Apr 8, 2013

How Should Christians Treat Gays (LGBT)...

(written 4/5/13)

The point of this blog is to share how I'm growing... becoming a better wife, mother, friend, & follower of Christ and well, there's a pretty hot debate on the loose right now regarding 'marriage equality.' 

Basically what this means is you can legally get married, regardless of orientation... and you'll actually have 'rights' in that relationship. 

I won't begin to pretend I understand all these 'rights' because I, as a straight gal, have access to all of them and am therefore ignorant of them (truth hurts), but you can look into a few main ones here: 


Pretty much the only reason this is a hot 'debate'??? The bible 'says' no to homosexuality. (For the sake of conversation, the bible says no to a lot of things christians completely ignore)

Now I'm generally not real outspoken about this topic because... I'm honestly still trying to figure out what I think about it all, but again the purpose of this blog is to share how I'm growing amid issues that affect me personally... and after the night I just had I think it's fair to get a few of my thoughts out there (for the record) so that I can continue to evolve & expand on them later...

For some background:

I am a christian, I believe what the bible says (including reading verses in context and studying literal meaning behind words via concordance), & I am married (to a man). 

I have a close family member that is gay... actually I have multiple family members who are gay/lesbian/bi... but the one who really got me thinking about any of this is that close one ; )

* He came out to the family when I was very young. From what I remember I just listened quietly to all he had to say and walked around with him as he cried and just poured out his heart afterward. I distinctly remember just being so sad that HE seemed so sad and broken admitting all of this to his family... like he had just shot someone or something.

*Years later in May of 08' (I was almost 21 and about to get married) he invited my older sister and I to a LGBT support group he attended. We met some of his friends and went out to eat together afterward. His friends were just how he described them, 'a little crazy, but harmless' - and it was really a fun & eye-opening experience!

*Later in December of 2011 I did something that I was absolutely terrified to do... I confronted him about his 'lifestyle'. I tried to say what I felt needed to be said in the most loving way I could think up and still (for obvious reasons)... 

it was not. received. well... 

Where we're at today:

It has taken over a year for us to actually talk in person about any of this and a formal talk was only organized because my younger sister was commissioned to immerse herself in a sort of 'minority' situation. She decided to research the LGBT community a bit more & had intended to visit a gay bar or church group. She was just supposed to report back how she felt in that situation (majors in social work), but after I offered the idea up that she should just have a chat with our gay relative... we instead ended up spending hours talking about multiple topics and laughing hysterically as he got up and explained "This is how a homosexual washes his hands!" ..... and then "Sometimes, we even use a towel to dry them!" Oh how I've missed his snarky sense of humor - I just loved seeing him being... who he is! An intelligent, hilarious, wonderful guy <3

I think we were all a little nervous and weren't sure what was going to come up, but we all thought it went well and I think I almost made him faint when I said toward the end that I really just hoped he would find his man soon and bring him over to meet the family so we could all stop pretending this isn't who he is. It'd be a lot easier to talk about if it was a little more out in the open. 

He's very vocal on facebook about his beliefs, but this isn't exactly something we chat about at family get-togethers. Honestly... I think we need to get over it! 

I've known for years that this great guy, whom I grew up adoring and really considered more like a big brother, was pulling away from his family because of how he felt we all viewed him. With judgment & condemnation & blame & just... fear of the unknown honestly!!! It has to stop. I love him. I know everyone in his family loves him. I know we live in a culture that likes to sweep tough issues under the rug and pretend everything's all shiny and perfect, but that's just not real life. Life is messy, life is tricky, and we make it WAY more complicated than it has to be...

How Should Christians Treat Gays (LGBT):

First of all, I have no doubt that my opinion will continue to evolve as I allow myself to ask God some tough questions and figure out what LANA (not everyone else) believes... and know exactly WHY I believe it. It's so easy to just eat what you're fed (make other's beliefs your own without any prayer or research), but I'm totally over that. 

I've done plenty of things wrong in how I approached all of this with family, including but not limited to: 

1.) Having all our conversations via FB (too easy to misinterpret tone & intent).

