This is not going to be a theological post about who is right and who is wrong except for these brief opening sentences where I clearly state my own perspective for the record and for the sake of transparency – I do not believe that being LGBTQ+ is sin/open rebellion against God.
Of course I have the benefit of a theology that leads me to believing that all humanity is broken at a foundational level and so focusing in on the details as we are fond of doing sets up a global farce of 7 billion pots calling 7 billion kettle’s black in an often violent and sad cycle of endless brutality.
That being said the Church (Big C global collection of various types of Christian believers in their many and differing contexts) believes it is being confronted with a very specific challenge – how to respond to LGBTQ+.
I say “believes” because it may in fact only be the Church that sees this as a confrontation while those within the LGBTQ+ community and their supporters are simply moving forward with little regard for whether the church comes along or not in the same way that a field of wheat may see itself being confronted by an army of infantry tromping through it whereas the army is completely unaware of the wheat at all as it has its gaze set on more distant goals.
Herein lies the conundrum for the church. Unlike cultural changes of the past that “confronted” the church like slavery and women (which is still being worked through sadly in some corners) the church does not have the luxury of a century or more to mull over and craft its position when it comes to LGBTQ+ concerns…for the most part western culture has already moved on and brought LGBTQ+ with it. There is no more space for “don’t ask, don’t tell”. This is not to say there are still not significant issues of bigotry that face LGBTQ+ – there are…however the momentum of western history is solidly with LGBTQ+.
It is at this point that some in the Church will say – “So what? Just because culture is doing this does not mean we will compromise our Biblical values” etc. ad infinitum, ad nauseum.
To which the rest of the world says exactly the same thing – if they are listening at all.
Do you see what is happening here? The world is rapidly believing the Church is irrelevant and the Church is rapidly starting to believe (or at least act like) the world is irrelevant…at least in areas where they disagree.
Theologically (sorry), that the world feels the church is irrelevant is to be expected…however for the church to act as if the world is irrelevant is perhaps the greatest sin it could possibly commit, as it exists for one reason and one reason only – the world.
I have no idea what the way forward is for the Church (lies! I have some thoughts) but I do know one thing…whatever it is, the world is caring less and less to the point that it won’t matter one day at all and this is the real tragedy.