The Church is Responsible for This

 

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by Candice Czubernat

I hold the church personally responsible for any LGBTQ person who walks away from God and Christianity. Every week, I get emails from individuals all across the country who are full of desire to be a part of a church. They want to go on the church-wide mission trip, join the choir, serve in the youth group and attend a small group. These are people who long to serve God, connect with other Christians and be a part of a wider community.

Sounds pretty good, right?

Here’s the heartbreaking part: they write me because the church won’t let them do those things and they don’t know what to do.

Their church has found out they are LGBTQ and because of this are no longer welcome to join in these church activities they long to be a part of. The worst are the emails I get are from young people who are no longer allowed in their youth group or who are bullied at church camps because of their sexual orientation. You might not think this is a big deal, or would just tell that person to go to a different church. You might be so used to the idea that those in the LGBTQ community are not welcome at church that this does not alarm you.

But WAKE UP. THIS NEEDS TO GREATLY ALARM YOU.

People are being turned away from the body of Christ.

Shouldn’t that bother you?

“But whoever causes the downfall of one of these little ones who believe in Me–it would be better for him if a heavy millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.” – Mark 9:42

I don’t know about you, but I never. ever. ever. remember Jesus preaching in any way that would allude to a church making this kind of decision, of turning people away. To the contrary, even when the disciples asked Jesus about turning people away he always told them to – at the very least – leave people alone. To stop bullying them.

“Whoever does not gather with me scatters.” – Matthew 12:30

This week wasn’t the first time I personally experienced this kind of rejection, but it was the first time I did so as a new mom and it’s left me feeling sad, hopeless, angry and in tears. In the past, my wife and I weren’t super careful about what church we attended. What I mean is, we spent time attending churches that weren’t super clear about their stance on homosexuality. Even though we would have liked a clear support, it wasn’t a deal breaker for us. But now that we have children, it totally is. We don’t want to feel anxious about a “well meaning” person indoctrinating our children in a way that makes them question their moms salvation, or even their own. We also want a place where we can serve the Church; we both attended Christian colleges and seminary, so we have much to contribute to a church community. And lastly, we want a place to grow in community with others where we can make friends with other parents.

I think if you ask any parent, this is exactly what they’d say they want in a church. When I look at my own parents and their closest friends, those friends are people they made at church when my brother and I were toddlers. These families are the people I grew up around and who my parents still spend time with to this day. It was (and is) such a beautiful, loving way to grow up and I want what my parents had. I want a safe place to serve, find belonging and community and to grow in my relationship with God.

I was once young, now I am old. And in all that time, I have never seen a godly person abandoned, or their children forced to search for food. Such a thing is unthinkable. (Psalm 37:25)

I live in southern California, so as we set out on this journey to find a church I didn’t think it would be very hard. I ache for those people living in rural areas, or middle of the country places where they don’t have access to variety of church options, making it difficult to find a church that is open and affirming.

The first church we attended was great! It was filled with gay and straight people alike, all worshiping God. We could feel the genuine kindheartedness of the people and very much liked it. But there were only a couple other families with children, and it was roughly 40 miles from our home. That’s a long way to travel for church with two infants in the car. We left there feeling encouraged, sure that it won’t be hard to find an option just like this closer to our home. So, the next Sunday we attended a Methodist church. It was beyond beautiful inside and how could we not feel welcomed in a place where this was stamped on the front of every bulletin:

“We are a warm and loving Christian community of faith where we continually strive to create meaningful opportunities for growth and service.  First church is also a Reconciling Congregation which intentionally welcomes all persons, regardless of sexual orientation, gender, race, ethnicity, age, physical or mental capacity, education, and socioeconomic or marital status.”

This statement is so beautiful and I’m not sure I’ve read anything so Christlike in a long time. Still, while this church had the heart and the location we desired, I’d say roughly 90% of the people were over the age of 60.

At this point you might be saying to me, “Listen lady, stop being so picky, beggars can’t be choosers.” To that I say, am I a beggar? I suppose on many levels that’s exactly what I feel like, a beggar. Why do my family and I have to choose between driving an hour every Sunday, or go to a church with people who are so much older than us? Is it because we are gay beggars? In the following week since last Sunday I’ve spent much time researching churches via the web and calling 3 particular churches.

Jesus said, “It’s not right to take bread out of children’s mouths and throw it to dogs.” But the woman was quick: “You’re right, Master, but even beggar dogs get scraps from the table.” (Matthew 15:26-27)

When you’re gay and you’re looking for a church, they fall into two main categories; those who state clearly that they are welcoming and affirming to the LGBTQ community and those who say something like, “This is a church for all people” but don’t mention the LGBTQ community by name. The “welcoming and affirming” speaks to a church that believes it’s not enough to simply be willing to have you come to their church without blocking the door, but is willing to take a stand with and for the LGBTQ community. For example, I know of a church that chose to stop performing marriages until everyone was allowed to be legally married. The entire congregation was willing to suffer with the LGBTQ community in what it was like to lose the right to marry. These churches allow everyone, gay and straight, to be members and serve according to calling and ability. That’s what I am asking for, begging for — to be treated fairly, equally, and have a community that supports that pursuit. In this time, we wouldn’t think of treating anyone else unfairly in the Church — except for gay people.

In the research I’ve done, there’s one major theme I found with those churches that are up front about welcoming the gay community. They are filled with older people. And when I say older people I don’t mean 40’s and 50’s, I mean white haired, elderly people. Which is so amazing and sweet, but my young family and I desire to build community with people who are closer to our stage in life in addition to those whom are much older than us.

