Yesterday the pastor of Australia’s biggest church, Hillsong, released a blog post answering the question, “Do I love gay people?”
Read Brian’s post here.
Here’s the response I posted on social media. Feel free to share as needed.
I want to thank you for your blog post yesterday that expresses your love for gay people. I’m sure you wrote this with a genuine desire to express the love and compassion that is inherent in the gospel.
However, as gently as I can, I need to point out how offensive it is to the LGBTI community and those LGBTI people that are members of your church. You repeat a phrase several times through out your post. You say these two words as if they are a real, tangible thing that your church will never accept.
The words? Gay lifestyle.
Using these words in the way you have has lumped all LGBTI into one category. You define them by sexual acts that are only representative of a small portion of the LGBTI community.
You have labelled the gay teenager, who reads his Bible regularly, attends church, gives a donation and prays every day, as a pervert who will never be accepted into leadership.
You have labelled the lesbian in her twenties who works at the local cafe, saving enough money to pay her tuition fees and hopefully do some travel, as a pervert who will never be accepted into leadership.
You have labelled the gay couple who have deliberately chosen to work with the homeless of your city in preference to higher paying jobs because of their convictions based on faith, as perverts who will never be accepted into leadership.
You have labelled the same-sex parented family raising their kids and being an active part of the school community, even serving on school council, as perverts who will never be accepted into leadership.
All of these people I mention have a deeply held faith. They express their faith through their lifestyle. They are LGBTI. Are these examples of the gay lifestyle you refer to that will never be allowed to lead in your church?
Using terms like “gay lifestyle” propagates a myth that a same-sex sexual orientation equates to a certain set of sexual behaviors. This is simply not true. Any entry level text book on human development and sexuality will tell you this.
You are free to hold to your doctrines that shape your views on sexuality and marriage. But as you express them, please don’t use lies to justify your position. There is simply no such thing as a ‘gay lifestyle’ anymore than there is a ‘straight lifestyle’. If you will not let people in loving gay relationships be part of the leadership of Hillsong, just say that. “Gay couples are not allowed to be in leadership at Hillsong.” Simple.
I won’t agree with you, but I will respect you for expressing your opinion truthfully.
I hope this letter reaches you and you read it in the spirit it is intended.
For more information on the “Encounter the LGBTI Community” professional development training, click here.