Holland, MI — It is difficult to overstate the irony of the Christian response to LGBT individuals in this city. Holland maintains a stubborn ignorance of the ways in which the Bible has been used to justify every manner of discriminatory political agenda. Beyond this classic case of aspect blindness, the English text remains idolized above the Living God, faithfully propagating what Peter Gomes has termed “bibliolatry.”
Many Holland churches go even further, actively working to de-convert the LGBT in their congregations. It goes like this: Any LGBT individual with the spiritual authenticity to come out is immediately banned from any public role whatsoever. For those of us with gifts such as leadership, music and public speaking, this practice renders us unable to pursue our ministries.
This trend of exclusion is why so many LGBT individuals with leadership talents end up secular: because of Christians. Turned away from the place we desire to serve, where else can we go? As Walker Percy has written, “One might even become a Christian if there were few if any Christians around.”
LGBT Christians: Read Romans 1. It simply does not describe you or the love that you seek in this life. Do not be distracted by the devastating lie that love is not for you, as I was for so many years. Instead, use your time in this city as a “dark night of the soul” in which you hone your gifts and grow amidst persecution. God will provide direction for finding a beautiful love and calling.
Anti-LGBT Christians: Your disproportionately apoplectic reaction to this city’s tiny LGBT community is not sane. You continue to cause the little ones to stumble, to prey on the oppressed, and to turn away the hungry. “Lord, Lord” on your lips, you nevertheless avoid the spiritual life and fail to know the Savior you claim. Heed the voice of God before it is too late — for you.
Chase W. Nelson