I recently saw a film about a young lesbian girl’s time at a Christian conversion therapy camp for youth struggling with same sex attraction. It was full of awkward laughs, some inappropriate moments, and harsh realities about how Christians have wrongly dealt with the LGBTQ community.
The film is set in the backdrop of the 90’s but the message, is sadly, still as relevant as ever. We see conversion therapy, alienation, and family rejection spewed from pulpits and from the hearts of Christians and families across the nation.
Regardless of if one believes same sex attraction is a choice or one is born gay, there has been lack a healthy middle ground for conversations.
Media stories are full of lunatics disguised as Christians that hold signs with messages like “God hates queers,” comments from the pulpit like “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve,” and in President Trump’s campaign we saw the complete disregard and attack on members of the LGBTQ community.
I have had some conversations with gay people that carry so much hurt and angst and anger toward God and the Church, because they have only felt hate and pain from “Christians.”
This has become a closed handed conversation where its either us or them. I was raised in the church, as a Pastor’s son, and have seen firsthand the lack of space given to have conversations with members of the LGBTQ community or even an individual questioning his or her sexual attraction.
This is an invitation to conversation. Gay people are not enemies, if we are truly lovers and followers of the gospel we are to rise above the nonsense and love people.
It is in the Vanguard mission statement to “cultivate character,” but how can cultivation take place without challenge or conversation on views opposite of our own or on topics so prevalent in our nations culture today?
My hope is that the Church, starting with the Vanguard community, will move from condemnation and berating words into a space where unconditional love and grace can be held, and conversation and reconciliation can take place.