Knowing this trend had me reaching out to three particular churches that I could easily see our family fitting into. Their websites were cool, hip and filled with images of young families. Their worship bands have banjos (our family loves music like Mumford & Sons or Bob Dylan) and their children’s ministry is just as vibrant as their church service for adults. I felt so excited in finding these churches, but also equally as nervous knowing I needed to call them in order to make sure my family and I were welcome before showing up on a Sunday morning. We could have just gone and I’m sure no one would have said anything mean to us like, “Get out of here gays!” but we didn’t want to get attached to any particular church that we’d eventually have to leave. It would be far too painful to attend a church that we loved only to find out we weren’t allowed to become members or serve in any way. My calling of these churches was a self-protective measure.

You can’t imagine how vulnerable it is to leave a voicemail that sounds something like this, “Um, yes, hello Pastor So-and-so… um my name is Candice and my wife and I and our children are looking for a church… I’m calling… well… wondering if we are welcome to attend your church? What I mean is, well — I’m having a hard time finding the words, but… will we be discriminated against? Or told we are sinning as homosexuals if we come to your church?” Clearly, I have not found the best language in order to leave this message! I suppose I have a hard time finding the right language because it’s kind of a vague and yet huge thing I’m asking and trying to describe on a voicemail.

Leaving this kind of message left me feeling shaky and exposed. Now all I had to do was wait for the pastor to call me back.

I’m not over exaggerating when I say this but all three pastors said the same exact thing and almost in the same exact tone. It was so eerie and similar that I wonder if they all went to the same training on how to reject a homosexual while sounding super nice about it.

“You and your family are of course welcome to come to our church, but I don’t want to mislead you. If you wanted to join our church or serve in any way, you wouldn’t be allowed. Our congregation is mixed on the subject and to my knowledge there aren’t any other gay people.”

They follow this statement up with a, “But I’d love to help you and your family find the right fit for you in the way of a church community” and with one swoop, I felt my humanity go out the door. The pastors all mentioned the few churches that I had already found that are filled with grey haired people. So I said to them, “We want to come to a church like yours where the worship is contemporary and were we’ll find other families our age. These churches you mention are filled with old people, what should we do?” The pastor follows up with a, “Hunh. Yeah, I guess your right, hmmm…” And then silence.

Silence.

At this point, my mind begins to roll over verses about God not quenching small flames of desire (Isaiah 42:3); that verse in Hebrews where God says he’ll never, ever, EVER leave someone (Hebrews 13:5; Deut. 31:6); the time when the disciples asked Jesus to reject those who didn’t do it exactly the way they were doing it and Jesus says “leave them alone. If they’re not against you, they’re for you” (Matt. 9:40). I mean, how can you reject someone who WANTS to be a part of your church? Even if we went out on a limb and said, Okay, okay, being gay is a sin, well doesn’t Paul discuss with the Corinthians the idea that you never fully reject someone from the local church? Even if someone sins, the Church should make an effort to restore a sense of community to the people it has rejected.

 

Put another way, the Church should at least try. Jesus, Paul, Peter, John, and James never said, “Be ye lazy and inconsiderate, for God in Heaven says some difficult things and don’t try to work it out and be kind to people. It’s cool. Just be jerks.”

I of course could go on, but at this point I’m wondering why so many churches seem to miss these stories (among others) in their Bible. I wonder if the pastor’s silence is them thinking about the same scriptures I’m thinking about? There is the possibility that these individual pastors aren’t the ones who make up the “rules”. It could be that they wish as much as I do that their church was open and affirming and their board or conference or whoever really has the power is telling them, “If you want to pastor this church you won’t let the gays in”. In those cases, I can only imagine how grievous it must be to pastor a church and have a conversation with someone like me, hard in many ways. But I don’t get to know the truth of their heart so instead the silence feels painful. Even if these pastors are as grieved as I am, why won’t they take a stand? At this point in the conversation – the silence – I feel my stomach quickly turns into knots. I get hot, my blood starts racing through my veins and my eyes fill with tears. I break the silence by saying something like, “What are my family and I going to do?! I know we would add so much to your church. My wife and I are creative, smart and seminary educated women. We have much to give and yet your church is going to miss out because we’re gay.” It’s even worse when the pastor responds, “Please do let me know if there’s anything I can do for you in the future.” It feels like an empty statement and with that I know it’s time to end the call.

Perhaps my skin should be thicker, but it only took having this same conversation several times before I broke down. I’m filled with a deep ache that my children don’t get access to the same church experience that I had while growing up and that my wife and I will have to find a community of friends somewhere else. Feeling the personal pain of this experience quickly took me back to all the emails I get filled with similar sentiments from those around the country.

How are Christians reasoning that the LGBTQ community is the cause of the fall of the family, and evil at the core when it’s us, the gays who are wanting to be a part of church but get turned away?! I’m face-to-face with messages from people whose desire to grow closer to God and the people of God is consistently met with rejection and hopelessness. These people have only one conclusion that they can draw from this — that God must not want them. And the Church is responsible.

Let me say that again.

These people have only one conclusion that they can draw from this — that God must not want them. And the Church is responsible.

Usually the emails I get end with something like, “I don’t know if I can be a Christian anymore, or why doesn’t God love me anymore,” or “I feel so alone in the world.” I wonder if the church isn’t responsible for these people turning away from God, who is?

Of course, there is a personal responsibility for every individual to find and choose God. But when people in positions of power who represent God reject someone in the name of God, it’s hard to separate God from the human rejection that comes from a pastor. That kind of weeding out process can take years and requires a certain level of mature brain development in order to understand a complicated experience like this.

I get these emails because I’m supposed to be the professional filled with answers.

But here’s the thing: I don’t have any answers and my heart is completely broken by this fact. I should have a list of 5,000 churches where these people would be welcomed to serve, join and grow in, but I don’t. What I have is a list of churches that are either filled with an older congregation, are far from where these people live, or are more liberal. And that’s for those people who 1) reach out to me, and 2) who are adults able to choose where they worship.

