And though this is perhaps among the worst examples of the frivolous commoditization of LGBTQ+ Pride that could be cited, it is still only one of many examples.
Because a right doctrine of human sexuality is so important to so many Christians, it isn’t that difficult to genuinely frustrate us with this type of messaging. Unfortunately, that leads us toward a tendency to overcorrect, matching the level of frivolity of the thing we are responding to. The prevailing wisdom being that if “the other side” is coming out hard, we need to come out even harder.
However, in some cases, frivolity gives way to vitriol and such strongly worded denunciations that it closes the door to any genuine conversation you may have previously been afforded with a queer person in your life.
The LGBTQ+ people in your life see what you post online. They hear what you mutter under your breath in person. They can tell how you feel about them by the way you look at them. And if you convey a mocking or biting tone pointed in their direction, while they may not ever speak of it to you, they will quietly realize that you are not a safe person to share their life with.
You don’t need to spend the entire month of June responding to every online post about Pride that even so much as mildly annoys you. In fact, that’s the opposite of what you should be doing. To me, many of these marketing campaigns seem like fairly transparent efforts to stir controversy and capture attention. But we don’t need to show up to every fight to which we are invited.
Be that as it may, what we too often see are Christians sniping at other Christians for not being vitriolic enough, somehow implying that Christians who aren’t constantly and vocally offering round and brutal denunciations are “soft” on the issue.
But here’s the thing: if you are known to be a Christian by the people in your life, they likely can all assume where you stand on issues of sexuality. What they might not know is how much Jesus loves them exactly where they are. Spend the month seeking to convey that message.
Mistake 2: Denying the Harm That Has Been Done to the LGBTQ Community in the Name of Jesus, and Doubling Down on It.
While Christians may have deeply held convictions that stand in contrast to those of the LGBTQ+ community, we must never let those differences of worldview give way to hate.
Far too often, we have.
When we look at the history of the LGBTQ+ community’s relationship with the Christian faith and church, if we are to build any bridge with them, we have to understand that we are starting from a steep deficit of trust.
Through the generations, LGBTQ+ individuals have consistently been made the subject of ridicule, exclusion, and even physical violence. They have been kicked out of their Christian families and communities, their feelings and experiences have been left unvalidated, and at times their very lives have been put in jeopardy in the name of “proper theology.”