One of my favorite CLC’ers writes, “Last month, I had to attend cultural sensitivity training on my job regarding the LGBT community. I was reluctant but went with an open mind. It was very informative but I noticed how much they push tolerance. If you do not agree with them, they label you as an enemy and assume you are coming from a place of hatred. How must we navigate through this with love? Because I have to process employee’s life event changes, I am aware of their sexual orientation. I keep my views/beliefs to myself. How do you love/reach out to/minister to those in the LGBT community when they are so defensive once they find out that you are not tolerant?
Wow. THE question of our age, I’m afraid. Let me give you my views.
- First, this issue is SO fraught with danger, as Hillsong’s leaders recently demonstrated with the firestorm caused by one report of tolerance that made it necessary for Pastor Brian Houston to issue a follow-up statement to clarify.
- I read a book by an award-winning journalist-turned-pastor last year which documented the rapid changes in our nation in regards to same-sex issues, and I think the author is probably right in his conclusion that we can’t say anything publicly on this issue without being misunderstood and labeled as bigoted ‘haters’.
- Not only do I think he’s correct, but I think that’s why conservative Christians who have a platform to reach people try so hard to couch their response in language that avoids passing judgment, yet it always seems to backfire. (Besides the Hillsong reports above, think of Joel Osteen, other celebrities including the World Vision flip-flop, and perhaps even Rick Warren, although his comments score best with me).
- So, my answer as to how we navigate this thorny issue is “say little publicly (better yet, nothing) but serve much“! In other words, let’s demonstrate to the LGBT community our genuine love for people (remember, Jesus died for all, regardless of sexuality) by practical and individual loving acts of service whenever possible.
- Then, when individual opportunities arise – after having demonstrated by action that we care, we can address our views based on God’s Word and our love for them. (By the way, the results of this lifestyle are anything but ‘gay’, as numerous studies have shown – so my desire is for LGBT individuals to find the freedom and abundant life that Jesus offers!)
This has become the defining issue of our day and we all need God’s wisdom to respond for sure. Hope this helps a bit. Now, what would YOU like to Ask the Pastor?