Why I believe God loves all of us #unchanged.
I believe people who identify as LGBTQIA+ do not need to change their orientation and/or gender identity to be accepted and beloved children of God.
I have written in numerous places my biblical and theological reasons for a shift in my convictions to affirm God’s vision for the inclusion of all people irrespective of sexual orientation and/or gender identity. You are welcome to read those arguments here, and here, and in this forthcoming book.
But, like many people, what set me on my journey was listening, really listening, to my friends as they came out to me. It was personal stories from Christians whom I respect and love that convicted me to take a closer look at the biblical passages and theological arguments used to exclude LGBTQI+ people from the embrace of the church. These are people whose pastoral counsel I have received, who have prayed for me and with, cared for me, ministered with me. These are people whose lives look nothing like the descriptions we find in Romans 1. These are people whose lives bear the fruit of the Spirit. Godly gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and non-binary Christians. Their lives bare witness the change associated with sanctification, the filling of the Spirit, while their sexual orientations and/or gender identities remained #unchanged.
And I heard other stories.
Stories of praying for change. Struggling for change. Submitting to church discipline and conversion therapy for change that didn’t come. These attempts to change did not yield the fruit of the Spirit. These attempts to change bore the fruit of depression, anxiety, suicide, self-hatred, feelings of being unlovable unless they could change. These are not people who needed more faith, who needed to pray harder. These are people who simply need to know that they are beloved children of God as they are, #unchanged.
Beloved, you are welcome as you are.