Lead Them Home is inspired by a biblical conviction that the church should be “the place” where people from all walks of life are welcomed to pursue faith in Christ. Against the backdrop of a decades old culture war that has left many LGBT+ people excluded from the evangelical church, I believe it is time for us to lead them home- to invite them back – to grant them the grace to pursue a life of faith in Christ among us.
Doing so first requires that we consider the validity of “reasonable self-determination;” a sufficient respect for others’ conscience before God. Like Greg Parsons (see my prior post), I find this to be a challenging endeavor when people exhibit beliefs and behaviors beyond orthodoxy. What about you? Does this idea of “reasonable self-determination” sound controversial? Even heretical? For those that say yes, I understand.
To move us beyond fear, some clarification will be helpful. I am not suggesting we change moral theology nor provide open access to leadership positions that oversee church doctrine and policy making. I am not proposing any policy change at all. I am recommending a more flexible space – a more generous inclusion – for the stranger at the gate. We might call it a shift in posture: a re-alignment of Jesus “for” LGBT+ people.
I hope you understand my heart: I am neither a church critic nor an activist. While I surrendered my own homosexuality to Jesus over 15 years ago, I try my best to never place myself above others nor allow my story to be “used against” LGBT+ people. After all, I remain a wretched sinner; saved only by grace; struggling with a propensity to fail God; but hungrily partaking of communion as a reminder of what Christ has done for me; and I have been mercifully included as a full member and participant of my church. I guess this is why I carry such a deep conviction that the ground at the foot of the Cross must be utterly flat – for all.
Admittedly, however, questions remain. One major question is this: upon what biblical foundation is a wider inclusion of LGBT+ people warranted? I will offer such a foundation in my next post. I hope you’ll join me. Maybe you might pray for me as well! God bless.