So, I’m in the middle of writing a post on being Christian and a part of the LGBTQIA+ community, which is entirely possible because I AM. But, this is not that. This is a heart-wrenching thing I go through in my church all the time, and I think it’s time for me to be honest about it.
My church is part of the Assemblies of God denomination. It is a highly Evangelical church, and we seek out new members and yes, evangelize. I love the people I interact with in my church. We do share a lot of the same views and they are almost always there to lift you up when things are going on, and they almost always pray for you and with you. And I love our Pastor and the sermons he preaches (and may I mention he NEVER preaches against things, even the LGBTQIA+ community). BUT… almost everyone in my church is not affirming. Meaning, basically, they do not accept the LGBTQIA+ community. They are very against it. They think prayer will “cure” it. They enjoy “shaming” those within the community. Only one person in the congregation knows about my orientation, and she’s very liberal like me.
I’m sure you’re wondering why I stay in such a church. Well, among with what I said before, my orientation is between me and God. I don’t find reason to bring it up. But I don’t go recruiting people to my church often because of the beliefs about my community. I still have all the other beliefs and I want to talk to people about Christ. A lot of times, though, I get asked if our church is accepting of the community because a relative has come out, or their daughter has, etc. And I tell them the truth. We’re a loving church, but they (and I always stress they) do not approve of the LGBTQIA+ community. I also, however, tell them that Jesus does, and point them in the direction of the affirming churches in our town. I’m sure if those in charge of my church knew I did that they definitely wouldn’t be too happy with me.
But yes, that’s the truth. And I’ve learned to ignore it for myself because of the positive things. I would, however, never refer anyone who is affirming to come to my church. I don’t want them to feel like they have to change for anyone when God loves them the way they are.