2.) Challenging him to live by christian standards... when he's a wiccan in the first place!

3.) Shooting myself in the foot by not measuring my words & timing better, which caused him to feel judged & unloved by me... which was certainly NOT what I was going for...

I believe there are 2 basic principles we should consider when communicating... not just with someone from the LGBT community, but with any human on this earth...

#1 = LOVE:

I believe that God calls us to love others... and not just those that agree with everything we believe, but even those that hate us, mock us, or even just make us uncomfortable. (Matthew 5:44)

The bible explains that God IS love... so shouldn't His followers exemplify love to all they come in contact with?? 

Not sure what love is? 

Well, first of all, it's NOT just a feeling. Love is a choice.... Love is an action. You don't just say 'I love you' to your spouse and call it good... no, you SHOW your spouse you love them by treating them lovingly!

Love is not based on what you DO or DON'T do... love is unconditional. Unconditional means without conditions (fyi). So... if my daughter were to grow up and do something the world considered 'terrible' ...do you think I'd stop loving her?? HECK NO!!! (some parents do actuallly completely disown their child after they come out, but that's a different issue...)

Even if my baby did the worst thing imaginable... even if it were directed toward ME... I would still love her with all my momma-heart! 

(Kind of like how God's love for us is not based on what we do or don't do, but by our receiving the free gift of His grace & salvation!) Ephesians 2:8

There are different kinds of 'love' referred to in the bible based on 'friendship' or 'romantic' or whatever, but I'm going with the basic commission to love others, even our enemies, and to take the very difficult translation of love (spelled out in the bible) as my guide....

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails..." 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

#2 = JUDGE NOT:

After having a nice evening with family talking about the 'pink-elephant-that-has-been-in-the-room-for-years-but-nobody-has-publicly-discussed-in-our-family-until-now... I had a 30 minute drive home to have a long talk with God... and being true to how He seems to just enjoy speaking things to me personally, he gave me a song which is also a clip from one of my favorite movies... to chew on... 

It's from Disney's Beauty & the Beast after Gaston riles up the small town, making them think that the Beast is somehow a threat to them. The men are gathering their torches & weapons ready for a fight with this creature they've never met or attempted to understand and they're singing these words: 

"We don't like what we don't understand in fact it scares us and this monster is mysterious at least. Bring your guns. Bring your knives. Save your children & your wives. We'll save our village & our lives... We'll kill the beast."



(I'll let you figure out for yourself what I got out of that)
... ouch... thanks God!

I'm sure you already know this, but there are a LOT of verses in the bible calling us to love others & that warn us to not judge or condemn anyone... I'm not going to post them ALL here, but here are just a few to get the point across:

Luke 6:37 "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven."

Luke 6:41 "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?"


Romans 14:13 "Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle (referencing said judgment?) in the way of a brother or sister."


If you'll consider the last verse up there... about not causing anyone to stumble (presumably by how the verse is put together, they're referring to our judgment of others) I have to wonder how many christians were the cause of my family member feeling so alone & condemned as to consider ending his own life... on multiple occasions?  How did he get to that place where he felt that his only other option was to leave christianity altogether because no one would receive him for who he was? That he could actually feel 'hopeless' as a christian??? 

A horrifying reality on multiple accounts... it shouldn't have come to that!

I would encourage you to continue digging through the Word & asking God how you should treat ALL issues before you. Love others & don't judge or condemn... you are not their Judge - God is... 

Have you ever done anything wrong? 

I'm guessing so, since the bible says that ALL have sinned & fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). 

Have you ever judged someone? 

Considering that the literal translation of that word in this verse is: to pronounce an 'opinion' concerning right and wrong... I'd assume we've all done our fair share!

Am I claiming to have all the answers on this? Absolutely not!!! NOOO WAY! 

Will I be in the next protest for marriage equality? I'm honestly not there yet...

Regardless of my personal beliefs, do I have the right to tell someone what they can or can not do with their own life? With their own God-given free-will? No. 

