church. The group male bonding thing doesn’t make sense to me. I typically come away from them feeling more like an outsider than belonging to something. I don’t do competitive sports. I don’t do “roughing it.” I get weird looks whenever I contribute to the conversation. The men’s activity at my church during the mission’s conference is rifle shooting — too scary for me.
I like breakfast, though, but not messages on how to become a better husband or father.
• Pray for the right attitude within yourself. Pray that you can be the one to make the right kind of connection.
Love the sinner. Period.
You won’t have any time leftover to hate the sin if you are doing the loving part correctly.
what do you think?
are these words easy or hard to listen to? are you able to hear these words? do they inspire you toward action of changing the status quo within your faith community, or even your personal interactions?
how do you respond to this? what would you add to the conversation?