Right now my congregation is facing a challenging time (as other congregations have) as we consider whether to extend membership to same-gender couples in committed relationships. There has been some talk and some confusion about “that lifestyle”. My experience is limited – I personally know only four or five people who are gay, lesbian, or bisexual. But I thought it might be helpful to bring some additional observations to this conversation about lifestyle.
In my experience, one common lifestyle trait that all of my friends share is a deep love of worship in various forms. They are singers, dancers, musicians, and artists. Many of them are worship leaders, inspiring devotion in others as they worship God, as well.
A few of them are preachers, proclaiming the Gospel and sharing the love of Christ with deep conviction.
All of my friends are incredibly hospitable and generous. I’ve been welcomed into their homes and lives. This was especially important to me during the times when my family had just moved into a new community. In addition, I’ve watched as two of them have made space in their home so that a refugee family would have a place to live.
They are all people of deep, authentic prayer and are not afraid to wrestle with God.
All of my gay, lesbian, and bisexual brothers and sisters love the Church. They’ve chosen their homes so they could be closer to the congregation and its ministries. They have been misunderstood, even at times persecuted, by the church, yet they continue to share their gifts and talents.
To repeat what I stated earlier: my observation of this “lifestyle” has been limited. However, I’m convinced that the Church would be a better place if we could live the same lifestyle that I’ve witnessed in my brothers and sisters.
In Acts, God pours out the Holy Spirit on the Gentiles in Peter’s presence. Later, Peter reports back to the Jews in Jerusalem and says,
If God gave them the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could hinder God?