For a body that promotes love and acceptance of trials, the church seems to have a large blind spot centering around the LGBTQ+community. These individuals are not fully accepted within the church and are judged for the decisions they make. After landing in the spotlight when former president Barack Obama legalized gay marriage a few years ago, LGBTQ+ members have found themselves under deep persecution and hatred, especially from the church.
This topic is a sensitive one. I don’t want to attack the church, but I do want to say that we have struggled with acceptance and love of LGBTQ+ members. Our God loves and accepts us as his people no matter the sin. So why are we, as the church, so often unable to move past our prejudices and grow together in communion?
Ephesians 4:2-3 says that we are to walk “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” If we were called to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, there shouldn’t any hostility or division within the church. Christ created the body to live in fellowship and lift each other up for his name’s sake.
It is not our job to judge anyone based upon the decisions they make in their life. Matthew 7:1-5 says, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” In our society, many see homosexuality as a greater sin than divorce, glutton, idolatry, lying, or lust when it isn’t any different. Regardless of our beliefs on the LGBTQ +community’s lifestyles and emotional positions, we shouldn’t judge them. In Christian culture, we often downplay the sins of ourselves as if we are better than someone who is gay. We have all fallen short to God’s Glory (Romans 3:23). No one is better or holier than another.
As someone who does not identify with the LGBTQ+ community, but is an ally, I strongly encourage those outside it not to treat them as outcasts, but instead love them as the Christian community is called to love other people. They are made in the image of God just as you are, but too often are not treated as such by Christians. This is utterly disappointing. I urge the Christian community to open their hearts to others who are different from them, and to love them as Christ loves.
To those who identify with the LGBTQ+ community on this campus: please know that you are.
NIYAH GRAVES – Contributor