Jul 7, 2010 Jon T commented on Re: Christians Protesting At Pride.
I would like to echo a comment earlier in this discussion, that there are certainly Christian churches and congregations that are utterly welcoming of LGBT folks and who are not apologizing for anything, other than agonizing over how many Christians and Christian bodies have behaved and are continuing to behave toward our community.

I am in Cleveland and am a member of a small United Church of Christ congregation in a conservative suburb. We revel in being the liberal outpost in this town. We are what is called "open and affirming" - meaning at a point in the past, the congregation voted, almost unanimously, to welcome LGBT folks and include them (us) in the full life of the church. This was in 1991. It took them a while to figure out exactly how to "live" that designation, but we now have an openly gay pastor, a gay music director, and I was, for two years, moderator of the church council. You can't get much more welcoming or affirming than that.

We have not "taken over" - far from it. The church is a mix of kinds of people - young families, including gay families, and people of all ages, single and married or partnered. The members who are gay are actively supported and appreciated, but our sexuality is just no big deal. We are simply full members of the church family. For me, it is precious and life-giving. Our message is completely Christ-centered. We don't debate scripture. We focus on being the church for our members and in our community.

I personally reject the conviction held by many that the Bible condemns homosexuality. There are just a few passages these people cite, and in every instance, there are reasonable interpretations of them that completely refute the bigots. I am so sick of that discussion that I pretty much refuse to participate in it, but I'll be happy to if anyone insists on it.

It's a big part of my life - don't know what I'd do without it - my church, that is. It makes me very sad that so many of my gay brothers and sisters are so filled, justifiably, with anger and hurt and are missing out on what can be a wonderful thing. It makes me sad that alleged Christians are caught up in rejecting us and have done such a good job of turning millions of people away from God. They are missing out, too. I think that's something they will answer for before it is all said and done.

OK - enough already. Just putting in my two bits.
Jul 7, 2010 Jon T joined My Stranger Face