There have been things said by churches, pastors, Christians towards the LGBTQ community that is unequivocally wrong. Regardless of theology, the ways in which the LGBTQ community has been hurt by the church is evil. Romans 13:10 gives us a great example of how to handle our relationships with others in regards to this. Take a moment today to think of a friend, neighbor, or co-worker that is part of the LGBTQ Community. Pray that they would be surrounded by people who love them regardless and encourage them to discover faith in healthy, meaningful ways. If you can be that for someone, take that step and do it!
The reasons affirming and non-affirming Christians hold the views they do doesn’t necessarily make their assertions true—it’s just why they think the way they do. We believe that we can all have different beliefs surrounding the LGBTQ community and still pursue unity and loving, Christ-like behavior. Romans 14:10 encourages us to think about the judgment we cast on and how we treat others. Take a moment today to reflect on ways that you can still hold your beliefs and walk out your faith alongside those in the LGBTQ community. Consider inviting a friend, family member or co-worker in the LGBTQ community to grab coffee. Ask them about their experiences in the Christian community. Take time out to pray and bless them as you wrap up your time together.
What do you do when there are Christians that love Jesus, honor God, and respect the Bible and yet see something that’s very important very differently? You pursue unity over uniformity. When we read over Romans 15:7, we can see a guiding light pointing us in the right direction. As you read over that verse, write down a list of words and actions that you would associate with the word UNITY. Look over that list of words and set some time aside to focus in prayer. As you pray, ask the Lord to help you apply those words and actions to your everyday practices on and offline. Watch God work as you walk out His word!
Jesus gave us a blueprint—a litmus test—for truth and goodness. It’s found in Matthew 7:16-20. Create some space today to listen to or read a story about how those in the LGBTQ community have been treated by Christians at large. What fruit do you see being produced? Unity or division? Hope or shame? As you pray today, highlight the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23 and think of how you can grow those fruits in your own life in regards to those in the LGBTQ Community. Write out some personal goals that you can focus on in everyday life that will help you love others as Christ loves you.
Studies have shown that church affiliation normally is associated with improved mental health for young people. However, it’s gay Christian youth with high religious guidance that have the greatest risk of self-injury, increased likelihood of suicidal thoughts or attempts compared to their heterosexual counterparts. What can we do as Christ-followers to create safe places for our LGBTQ friends, family, co-workers and this growing generation to experience meaningful faith-filled relationships? Take a moment to read 1 Corinthians 13:1-7 and ask the Lord, in prayer, to help you discover how you can be a part of helping to provide a safe place like that.
TALK IT OVER
- What’s your favorite meme to use in response to a tense conversation?
- How many people do you know personally that are a part of the LGBTQ community?
- What were you raised to believe about individuals in the LGBTQ community?
- What have you noticed about the Church’s response to the LGBTQ community?
- Read Romans 13:10. What does this scripture mean to you, in regards to those who hold differing beliefs about faith and the LGBTQ community?
- What does it mean, to you personally, to pursue unity over uniformity in regards to this message series topic?