Back in October (2014) John Pavlovitz wrote a post that I've recently re-read. It's worth carefully thinking through. His description of the "fruit" of our traditional theology (as Jesus pointed out, we will know false teachers by the fruit of their teachings) is sobering. This is real.
Read the brief excerpt below, or click through for the entire short article on his blog.
Distorted Love: The Toll Of Our Christian Theology On The LGBT Community
Love doesn’t always look like love.
Scores of people from all over the world have shared with me their devastating stories of exclusion and isolation, of unanswered prayers to change, of destructive conversion therapies, of repeated suicide attempts, and of being actively and passively driven from faith, by people of faith.
Church, this is the reality of our theology on homosexuality.
This is the cost of our religion to the LGBT community. More accurately, it’s the cost of our religion to LGBT human beings. This is the painful collateral damage that comes when we see principles and ignore people; when we refuse to give them the dignity they deserve.
Apparently Love does hurt; really, really badly.
Reading this article (and similar ones) was the final straw in pushing me over to supporting full inclusion and support of gay couples in our Christian churches. When asking the question "Where is there more harm?", it is clear for me that the real daily fruit of exclusion is so much worse than any potential problems on the other side.
I have to believe that God is love, and walk in that love not in fear. The life of Jesus shows us how we as humans should live in God's pattern here and now: including, loving, and standing up for the outcast, persecuted and rejected by society and religion.
For those who cannot affirm marriage at this time, consider at least being open to the fact that many Christians who love the Bible see no problem with it, and use your ears more than your lips for a while. As I've heard a couple of people put it recently, Jesus talked about those who have ears yet cannot hear – not those who have lips but cannot speak!