What if our churches took Jesus seriously when he said to love one another just like he loves us?
A friend of mine once told me about a black woman in a largely white church he was going to. He said the people of this church didn’t seem to be very welcoming of her. They were sort of ignoring her, not really acknowledging her presence the way he thought they should. When he asked a few people about this he learned that she had been in a relationship with another woman. It wasn’t because of her race she that was being treated this way. It was because she was a lesbian.
I was with a group of people one time, one of whom had just come back from a big Christian conference. He told us about a person in a small group he met who was extremely active in her community. She volunteered in many social justice areas helping feed the needy, providing school supplies for children of poor families, and assisting in meeting the needs of rundown neighborhoods. He also told us that she was transgender. When he told us about this, another person in the group said, “Well, I guess she could still be a Christian.”
Several years ago I was in a Sunday school class and we were talking about some of the negative things that were going on in the world. Someone mentioned gay churches. Everyone kind of nodded in agreement that this was something that was going on in the world that was wrong.
What about when He said not to judge, not to condemn, and that we’ll be measured the same way we measure others?
What would our churches with that kind of love look like?
I’m not sure, but I don’t think it would look like a place that says, “You can’t be part of our group … unless you make a significant change to your very being … it may not be possible … we’re not actually sure … but that’s what you have to do. Okay, bye.”
No, I think it would look more like a place where our LGBT neighbors could come and be safe, welcomed, accepted, and loved right where they are. A place where we could worship our creator together. A place where we could feed the hungry, give to the needy, bring peace to conflict, see in each other what we have in common instead of what’s different, and help each other live life the way it should be lived. Together.
I think that might put us one step closer to bringing God’s Kingdom here, to God’s will being done here, on earth as it is in heaven.
When my friend learned that it wasn’t because of the woman’s race, he thought, “I see … is that any better?”
“Of course someone can be transgender and Christian,” I said.
And in that Sunday school class I agreed. Because there is something wrong in our world if gay churches must exist because gay people don’t feel like they can come to our church and worship the God who loves us all.
 John 15:12
 Luke 6:37-38
 1 John 4:20
 Romans 13:8-10
 John 13:35
 Luke 3:11
 Luke 6:30
 Hebrews 12:14
 Colossians 3:11
 John 10:10
 Matthew 6:10