For years the Church sat idly by while states began to discuss same-sex marriage. It felt odd, when was that vast army of believers who used their Bibles as their swords going to rise up and stand for what they have been taught? When were those who stood for God going to march on Washington and take back the country that they saw drowning in immorality? But as the Church stood silent and seemingly baffled, the dominoes were set in motion. One state and then another fell; the dominoes were perfectly aligned tumbling clicking in perfect formation right into the hallowed halls of the Supreme Court. The Gay Community rejoiced, the lovers of the oppressed were delighted but the Church, who were vehemently opposed did not weep. They were too shocked to cry for their country, everything had happened so fast, they had been caught off guard, asleep at the wheel. They could now only react, standing with their mouths gapping, rocked back on their heels as the strong winds of degradation had blown across the nation.
So now what? What can be done? The Church was in a quandary. For decades it was simple, if your identity was discovered to be LGBT you were asked to leave your church community. There was no place for you, a sinner, until you repented and began to identify as heterosexual, or at the very least remained celibate for all of your days on earth. That was mind numbingly devastating for most of us who loved God and had spent our lives in service to those who threw us to the curb with no questions asked. We knew how they felt, we knew what would happen and yet we stayed for the love of God and our fellow Christians but in the end none of that mattered.
Over the years two general extremes have been taken by the Christian LGBT community. Faced with alienation from their faith communities, most left turning their backs forever on the ones that rejected them. But then there are the rest of us, still waiting to be accepted, loving God and hoping against hope for the day that our church will open its arms fully and unconditionally to us who have suffered so long.
So what is the Church doing now that the popular culture has changed? Isn’t the battle over, hasn’t the war been lost? Didn’t their silence as the dominoes fell mean they had softened? On the contrary in order to deal with their perceived crisis in our culture the Church had to find a new way to deal with the LGBT community; they could not continue to be seen as heartless and yet they could not bend from their Biblical interpretations.
No, now if possible, a far more heinous stance has been taken. It is a position that sounds like love but screams conditional. One that says, “Come on in, we love you, we want you here,” but is masked in superiority; one that looks like they have evolved, but is no further Christ-like than the wicked policies of the past.
The “new” conservative Christian stance toward the LGBT population is to have us come back to church. We can come, we can worship, we can give our money, but we cannot be members and we cannot serve in positions of teaching or leadership. What could be more offensive? While they believe to act on our same sex feelings is sin, they somehow are blinded to the far greater sin of pride that lies in their own hearts. The new policy is not new, instead it is just a reworked version of bias and bigotry repackaged to appear as a kindness. What they see as a bending compromise is nothing short of more insulting than the policies of the past.
The conservative Church did not stand while the dominoes fell, the shock has worn off only to be replaced by more fervor to stand firm. The same old Biblical interpretations that lead to alienation of the Gay community are not just still in place but now they are at the forefront of the churches mind. In many churches regular attenders and those willing to serve must sign statements of faith and conduct. These documents must be signed swearing them to agreement and compliance that same sex couples acknowledge they are living in sin and cannot and should not serve.
Where will this end? I am afraid it will not until good people are willing to recognize the error of their interpretations of the scripture. I am convinced it will not, until noble people are willing to stand for what is right for their LGBT family and loved ones. I am certain it will not, until decent people speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. It is a call to action, a call to change.
The conservative Christian church is drawing their line in the sand; they puff out their chests proud to be taking the last strong stand on homosexuality. While they believe they are standing for right they are all the while failing to realize what could be the eternal consequences they are calling down on themselves from above. Who will not hear the love of God because it has not been shown through his people? Who have they sent away?
Full inclusion or full exclusion, it must be one way or the other. In Christ there is no middle ground.