The answers and options for young people still living at home are even more scarce. So instead of sending them to a church to find healing, community and answers I only have one option, I send them to their local LGBTQ community center. They will surely end up finding what they need there in the way of friends and support, but there’s a great chance they will forever be turned off by Christianity, perpetuating the feeling that God does not want them. This is why I can say with confidence that God is deeply grieved by all of this.

Rejecting people from worshipping God is everything – everything – that Christianity is opposed to but we have somehow reached the point where rejecting people is the normal, even “Christian” thing to do.

696 thoughts on “The Church is Responsible for This

  1. The church is to blame for this and many catastrophes in our world – for many years. When I blame the church, please d not take an offence because I do not associate God with the church. I compare the church with ORGANIZED RELIGION. God is spiritual.
    The church was the basis of our Laws, Government, and Prisons to keep order and control.
    The church protected and hid the sexual abuse on children. The church is to blame!
    The church turned children away from baptism of unwed mothers. They would NOT BLESS A CHILD.
    The church is to blame for the assimilation of North American Indians – many of the reserves are poverty stricken and are not active with their own culture. Culture was stolen from them.
    The church is to blame for the evacuation of Japanese from the West Coast because they were the creators of the law and back the Government on these decisions.
    The church is to blame for the hatred of gay and lesbians.
    The church is to blame for the EXPECTATIONS that have crushed and broken families, insecurities within teens, turning away those who needed you the most!

    Yes the church is to blame! The church represent “one” set of thoughts that do not represent what is written in scripture. They took a beautiful spiritual story and turned it into a cult and used it to control and corrupt our world.
    The church is not GOD – GOD is the spirit of man kind and the church is a building that houses lies and deceit that underlies their theory of love and acceptance. The church distorted the word of God and fed it to all of us! Spirituality and God have nothing to do with church and more and more people are realizing this.

    Blessings to you💛

    • Christ died for the Church – with all of her imperfections. The Church being genuinely saved believers. Today the church is mixed with unbelievers – people that attend meeting. But The real Church, like marriage, is an entity that God started, not man.

      When Saul was persecuting the Church, Jesus said to Saul in his vision on the road to Damascus, “Why Saul are you persecuting ME”. He was saying in effect, when you mess with these that belong to Me, you are messing with Me – and He took it personally. The same with the false priest that cover up sexual sins against those that belong to God – they are messing with Jesus directly.

  2. I’m so sorry this has happened to you. I take a lot of things from the Bible literally, but I find it basically impossible to believe that homosexuality by itself is a sin. It’s bad enough that so many churches actively reject people, but what I think is worse is that so many people who would be accepting to you guys do nothing to change things. I’ve known several people who are LGBTQ and who are stronger in their faith than I am. Jesus said that the most important thing is to love others. There were’t any conditions attached to that. We’re just supposed to love others, and so many people miss that. Maybe it doesn’t mean a whole lot, but I want to apologize on behalf of my own congregation and the Church as a whole.

    • The reason Homosexuality is a Sin is because it is the joining of 2 people in Lust (NOT Love) that will never have a productive relationship (of course children). Also the word Love in the Bible is at least 3 different words that I know of (agape, philios and eros) so to say “we love the Lord” can mean a totally different thing to “I love you” to a physical being. You will never change the position of the True Church on the nature of Sin (in all it’s many definitions) so by all means go to a “compromising” Church if you want a feeling of belonging. “Let the dead bury the dead but go thou and preach the Kingdom of God”.

      • So you’re saying the only purpose of getting together with someone in any kind of relationship is to have children? Are you then saying that it’s wrong not to have children even if you don’t want them? Is it a moral obligation to have children naturally; a process that I personally find rather disgusting, even to think about? Is there something morally wrong with me because I can’t have children naturally due to a medical condition?

        Furthermore, are you assuming that all homosexual relationships are based on erotic lust? Are you saying that it’s impossible for two women or two men to love each other in the same way that a man and a woman can?

        Because I can tell you that if this is what you’re saying, you are both judgmental and wrong.

        That’s all I have to say.

  3. This was all predicted in the Bible. When Colorado and Washington legalized recreational pot and gay marriage it fulfilled the prophecy, “Men who lie with men should be stoned.”

  4. Revwags, my church would not allow someone to serve who they knew was undergoing an unbiblical divorce or was committing adultery. Sure, they can serve if they have repented, which includes turning away from that sin, but not if they are knowingly continuing to live a sinful lifestyle. That’s why I have to agree with Julie and Existentialtheory on this one.

  5. Being a “gay Christian” or “lesbian Christian” is impossible. You can’t be both because God considers homosexuality sinful. Remember Sodom and Gommorah? You must stop sinning to truly be considered a good Christian. When Jesus interacted with sinners He said, “Go and sin no more.” Not, “Go and sin some more.” He always expected repentance and the continued avoidance of that sin from His followers. To expect true Christians to ignore that reality is a serious form of religious intolerance and the unrealistic expectation that true Christians will change their faith just because you want them to is a sign of completely irrational thinking. In fact, it’s just plain crazy and exceedingly selfish, which is a serious part of your problem from the get-go. It’s always all about you, which is VERY un-Christian. If we Christians allowed you to sway us from the path God wants us to follow, just to make you feel better about yourself, we would no longer be Christians, we’d just be jerks and you would still feel bad about your life choices.

