Many churches say that they accept LGB&T people – but all too often that ‘acceptance’ is conditional – and when that ‘acceptance’ is conditional on celibacy, or repentance, or keeping a low profile, it isn’t real acceptance and gay Christians know it.
This week, AE member Lindsey has written with piercing insight into her experience of being ‘accepted’ in church.
Using coded language like “lifestyle” or reducing me to a “homosexual” does not make me feel understood or accepted. Hearing church leadership say I’m “grotesque” or my partner and I are “encouraging one another in sin” is definitely not a loving thing to say. Comparing gay marriage to sexually immoral acts during a sermon does not make me feel like church is a spiritually safe place to be. It makes me feel like church is a spiritually damaging place to be. Just saying the words “gays are accepted in church” does not make it true.
But Lindsey doesn’t stop there. She goes on to reflect on the kind of acceptance that really enables people to be truly themselves – the people God created them to be.