The disenfranchising of LGBT+ people from the church decades ago left a wake of division and relational damage throughout our culture that is difficult to heal. Many gay people were simplistically told: “You can change if you really want to. If you aren’t committed to change, you cannot be part of this church.” Thus, a willingness to change became the pre-condition for pursuing God in a community of faith. This you’re either with us or against us policy left the majority of LGBT+ individuals excluded from church life.
From a secular perspective, mental health experts stepped into this exclusionary gap to remove the stigma associated with non-heterosexual orientations. This needed work morphed into a campaign promoting the existence of a “gay gene” as evidenced by the American Psychological Association (APA) statement on homosexuality in effect as recently as 2008. This message of innateness implied the impossibility of change.
Two communities: faith and science. One checked out; the other plugged in. Two different conclusions; polar opposite views. One suggesting immorality; the other suggesting normalization. End result: a decades old culture war leaving a trail of many casualties and countless wounded. In war, there is no middle ground.
Yet that is not the end of the story. Join me next time as we look at some dramatic developments in both science and the church over the past decade. Something new is happening. Join me.