A few weeks ago, it was reported on various sites (including Ex-Gay Watch) that the Barna research group had unveiled a surprising study among the gay community and the Church. Here’s a summary of the findings and a link to the results:
George Barna, whose company conducted the research, pointed out that some popular stereotypes about the spiritual life of gays and lesbians are simply wrong.
“People who portray gay adults as godless, hedonistic, Christian bashers are not working with the facts,” declared the best-selling author of numerous books about faith and culture. “A substantial majority of gays cite their faith as a central facet of their life, consider themselves to be Christian, and claim to have some type of meaningful personal commitment to Jesus Christ active in their life today.
“The data indicate that millions of gay people are interested in faith but not in the local church and do not appear to be focused on the traditional tools and traditions that represent the comfort zone of most churched Christians. Gay adults clearly have a different way of interpreting the Bible on a number of central theological matters, such as perspectives about God. Homosexuals appreciate their faith but they do not prioritize it, and they tend to consider faith to be individual and private rather than communal.
“It is interesting to see that most homosexuals, who have some history within the Christian Church, have rejected orthodox biblical teachings and principles – but, in many cases, to nearly the same degree that the heterosexual Christian population has rejected those same teachings and principles. Although there are clearly some substantial differences in the religious beliefs and practices of the straight and gay populations, there may be less of a spiritual gap between straights and gays than many Americans would assume.”
Read the rest here.
My reaction to this: I can only hope that the Church begins to wake up and smell the coffee.
The gay community is not THE threat to Christianity. THE threat comes from those who claim to be Christian but then choose not to follow after GOD’S Standards. And both sides of the fence are guilty of this … though, truth be told, the Church is more prone to this hypocrisy than anyone else. Still, we (meaning both sides) need to stop the bickering and figure-pointing, and instead seek common ground.
Now, I believe the common ground is JESUS … some may disagree, but then again, I am coming at this from a Christian-monotheistic point of view. As I think about the Church and her relationship to the gay community some questions arise within:
- What if the Church treated the gay community just like any other person who doesn’t know CHRIST, or who is struggle in their walk with the LORD? Why is the sin of homosexuality the mother of all sins?
- What if the Church loved on the gay community, as JESUS would, in order to help them seek a stronger relationship with CHRIST?
- What if the Church stood back, and instead of doing the Spirit’s work for HIM, actually let the Spirit work in ways we could never imagine?
- What if the Church actually became a safe place for gays and lesbians?
- What if the Throne of GODS Grace was actually made available, through the Church, to the gay community – as scripture states ALL are invited to approach and kneel before (Hebrews 4:16)?
- What if the Church stopped protesting the person, looked past their faults, and began to see the gay community through the eyes of JESUS?
- What if the Church put all political junk aside (like gay marriage, and so forth) and sought a common ground with the gay community based on the fact that they too love JESUS, and desire a relationship with HIM?
Just some questions … looking for answers.