I previously posted about situations that will likely happen in the ministry setting when finding their footing in welcoming LGBTQ. Now let’s talk about our personal lives.
Another reminder that I’m a coach. My role is to lead you to asking the right questions so that you’re able to find balance in any situation. However, this is sooooo personal to me, that I
can’t won’t be completely objective. So, let’s look at some real life situations I’ve been in or heard about from both sides.
My family member or friend has come out as sexually or gender diverse. Let’s start with the most powerful, overused yet underestimated question: What would Jesus do? What would our Christ who willfully left paradise to teach and save us do? The person who made closest of friends with some of the ‘lowest’ people; what would he do?
See, I think we’ve unintentionally drifted back into Pharisee territory. We uphold rules and when (not if) someone else doesn’t measure up, we turn our backs. That’s exactly what Jesus allowed himself to become a freaking human being to abolish! You don’t have to change your beliefs. Honestly, all you have to do is live out what you believe: be fishers of men (Matthew 4:19), love one another as he as loved us (John 15:12), bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2).
Each situation and relationship is unique to the people involved so there are no one-size-fits-all answers except to love. Not tolerate, not ‘guard your heart’ against them (because it’s not contagious). Be with them with an emphasis on ‘be’. You don’t need answers for that. Presence and partnership is not the same as applauding or encouraging behavior, it’s making sure you don’t reduce that person to this one thing.
If you need a verse to help you over the hurdle of tension, because it is difficult to do the opposite of what you’ve been taught, use this verse as a foundation to your cries to God for help, confirmation, and direction: Mark 2:17. Pray about it. If you’re a follower of Jesus Christ, you and I are praying to the same God. He will not tell you one thing and me another and I know what he told me. Make sure you’re just as confident.
How do I respond to increased media portrayal of the LGBTQ culture? I encourage you to humbly ask yourself if you ask this question about the countless other things the media does and has also portrayed increasingly (violence, sex, profanity, degradation, etc)? If so, great! At least you’re not picking and choosing which things to question? If you’re not, you should probably dig deeper to see what it is about the LGBTQ culture that’s bothering you more than all else because you won’t find that answer externally.
The World is doing what the World has always done. No one can correctly say that there hasn’t been an explosion of exposure to LGBTQ Culture. More than anything, I hope this lights a fire in each of us to take notice. What’s a new influx to us will be this generation’s normal and there’s no shelter from it. Staying in your Christian bubble of church service every night and child locks on your TV won’t stop it. Time to take notice and take action; not a fight but a pursuit. Any aggression against people reflects spiritual immaturity (yea, I said it) and will only create more distance.
I don’t know what all of the language means and I don’t have anyone to ask. What resources do you have access to? What do you need to know? You don’t need to be fluent in french to speak to someone from France. In the heat of the moment, what knowledge/skills/commonality do you have with this person that you can use now? What are you doing now to learn more?
Let’s talk, you and I. If you’re not ready for that and are looking for other options, remember that you have access to a slew of information. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to learn everything. If you’ve been blindsided by your own sexuality, remember that no matter how big it seems, it’s only a part of who you are and nothing is a surprise to God. He’s fully prepared to be with you during this situation.
If you’re working through learning a loved one’s sexuality, again remember this is only a part of who they are. You know this person and nothing in God’s word commands us to distance ourselves from them. In fact, it encourages the opposite. Jesus moved toward people; it was the legalistic pharisees who moved away.
I hope that if you choose a different response, you’re able to take responsibility for it instead of putting it on God. You have the freedom to do what you please, but assigning any action or conviction to God that isn’t from him not only hurts you, but those around you as well.
What if I don’t know what I believe about same-sex attraction and the Gospel? What do you know about the Gospel and what do you know about same-sex attraction? Do you need to know the ‘answer’ to do what you’re called to do? How does your not knowing affect how or if you approach it/people?
These are the things I encourage you to wrestle with, not because your salvation depends on it, but because it could deeply affect someone else’s. These situations and questions can be challenging (trust me, I know), but that doesn’t mean they have to challenge your faith. These questions remind us to know God and what he says rather than what tradition and legalism says. It’s ok to make a mistake, but for the love of God (I very literally mean that), let the mistake be made out of love rather than stubbornness or hatred. Sometimes the ‘right’ answer is freeing, but sometimes it’s heavy.