The answer to this poignant question may very well surprise you.
By Shawn A. Akers
So you think all members of the LGBT community are hard-hearted and closed-minded? Think again. In fact, it’s the church that needs a change of attitude says Clay Peck, lead Pastor of Grace Place.
Peck asks this question: “What would influence LGBT to return to church? The answer:
- Feeling loved
- Given time (patience)
- No attempts to change their orientation
- Support of family and friends
Note: Point No. 3 assumes that they have heard the truth of God’s Word. And if they have been church members, it is generally assumed they have.
As much as my attitude and thoughts on this subject have changed over the past couple of years, last week I lent my own thoughts to this crucial issue hoping it would help heal the divide.
Peyton Jones of Christianitytoday.com recently wrote this: “People in a life of homosexuality need love without blame, and without reservation. As we all do. The cause of our condition isn’t as important as allowing it to be used for the glory of God. … What we need is ‘discipleship in community.’ People who define their identity by their sexuality need the church community as part of their transformation process to finding their primary identity in Christ. … The community is also a tool of conversion. We need to find people already among us who have been there, who have wrestled with God on these issues and found both love and truth. … Everyone craves love. Many people have lived with years of rejection as a result of their sexuality. Unconditional love can heal the hurts they’ve experienced and point the way to following Jesus in spirit and in truth.”
In the below video highlighted on Charismanews.com, Peck, in a sermon, issued his own public apology to the LGBT community. But, he didn’t change his theology. He simply explained another way to love LGBT people and to help bring them back into the kingdom.
While Peck said things a bit more eloquently, here is a blog I wrote that basically says the same thing. Please check it out.
And remember to do something to rise to a higher level in your kingdom calling today.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31)
Step Out of the Boat is a ministry created by Charisma Media Content Development Editor Shawn A. Akers and dedicated to help Christ followers to become spiritual champions and come to a more intimate relationship with Jesus. With its articles, podcasts and other forms of media, Step Out of the Boat encourages Christ followers to daily reach to a higher level in their calling. Shawn is a 35-year veteran sportswriter, a published poet and he published a story about Dale Earnhardt in NASCAR Chicken Soup for the Soul. You can read his blog here. You can also listen to his podcasts, the Javelin Sports Show, on the Charisma Podcast Network
This is a very big and challenging issue we face as Christians and I think there is one thing that makes it so difficult:
To a homosexual, the attractions they feel, many of them their entire lives feel just like love, and how can we convince anyone that God doesn’t want them to love and be loved?
The other huge hurdle, is the church has placed itself in direct opposition to the homosexual lifestyle, so they automatically assume we are their enemy. But we should be clear… there are MANY churches that openly accept gay members and leaders and it isn’t like the gay community is running in droves to those churches either. So the open arms approach doesn’t seem to be the ticket.
My local church invites all homosexuals into our church, it isn’t like we question everyone at the door, but you get my drift! But what our pastor never does, is condone that lifestyle from the pulpit… in fact he has preached on it several times, but always in love…. just as you should with ANY sin.
I think the bottom line is this, if someone doesn’t know or accept that they are a sinner, that they are in NEED of a savior, then the gospel will be nonsense in their ears. Until God’s law pierces their hearts and they become aware of their sinful condition… there is nothing that can be done.