13 May Gag Order On The Church For LGBTQ Issues
Do you realize that one of the main reasons people are leaving the Church is related to LGBTQ issues? They are not just leaving. They are leaving with hostility. In the last 5 years alone, another 50+million Americans have gone from having a favorable to unfavorable view of the Church and LGBTQ issues are at the center of this mass exodus. I’m suggesting people put themselves on a personal gag order until they can figure out how to communicate Christ through these issues. (To clarify: I am not talking about churches remaining silent. We should have discussions. I am talking about individuals blasting their opinion before taking the time or care to consider the implications of their thoughts and messages). You decide for yourself, but if you are doing more harm than good, it may be time to rethink your approach. Here are 9 points to help you get there.
1. Stop Talking
Before you talk, listen and when you talk, listen to the response. What can you learn from it? I promise you, none of us have arrived at a perfect opinion of these things. Honestly listen to people. Gain understanding of multiple perspectives. Learn about a topic before you start slapping people with your opinion and always be listening to learn.
2. Adjust Your Posture
I am equally disappointed with both political extremes. Understand that the LGBTQ community is a group of people – not a political issue to be leveraged. Our priority should be to help these people. Both sides are leveraging ignorance for political gain.
3. Recognize Injustice
The LGBTQ community has been abused, persecuted, bullied, etc. While its gotten better. Some people are still being jerks. If you’re one of them, stop being a jerk. That doesn’t mean you have to jump on board with popular opinion, but for Christ’s sake (literally, not blasphemously), treat them like people, recognize that they have been mistreated and need God’s love just like the rest of us.
4. Stop Buying into the Political Talking Points
Understand that both parties and both extremes have agendas and are pushing those agendas. Neither side is listening to the other and no one is interested in compromise or admitting malfeasance. Politics and media thrive off of conflict. If they can keep you angry, frustrated, and fighting, they can keep your attention, viewership, and money.
5. Stop Debating Congenital Disposition (in the context of ethics)
It doesn’t matter (in the conversation of ethics). Ethically, just because something is natural doesn’t mean its good. From a scientific perspective, nature is often harmful – especially congenital nature. We are born with birth defects, disease, genetic deformities, etc. From a Christian perspective, sin is congenital. Ethically it doesn’t matter how people are born. *This does come into play when it comes to response once the ethics have been determined. Of course, that doesn’t automatically mean that LGBTQ issues are harmful or sinful. Some are certainly congenital, while other may not be, which brings me to my next point.
6. Recognize Complexity
While LGBTQ has been combined for the sake of constituency, understand that each “letter” comes with its own considerations, challenges, and eventually legislations. We have been duped into believing that we are either pro-gay or anti-gay. If you are pro-gay you have to support anything that is proposed by a loud enough voice within the LGBTQ community. If you are anti-gay you have to deny those same things. This is a false dichotomy. Don’t allow yourself to be pigeon-holed into some party platform. Look at each issue individually. Sociologically, this is incredibly difficult in practice because it requires you to transcend group think and “betray” your own group – thus creating the risk of being ostracized. Learn how to pivot beyond your party.
7. Get educated
There is so much to be considered. I will continue to post on this and other issues. You can subscribe to the blog on the right for future information. For now, here are a few thoughts on getting educated. For Christians, its important to understand theology – not just for ourselves, but also so that we rightly represent Christ. For example, study things like the affirming view of monogamous homosexuality. Be able to respond to these positions with love and truth. But above all, get your Gospel straight. Saying things like “God wouldn’t make a mistake” are theologically foolish. Here are two reasons. 1) Creation is not currently how God created it. He is not responsible for the broken nature of creation that followed the fall. 2) Think about what you are saying to people who identify as gay. I promise you, this is what they hear when you say that: “God made a mistake when he made you.” That’s not what the Bible teaches and you are misrepresenting both reality and God’s character to a people group that desperately needs God’s love and truth (we all do).
8. Recognize that we have no foundation upon which to build our ethical conversation. Start there.
9. You can’t legislate away sin
Whatever positions you arrive at regarding various ethical issues, understand that while legislation is necessary, legislation has its limitations. Legislation is designed to protect and promote society. Ultimately, however, what we need to do is introduce people to Christ. It’s the Holy Spirit that convicts of sin. We should still discuss these things, but no one owes you an answer for their actions. Only God can judge us – and He will – not just for our sexuality, but also for how we treat others based on their sexuality. Whatever you do, make sure you do it to the glory of God.
Bonus: Start a Dialogue
What do you think? Share with your friends to get their opinion. Please, remember to represent Christ in whatever you say though. Thank you!