What's the dumbest thing......?

I thought it would be interesting to ask a group of Christians who have experienced, or still experience, same sex attraction (SSA) about their experiences in church.  I asked the tongue in cheek question – what’s the dumbest thing someone’s ever said to you in church about SSA?

I was not ready for the answers I received, it opened my eyes to a level of offence and ignorance that must be changed if we are to be churches that offer spacious places for members of the LGBT community to develop relationship with God for themselves.  If we want people to come to a recognition of what God’s word teaches us about his perfect will for sexuality, we cannot continue to be thoughtless, and use throw away words and themes to try and change people.  Changing people is not our role; that is the role of the Holy Spirit, judging people is not our role, judging is the role of God.  We are simply here to walk the journey with people as a friend and brother or sister in Christ.

Here are the top 10 offensive comments:

  • If you start to feel attracted to me, let’s talk about it.
  • Having earrings in is giving in to the homosexual spirit (this spoken to a guy)
  • Folk with SSA are a danger to children
  • Of course someone with SSA cannot be in church leadership
  • Get married immediately it will cure your SSA
  • Does SSA mean secret attraction to everyone of the same sex?
  • SSA is a choice you made
  • If you wear a dress, it will help with your “problem” (this spoken to a girl)
  • Those people (meaning those with SSA) can’t be helped
  • People who experience same sex attractions shouldn’t be allowed to pray for or lay hands on people because they probably have evil spirits

SHOCKED?! 
You should be, because these types of comments are harmful and uncalled for, they show true ignorance about what SSA is, and a lack of valuing our neighbour as ourselves.  As a group of Christians who no longer identify as gay (best described as ex-gay) we believe that God has put a calling on our lives to be ambassadors and educators to the Church to help avoid these hurts in the future.

As one of our group members pointed out, our role is to raise awareness for how Jesus would deal with people who experienced SSA. How should Christians respond? Many are too quick to quote the outright truth of scripture or their own convictions, without making time for understanding, asking questions and listening in silence. They fail to know the person and their story first and these are the Christians who jump to conclusions with their own narrow minded views on LGBT and SSA. Christians should seek to understand an individual’s journey and beliefs before they voice their spiritual opinion.
 
Being SSA is not sinful and does not disqualify a Christian from any of the blessings of church membership.  Being SSA does not mean that you are harbouring demonic spirits or are a predator of whom other Christians should be wary.  Being SSA does not mean that you are seeking to act out on your attractions – I believe Jesus would have sat down with us, chatted to us, got to know us and then if there was a problem he would have shown truth and compassion in gently guiding us to his truth.  But in my experience, in sitting down with committed SSA Christians Jesus would have found a sold-out bunch of on fire believers and worshippers who truly understand the principles of sacrifice and picking up your cross daily to follow Him.