Why I Think Parents (Especially) Should Leave Their Non-Affirming Churches
While both stories of "when you leave" are good, I think one is even better.
There’s something I’d like to share with you.
(if you’re not a parent, I guess you can skip down to the next section… or read on, it’s not very long, and you might enjoy it)
If you identify as a Christian—specifically one who affirms LGBTQ people—but you still attend a non-affirming church,
I’d like you to consider the following:
Some day, down the road, one of your children might share with you that they are queer.
Now, since you’re already an open and affirming person, I’m assuming you’ll celebrate this with your child.
And that’s great!
But once the hugs are hugged and the appropriate flags and t-shirts ordered, eventually the question of church will hit the foreground.
And when that does, many of you (I’m guessing) will make the difficult but necessary decision to part ways with a faith community that:
will not hold a wedding ceremony for your child,
will never grant them a position of leadership in the church regardless of how talented or called they are, and
will, at some point, preach a sermon that reminds you how they really feel about your beloved child (which is to say, poorly. They feel poorly about it).
And so, you will, I’m sure, (as Susan Cottrell put it), choose your child over your church.
And well you should! That is the correct call to make in my opinion.
However, imagine this scenario instead.
What if, instead of waiting until some future date when someone you love more than anything reveals to you that they are gay, lesbian, transgender, or some other sexual identity or orientation that your current church finds so incompatible with participating in the family of God, what if...
hang with me here...
what if you left your church right now?
As in, today.
Right after reading this.
Think about it, which is a better story: One where, years from now, you eventually leave your non-affirming church because your child came out—which then forces you to try and answer, “So, um, mom, dad, tell me again why you stayed in this church all those years? What was so important to you that you tolerated a theology that condemns me just for being me?”
Or, a story where you bravely and boldly align your internal convictions with your external reality—even when there’s no personal impetus to do so—thus ensuring that at any point down the road your children know, without a doubt, that you truly are a safe person for them.
Someone who doesn’t just talk the talk, but walks it as well.
In the end, ask yourself:
Do you want your kids to know, without a shadow of a doubt, that if they are queer that you will love and accept and embrace and celebrate them?
Or do you want them wondering, in the back of their minds, why it is that you say you would “love and support” them if they ever came out, all the while watching as you tithe, volunteer, and support a church that very much would not?
WATCH THE NEW VIDEO
The above words are the transcript from my new video this week titled, “Hey Parents.”
If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out now:
I’LL BE JOINING AN ATHEIST YOUTUBER ON MONDAY
On Monday, January 31st at 3pm PST, I’ve been invited to join Shannon Q for a live conversation about the Bible and homosexuality.
Shannon is a popular YouTuber who’s staked her claim as an Atheist Advocate.
She saw my appearance on Sean McDowell’s channel and found it fascinating that I, as a Christian pastor, am out here trynna tell folks that the Bible does not actually condemn homosexuality or LGBTQ people.
Can’t wait to meet Shannon and talk about it!
Join us, won’t you?
THE ALTER RETURNS
Finally, my friends, I’m coming back online!
Due to the Holidays, then the Corona-days, I haven’t done an episode of The Alter in quite some time.
But next week that changes.
Set your calendar alerts for Wednesday, February 2nd at 2pm PST, as The Alter returns!
I’ll be joined by special guest, progressive Pastor Josh Lee, to talk about this thing I’ve been reflecting on for weeks now: Should affirming Christians leave their non-affirming Churches?
Can’t wait to see you all then!
LOOKING FOR AN AFFIRMING CHURCH?
Speaking of affirming churches, I’ve heard from many people just how challenging it is to find an affirming church in their area.
And y’all, I’m sorry. That struggle is real.
I know it’s not necessarily ideal, but you are ALWAYS welcome to join me at my church on Sunday mornings at 10am PST.
We livestream our services and it’s a pretty fun time. No joke—check out last week’s virtual service! We had a hooooot.
Anyway, I know it’s not the same as plugging in to a local church, but you’ll still be able to:
create connection and community
hear inspiring and encouraging messages
enjoy (and sing along to) fantastic music
participate in Christian practices such as prayer, meditation, and communion
and be actively supporting a ministry that affirms LGBTQ people!
I call that a win/win/win/win/win (how many bullet points was that? oh, six), win!