Is Christianity Harmful to LGBT People (1 of 5)

I usually write for the saints at Central Oaks Community Church here in Michigan. But today I am writing to address a topic that’s part of a course I’m taking at Southern Seminary. The assignment is for me to write for those who disagree with my viewpoint. Considering the topic, I think it’s safe to say that everyone at Central Oaks agrees with me about the Christian view on LGBT issues. So, for those of you fellow church members and goers, you are of course welcome to consider what I’m saying, but know that these posts are not primarily written with you in mind.

If you’re reading this because someone shared it with you or you happened upon it, welcome. For any who are generally in favor or supportive of LGBT issues, welcome. I’m honored you’re reading. I hope you’ll give these posts a fair hearing (but it’s a free country–you can close the window any time you like). If you would like to engage with me on these posts, I am willing as time allows. Just use the contact portion of the site above and I’ll do my best to engage with you to the best of my ability.

My Goal and a roadmap

In addition to securing a quality grade, I hope to make a reasonable case for the following thesis: Christianity, instead of being harmful to LGBT people, actually leads to joy.

You and others will be the judge of whether or not I have made this case reasonable. Obviously, this is a can of worms I’m opening with this topic. Although I’ve never actually opened a can of worms (wouldn’t they die in the can, by the way?), I can imagine keeping them all at bay would be a challenge and would be time consuming. Because of that, I plan on writing five separate blogs about this topic (with this one being the first). Here is my plan:

  • Blog 1: Introduction and why this topic is important
  • Blog 2: A brief overview about what Christian ethics say about LGBT people
  • Blog 3: Claims of harm by LGBT people because of Christian ethics
  • Blog 4: Joy inaugurated for LGBT people
  • Blog 5: Joy consummated for LGBT people

Some caveats

I do not begin this project under the assumption I will convince everyone who engages with me of my point of view. There is much I don’t know about the perspective of LGBT people because I have not lived in those shoes and, as far as I know, have not ever experienced same sex attraction. Please forgive me if I come across as a know-it-all. My background is very religious (I am a fourth-generation Baptist pastor) and I recognize our tendency to be pharisaical and judgmental at times.

With that said, I would be honored to learn more from LGBT people and become friends if you are reading this and identify as LGBT. I do have some friends who either have same sex attraction or are openly gay/lesbian. If you live nearby and would like to share your perspective, I’ll buy the coffee.

Why this topic

I can come up with at least three reasons why this topic is important to discuss right now.

  1. The various sides of this issue can hardly talk to one another. The divisiveness that exists in the lives of normal, everyday Americans is shocking. Surely, even if we disagree, we can still live as basic, decent members of a society. Perhaps I can be a help to model this.
  2. Some are shell-shocked. The idea that Christianity is harmful is a very new concept to me. I grew up in Tennessee (go Vols!) and it was generally understood that Christianity was right, and that people should be Christians. Of course, not everyone was, but that belief was assumed. It’s a very quick change for it to now be considered by some as not just no longer a viable option but harmful. I think there are some, perhaps many people–Christian or not–that are shell-shocked as to what is going on in our culture. Maybe these posts can help bring some understanding for both sides of the issue.
  3. LGBT people need joy. I appreciate so much anyone who disagrees with me but is willing to give me the benefit of the doubt on my motives. This is directly related to my thesis that I have not yet proven, but could it be possible that people who think homosexuality or transgenderism is wrong actually aren’t homophobic? Could it be possible that there are some Christians who hold to a traditional Christian ethic on these issues for the purpose of the joy of LGBT people? I hope to at least persuade any reader who disagrees with my conclusions that, while there are Christians who are homophobic and transphobic, there is a possibility that some aren’t.

Thank you for reading. I’m honored to travel this journey alongside of you.