I want to start with this great quote (from this post), one I go back to over and over and over again:
Because listen – here’s the thing. After my wrestling match with God, I wasn’t really exhausted enough. I still came up swinging. For a little while, I felt angry. Angry at anyone who had a different understanding of scripture than I did. Angry at people who taught that God disapproved of homosexuality. Prideful about my position, really. And then one day God sat my butt down with the Bible again.
And he said something to me like, “Wait a minute, Lovie. Yes, I love those gays, but I love the ones picketing against them every bit as much. That’s the point.”
And There’s the rub. There’s Christianity. It’s not deciding that one group shouldn’t be judged and then turning around and judging the other group. That is not being a peacemaker. Peacemakers resist categorizing people. They find the light, the good, in each and every person. They don’t try to change people, except by example. They know everyone has something important to teach. They are humble about their ideas and their opinions. They try to find common ground, always.
I am often not very successful at being a peacemaker, but it’s something I want to be, and so I try. Over and over and over again. I fail, but I pick myself back up, and I try again.
Sometimes I have a hard time staying in the church. Not only does it do things that hurt me and those I love, but more and more it seems it wants to push me and any who are like me out. And of course the natural human response to this is to say, “You don’t want me? Fine, I’m leaving.” But the thing is, whether the church wants me or not, over and over again (yes, I’ve prayed about this many times) God has told me that this church is where He wants me to be. And so I stay.
That doesn’t make it easy. Things like the changes to the handbook that came to light tonight make things especially hard. They make me reach out to my LGBTQ brothers and sisters in love and compassion. I know this was especially hard for them, and I know that they’re a particularly vulnerable group. The last thing I want is to see more suicides because people (particularly these young people) feel like there’s no point to even trying any more. I want them to know that I love them and I care for them, and that God does, too. He’s bigger than the church.
But at times like this I have to remember the quote I started with, too. God does love His LGBTQ children. This hurt them, and that hurts Him. But He loves His children who enacted this policy just as much. He might not agree with everything they do, but that’s the whole point of the Atonement. He loves in spite of our faults, our wrongdoings, our sins. We’re all still His children. So I’d like to end with this quote, taken from the same post I referenced above:
And that means that I love my gay friends, without agenda. And I love my friends who believe that homosexuality is a sin, without agenda. And I love my friends who are terrified for my soul when I write this way, without agenda.
Or at least I try. Because God is Love.