I recently had a link shared with me about a letter written by a very angry woman about her gay son and religious bullies. It was quite clearly very emotionally driven and she undoubtedly had very good reasons for writing such a letter. As I’ve reflected on the letter, and its message, I’ve considered many ways to craft a response to an old letter written by a woman in a different state to particular people and I’ve decided not to. It’s not my place.
But the letter itself subtly reinforced stereotypes of gay people and stereotypes of Christians. It quite easily added more bricks to the walls that prevent true dialogue, and for that the community to which it was written has certainly missed out on a real opportunity for increased understanding among its members.
I am going to refute, though, the negative and/or erroneous things that our culture continues to push on us.
1. That religious people who oppose same-sex “marriage” are bullies.
Our culture has a way of picking out a handful of instances of terrible things occurring and using them to broadly paint groups of people. Some gay kids are bullied other kids. These gay kids’ lives are living hells. Those things are utterly terrible and if the bullies claim to be Christians, they are doing it wrong. However, to paint religious people who oppose parts of the gay activist agenda as bullies is simply not fair. The vast majority of Christians have not bullied a gay person. The vast majority of Christians know gay people, work with gay people, and are even friends with gay people. Having and voicing an opinion different from your own is not bullying. You do a grave disservice to individuals who actually are bullied when you make such ludicrous assertions.
2. That if you don’t support X, Y, or Z demand, you hate homosexuals.
Since when does love require the absolute support of everything that someone believes or does? If this truly is the case, then no parent has every loved a child, and no child has ever loved a parent. And no spouse has ever loved the other. If this is what love is, if this is what love demands, then love is not real, and love has never existed, and never will. Do you agree with everything that your loved ones do? Do you give them everything they ask for, no matter what? No? Why do you hate them?
3. That Jesus accepts everyone as they are.
If this were true, why did Jesus come to earth as man? Why did he teach? What value was there in his teaching if his people were doing nothing wrong, if they were living exactly as he liked? More importantly, why did he die? If Jesus accepts us as we are, there is no sin, and there is no need for atonement for that which is not sin, so for what purpose was his death?
The fact of the matter is that Jesus didn’t accept people as they were. Anyone who tries to say otherwise hasn’t spent much time reading about Jesus’ earthly life. Yes, he hung out with sinners. That is precisely why he came. He said that he came not for the righteous, but for the sinners, because the healthy have no need for a doctor. He came to heal the sinners he hung out with, not confirm them in their sin! We often hear about Mary Magdalene, and how today’s Christians are like the crowd, and today’s gays are like Mary Magdalene, and we need to listen to Jesus and stop throwing stones. True, very true. But we also have to listen to Jesus when he told Mary to turn away from her sin. He never told her that the crowd was wrong, and that she could go on doing what she was doing, she was told to sin no more.
Jesus meets us where we are, asks us to leave our lives behind and follow him. The disciples all left their lives behind to attain the things of God. It always astounds me when people try to say that Jesus basically came to tell us to be nice to each other, and that we should go after worldly pleasures.
4. That the left/liberal/progressive/Democratic party/mainstream media represents the interests and desires of the entire LGBT community.
I don’t doubt that a large majority of the LGBT community that is out and living the so-called LGBT lifestyle is having its interests served by the aforementioned social conglomerate. But there are tons of members that are not represented. Not every gay person supports gay “marriage”. Not every gay person sees themselves as a special victim. Not every gay person desires to live out the lifestyle. Not every gay person wants to force others to give up their religious liberties and freedoms.
So when people write about “evil Christian bullies” as the enemy of the LGBT community, it doesn’t resonate with me, a member of the LGBT community (a membership I do not hold by choice, but by circumstance).
5. That there is no place for gays in Christianity unless Christianity “gets with the times.”
This is blatantly false. I’m an example. Joey Prever is an example. So are the thousands of members of Courage chapters everywhere. Christianity is for every person no matter the time or the place or the cross that they bear. I don’t need a religion that tells me that whatever I do, as long as it isn’t “mean,” is ok. That’s a religion of mediocrity. Jesus worshipping Christianity serves me quite well. It doesn’t tickle my ears. It spurs me on to a depth of life that goes far beyond the shallow cult of body-image lust that is so prevalent in the LGBT culture. It spurs me to see others as divinely and purposefully created, not as objects to be lusted over, and used for my physical pleasure. It spurs me to turn away from worship of my body and the bodies of others who will all return to dust, and to focus my heart and my soul on things that will last: the spiritual and the divine, the treasures that are not subjected to the laws of physics, decay, and chaos. It invites my heart to rest in something substantial as opposed to superficial sexual escapades.
The world is a messed up place. These are just a few of the many lies out there that snare our brothers and sisters. These lies first and foremost prevent those who need the healing power of Christ from encountering him. They are told that Jesus does not love them or that his followers are hateful bullies. Some of the lies create a counterfeit Jesus that resembles the image of the worshipper, more than Jesus Christ, and our brothers and sisters are tricked into idolatry and worship of a false Jesus. These lies also drive the weaker or more poorly catechized brothers and sisters out of the Church. They batter believers into thinking that Jesus is wrong for not changing his teachings to meet the demands of the world or science (despite the FACT that the born-this-way argument has never been remotely proved scientifically).
Don’t fall for these lies. Jesus DOES love you. Jesus created you for a great purpose and wants to HELP you live for that purpose, to live for more than the passing pleasures that this life offers. He doesn’t hate gays, and neither do Christians (people who follow Jesus, not people who follow themselves). He has woven joy into living the plan he created you for if you are willing to make just a small sacrifice in order to follow him, dine with him, commune with him. His own life promises that sacrifices will not go unrewarded. Whether this is the first time or the millionth time, Jesus is waiting for you today, to make you a new creation.