Listening to Christian Moms with LGBT Kids

John Pavlovitz wrote a post about spending time in a support group for Christian mothers of LGBT kids. He asked them to give him statements that they would like to share anonymously with others about how they have been treated by their churches. Here's a few excerpts – go to his original post for the rest:

They need to know that since my daughter came out, I’ve never been stronger in my faith, have never done more Bible study and reading, never been “closer” to God in every other way, but yet have never felt so alienated and distanced from my brothers and sisters in the Church. My comments have been dismissed, my absences have been ignored, and the “Amens” in church have grown louder and more frequent whenever there is a remark against homosexuality. I need support from my church family, without all the negativity.

And another:

My son has a kind, gentle heart, and a huge sense of justice and morality. He loves people with patience, and with all the traits of the famous Corinthians passage on Love. He has so much to offer to this world, and has a passion to make it better for others. As a child brought up in the church and someone who gave his life to Christ, he denied being gay all his life, and it literally almost killed him. To deny his gayness is to deny his life. That is an inseparable part of him. He either will live as a gay man or die. There are no choices. Being gay isn’t a choice anyone would make. It’s slow and painful acceptance of a reality you wish were not true.

How do we answer these people, in the manner Christ would? Maybe it starts with listening.

Gay Marriage vs. the Church?

An Opinion piece in the New York Times this past weekend is well worth reading. The author, William N. Eskridge Jr. (a professor at Yale Law School), makes the case that the Judeo-Christian heritage is not uniformly against gay marriage nor sees homosexuality as a sinful state or set of sinful actions. Like it or not, many Christians are on each side of this issue, most claiming Scriptural support for their arguments.

This week, committed gay couples seeking the right to marry will take their case to the Supreme Court. The plaintiffs in Obergefell v. Hodges are supported by amicus briefs submitted by a variety of institutions and people, from the former N.F.L. player Chris Kluwe to Ken Mehlman, a past chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Religious groups are on their side, too. While several prominent religious organizations have filed briefs in opposition, leaders in the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ, the Unitarian Universalist Association, the official organizations of conservative and reform Judaism, and more than 1,900 theologians signed a brief urging the court to legalize same-sex marriage.

In the process, he briefly outlines a few of the points I've written about on this site. From discussions of how conservative Christians have gotten interpretations wrong in the past (on race in particular) and how the current debate is not as clear from the texts as we might like today, it seems like a reasonable case to support giving freedom to those we may not agree with.

My point is not that the Bible must be read in a gay-friendly way; it is simply that the Bible is open to honest interpretations that refuse to condemn or that even embrace such families. I am doubtful that Scripture speaks with one voice about how to define civil marriage.

Two Large Evangelical Churches Support Same-Sex Marriage

In the past few weeks two large evangelical Christian churches have announced that they are fully affirming their gay and lesbian brothers and sisters in ministry and life, including supporting marriage for all.

The pastors both express the pain they have personally experienced and seen around them during their long explorations and conversations around this very tough question in the church today. They appeal to their congregations to remain united in love, even while disagreements continue. They understand and sympathize with those who cannot accept gay marriage, and they do not call them haters. Yet they believe that they are compelled by their faith to accept all people in full inclusion to leadership and all sacraments of faith and life.

These churches are Grace Pointe Church in Nashville and EastLake Community Church in Washington State. Their sermons are available to watch online.