Sunday, January 12, 2014

Yesterday I had a very powerful and transformative experience. I attended the Gay Christian Network conference in Chicago. My goal--actually my God-directed mandate--was to simply listen and learn. I was warmly welcomed. I joined with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Christians as we worshiped Jesus with our whole hearts. I experienced God's loving presence among us. I listened as they told their stories--there are countless stories--of being condescended to and humiliated and hurt and ostracized by churches, by parents, by pastors and youth group leaders, by "Christian" friends. I saw great pain but also tremendous grace and forgiveness and hope and maturity. I saw followers of Jesus caring for one another and encouraging one another. I saw gifted and beautiful people, beloved--just as they are--by God.

If you are a heterosexual Christian, and especially if you are a church leader or pastor, I encourage you and challenge you (as I have done myself) to seek out some LGBTQ people and listen to their stories. Don't preach. Don't try to fix. Just listen.

This is not an "issue." This is people. These are your brothers and sisters.

Here is a clip from a video that was produced by GCN a few years ago. It gives an inkling of what I mean by listening to their stories. Watching a clip from a DVD is a poor substitute however from sitting face-to-face with a person and hearing their story. Doing the latter may break your heart.


Anonymous Marg Herder said...

Thank you, Danny, for going to GCN and for posting this. Yes, just think of what could happen if we could all just learn to talk and listen!

5:46 PM  

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