      • Unfortunately that’s the problem- she (KQ Diane) does not speak in truth and love- she is not Jesus and has no right ro judge)- neither are you and me or any other human being- we have no authority…Jesus said it is finished-
        Through Jesus in grace and faith we are all righteous and that is the truth and real love
        Romans 4:5
        God bless and peace to you sir

      • God IS a God of Love, but also He is a Just & Righteous God! And all sinners (like me) must be willing to REPENT & turn away from sin. And from this blog, it appears that Candice does not even think she is sinning with her lesbianism, and even less likely to be wanting to repent!!! She wants the church to change to suit her. She should go find a church in Pergamos or Laodicea. They will accommodate her, just the way she is…..

      • Part of the reason I do not like Church but am a Christian is because of what you said- most people that run Churches make them to “suit” the needs of the members. And it’s needs of the members (not what Christ defines) that is making up what it takes to become a member (none of it biblical based). And most of the people running Churches also bring politics and judgment and use man made agenda in their church “doctrines” (again none of it biblical based). That makes it automatically weave out any person not like the people that run the church. In other words- churches are overall intolerant- and it is not your my or any other Christians to decide what’s in another’s heart in terms of repentance and their walk with Christ. If we could all stop sinning- then why do we need Jesus? Even if we repent- we are going to sin again and again- even when we try to be “good” we will never be Jesus- that’s why we need him. All I’m saying to my fellow Christians- do not look at what you deem “sin”- we should welcome anyone and not treat them different because whether it is biblically defined as a sin or not- that’s between Jesus and that person. We are not the judges. Please consider this- it is our job to spread the GOOD news of the Gospel- not the bad- that is in the Bible…and the rest (the judgment) is up to the Lord. Peace to you and love in Christ

      • Alas, but the Gospel is good news, and bad! And we can’t have one without the other.
        We will never find a “perfect” church this side of Eternity, because they are all run by siners. BUT, we should not “throw the baby out with the bathwater” so to speak. Yes, we all will be sinners until the day we die. But, if we understand the Holiness and Righteousness of god, we will NOT WANT TO sin. That is the key word- we should be WILLING to repent of our sins, no matter what the sin is! The Grace of God will cover us from a multitude of sins, and He will help us to repent. If anyone is unwilling to repent & try to change their ways, then Yes, they are to be removed from the Church!
        And as for the judgement, yes, that IS God’s and Only God’s call. But in that, judgement means judging a person on whether they will go to heaven or Hell…That part is left to God. But, what we ARE commanded to do is be like “fruit inspectors” If a person has good fruit,(the doctrine they speak & follow) then that’s great. If they have bad fruit, (doctrine, beliefs) then, yes we are to correct them, as the Bible says.
        If you are in a Church that teaches anything other than good, sound Biblical doctrine, then it is time to get away from that one, and find a new one! There sure a lot of corrupt churches out there, so if yours does not simply teach the Bible simply, then get out of it, and fast! May I recommend one of the Calvary Chapels? You can find one close to you at http://www.calvarychapel.com/church-locator/

        Jesus Loves You, and so do I!

    • If you can’t be a sinner and be Christian then I guarantee you aren’t a bit more “Christian” than she is. This is such a ridiculous argument. Jesus loves everyone, IN THEIR SINS, because everybody sins. She’s a chronic lesbian, and maybe he’s a chronic liar, and maybe she’s a chronic adulterer, and maybe he’s a chronic gambler, or a spouse abuser, or worships false gods but I promise you, whatever your sin is, you’ve got one. And if God rejects her because of her sin ( which he doesn’t) then He has to reject all of us. And another thing, if her sexual orientation choices “sway” your decisions about your own spirituality, you’ve got a lot more problems than worrying about who’s gay or not.

      • If God is as non-judgemental as you profess, then why is there a Hell and who’s there? Or for that matter, why does God exist? Your view of God is totally feminized. He is not a hippie who’s high on pot. You can make up all the excuses you want for people’s chronically sinful lives but, whether you want to believe it or not, when their time comes (and it will more than likely come very unexpectedly) God tells us in the Bible that they will be judged.

      • K. Q. Duane: According to my (Catholic) priest, there is a Hell, but it is eternally empty. Jesus went down to Hell, and released all the sinners. As he died for our sins – those we had committed previously to his death, and those which occurred and will occur afterwards. Thus it stands to reason that nobody goes to Hell since Jesus’s death. God doesn’t reject anyone for their sins, Madison is correct. Even the most evil of people will have done at least one good thing in their lives, be it helping an old man cross the road, being good to their mothers, adopting stray animals… you get the picture. And God doesn’t look at our list of sins, he looks at us as a whole, and judges us based on our good aspects – forgiving us our sins. God is all-loving and all-forgiving. If he wasn’t all-forgiving, he wouldn’t be God.

    • Church is not a “Museum for good people” it is a “hospital for the broken.” And you are broken, she’s broken, I’m broken- thus we need Jesus- just because you’re a Christian- doesn’t make you righteous…
      All of us that have faith in Jesus are righteous through grace and belief-please see Romans 4:5. Religion is man made (what you practice in your judgment of other Christians- because it is not your job to judge and what you are practicing goes against everything Christianity actually stands for- forgiveness.
      Jesus is truly greater than religion…please stop your judgment and hate…when Jesus said “it is finished” it is…and you, the person that made the original post, me and the world now wait for his return- and I’m leaving it up to him in faith prayer and meditation that he will make things according to his will…stop trying to play God and labeling people- it’s “religious” Christians that label, segregate and radiate hate- and that is the antithesis of what Jesus preached “love your neighbor” so when you judge- are you loving your neighbor? 😳 I’m not a hippie- I just love my neighbors…even you- I’ll leave the judgment and the rest up to our Lord- and no matter what you say- he’s my Lord, girl that wrote this posts Lord, and the worlds Lord as much as yours- whether anyone is LGBTQ, divorced, adulterer, liar- he loves us all- I pray for your blind eye to be opened…
      God bless and true peace to you…

      • I’m sorry you feel that way. The Lord loves them but He also expects them to correct their evil ways and coddling them will never produce that outcome. And besides, some people are just too screwed up to ever change for the better. They need psychiatrists, not ministers, and to pretend otherwise is a betrayal of trust. And, those who follow the Bible, and live good lives, should never be sacrificed, taken for granted or neglected by a church solely ministering to crippled. This is a dead end game.

