Love Wins: The Shifting Landscape on LGBT Issues in the Evangelical Church

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 23, 2014 7:45 PM GMT
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rod-snyder/love-wins-the-shifting-la_b_5607566.html

    Where the Right went wrong (somewhere between the separation of church and state)


    "At the same time, this doesn't mean that anger at the church isn't justified. I would be the first to personally attest to the damage that the church has inflicted due to its historical approach on the issue of homosexuality. In many respects, the modern evangelical movement is currently reaping what is has sown for decades. For many years, leaders within the Christian Right decided to vilify LGBT people for political purposes, creating a social wedge issue that paid off handsomely during many election cycles. Of course, the tables have turned and popular opinion has shifted under their feet in dramatic fashion, and now many of those same religious leaders are playing the victim card"



    Can I get a Big Amen to that! icon_rolleyes.gif
  • shutoman

    Posts: 505

    Jul 23, 2014 9:19 PM GMT
    It's actually more advanced than he thinks.

    I organised a legal 'debate' on the motion 'This house would enable all religious organisations to conduct same-sex marriage'. Not the cute use of the word enable as currently certain churches in the UK are prohibited from doing so by law because they asked to be so restricted.

    Anyway, I had to turn the 'debate' into a panel discussion because I couldn't find anyone to argue against it. I have reason to believe that some of the conservative evangelical pressure groups in the UK have a policy of non-engagement. That's their choice.

    But what astonished me was the conversation I had with one of Britain's leading evangelical congregations. This church has huge, American style, outreach. I spoke to someone who said 'We don't really send out speakers - but in any event, we can't send someone because many people in the church are in favour of same-sex marriage'. I got the same from the College Christian Union (which used to be bastions of conservative evangelicalism).

    In short, the argument really is being won in the most unlikely places.
  • Sakura

    Posts: 188

    Jul 23, 2014 9:41 PM GMT
    Great article, thanks for sharing!
  • Rowing_Ant

    Posts: 1504

    Jul 23, 2014 11:11 PM GMT
    Of course Love will out.

    Go(o)d is love.

    Love is Go(o)d.

    It's really that simple.

    ...unless you think two people of the same sex can't have love, or be in love.

    But that thinking tells me more about the people who think that, than about the people about which they think it.

    If that makes sense.

    I am so incredbily proud that in the UK it was my church - the Unitarians - together with the Quakers and Liberal Judaism that pushed and worked for the law to be changed to allow same-sex marriage.

    Not all religious persons are haters.
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4865

    Jul 24, 2014 12:54 AM GMT
    scruffLA saidhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/rod-snyder/love-wins-the-shifting-la_b_5607566.html

    Where the Right went wrong (somewhere between the separation of church and state)


    "At the same time, this doesn't mean that anger at the church isn't justified. I would be the first to personally attest to the damage that the church has inflicted due to its historical approach on the issue of homosexuality. In many respects, the modern evangelical movement is currently reaping what is has sown for decades. For many years, leaders within the Christian Right decided to vilify LGBT people for political purposes, creating a social wedge issue that paid off handsomely during many election cycles. Of course, the tables have turned and popular opinion has shifted under their feet in dramatic fashion, and now many of those same religious leaders are playing the victim card"



    Can I get a Big Amen to that! icon_rolleyes.gif


    I don't read huffington post articles. The reason is that they do not permit readers to make comments unless they are on Facebook and I refuse to join Facebook.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 24, 2014 5:40 AM GMT
    This is a really interesting topic of debate in my household, as my father is a former pastor. Since coming out to my parents a few years back, which inadvertently outed my older sister as well (she was visiting them when I sent an email), my entire family has been going through a shift.

    Six months ago my mother told me that "not as many people accept gay people as you may think!". It was her version of a stern warning, as though hearing this would somehow 'bring me to my senses'.

    She said this to a man, who as a child had a family friend, and lead pastor of his church preach to a crowd of hundreds saying that if gays were ever accepted by the church that would be the day he walked away from the church. I still remember that exact day, sitting in my pew, trying not to look nervous, hoping no one would notice how ashamed and dirty I felt. I was 11.

    ---

    My parents visited me last weekend and my mother told me that at their Christian campground she's been fairly open that two of her children are gay. She told me that it seems that everyone there has at least one person in their family or someone close to them who is gay. She passed this along to my sister as well. It's funny sitting back and watching the gears turn in her head, seeing the changes happening slowly.

    It seems to me as society shifts and as people are having more and more personal integrity, the world is waking up to the fact that there are plenty of homosexuals in all walks of life, especially in the church.

    While there are plenty of gay-affirming churches out there, what's surprising is that even the more closed minded are finally waking up to some very simple truths. The campground pastor spoke about a bakery operator who turned away a gay couple when they asked for a wedding cake. When he heard about this, he told the woman she should have made their cake for free, and invited their friends to have their cake made there as well. He said that God called people to love, not to judge.

