Understanding the LGBT Community
Romans 1:16 has been used to justify prejudices against those in the LGBT community. However, is Paul really referring to them in this passage? We need to build relationships and be a part of their lives in order to understand the context and to get a better grasp of what Paul is saying.
Building a Bridge
- Building community from our faith to their faith requires that we accept our own place of being equally without excuse and equally in need of God's mercy.
Chapter 2, Paul makes it clear that he's talking to the Jews as well. You who judge practice the same thing.
We are all equally without excuse before God
We don't want God's justice, we want His mercy. If we want God's mercy for us, we should want it for everyone else as well, including those in the LGBT community.
- Building community from faith to faith requires we retain God in our knowledge and that we share that with them.
The person who Pauls speaks of in Romans 1 is the person who
- Suppresses the truth of God
- Replaces thoughts of God with futile speculation
- Replaces honor to God with idolatry.
They do have a knowledge of God, their life experience is just different from ours.
Paul was referring to those who dont have the image of God
There are things about them that are praise worth and good and that part about them reflects the image of God.
If we don't look at human sexuality, we share a common foundation of faith on retaining God in our knowledge.
- Building community from faith to faith requires we take responsibility for how we are heard when we share our faith and what we believe.
- They hear from us that they aren't human because of how they go against natural law
- They hear that they are a stain in nature
- We may be meaning to say one thing and they may be hearing something completely opposite and completely different.
- Do they see in our church a community where their faith is affirmed?
Their life experience is not as neat and tidy as what we may want them to be.
Not having gone through what they have, there's no way that we can understand. Best we can do is listen to them.
See in them the image of God and be the image of God in their lives and just make a place and room in our lives for them to be who they are and to celebrate all the aspects of their lives that we share in common with our faith.
Building community from faith to faith must be reciprocal
How can our LGBT neighbors help?
- Be careful with the word hate. To seek to retain continuity with cultural and religious traditions 5000 years old is not hate, it's just a form of our faith.
- Be patient with our pronouns. Not all languages have gender but English does.
- Be willing to bounce back from an occasional offense. Keep your eyes on the half-full.