Over the past several years, the stories have started to accumulate.
Stories that seem to follow the same story line.
A Christian starts telling people they identify as LGBTTQI*
And then the consequences start.
I know someone who was told they can no longer call themselves Christian.
I know someone who was no longer allowed to teach Sunday School.
I know someone who was no longer allowed to sing in church.
I know someone who has preaching gigs cancelled.
I know someone who knows that following their call to be a pastor is near impossible.
I know someone who has been called a pervert and abomination.
I know someone whose donors stopped supporting them.
I know someone whose pastor now has a hard time shaking hands in the foyer.
I know someone who can’t bring their partner to family gatherings.
I know someone who was kicked out of their house.
And what breaks my heart in all of these is that the harm is being perpetuated by Christians.
Christians who believe in love.
Christians who believe the Bible.
I believe in love.
I believe in the Bible.
When Jesus was asked which is the most important commandment, he answered “The most important one is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31
The apostle Paul agrees. “Let no debt remain outstanding except the debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments… are best summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” Love does no harm to its neighbour. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” Romans 13:8-10
Are our actions loving?
Are we loving our neighbours as ourselves?
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the law of the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12
Are we treating our neighbours in ways that we want to be treated?
Or, are our attempts at faithfulness causing harm?
I fear that that sometimes, instead of faithfully following the Bible’s instructions on love, we actually end up doing the opposite of what the Bible says.
PS – The positives stories are also accumulating. Here, my attempt here is to acknowledge that most of the resistance to lgbttqi* equality is rooted in my community, the Christian one. And because of that, we have to ask ourselves some extra questions.