Should LGBT People Be Allowed In Church
LGBT And The Church
The purpose for this article is to ask my fellow Christians and pastors some serious questions regarding the LGBT culture. First off, what does LGBT stand for? Lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender people. For most of us this culture is not something we hear about every day. We may see highlights on the 6pm news of the gay pride parade and make comments to ourselves or to others about it. Until this past Thursday I did not have much exposure to this culture of people nor did I care too much about this culture. Some things have come to light that needs to be discussed in the church and amongst Christians. We are living in turbulent times and the church needs to be the spearhead through all of it, the good, the bad and the ugly. Because of this training I attended, it made me wonder how welcome these people would be in our churches. They are outcasts from society in many ways but only make up roughly 10% of the population. Of all completed suicides in our country, 40% are from this culture. I must make this known now before proceeding, that I am NOT in support of this lifestyle! I am simply making some observations and asing some questions to our church leaders and fellow Christians.
I attended a mandatory training this past Thursday for my work. I have only been at this job since January so this was the first time I had attended this type of workshop. Apparently they hold it every year. I am not sure why they make it mandatory and what the purpose of it is, but it's something I am curious about.
I had the expectation that I would be learning how to deal with offenders in my field (probation officer) who aligned with one of these sexual orientations and how to manage and monitor them. Instead it was two advocacy group leaders that came to educate us on some of the statistics of this particular culture with an underlying tone that we are to be allies with them and to support people with these various lifestyles. I, of course, do not agree with these lifestyles and do not support anyone trying to "come out" which is a term used for an LGBT person admitting openly about their sexual orientation. To be honest when I am monitoring someone on my caseload, the last thing I want to know about is their sexual orientation. To me, it has no purpose to them completing community service hours, drug and alcohol treatment or paying on fines, fees and costs. It just doesn't matter. But, as I listened to some underlying tones of these speakers, I began to think a little deeper in this training and their plight in the world.
No doubt the speakers were supporters for these people and often held group meetings in churches to support them in their struggles of being gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender. They support their lifestyle choices and embrace their orientation. These speakers mentioned that many of these people come out of churches and their faith because of persecution and it "because they were tormented in their churches", according to the main speaker. This sparks some more thoughts and questions.
The training was actually pretty good and I learned some things, but I walked away more with questions for our church leaders than valid and useful information I could use for my job.
Should LGBT Be Allowed In Churches?
The obvious answer to this question is 'Yes', they should. I have been a Christian for most of my life. I have backslidden several times and continue to battle with sin every day as all of us do. In all of my life I have never heard a message on a topic such as lesbians, gays, bi-sexuals or transgender except for the occasional pastor that supports this lifestyle. I believe as a Christian we should be facing such social issues head on! I'm sure in some communities there are churches that do address it, but I've never heard about them. And is the Christian community accepting of them?
Why don't our pastors preach from the pulpit to invite these people to church to listen to God's Word and interact with other loving Christians. It is not our job to judge and condemn the world. That is God's job. We are simply to love unsaved people and pray for them until they receive the Holy Spirit and make the decision to turn their lives over to God. That is when changes occur and that is when Jesus starts convicting them of the sin in their lives. It is not our job to force someone to change their lifestyle.
Pastors should address this issue from the pulpit along with other tough social issues and use God's Word as the guiding light, not our personal opinions. So why aren't more pastors preaching about these topics in our churches? We should embrace all people from all walks of life. I have faith that once a sinner truly becomes saved, they will start getting rid of sin in their lives.
As you can guess my unerlying tone is that the lifestyle of LGBT people is a sin. I do believe this, but I don't believe these people will go to hell for their lifestyle, but they will go to hell because they do not accept God's free gift of grace through his son Jesus's death and resurrection from the dead for our sins. I am unsure if this lifestyle is chosen or ineherited or comes from other deeper social issues. I do know that as a church we need to welcome these people and love them and bring them to know Christ.
In conclusion, I hope there are some church leaders that read this article and choose to begin addressing this issue from the pulpit. We should NOT send a message of support for this particular lifestyle or tolerance of it. God is very clear in His word. But we can teach a message of love and helping these people see Christ's free gift of salvation. We continue to support them in their walk with Christ. We can share with them scriptures that may/may not convict them, that is our job. But, remember it is the Holy Spirit that convicts our hearts, not man.