I am Gay Affirming. Let’s just get that out of the way. This way you know how to appropriately categorize me. Witnessing Evangelicals and the “Gay Agenda” is horrifying. Conservatives stand beneath the banner of life and family values as the AGENDA to save you from all the other agendas. But the banner stinks. That banner is rotting families from the inside out.
After our break up with the Evangelical church, after wading through the pain and sifting what we wanted and needed as a family, it became increasingly clear where we stood now was NOT going to allow room for us to return to the denominational church gatherings we had known before.
While we came out of the Evangelical church due to hurt, it is their stance on women and LGBTQ people, plus their marriage to conservative politics which keeps us out.
In the spring of 2014 Christianity Today reported that World Vision (a leading Christian nonprofit) changed its policies to begin hiring and providing benefits for gay Christians who were married. They came to this conclusion as “representatives of diversity in the Christian world.” After a collective sigh, a bit of rejoicing for many of us the Evangelical/Conservative voting bloc went to work undermining and reacting in outrage to this revelation.
A few days later World Vision in response to the push-back reversed their policies, but the damage had already been done.
A year later World Vision would reveal that they had lost millions of sponsorship dollars from Christian supporters angered by their stance with LGBTQ people. The world’s children and parents living in poverty were the collateral damage of the Evangelical Voting Machine’s movement.
The machine’s movement in recent years is never towards life, love, inclusion, and hope.
This is what I have known of Christian voters and church members my whole life – withholding money through boycotts and financial threats of ruin all in the name of Jesus and Biblical unity.
Even the fate of the world’s most needy children does not matter.
Denominations and churches were actively encouraging their members to boycott World Vision and they stepped back and applauded one another as they scored another big win in the name of “Biblical Morality.”
This was a defining moment for me.
My shifting faith lurched further. Watching Evangelicals and the “Gay Agenda” was excruciatingly painful to witness. I felt my insides ripped out. There was no way I was going to be able to go back and support churches, denominations, nonprofits, and ministry leaders who were intentionally establishing themselves as anti-people, anti-love, and anti-life.
How could I possibly stand with a faith group who adamantly believes they have the absolute, divinely-given right to discriminate against and even persecute LGBTQ people?
What the Evangelical church and her subsidiaries today have done is ostracize and repeatedly violate a minority group they should be drawing near, protecting, and standing beside.
Why is the Evangelical church and her people the last to get things right? Why are so many in their ranks the last to stand up and defend those who need to be defended? Instead they are the ones throwing the punches, withholding the dollars and affection.
When the church is set on being right they are cruel. This is the Christian mean girls at their worst.
Why are they repeatedly missing the point and standing on the wrong side of history?
You cannot LOVE while holding your interpretation of Biblical law with two closed fists.
Either you love them, open your homes and lives to them, invite them to the table AS THEY ARE – recognizing that many of our interpretations of Biblical words, myth, stories, ideas and culture are limited and biased and shaped to an agenda OR you stand over there in your perfectly crafted glass church building holding tightly to being right.
Church folk who need to be right on this, who are adamantly right about this ONE ISSUE will die right, but never know the incredible depth of faith it takes to accept, affirm, and be blessed by those who have experienced so much rejection and harm.
There is a reason the LGBTQ suicide rates are so high – and the church should be the safest place for ALL people to find acceptance, hope, and love.
If churched people want to understand PERSECUTION they should look no further than their gay neighbors, family members and colleagues.
Evangelicals and the Gay Agenda
The battle the church has chosen to wage against the culture in the name of Biblical truth is the wrong battle – they are once against standing in defense of the WRONG DAMN THING. There is no gay agenda – at least not one that should frighten us. I see loving people wanting to live a whole, healthy life.
There is however an Americanized Evangelical Christian agenda actively persecuting liberals, feminists, LGBTQ, and anyone who affirms these groups.
The Conservative Agenda in America is the most dangerous Agenda to our families because they have us convinced they stand beneath a banner of life and family values when on LGBTQ issues alone they fracture families, silence broken voices, and proclaim doom to anyone who gets in their way.