      • KQ Duane: I am sorry you have given up on people and hold such ill regard for people that have challengesor have a different life style than you. what you are actually saying is: Only people that promise to NEVER sin again are allowed in Church- sorry people with flaws and “cripples” (to use your words)- you are a waste of time and being Christian is exclusively for non-sinners. That’s actually funny- I really think if you’re right about this viewpoint- and thar you yourself are not a sinner at all (even in your thoughts)- then you really are wasting your time arguing Jesus with anyone (even your church people)- because if I thought like you- then why waste your time discussing Jesus? This is precisely why atheists think Christians make no sense…you’re not going to let anyone in (unless theyre perfect)- then why do you care who and what seeks Jesus because you’re going to close the church door on whom you wish anyway- and you’re right- your religion is a dead end game- and just because you think someone is a sinner- doesn’t mean they can’t be accepted by Jesus- did you personally have a conversation in which Jesus said to you “please do not talk to non Christians or sinners- theyre not allowed in church and they are a waste of your time.” Reminder of the message of the Gospel- Jesus came to save us from our sins (past present and future sins)- through his sacrifice of himself-and we are to have faith and believe in his message and believe we are forgiven so that one day we will have everlasting life. You are complicating and preaching a divisive non-merited message of exclusion. All it takes is faith the size of a mustard seed… And you, me, any other Christian cannot tell anyone else about their faith- that is personal- and I’m sorry you feel anyone is a waste of time…very sad. Please re think and ponder your heart- God can harden hearts…but he can soften them too…

  6. Religion is like an pair of dirty undies; please don’t show it off or force people to wear it.
    🙂 Just a saying my mom always told me when i was young, and coming from Lebanon, a Land where religion is the cause of all war and social strife, I took it to heart. Please ponder this.

  7. Homosexuality is a sin. You want the church to compromise and to accept your sin. This is totally different from accepting you as a person. While the Christian church should not reject you, the church has every right to reject your sinful lifestyle. Don’t expect the church to condone your choice. You have a right to live how you want to but don’t expect the church to ignore your faulty choices. You and your ‘wife’ need deliverance. There is a better way…the way God intended. God made woman for man. Plain and simple.

  8. We’re all sinners in need of a Savior to save us from our tendencies and bent towards sin. I do believe that same sex attraction people should be accepted in churches if they have a desire to follow Christ, and admitting to struggling with God’s design and purposes for gender identity. But if people believe there is nothing wrong with same sex attraction, then they seem to want the freedom of defining right and wrong for themselves without falling under God’s direction, falling under His authority – they would seem to not be repentant towards admitting they need a Savior. We all have problems every since Adam and Eve took the forbidden fruit. We don’t accept people based on being perfect – because none of us are. But admitting that in several areas (not just same sex attraction) is a start. Not admitting that would be a cause for Biblical excommunication. If you see a brother with a fault, go to him alone, if he accepts your reproof, you’ve gained your brothers restoration. If he doesn’t accept your reproof, take with you one or two, and if he still doesn’t repent – cast him out – and treat him as a non believer. Do this in love for him to recognize that something is wrong before it’s too late for any corrections to be made.

  9. I still struggle with my sexuality but I think that it is a sin. Honestly the church should not turn any one away or reject them because of sexuality but I also believe that Jesus spoke against homosexuality. The church should embrace and love you and everyone who walks through the doors but they should also teach you and try to grow you. I think you are being very closed minded about the churches just because you want them to agree with your preferences.

  10. While I’ve personally had doubts about religion itself, I still believe everything you wrote. I found myself cheering for you as I read your post. To be denied to anything, but especially something that preaches love and acceptance, because of your sexual orientation is disgusting and wrong.

  11. “…He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”
    John 8:7

    Although I am not a lesbian, I am seen as a perpetual adulterer by many churches for other reasons and I do not attend Church- in fact I am an ANTI-RELIGIOUS CHRISTIAN. I do not associate RELIGION with my being a Christian. I would not be allowed to be Catholic, because I have been divorced two times (GASP). Not to mention my second husband was bisexual which I discovered after I married him- and I wasn’t mad that he was bisexual- I was mad at his infidelities and lack of commitment to me as his wife- not to mention his physical abuse.
    I will not judge you (or anyone) “…FOR EVERYONE HAS SINNED; WE ALL FALL SHORT OF GOD’S GLORIOUS STANDARD.” Romans 3:23
    I realize you did not solicit advice through your post and sharing your hardships in finding a Church family to suit your family’s needs…but I will share with you that you will be sorely disappointed in your search- for you will never find a Church to suit you and your family’s needs- as neither will I. I am at peace with this, and I pray you and your family find peace with this too…still keeping Jesus number one.
    JESUS suits our needs- and he ALONE gives you, me and every sinner GRACE- that should blanket you, and comfort you knowing you can forgive those who rebuke you (such as these Churches and the so called Christians that partake in throwing stones at you) and know “EACH TIME HE SAID, ‘MY GRACE IS ALL YOU NEED. MY POWER WORKS BEST IN WEAKNESS.’ SO NOW I AM GLAD TO BOAST ABOUT MY WEAKNESSES, SO THAT THE POWER OF CHRIST CAN WORK THROUGH ME.” 2 Corinthians 12:9. Please let go of your search for CHURCH- and know that the CHURCH is only as good as the people that go there. We all hurt…HURT PEOPLE- HURT PEOPLE- they hurt you, because they hurt and inflict that hurt on you and every other person with what they deem as a flaw- because it makes them feel better and powerful- and almighty. The only almighty one is THE LORD JESUS CHRIST- and you are loved by him, and so is your wife, and your kids. Please be at peace with that- do not let that distract you from your focus on HIM. He loves you…stay in the word and keep him in your heart- he keeps you in his no matter what! Peace and love to you and your sweet family- Linden Forestbrook

  12. I do believe in Christianity, but one thing that may be frowned upon is that I don’t go to church. Is that bad? For me, God is accepting no matter what you do. I pray every night, and try my best to follow him. Don’t get me wrong, church is great. However, I do not attend.

