Are you part of the problem?

Psalm 18:16-19
He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support.  He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.


Oh that the church would take heed of these verses when it comes to the LGBT community.  I see so much hate and misunderstanding spewing from the mouths of Christians who fail to understand that the Lord is the one who rescues us, the Lord is the one who reaches to us and supports us when we are in the deep waters.
 
A recent posting from a transgender friend who attended church on Easter Sunday showed that the heart of many Christians is not right.  Rather than delight in the fact that this particular church became the “spacious place” that the Lord can use to draw us back to his plans and purposes, they attack the church for no good reason.  If we, the church, cannot be community for everyone, then we are not doing the will of our Father.  Welcoming someone to church does not equal condoning their sin, it means we show compassion and love and ensure that everyone feels safe in our churches so that when God does speak to them, they are in the right place to receive.

What of sin that is hidden?  Many walk through the doors of our churches struggling with lust, porn, adultery, infidelity, gossip, greed (the list goes on).  Were we to see a physical manifestation of these sins would we also condemn that person and say they are not welcome.  If we did, our churches would be much emptier, and then who gets to hear the gospel and receive the conviction of the Holy Spirit?

I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating, I was welcomed into a church as an active lesbian and given space to find out who Jesus was.  I wasn’t condemned, nor was I affirmed in my sin, I was simply welcomed and given valuable time to meet with Jesus for myself.  Had I been challenged or condemned, I would not have returned and my story may well have ended very differently.  But through being shown love I found Jesus, who like the Psalm says, rescued me from my powerful enemy.

Christians, before you take to social media to share your outrage at churches who are being Christ like in welcoming the marginalised, stop and think.  Is what you are about to say going to encourage that individual that it’s worth pursuing Jesus, or are you painting a picture of church as a place simply for the perfect, which even you can’t claim to be (however opinionated or well versed in scripture you are!) Let us become a spacious place, albeit a messy place, but a place where everyone knows that Jesus loves them and a place where all are welcomed to come and meet with Jesus as often as they want to in an environment that fosters breathing space with God.

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