As I write this, tomorrow is my wedding anniversary with my lovely wife. We’ve been married now for six years, and while there have been ups and downs, I’m so grateful she is a part of my life. Not only is she my best friend, but she’s truthfully one of my only friends. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not upset that I’m not close with a lot of people, and that’s mostly because she’s been so great.
I’ve never struggled with lasting gay thoughts myself…
…but I can’t get this topic out of my head.
If there’s one area I keep returning to over and over and over as I begin this new stage in my faith journey, I wrestle with this question of, what does the church do about the LGBTQ community?
Because I’ll throw it out here now: we’ve failed that community so far.
I feel like I’ve personally failed them.
And I definitely know I’m not the only one. Although members of the LGBTQ community directly wrestle with this topic most heavily, I know plenty of straight people in my generation who struggle with developing a relationship with God because of the way the church has historically acted toward the LGBTQ community. The thought essentially boils down to this:
“So… you’re the one standing in the way of my friends getting married.”
If you came looking for answers or curious about what I think, I’m sorry to disappoint… but you ain’t gonna find anything here. Not today.
Instead, I feel God leading me right now to be more understanding of the LGBTQ community. Even though I do have gay friends (heck, both ushers from my wedding are gay men), I recognize that I’m pretty ignorant about that community.
That’s become pretty clear after having just finished the book that I did. This post originally began as a review for the book, Torn by Justin Lee, but it obviously became so long that I felt it needed separated out! (Don’t worry, that review is definitely still coming.)
But that book alone has opened my eyes to so much I was blind to before. I’m still not ready to commit to any hard line “this is what Christians need to do” but still feel the continued need to learn more and more about the LGBTQ community from varying perspectives.
I hope you take this journey alongside me, too, particularly if you’re a straight Christian like me. I just feel like no matter what, the church can do a lot better at loving our LGBTQ friends, so if anything, my hope and prayer is that we can learn how to more appropriately love that community.
For as great as books and blogs can be, I don’t want this to be a purely academic experience for me. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that knowing something on paper can be totally different from knowing it in the real world. That said, I’m going to be very intentional about this leg of my journey being as practical as it is academic. Yes, I will be reading books of varying perspectives, but I am also seeking ways to actively involve myself in the community.
I just don’t know what that looks like yet.
So if there’s one thing I ask of you as I wrap this up, I ask for prayer for wisdom and discernment. I totally recognize that this is such an important topic the church needs to get right that I really, really don’t want to make anything worse than it already is. In return, I pray you, too, will also have a heart of discernment as you engage this community yourself.
Okay, let’s get back to writing that review about Torn! See you in the next post.