Tuesday, November 15, 2016
What it's like, Part 3....what can the church do/should do
Christians see the hate from militant gay people, see the parades showcasing all sorts of immorality, read the news stories of what the gay crowd is trying to accomplish and force on us even more. It is easy to view gay people as enemy, and also easy to lump all gay people together.
This may be the most important blog post in this series of posts I am doing. Christians/the church needs to do a better job of dealing with this very big and important issue. So here is a far from exhaustive list of things I believe needs to be done by the church and Christians.
1) Stop with the jokes. They aren't funny, and you never know who may be in your hearing that is dealing with same-sex attractions, or is closely related to someone who is. You will forever turn them off from viewing you as a safe person, and may turn them off on Christianity and God Himself.
2) Stop viewing it as the worst sin. It is not.
3) Stop saying and thinking it is gross. Sure, it may be to you, but take it from me....a woman's breasts and the idea of sex with a woman can be just as gross to a guy with SSA.
4) Stop viewing gay people as child molesters. Heterosexuals are much more likely to be child molesters, and just as adult heterosexuals are attracted to other adults of the opposite sex, adult gay people are attracted to adults of the same sex.
5) Don't be afraid of gay people or people with SSA.
1) Be a safe person. No matter what the issue someone is facing, SSA or other, no one is ever going to come to you for prayer or help if you are constantly saying things about gay people or others you feel negatively about.
2) Love gay people. I shudder at the thoughts of what gay people would go through if they lived beside some Christians. We should be known by our love for everyone, gay people not exempted.
3) Be a friend. People dealing with SSA are often very lonely and feel unloved. Be friendly to those who appear lonely or are loners. That doesn't mean they are experiencing SSA, but it won't hurt.
4) Touch people of the same sex. That may sound weird, but let me explain: there have been many times another guy has slapped my back or shoulder or put their arm around me....I can't put words into what that feels like..... but it is a good feeling. Hug others of the same sex, if you are comfortable with it.
5) Be educated. Read about the issue. There are many books written by Christians from a Biblical viewpoint, and you never know when someone may confess to you that they are gay or dealing with SSA. It would help to know something about it.
6) Realize that not every gay person is like the ones you see and hear the most of. Our churches and families all have people hiding in the shadows that are dealing with it on some level. Some manage to keep it under control and stay single, never giving into their desires and attractions. Others keep one foot in the church and another in a secret gay life that no one knows about. Some leave the church completely to live the gay lifestyle and never return.
7) If someone ever confesses this struggle to you, thank them. It takes guts to do that. Don't offer advice, but listen. Pray for them and offer to be there for them.
Gay people should feel welcome at our churches. No, they should never feel acceptance of their sin, but they should feel as welcome as the heterosexuals living in sexual sin, the thief, the pornography addict, the gossip, or any other sinner. If they feel shunned and unwelcome, then we have failed as Christians and as a church.
Some day, a good friend or a relative you love very much may sit across from you and utter the words "I'm gay", or "I'm attracted to the same sex". At that moment, you will hold their life in your hands. What will you say? How will you react? Will you drive them from the church, your life, and God, or will you show them love and compassion and be the safe friend that they need?