But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?
Matthew 5.44, 46
Hypocrites vs. Heretics
The more we’re convinced God accepts us, the more we tend to judge those just as equally convinced He doesn’t. We see Christians who malign same-sex orientation as hypocrites. From their angle, our conviction that God created us to be who we are makes us heretics. With both sides so deeply entrenched, many of us resign ourselves to the mean idea that nothing can be done to reconcile the situation. This isn’t true and both sides know it.
There’s only one way to break through this impasse. Winning debates and condemning one another won’t do it. Only love—true, compassionate, empathetic, and selfless love—will end this foolishness. Until that occurs, neither side has any business claiming to follow Jesus and please God.
How often have we said we want nothing to do with Christians who aren’t “gay-friendly”? It’s an easy out for us, though. It shoves the responsibility on our adversaries and engulfs us in a halo of victimization. But it costs nothing to love people like us or, for that matter, people who like people like us. As Jesus told His followers, it’s so easy that everybody does it. He called us to do more than that. He told us to love our enemies.
Absolutely, we must reject rejection from any sect, leader, or believer. Nonetheless Jesus commands us to accept those who reject us. “Love them,” He says. “Pray for them.” And we love them exactly as He instructed—as we love ourselves. We need to see and understand them as we wish to be seen and understood: as beings created in God’s image, earnestly seeking to please their Maker.
It’s in our power and our duty to become straight-friendly. What’s more, it makes sense. Loving our enemies may not change them. But it will change us by shifting the focus from us to them.
It’s not about who doesn’t love you. Who do you love?
Web Sighting: Gay Christian Forums
GLBT Christians, other alienated believers, and their supportive brothers and sisters in Christ are everywhere. Indeed, because so many of us tend to hold our faith privately, it's probable we know others like us--without knowing we share a common faith and desire to follow Christ. The Web is steadily changing that, however. Almost daily, sites are popping up to provide common ground where we can discuss our belief, encourage each other, disclose our struggles, and ask questions.
Over the weekend, I discovered http://www.gaychristianforums.com/, a relatively new site that describes itself as "a safe place for gay Christians (and others) to discuss relevant issues." It's superbly organized to cover a broad range of categories that include daily Christian life (e.g., Prayer Requests and Praise Reports), welcoming churches, pop culture, theology, sexuality, and social/emotional issues (family, substance abuse, etc.).
The administrator, "Pastor X," is a gay minister who has not yet come out to his congregation (hence the "X"). He's praying and waiting on direction regarding when that will happen, after which he'll oversee the forum with his real name. We should uphold him in prayer about this, too, asking God to guide him safely and successfully.
In the mean time, we can benefit from his care and compassion for the gay Christian community at large. If you're looking for an "online fellowship" to interact with, GCF very well might be what you need. It's very small right now and in its infancy (not even three months old), but I have every reason to believe that over time it will grow into a sizable community of faith.
Take a moment to visit Gay Christian Forums and if it appeals to you--or offers what you need--by all means participate.
In his epistle, Jude wrote: "But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life." (Jude 20-21) GCF and similar sites--which I plan to highlight from time to time--provide an excellent place to build each other up.