Me: I’ve come to believe this is evidence of the existence of God. “You have a hard time with gay people? Meet your daughter.”
D: Or the existence of Satan. You have no idea how terrifying it is to be a gay kid in a family that gives money to organizations that want to arrest gay people.
My jaw dropped.
I had never once considered this – mostly because I can be an idiot sometimes. I was imagining families like this one or this one – shifting their views because their beloved son or daughter was gay. I was not imagining the horror of being in a family that would respond by humiliating or condemning or banishing their child. Or trying to “beat the gay out” of their child. Or even killing their child.
Lord, have mercy. I’ll say it again: I can be an idiot.
Nevertheless, I still believe that God can use everything for good – including the conservative Christian families who are blessed with an LGBTQ child. When churches like this one provide safe haven in the name of Jesus Christ, I see the hand of God. When congregations like these make the conscious decision to support LGBTQ people, I see the hand of God. It reminds me of this verse in Genesis. God can make something good even out of evil.
In our own lives, in our own congregations regarding LGBTQ people, are we displaying evidence of the existence of God or the existence of Satan? It’s a real question.
Pew’s latest report on religion in the USA states that 48% of all LGBTQ people self-identify as Christian – which is shocking considering how many congregations do not welcome these folks, much less celebrate their leadership gifts or marriage commitments. But we can be the kind of communities that love in the likeness of Jesus – further evidence that God changes everything for good.
Next steps: there are a lot of LGBTQ people out there who most likely do not have church affiliation. How might we offer a welcoming, nourishing community?