Has the Church Closed the Doors to the Glbt Community?
Has The Church Closed The Doors To The GLBT Community?
Are GLBT accepted in mainstream religion, or have they been pushed aside because of their difference in values and sexual orientation? According to Bill Shepson in his 2001, Charisma, article, not only have they been pushed out of mainstream religion, further, they have been defrocked. Shepson says, “The gay denomination–founded by defrocked Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee) minister Troy Perry in 1968 and boasting a membership of more than 32,000–is the largest of the gay church networks, all of which are small compared to traditional mainline, evangelical or Pentecostal-charismatic denominations. Statistics are not even available for most gay churches outside the UFMCC” (Shepson, 2001).
From the statement, “Statistics are not even available for most gay churches outside the UFMCC” can it then be supposed that their isn’t a large enough GLBT Christian population to gather statistics from? Or, is it, that they feel so abandoned by the mainstream Christian groups that they have retained their faith, but in turn abandoned their own religious practices?
Shepson claims that “The church… has treated those who struggle with homosexuality differently than it does those who deal with issues that are more easily understood. Some Christian leaders believe the church often does more harm than good because of its aversion to dealing with issues that make people uncomfortable” (2001).
It is this writer’s belief that the majority of churches base their views on GLBT on the passage in Leviticus 18:22, which says, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination…” and again, in Leviticus 20:13, “If a man lies with a male as with a woman both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death; their blood is upon them.” I have attended churches believed this. Such churches expected the GLBT to change their ways before coming to church and did not accept them the way they were and meet them where they were at in their religious walk.
It is the personal opinion of this writer that all churches need to meet every person who comes through the doors where they are in their own religious walk. Every one talks about the “WWJD” theme… if they were really acting as Jesus did, they would love them through their faults and accept them the way they were. Only after befriending them, then, if you find a difference in belief systems, I truly believe Jesus himself would speak to them with love.
~~~~~~Sierra St. James
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