The Evangelical agenda does not bear good news or hope. It sucks the life from the world around it. And they built an ark. Don’t forget that stupid ark.
Maybe you think I am being too hard on the members of my former faith sect. Ummmm. Yes, I am persecuting the church people. No seriously. When you have heard your whole entire life how HORRIBLE the gays are and what a SIN THEIR LIFESTYLE IS AND HOW THE GAYS are going to be the downfall of our country.
When you witness them blamed for every horrific natural disaster and the sexual immorality of our youth, but then you actually go out into the world and have neighbors who are gay, have friends who are gay, go to a gay wedding, watch a gay couple welcome a child. These interactions become significant markers during your faith shift. And you realize the LIES TOLD TO YOU ABOUT LGBTQ PEOPLE AND GOD YOUR WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE…
You Get Really Pissed.
LGBTQ identifying friends don’t have an agenda they are simply living their lives. How is their living offensive or wrong? It isn’t. They are children of God. Each person even those who identify as gay or queer bear the divine markings of their creator. LGBTQ people and families are capable of immense good even without the church’s approval or support. Evangelical support is not a necessary requirement for them to live as loving, kind, generous, good friends, good parents, faithful spouses, hard workers, and productive members of society and deep members of their faith communities.
Then you wake up and realize how this new way of seeing the “gay agenda” is going to shape the manner in which you raise your children.
I would never raise my children in a church where LGBTQ people are NOT welcome, affirmed, or safe.
BECAUSE there will come a day when my own children will not be welcome, affirmed, or safe.
You can hold to the Christian Good Girl image YOUR WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE, but still come up short. They will always find a reason to find you wanting. It is WHAT THEY DO.
You will never be able to pray enough, devote enough time to Bible study, or read the right books. Weekly church attendance is not going to meet them where they need you to meet them – they are going to require more proof. You can wear the right clothing, but not revealing too much. You can frown upon lifestyles they find offensive and avoid friendships with outsiders. You can go to their conferences and their prayers retreats and their family camps.
BUT YOU WILL ALWAYS BE FOUND WANTING if you even slightly accept your gay friends, gay relatives, gay children LOVING THEM exactly the way they are.
The Conservative War on Your Family
There is not a war on Christmas, family values, US Evangelical Christianity, or the church in the United States of America. There is however a war on LGBTQ people and those who affirm them. It is a war battled by those of entitlement, uninformed beliefs, and shallow thought.
There IS a war on your family. If you have a child who happens to be LGBTQ, you will have to fight like hell to protect them from the Conservative Evangelical agenda.
YOU will have to be your child’s voice. You will have to keep them from harmful therapies and harmful thought patterns which will not draw them closer to Jesus, but put them in danger of self-harm, shame, and even death.
Evangelical Christians have every right to believe the interpretation of scripture which labels homosexuality a sin. This is within your right. However, they/you do not have the right to go so far as to treat LGBTQ people as less than, lacking, and unworthy of an equal life under the laws of the government. They/you have no right to reject them as fully included members of the faith or of a family unit simply because they/you do not like how LGBTQ have sex or who/how they are created to love.
American Evangelical Christians and those who believe like them are missing it.
YOU are miss an amazing opportunity to understand God better by standing beside those HE lives among, suffers with, and deeply loves.
God isn’t moving in those fancy church coffee bars, expensive Sunday morning worship concerts, or Evangelical Christian conglomerates. She is moving among the rejects, persecuted, affirming, wandering, broken and discarded. LGBTQ people are one of these groups.
And I want to spend my life standing with them.
Where will you be when you finally wake up enough to understand this?
Join this safe, private conversation from like-minded and hopeful people – From the Front Porch
This is part 9 in a series on Confronting My Church Wounds – You can find the rest of the series below:
- Coming Undone
- Pit of Despair
- Healing Takes Time
- The Act of Seeing
- Mean Church Girls
- You are NOT Good Enough
- A Year of Silence