I once had a conversation with a Deacon about feedback he’d gotten about the preaching on a Sunday morning. A Pastor had been going full tilt as they were winding up the sermon and as the momentum built up they spewed vitriolic hate of gays and lesbians.
The Pastor thought he was doing his job. He thinks that’s what Pastors in little country churches are supposed to do. I sat there feeling buffeted by it but resigned to the idea that in order for me to be a fundamentalist and be teaching the physics of creation, where God created gravity to separate light and dark which is why hell is at the center of the earth, then I’m just going to have to put up with it.
On reflection, and since the Deacon seemed to be concerned and evidently had deep compassion for people who identify as LGBTQIA+, I began to seriously ponder the issue.
Here’s what I have observed over the last several years:
- LGBTQIA+ has gained acceptance by a broad sector of society,
- There are no longer any laws against it.
- The response from conservative Evangelicals has been to describe a doomsday scenario where Christian animosity towards people in protected groups becomes so unacceptable that legislation is proposed to outlaw Christianity.
- When the jackbooted Nazis show up to demand that Pastors stop preaching hatred against gays and lesbians they refuse to back down and get hauled off to jail.
Of course, if you really want to play a game of chicken with an oncoming freight train – which you yourself set in motion – then I can’t stop you. However, I believe that there may be a better way.
Why do the Heathen Care?
Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?(Psalms 2:1) KJV
Sure the heathen rage about how there is no God, blah, blah, blah. But I see a lot of heathen beating Christians at their own game of showing kindness and compassion to people in deep personal crisis.
You can go onto any college campus in the USA, go into any building, and go to where the faculty offices are and see little stickers beside the doors with a rainbow emblem and the words “Safe Zone.” This is where anyone who identifies as LGBTQIA+, or who is going through the challenge of trying to figure it out, knows they can go and no one will judge them or try to make them feel bad about it.
You may think that this is a stupid question but shouldn’t our churches be safe zones?
Obey the Law
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.(Romans 13:1-2) KJV
Identifying as LGBTQIA+ is not against the law but discriminating against people who do is, and we are told, in the Word of God, that God is the ultimate source of all authority so the law is His will.
How hard is that to understand?
Faith Cometh by Hearing
The way that I understand the operation of the Word of God, through the action of the Holy Spirit, is that people have to hear preaching in order for the Holy Spirit to bring them under conviction.
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.(Romans 10:17) KJV
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.(1 Corinthians 1:21) KJV
How are we going to get the LGBTQIA+ community to listen to preaching if they are afraid that they are going to be attacked from the pulpit? I’m sorry if this is this logic is too simplistic for you.
Shepherd or Wolf?
If Jesus is the Good Shepherd and this is a picture of a shepherd gathering the flock into the fold to keep them safe, why do we think scaring people away is either a good idea or Christlike?
For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.(Luke 19:10) KJV
How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?(Matthew 18:12) KJV
What if the one is LGBTQIA+ or going through an identity crisis?
Evangelicals are Being Played.
LGBTQIA+ is really not the real issue here. As we have discussed elsewhere, the issue is carnal vs. spiritual. LGBTQIA+ is being used as a political ploy, like a pit trap, to cause Christians to be seen as mean hateful people. The problem is that conservative Evangelical preachers are jumping feet first into the trap by spewing hatred of gays and lesbians under the guise of “loving them.” They are building churches full of people who also hate gays and lesbians, indeed, it’s a requirement for continued membership. They see themselves as being heroic protectors of the Word of God and when persecution arises they are determined to be brave enough to stand by their convictions, no matter what the cost.
That sounds great, but it’s a battle that doesn’t need to be fought. It’s a ploy, and they’re falling for it.
Safe Zone Churches
The motivation that causes conservative Evangelicals to think that taking a stand on the LGBTQIA+ issue is necessary is a desire to be faithful to the Word of God. At least, their understanding of the Word of God. However, whether they know it or not, they have already capitulated with secular society and accepted an unBiblical cosmological model and a theory of gravity which makes the existence of heaven and hell impossible. The supposedly solid foundation on which their anti-LGBTQIA+ crusade is based is really sinking sand.
You don’t prove to God what a good Christian you are by hating gays and lesbians. Accept them into your churches and teach them a Biblical interpretation of science so that the world can finally make sense.