  13. If Christ is truly in your heart then you can worship Him anywhere you are. Why does the building take precedence? satan is loving your choice. If all LGBTQ’s choose not to worship God because they aren’t allowed in a building then satan wins. The veil has been torn. I am not an advocate for your choice of lifestyle, but if you truly love Christ as you say, you will worship Him regardless. Remember, the scripture you reference is from the same book the churches also reference for its laws. It would be nice to pick and choose the one’s we find correlate with our personal choices, yet we have to choose them all. All verses.

  14. I would like for one person to tell me where in the bible SODOMITES would have been condoned, much less approved of by Jesus Christ. Jesus healed sin, he did not partake in it. I am sorry that you are confused on the main points of the bible. But when we reconcile the word, you cannot ignore key teachings. We were not told to be mean, nor do I agree with the hatred. But I do agree that Jesus would have expelled you from the church if you refused to stop sinning. BEING GAY is a sin, and it is an oxymoron to believe that you can love God, read his word, and be filled with the Holy Spirit, while engaging in a practice of willful sin. God ordained a role for a man and woman to be married, no where does the bible teach, WOMEN CAN BE WITH WOMEN, or a man with a man. The Holy Spirit cannot dwell in a temple with demonic spirits. HE would cast that out. He turns such people over to a reprobate mind. It is a perverse thing to even think that you can modify the bible to fit your sexual desires, which are not only sinful, but YES, out of love I tell you this, destined for the lake of fire, as is any WILLFUL DISOBEDIENCE to Christ. Romans 1 is exactly what you are describing here. You are mad, because bible believing Christians wont let you flaunt and openly plague the church with your sodom and gomorrah thinking? COME ON! Prophecy: “lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (KJV).

      • Lilly, you are deceiving yourself and many others. God clearly condemns two partners of the same sex together. It is a sin, and an abomination before God. The “great delusion” you are under will only lead you and those who follow this deception to hell. I am sorry, you cannot make your lifestyle fit GOD. You either choose darkness, or you choose light. Jesus does not dwell in sin, and there is no reason to continue fooling yourself, other than to run from the reality and truth of what we are taught. GOD simply does not condone it. There is no trying to make things up. I have read the word, been saved for many years, and I can tell you, when I read your post, I was sick to my stomach in grief for you and many others who hold the belief that this is okay. IT IS NOT. It is sinful. YOU MUST CHOOSE. Do you love GOD more or yourself? That is where you are at. You have been warned you know the truth, and you must SEEK GOD and not your own lustful desires. IT IS NOT NORMAL TO BE GAY. IT is a choice and a sin. I wish you the best in seeking truth, and I hope you also realzie that teaching God approves of this, you will also be rebuked. The end times are near, and you are messing with your salvation. Is it really worth it? That is the question you must ask yourself. ROMANS 1.

      • I actually am not gay, but it doesn’t matter. Please consider the perspective in the article.

      • Lilly, its heresy. Period. I have considered all sides of this debate. And its foolishness and folly. There is no debating God’s word. He is the final authority. Therefore, anything outside of that is accursed and anti-christ doctrine. You would be better off avoiding the subject if you are going to make stuff up or add or take away from the word of God. God Bless you, and I hope you find truth or refrain from defending a practice that is a sin.

      • God’s word is infallible. On this we agree. History reminds us of the value of humility by showing us so many times that a person has had an incomplete or inaccurate understanding of that word.

      • and the incredible harm that has been met out by so many people, on so many sides of so many issues, that were convinced that they were right.

    • An excerpt from the blog: Read the end for a different perspective on the verse you may have been quoting. If you were not quoting this verse, then please read the blog, which goes through many of the verses that have been used against gayness.

      We need humility in dealing with these matters, so we don’t cause further harm to people. There have been many many cases in church history where people have lacked that quality, and whether or not they were right on the issue, they were wrong in how they treated the people involved. Understanding that there is a different view that has reasonable support is a step toward humility.

      This leads me to recommend that you spend some time looking up the word “abomination,” as it has been translated from the Hebrew: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abomination_(Bible). Or, for all references and differentiations in translation of “abomination,” here’s a website that does all the work for you: http://www.dragonlordsnet.com/abomination.htm.

      Okay, so “abomination” in a biblical sense does not mean the same thing that it does today. Therefore, while I don’t see God explicitly sanctioning same-sex relations, nor do I see Him decrying it as an outright sin. This is where it gets tricky for followers of the Bible, because we don’t want to say, “Oh, well, that means I can go have sex with a gopher,” or, on the other hand, start stoning our neighbors for having an affair. For me, this is where faith comes in.

      What God Himself makes most clear, is actually in Leviticus 18: 24-29: “24 ‘Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you. 25 For the land is defiled; therefore I visit the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants. 26 You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations, either any of your own nation or any stranger who dwells among you 27 (for all these abominations the men of the land have done, who were before you, and thus the land is defiled), 28 lest the land vomit you out also when you defile it, as it vomited out the nations that were before you. 29 For whoever commits any of these abominations, the persons who commit them shall be cut off from among their people.”

