An Open Letter to the LGBT Community
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
I want to apologize right from the start for using this Scripture to start this open letter. I know it can be taken as if I am saying we are enemies. My intent is to point to the fact that many believe we are enemies and at times people from both our communities see the other as an enemy. Even if this were the case my community at least should be ruled by the law of Jesus and that law is love. More on love in a bit.
I know that our communities as a whole do not agree on the issue of sexuality. But this disagreement has turned into walls of anger and judgment on both sides. These walls have prohibited honest dialog between our communities and this has in turn added mortar and bricks to those walls. My letter to you is to simply say I believe we need to communicate and our communication needs to be built on love and respect for ourselves and each other.
I welcome dialog from anyone reading this letter. My hope in this dialog is not to change your sexuality but, rather to understand one another. It has been said that we fear that which we do not understand. Allow me to use a couple extreme examples of this fear both our communities have.
My community fears that homosexuality is a perversion of God given sexuality and that the perversion leads to the harm of our children. I am sure you have heard well meaning, fearful people act as if homosexuals are also child molesters. This is an unjust accusation based on fear.
You and your community I am sure have seen screaming preachers with signs reading “God hates fags.” Your fear is that we are all red neck bigots who would rather have you removed from the earth than honestly engage in conversation. Again this is an unjust accusation that is based on fear.
To be honest both our communities have people in them that truly do not want to engage but, would rather demonize one another. I cannot do much about that but, what I can do is invite you into an honest conversation of respect.
If we would simply allow ourselves to listen and hear one another I am sure that we can begin to tear down the walls of hate and fear. Allow me to be honest, I do not understand homosexuality in a sensual sense. It is as far removed from me as the ocean is to the fields of Iowa. I do honestly believe it is not the intent of God’s original creation and design. You on the other hand I am sure cannot fully understand me or my community either. How can we talk about love and say the very thing I just wrote?
I do not believe that a conversation will win either community over, my hope is rather that a conversation will allow for healing, understanding, respect, dignity, and above all love. Maybe a conversation between our communities will allow for civility at the least and just maybe it will allow for friendships.
Now to the topic of love. As I mentioned I believe the law of Jesus is Love! I do not however believe love is a feeling (though it may produce feelings.). I believe love is a choice one makes that allows us to see each other as humans who are to be treated with dignity and respect. Love allows me to see you as myself and want for you what I want for myself. Love does not mean we agree, but rather that we respect one another in our disagreements. Love says I will honor and respect you, care for you, look after you, protect you even when I fully disagree with you.
Somehow we have come to the conclusion that love is acceptance of all things. Yet, we know from our own loving families this is not true. I love my children, my parents and my church but, we do not always agree nor do we always accept the others opinion of truth.
In the same way I believe our communities need to enter in a loving dialog that shows a great deal of respect and consideration for the other. We are allowed to hold differing opinions and still care for one another.
Your question to me right now might be: But do you believe I am living in sin? Here is my answer. Sin simply means to miss the mark of life and the intent of God. With this definition established I can say with a conviction of heart that yes, I believe Homosexuality is missing the mark of God’s design and intent. My question to you is this: Do you believe I am wrong? I am sure your answer is yes. So we have established that we do not agree on this topic.
What I am suggesting is that we stop firing shots from our own communities into the other as if we are some sort of patriot warriors fighting for turf. That we come to the table with our disagreement in full light and learn how to communicate, share, and most of all love one another.
I too miss the mark, as a matter of fact I have never met a Christian who did not miss the mark. All of our stories are the same, a life that has missed the mark. It is here that we Christians find our greatest hope. Not that we have somehow become better than anyone else but, rather someone took our penalty for missing the mark. This someone is none other than Jesus who we believe came to be the savior of a world that has missed the mark.
Yes, we do have standards of living based on how we see and read Scripture but it is not those standards that we hold with pride. It is the cross we hold on to in humility because we are aware of how far off we were and are from God’s design.
My goal is not to throw standards of living on you but, rather to share with you my only hope, the hope of Jesus.
Please, if you are interested in an open conversation of respect and love I am willing to share a wonderful cup of coffee and a dialog that just may bring our communities to a place of love and respect.