I want to tell you about my Christian LGBT friends.
Almost all of them have had an agonising journey as they have sought to reconcile their sexuality with their faith. They have cried themselves to sleep each night begging God to change them; they have been to counselling; some have sought conversion therapies; they have hated themselves; hated God for hating them; some have teetered on the verge of suicide; many have experienced years of depression; and they have eventually come to a point where they have reconciled who they are with whom God is.
Almost every one of my LGBT Christian friends has spent years pouring over the Scriptures that speak about sexuality. They have read the arguments for, the arguments against, and everything in between. When I ask my straight Christian friends how many books they have read on the theology of sexuality I’m usually met with a blank stare. Most have read none. My LGBT Christian friends have read dozens, listen to a multitude of talks, and discussed them for hours with pastors and scholars.
Almost every one of my LGBT Christian friends has experienced vile hatred in the church. They have been spat upon, yelled at, condemned to hell, asked to leave, been told God hates them, and been told that they are an abomination.
Every one of my LGBT Christian friends displays an extraordinary grace. I have never witnessed a greater willingness to forgive, a greater generosity of spirit, a greater willingness to love those who hate them, than I have seen amongst my LGBT Christian friends.
To my straight Christian friends I plead:
My LGBT Christian friends don’t need you to call them to repentance – they have agonised over what it means for them to live before God in a way few of us straight Christians have. Perhaps you could listen to them and discover from their experience what it means to seek to live faithfully before God.
My LGBT Christian friends don’t need you to tell them what the Bible teaches. When it comes to the issue of sexuality they know far more about the Bible than you do. Perhaps you could ask them to teach you what they have learned.
My LGBT Christian friends do need you to love them. How many times do you think a person can endure hatred, rejection, and have their fellow believer look condescendingly down upon them before their spirit wilts and they walk away?