      Because God was trying to set up a nation set apart from the other cultures around it, He outlined a very specific lifestyle for His people to follow, precisely so they would appear unique to the world.

      Let me also note that God spends way more time on dietary laws (Leviticus 11), bodily discharges (Leviticus 15), and leprosy (Leviticus 13-14) than He does on gay sex. In fact, He mentions having sex on one’s period in the same passage as gay sex. So…I don’t exactly see Evangelicals going round and putting women in red tents while on their periods (unless, of course, it’s an underground society). Nor do I see the Evangelicals mobbing Red Lobster stoning people for eating or cooking shellfish, lobster, and crab.

      Leviticus 20 also makes clear that the penalty for infractions of all sexual immorality laws (which include “If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them,” in verse 13) is being put to death. In our contemporary society, the death penalty has become an increasingly polarized concept, fraught with warring ideals. What does this passage have to offer? I can’t comfortably rationalize it away, and I don’t intend to. Rather, I point to the word “abomination,” which implies the breaking of a cultural taboo, rather than a mortal sin.

      • There are things that are absolutely true, and absolutely false. However, our fallible human understanding of these gets mixed up sometimes.

      • Lilly, God does not play with words. He unlocks the mysteries to the word for those who seek him. If you seek to pervert the word of God that is on you. I gave you the truth, there is no other truth. Regardless of what you want to believe. Jesus does not approve of HOMOSEXUALITY. He will forgive those who ask for it. He loves all mankind and wishes no man to perish. BUT, you CANNOT TWIST THE BIBLE. IT IS A SIN! PERIOD. YOU are HERETIC. IT IS NOT A CULTURAL TABOO. ITS AN ADOMINATION. GOD BLESS. I will not dispute this any longer. YOU are in GRAVE ERROR of heaping judgment on your head for adding and taking away from the HOLY BOOK OF GOD. I suggest you stop and pray. If you have the HOLY SPIRIT and are not under a strong delusion, you will clealy see that you are in error.

      • I do not seek to offend, but to speak in truth. TRUTH may hurt, but I say it Because I know God does not wish any man should perish. But I WILL NOT condone heretics or false teachings, and you clearly are in fault of that. WHen a child or an adult errors, we rebuke in love. I am rebuking you in love. Please know it may seem harsh, but HELL IS NOT A JOKE, and we do not have time to spend defending apostate teachings. We should be teaching salvation and repentance. When someone is filled with the Holy SPirit, the spirit changes that person. If you are not renewed and without the spriit, you are not sealed to salvation. You cannot serve two masters, Lilly. You decide, do you want to please man or GOD, your choice. I choose GOD. and if that truth is hate, then so be it.

      • We clearly differ on whether this is an area of clear truth or a grey area in scripture.
        I would absolutely agree with you that truth is to be held fast.

        We need kindness to win people as well as truth.
        What does this verse mean?
        Unfailing love and truth have met together. Righteousness and peace have kissed!
        Psalms 85:10

        God also warns against causing a little one of His to stumble.
        What are the ways this could happen?

        we need the Spirit of Truth as well as correct facts.

      • The causing to stumble is what you are doing, by changing his word. Love your neighbor does not mean, love their sin. SCRIPTURE CLEARLY SAYS a man shall not lie with a woman, nor a man with a man. PERIOD. There is no discussion outside of that, and you have come under a strong delusion. God Bless Lilly. This is my last reponse. You have to take this up with Christ.

      • Lilly, WE are taught to love, and be soliders for Christ (Ephesians 6) Not wilfull pansies falling prey to the world. WE need to GROW UP. STOP CODDLING SIN. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it (Hebrews 12:11). GOd is not interested in HOW YOU FEEL about sin, he gave his final authority and he does not change to fit LIFESTYLES (Hebrews 13:8, James 1:7, and Numers 23:19). IF YOU LOVE YOUR BROTHER/SISTER IN CHRIST, you rebuke them and make them into soldiers for CHRIST, NOT SATAN. THERE IS NO GAY GENE. ITS A CHOICE. CHRIST does and will not reign in a spiritual deficit and bankrupt soul sold out to Satan. GET off the fence, put on the armor of God and do as you are told as a follower of Christ. You are to be apart of him, cleaving to him, not SUCKING yourself into the apostate worldly beliefs that GAY is okay. PRAYING FOR YOU. BUT this whole conversation is nonsense.

  15. Hello there! Thhis article couldn’tbe written any better!
    Going through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He constantly kept talking about this. I am going
    to forward this information to him. Fairly certain he’s
    going to have a very good read. Many thanks for sharing!

  16. At least in my country, this doesn’t happen in catholic churches… However I undestand you may not be catholic, but we both know about love and acceptance, which is what Jesus taught us. I will be praying for you.

  17. I read this article and all the scriptures that were quoted to support this authors point of view in why her and her family were being discriminated against because of her chosen lifestyle. The bible makes it very clear about what is keeping God’s commandment. If we look at the Old Testament, Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed because of the sinful acts. I find it very strange that when this issue is presented no one points out the scripture that truly addresses this issue head on. Let me bring this scripture to your attention in Romans 1 18-32 this scripture speaks of Gods wrath on unrighteousness, I would employ this portion of scripture to be read and studied, for it gives a clear message on this topic, and it even goes further to state all acts of unrighteousness. The word of God states that if we love Him we would keep His commandments, not that if we love Him then I need to find a church that would except my lifestyle and not question it. True pastors in the church don’t make up their agenda, they follow the masters agenda who is Jesus Christ, persecution is just a part of the believers walk. When we stand on the word of God regardless of those who claim to love God, yet have many evil things to say when your not in agreement with their agenda. My prayer is that the Lord would give them revelation of His word and they would take counsel of the whole word of God.