    I think those in the church (or any other organization) who only want control, power, and ego will always find reasons to hate, but I think those who are searching for truth and love are finally waking up to reality. Now we've got the rest of the world to help on their journey.

    If God exists, I think the recent influx of gay people born into the church is no accident.

    I love the end of the linked article:

    "One of the recent rallying cries for the LGBT movement has been "Love is love." One of the most common phrases in Christianity is "God is love." Everyone is pushing the Love agenda but not enough of us are practicing it. Love means listening more and yelling less. Love means pausing long enough to consider another perspective. Love means making an effort to get to know someone from a dissimilar background. Love means taking risks and stepping outside of what's comfortable. Love means being willing to face criticism for ceding an inch to the other side.

    I'm a gay Christian from a conservative family fighting for a progressive cause. Compassion and understanding don't weaken my argument for equal rights; in fact, they strengthen it. Openness and respect for differences don't weaken my faith; in fact, they strengthen it. In the end, no matter which side we're on, love wins if we let it."

    At the end of the day I'm very glad that I've seen both sides of the argument. I think it's given me personal strength and perspective, and a stronger sense of self. I hope we can all find compassion and love for one another, and that the resolution of this conflict only makes our societies stronger.
  • Rowing_Ant

    Posts: 1504

    Jul 24, 2014 10:15 AM GMT
    Thank you for that!
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    Jul 24, 2014 10:56 AM GMT
    Matt_TO83 said
    At the end of the day I'm very glad that I've seen both sides of the argument. I think it's given me personal strength and perspective, and a stronger sense of self. I hope we can all find compassion and love for one another, and that the resolution of this conflict only makes our societies stronger.


    Thanks for the insight, Matt. My family was (surprisingly) accepting when I came out to them. Just my mom and my aunt, but both have assured me that my late father would have also been accepting.

    My BF's parents, not so much, and when he came out to them, it began a downward spiral and put a wedge between them that I fear will never be forgiven.

    His family are staunch church-goers.. mine are not. I think the problem is that too many folks get hung up on the "teaching" so much that they forgot what they've been "taught".

    Love is never wrong.
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4865

    Jul 24, 2014 7:27 PM GMT
    JonSpringon said
    Matt_TO83 said
    At the end of the day I'm very glad that I've seen both sides of the argument. I think it's given me personal strength and perspective, and a stronger sense of self. I hope we can all find compassion and love for one another, and that the resolution of this conflict only makes our societies stronger.


    Thanks for the insight, Matt. My family was (surprisingly) accepting when I came out to them. Just my mom and my aunt, but both have assured me that my late father would have also been accepting.

    My BF's parents, not so much, and when he came out to them, it began a downward spiral and put a wedge between them that I fear will never be forgiven.

    His family are staunch church-goers.. mine are not. I think the problem is that too many folks get hung up on the "teaching" so much that they forgot what they've been "taught".

    Love is never wrong.


    Some of these pious people overlook what Jesus said was most important. When He was asked which is the most important command, He replied by quoting from the Old Testament. Somewhat condensed, it is to love God and our neighbors. To show what is meant by love and to expand the definition of neighbor, he give the parable of the Good Samaritan.

    Surely if people are condemned, pious people who show no love for others will be among the condemned, especially when they disown their own children.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14380

    Jul 25, 2014 11:44 PM GMT
    I am just wondering how the one of the nation's premier NARROW MINDED BIBLE THUMPING SCREWBALLS, James Dobson and his psychotic organization known as Focus on the Family is reacting to these long overdue changes in the evangelical movement.
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4865

    Jul 26, 2014 7:02 AM GMT
    roadbikeRob saidI am just wondering how the one of the nation's premier NARROW MINDED BIBLE THUMPING SCREWBALLS, James Dobson and his psychotic organization known as Focus on the Family is reacting to these long overdue changes in the evangelical movement.


    It would be interesting to find out.

    The case of James Dobson is very unfortunate. He founded Focus on the Family which at first provided useful help and advice to families. Then, Dobson went off of his rocker and led Focus into being obsessed with gay men and women to the detriment of the good work that Focus had been doing.

    In some respects, Dobson was somewhat liberal. At a time when masturbation was considered to be a serious sin and also possibly symptomatic of mental health problems, Dobson asserted that it was a minor matter and parents should not be concerned with it. It is unclear what caused him to lose his sanity.

    Some decades ago, a survey was taken to determine the attitude of Americans on various matters. In ranking the importance of crimes, same-sex encounters ranked just below murder among lay persons and equal to adultery among judges. We've obviously come a long way, but not without a fight.