It’s time I came out as a straight man who supports the rights of my gay brothers and sisters to enjoy the same rights as I do.
It’s time I came out as a friend to publically support people I know who have been mistreated, misunderstood and misjudged.
It’s time I came out as a father who wants to raise his kids to follow the example of Jesus in the way we love and accept people.
It’s time I came out as a committed Christian who thinks the church should stand up for anyone who has been excluded, to embrace anyone who has been cast aside, to live like we believe Jesus meant what he said when he told us to love everyone.
It’s time to take a stand for the separation of church and hate. It’s time for the church to put its money where its mouth is. To drop our disingenuous platitudes like “Love the sinner, hate the sin,” and “God loves you just as you are, but he loves you too much to leave you that way”…all those little bumper sticker sayings that just drip with superiority and judgement. To remember that Jesus’ harshest words were directed at all the people who assumed they were right, that they had some exclusive access to the truth, and that they had a right and responsibility to judge everyone who didn’t measure up to their warped interpretations.
To confess that we have the blood of children on our hands, children who couldn’t face another day of torment, children who couldn’t find sanctuary in the very place that should have offered comfort and safety.
I’ve searched the Bible. I’ve read all the passages that are used to condemn, judge and marginalize homosexuals. I’ve studied the cultural contexts. I’ve looked behind the text, not just on the surface.
I’ve also studied the rest of the scriptures. The ones that say not to condemn, judge or marginalize. The ones that fill in all the gaps around all the “issues” with the overwhelming message that God loves people. All people. Equally. Period.
I know all the arguments. The accusations that you can’t just take the parts of the Bible you like and ignore the ones you don’t. And I agree. And it goes both ways.
There’s plenty of time and space to discuss and debate the proof-texting, the exegesis, the complexity of contextual nuances. But for today, there’s one clear message:
They will know we are Christians by our love.
Our extravagent, unconditional, unfettered, extreme, radical love.
He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)