  18. i’m deeply saddened to hear all this. afterall it’s true that evryone is equal before God because we are all a creation of God.
    But i’m sure His Holiness Pope Francis would surely do something…so far he has done a lot for the catholics and i’m sure he won’t ignore your pain.

  19. Reading your post really helped me understand your hurt. I do agree with most others that find it impossible to justify an openly anti-Biblical life style and service in the type of church you seem to want to join. I am sorry for your pain and how marginalized you feel but I take issue that you blame the church and people in the church. Why are you not taking your argument to God and the Bible? I would assume it is because you disagree with the Bible. I would love to know you as a person, and do not believe your lifestyle means you are not a Christian. But can you be open to relationship with people who want to know all of you yet may disagree with you? I’m following your blog because I want to know more about you and your thoughts on life. I may not agree with you, but we can dialogue and listen to each other.

  20. Christianity is not about the do’s and the do not’s its about a relationship with Jesus. Focus on your relationship with him and everything else will fall into place!!!!

  21. Reblogged this on theaveragephilosopher and commented:
    Religion sometimes fails at bring people together. The teaching of love and forgiveness and peace are forgotten when there is an opportunity to judge someone ‘immoral’. Hope those who feel outcast from their own beliefs learn to be who they are and believe what they want without shame! It is okay to believe and be gay.

  22. Since we have the beautiful word of God for instruction, we can go to the scripture for all our answers. Praise God! As many post how sad they are about the church not accepting this family (although, it sounded as though the church did accept them just not in the manner the writer preferred). We should really be sad over sin. How satan turns our focus to the church and not sin. Sin is what separates us from Christ, not the church. The great fallacy of the day and many days prior. Sin is the reason people are “feeling” rejected. Our “feelings” get us into many deep troubles. Typically it is our “feelings” that lead us to sin. Yes, we are to hate the sin and love the sinner. The church is welcoming them, just not allowing them to serve. That is not even in accordance to the Bible.

    1 Corinthians 5 (ESV)

    Sexual Immorality Defiles the Church
    5 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. 2 And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.

    3 For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. 4 When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.[a]

    6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

    9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church[b] whom you are to judge? 13 God judges[c] those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

  23. While there are thousands of unbiblical man made religions and cults worldwide, it is understandable that most in “modern” religion, man no longer needs to consider “what is original biblical SIN is not necessary in this dispensation of prophetic end time events worldwide, which will usher in the return of Christ for those who believe.
    This means of the end time “end time judgments” of God ALL SIN will be judged as evil.
    Many of these religions and cults will not be in agreement on the biblical s t a t u s on homosexual relationships “as sin” … BUT, at
    creation the God of Abraham spoke saying; “MAN SHALL NOT LIE WITH MAN.” …not excluding “woman shall not lie with woman.”
    Genesis. K J.,
    The “original” New Test ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, ONE BAPTISM of power for every John 3:3 believer includes power over sin and evil, to qualify for eternal salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Quote of Christ regarding perversion of sexual relationship, …”The wages (reward) of sin is d e a t h; but the free gift of God (Jesus) is everlasting life.”
    Quote; “Except ye be born again (in Him by faith) ; ye will not enter the kingdom of God.” John 3:3-5.
    Jesus judged with “righteous judgment” to save a soul from error and sin, His judgment is not to condemn but with love, grace, and direction gives warning of the consequences of sin. But the world from the beginning rejected “repentance for sin” and created their many “spinoff” religions who do not qualify for eternal life in the end.
    An end time prophetic message of God to me saying: “TELL THE WORLD I AM COMING SOON …SPARE NOT ME WORDS.” …To spare not His words; …is to ask; …Are you certain your life’s sin is forgiven “through faith in Jesus Christ” to qualify for eternal life?” God loves you and I beyond our understanding, but, He will not accept our sin in the end. God bless you to this truth! Revivalist Sonja Grinstead …Google + …fb

  24. I’m guessing you probably only skim-read, or bulk approve, with the huge number of comments, so maybe you won’t see this.
    The truth is, I have no idea what to tell you.
    When I was six or so, my aunt died. No one really ever spoke about it openly, but we all knew the relationship between her and her partner was not “platonic”. While still in primary school, I read the entire Bible (without guidance) and I have to admit, I was scared for her soul. I became a little rebellious. She had been a good person. Why should she be excluded? No minister was able to give me a satisfactory answer – and I asked many.
    At that stage, I didn’t really discuss it with anyone, so I can perfectly understand that you don’t want to expose your children to that sort of stress. It is not good for a child. And that was my aunt – not my own mother.
    The thing is, I still don’t know what I think. Is it possible to just delete the passages from the Bible that don’t suit you? Is God relative to the observer?
    Where I live, the Church, not being able to answer the question, “God doesn’t make mistakes, so why would He make someone gay? Then being gay can’t be a mistake,” settled for the position that it is okay to be gay, it is just not okay to “practice” it. Basically, they decided to alienate both sides and settle themselves firmly on the fence.
    Completely ignoring how much both partners get hurt when someone who is “in the closet” enters into a heterosexual marriage (usually without any disclosure).
    All of the best to you and your family.
    All rights reserved. Modification is strictly prohibited. Your only remedy is to decline to publish.

  25. the real fault is men. they do bad things in the name of the Bible (or other religion) and stayed with thoughts of the Middle Ages. there is a job to do at the priest. ..etc people so they learn what it takes: love, solidarity, respect …….. the real problem is the man! !! God never said that African slaves were to be the white man or that homosexuals should be banished from the church!

  26. Reblogged this on eileengriffin and commented:
    I’m not Christian and consider myself spiritual rather than religious, but we need to do better all the way around – across every religion and social group – regardless of how religious (or not) we are.

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