Saturday, July 25, 2009

Who Would Jesus Hate?

If Christians truly believed Jesus' teaching that we are all God's children, followed his example of embracing social outcasts, and lived out his mandate to love another, then a recent USA Today article is rendered moot.

In "Straight believers find a home in gay churches, synagogues," the writer tells stories of straight individuals who have found refuge in LGBT or predominantly LGBT congregations. As a woman who had lost her husband explained, "Mishpachah (her congregation) means family and they were truly family to me ... isn't that what we want and look for and hope for in a religious community?" Many of those who came to sit shiva with her are gay.

A couple sought a "gay" congregation to be their liberal oasis in the center of the Bible Belt desert. Some attend LGBT churches and synagogues out of a sense of solidarity or social justice. Others "wandered in by accident, or were invited by a gay friend or family member, and simply felt at home and decided to stay." In my own congregation, individuals and families - straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender - come and stay because of our welcoming spirit and strong sense of community.

Sadly, not all Christians try to be real Christians. Rather they believe, follow and live out "truths" of belief systems generated by men, partly to put their group above and apart from others. To justify exclusion, discrimination, oppression and subjugation of other people. Hardly what their namesake was and is about.

No comments: