To my brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ community: I’m sorry.
I’m sorry that people who may genuinely follow Christ have made you think that you can’t. Jesus didn’t make exceptions for “love your neighbor” but it seems we have. I think many of my brothers and sisters, and me, have refused to see you as creations of incalculable worth. I’m ready to stop doing that now. I’m ready to embrace you as people, seekers of Christ the same as me.
I’m deeply sorrowful that it took a shooting in Orlando for me to come to terms with the needed direction of my own heart. The days since that massacre have forced myself and others to draw a line: either we will pray for your healing now and always, or we should not pray for it at all. If we deny prayer for you, we are not followers of Christ. We would be judges who sit on high benches, high enough to remove ourselves from all humanity. I choose to love you, to pray for you, always. I will not make this season which started in Orlando a temporary one.
I’m sorry that we have closed and locked the church doors to you. I can’t speak to the general condition of all churches, I know we are divided; I can tell you that you are welcome in mine and I will sit beside you. I will sing with you. I will seek Christ with you, and I will pray for your well-being always. If you are asked to leave, I will go with you, but that will not happen in the place I worship. You are my brothers and sisters.
I’m sorry that you are identified as a gay Christian at all. I’d like to remove the first adjective. Let none of us be good Christians or bad ones; let none be gay or straight Christians. If any of us take an adjective, let it be, “broken Christians,” for we all certainly are. We are equally broken and equally covered by grace, and grace doesn’t make exceptions.
Bear with us. Don’t give up. Let us learn who you are and what you’re like, let us find the full measure of our own salvation. The final destination of that road is Jesus, and we would be his enemies if we tried to keep you from finding him.
“Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.” – Philippians 2:1-2