There is an article Here (I hesitate to link it lest I help propagate the popularity of the article) it is titled “When Two Lesbians Walk Into a Church Seeking Trouble” and features the story of a wonderfully loving and accepting church and how their Christian nonjudgementalism softened the heart of Amy the lesbian.
To hear their Pastor tell it, This church is called Gateway in Austin TX, and their motto is “Come as you are” and they mean it! they even let lesbians come even though they admit they were trying to be shocking on purpose!
I’ll bet you would like a church like that. Maybe if you were in Austin you would like to visit.
Well I am, and before their article went viral I did… Or at least I tried to. I was not allowed.
I guess I’m not troublesome enough. I’m just a heterosexual white pastor’s kid, but at Gateway, you are not permitted to join a Bible Study until you have joined their church, and that is no easy task. I’ve spoken to others who have been asked to leave the Gateway community because they “didn’t fit in” or they “made people uncomfortable” both descriptions that sound very much like Jesus to me. I was only turned away at the door, where I didn’t give it another thought. I’m thankful I’m not like those who were invited in to the toxic community to be chewed up and spit out.
And I’m thankful that the pastor apparently sees the value in things like love and acceptance, and that the people who have taken this article viral, apparently do so for the same reasons… But while the pastor toots his own horn, he seems to fail to realize that his church has massive problems with acceptance, and they are visible even in his own article if you read carefully.
Guess what: If the fullness of our love is the capacity to not be shocked by girls who like girls, then our love is not full enough. GLBT people have hopes and dreams and personalities. They need much more than for you to be unaffected by what you perceive to be their troublesome antics.
And as we in the church pat our own backs by spreading this article. saying “Yes, I am a champion of allowing lesbians to come to church where they will learn to stop being lesbians, look how accepting I am” we need to turn out gaze back on ourselves. I’m not
Not “Look how loving I am”.
Not “let me teach you how to be an accepting Christian”
Not “even people who are muddy are allowed near me”
But “Lord have mercy”
“Lord, teach me to love more, to accept more”
”Lord thank you for allowing muddy people like me near you”