Do we have the right to deny someone to marry who they love & make it a law when there are no laws against things like premarital sex (guilty) or divorce (we all know someone)? 

You tell me...                         

Do I suggest you consider very carefully before going in, guns blazing, admonishing someone of their 'sin'? ......uhhh, yeah. 

One more piece of homework for you, especially if you don't believe it's possible to be 'born gay'. Watch the film 'Prayers for Bobby' w/ Sigourney Weaver in it. You can actually watch the whole movie for free on youtube.com with the link below. 


The most important thing I got out of it (as a christian) was that it IS very possible for a person to be born gay... & that the mother handled the news terribly! This has caused me to do MUCH searching & seeking & praying in order to discover more about what God really thinks about this topic. There is a pastor in the movie that gives his view on what the bible says about homosexuality, which I can't say I tracked with at the time, but it definitely got the conversation started! 

(The documentary 'For the bible tells me so' resonated much better with my heart, which I also highly recommend you watch... and perhaps mostly, 'Fish Out of Water')

Why am I making an effort to understand???

I'm not just going to sit on my hands and do nothing while kids continue to bully other kids into committing suicide... (watch the film entitled 'Bully' and join the effort to end this horrible act by visiting: http://www.thebullyproject.com/ )

I can't do nothing after I learn that committed adults who have loved each other and stayed together for many years, always find that they have ZERO rights when their loved one dies or is in need of emergency care! How can they adopt, but not get married? They can HAVE a family, but they can't BE a family???

It's not right... it doesn't make sense... and it's certainly not fair, but spreading slander or stereotypes or condemnation (as if you've never done anything wrong) is getting us NOWHERE people!!! We need to wake up (all of us)... lets work together & quit with the H8!

Dear Granny Moe:

I am so sorry...

I'm sorry for the crap you had to put up with growing up... that was NOT fair.

I'm sorry for every time you felt alone, depressed, or rejected.

I'm sorry for anyone that has worn the label of 'christian' & treated you like anything but...

I'm sorry if you've ever felt like something was wrong with you or that you were a mistake.

I'm sorry you have felt judged by family members... and especially by me.

I'm sorry that I seem to go back & forth with my take on everything (I still have a few more things I'm trying to sort out in my head (like my faith vs. my vote)... but there's NO debating your awesomeness!).

I'm really sorry it has taken me this long to get THIS far with where I'm at (especially if you're still thinking I'm a lost cause).

I'm sorry you're unsure of whether you can trust that I really do love you (regardless of what you do or don't do) because I really do love & care about you... I'll try to make it a little more obvious in the future...

My hope for you is that you would live life to the fullest, experience abundant life with fullness of joy, find & live an incredible love story, and know without a doubt that you were fearfully & wonderfully made by the Creator of the world.

Until then, just know you're an incredible guy... and I've missed you.


"Lord help us to see others through Your eyes, through eyes of love. Amen."

**Happy to report this 'progress' of mine was received very well by my close family member before I posted it. He was the one who got me thinking about any of this in the first place... and if not for him I'm sad to say I never would've given this a second thought, but I'm forming my own opinions... not just taking what someone else says as absolute truth - I'm taking it up with God. Bless you...)

2 comments:

  1. Thanks Lana, these are a lot of the same things I've been thinking lately. I have a few college friends who are lesbian and the way that many of my current friends are responding to the gay marriage proposal really angers me and makes me hurt for the people they are hurting. I don't have to agree with someone's choices in order to love them-there are lots of times I don't like my own choices and still I love me, and so does God.
    Thanks again for this honest perspective!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for visiting and processing through this! These thoughts have not come without a price... I know I hurt my family member when I confronted him poorly and who knows who will reject even me for thinking this way? There are a lot of christians that do hateful things in the name of 'what God says', but I don't recall Him calling us to hateful words or actions... A great documentary I just watched is called 'Fish Out of Water', which gives us a deeper look at what the scriptures actually say about homosexuality & how that applies to us today.

    ReplyDelete