by Jim Gordon
Unfortunately, we know many people have been treated wrong within the church system. Some more severe that others, but none of it is good.
I think one of the groups that seem to be affected most by this are those who are LGBTQ. I have seen this group of people treated rudely and like second class citizens in many churches where they should find love and acceptance more than anywhere else. God said to love our neighbors, he did not say to love only those with whom we agree.
Even in the churches that are actually welcoming, LGBTQ people are often not accepted and allowed to participate fully within the organization or hold certain positions. They are welcome to come in and sit and listen so hopefully the church can change them, but they are not welcome to come in and participate in any way within the church program.
Christian people will deny rights and services to LGBTQ people based on their Christian beliefs, unfortunately even including fellow Christians who are LGBTQ. Even government office holders can refuse certain services and basically get away with it because they say it goes against their Christian morals. As a Christian, I say these things should not be. This is nothing like the example of Jesus.
Labels are placed on many people, gay/straight, black/white, male/female, christian/atheist, American/foreign/immigrant. Yet behind those labels are human beings who were created in the image of God. They are loved and accepted by God and we are told as followers of Christ to be known for our love for one another.
I feel for those who are LGBTQ. It hurts to see people who were created and loved by God be rejected and abused by those who claim Christianity. I think it is time to look past the labels, look past personal feelings and accept people just the way they are, because they are created and loved by God.
Jim Gordon and his wife left the institutional church after spending over fifty years within the system. Jim wanted a way to express his thoughts and concerns about the religious system and why he and his wife decided to leave the institution but not their faith in God. Jim can be contacted by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org