I added the comment below to Bruce Gerencser’s blog yesterday. Bruce had been writing about one reason people don’t like Evangelical Christians, that being their attitude towards LGBT folk. It’s a good post and well worth your time (though not, of course, till you’ve finished here.) This is what I wrote:
It never ceases to amaze me that people who claim to possess the key to salvation, know the secret of eternal life, have a relationship with the creator of the universe and think their sins are all forgiven, have nothing better to do than spend their time slagging off LGBT folk.
A quick, admittedly non-scientific, survey of Christian blog and web-sites suggests that at least a third are attacks on those fortunate enough to be gay.
Maybe all that other stuff just isn’t as marvellous as they like to think it is.
Genuinely, I cannot understand how, when they think they’re tapped into the First Cause/the Power of the Universe/God, the Father Almighty, that the best evangelicals can do is to make repeated snipes at gay people. I had a look this morning at the Christian Research Network site to find three articles had recently been posted doing precisely that: one called ‘Which should be illegal: Christianity or Sodomy?’, about how religious rights are soon to be negated by gay rights (they won’t be, specially not in America); one criticising popular preacher Beth Moore for supporting a small number of gay-affirming pastors and another attacking clergy who might be gay but who remain celibate. Obviously these matters are of great concern to the Lord of Hosts, the Judge of Mankind, who is, nonetheless, demonstrably impotent when it comes to doing anything about them. Or maybe, given his non-existence, they matter only to his small-minded sycophants here on Earth.
Bruce writes in another post that he doesn’t comment on Christian web-sites because ultimately it makes no difference; evangelicals don’t listen and don’t want to know what others think. They regard even the mildest criticism as the persecution the Bible promises they will face, particularly in these ‘last days’ (that we’ve been enjoying now for two millennia.) Bruce is right, of course. All the same, when I’ve time, I can’t help but comment on their anti-gay rhetoric, their judgement and condemnation of a relatively powerless minority. They can take it how they like; their casting of the first stone just can’t go unopposed.
I think it’s always pertinent to ask Christians why they’re not living according to Jesus’ commands – by not judging others, giving to all who ask, loving their enemies, and the rest, because as sure as eggs is eggs, the majority don’t. As if this matters to today’s evangelicals. Being a Christian is really about being part of a glee club that first and foremost benefits its members, no one else. Sometimes the party bubble needs a little puncturing. Of course, believers don’t like it; they tell you Jesus was only speaking ‘metaphorically’, which he always is when he says things they don’t like. They become aggressive and unpleasant because, presumably, that’s what he would want. Nonetheless, they sometimes need to see that when they condemn others, they can expect to be judged in return. That’s just how it works. Jesus says so.
Oh, and Dolly Parton too:
If you live in a glass house, don’t throw stones,
Don’t shatter my image till you look at your own,
Look at your reflection in your house of glass,
Don’t open my closet if your own’s full of trash,
Stay out of my closet if your own’s full of trash.
Amen to that, Dolly.
I feel sure that if Yahweh thought it a problem he would do something about it toot sweet..
However, he seems very quiet about the whole issue?
Maybe, like me , he is watching the Women’s World Cup?
Well, it’s much easier to relate to someone in person than just on a website. I personally think it’s my whole business to comment on this issue as a follower of Jesus. I have often shared with evangelical Christians concerning gay and lesbian inclusiveness in the church. Many, many times I’ve gotten a respectful hearing and people willing to listen and discuss the issue, and, of course, other times not. I have friends, including parts of my own family who disagree.
But, I think I’ve planted a seed, so to speak, and can trust God to begin to work in other people’s lives. Change can take time, and we can’t drag others to where we’re at. Really, the biggest witness to more conservative evangelical people everywhere is gay and lesbian people themselves leading caring and faithful lives. That loving example means more than words and it does make a difference.
Sorry, Becky. For some reason WordPress did not authorise your comments even though you’ve commented before and are already ‘approved’. I’ve only just discovered them.
I appreciate your efforts concerning LGBT inclusion in the church. I suspect, however, that for many evangelicals it won’t matter what considerate people like you say, nor how caring and loving gay people are themselves. The bible says we are an abomination and for many that’s the matter decided.
How many Christians attended Pride in NYC a couple of weeks back, for example, to witness the love, friendliness and general happiness of gay people? While I was handed a cup of water by a clergyman (for which I was grateful) his contribution was outweighed by others in the crowd carrying placards declaring that Jesus died for our ‘sin’. There’s a long way to go before the evangelical church embraces LGBT people and many of us feel we’ve already waited long enough. Far better to jettison a devalued belief system and to get on living life without the encumberance of superstition.