Definition of honest: free of deceit and untruthfulness; sincere.
Therein exists the problem of a large percentage of church congregations across our land.
The American church at large would rather that gay or transgender people never be honest about themselves so they would never come out. That it would be better if they continue to be dishonest about who they are, hide it away from the rest of the congregation.
If the church allowed them to be honest that means many people might leave their church, thus the tithing would go down. Losing money is not tolerable.
It’s better to keep people in a painful, dishonest state so the church can keep the money flowing in. This is not WWJD. But that’s what you demand.
The bible did not contain the word “homosexuality” until 1946. Changing the meanings of words in the bible is not allowed of course, except for you. You’re special evidently. All so you can keep your dishonest campaign against gay people going full steam ahead.
The original word in Romans 1:27 was pederasty, where we get the word pedophile. Homosexuality does not mean pedophile. But to your dishonest and deceitful teaching to your flock, it does. Preachers are not diving into the history of the sacred text, instead they lazily take the English versions at face value and continue the cultural demonization of gay and transgender people. So people leave your services thinking that gay people are the same as pedophiles and parrot your words as if you knew the only anointed view of God Almighty.
After all, you were the ones who possess the theology degrees, the shiny plaques proudly on display in your offices, so you ought to know the Bible better than anyone. Including the radically changed verses in the 20th century. After all, people go to you as an authority for all things, so whatever you say goes, including whatever the political winds of the day happen to be. Yet you know darn well Jesus never played into any of those political winds in his time, so why are you?
Preaching corrupted gospel to keep the flames of the faux culture wars raging makes you feel good, makes you feel patriotic, makes you feel like you’re exercising that doctorate degree in theology with great aplomb.
You kick out gay and transgender folks out of your churches because to you it’s the right thing to do. Your theology school crony feel the same. They understand the same corrupted gospel regarding gay and trans people as you. It makes you feel safe alongside your peers who have the same theology degrees on the walls to show them the door. No pressure for you to have your social circles challenged if you kick out those Jesus would spend time with.
Really, kicking them out of your congregation is more for your comfort than for the heart and soul of the person you’re telling to “leave now, you’re no longer welcome here”. That is, if you actually tell them. Often times, the pastor instructs subordinates to do his dirty work. How convenient.
But what about the hurting, needing soul you just kicked out? Irrelevant to you as you shun it off as “they need to stop their sin”. Again, not WWJD.
During your coffee times together with your preacher cronies you tell about how you “had to kick out a delusional man (trans woman) from the church” because “he did not turn from his sinful ways”. That sells in your voting-for-Trump-after-you-said-you-would-NEVER-vote-for-Trump-circles, but it’s dishonest, Jesus would never do this. It’s on the wrong side of salvation, its on the wrong side of Jesus’ love and it’s on the wrong side of history. But you continue anyway thinking you are doing God’s work.
You are the ones kicking gay and trans gender people out of your churches, not Jesus. Jesus sat down and spent time with them, you’re not. You’re kicking them to the curb so you don’t have to sup with these “vile sinners” any longer.
You’re doing the work to make yourself be comfortable in your system and your social circles. It’s all about you. That’s horribly dishonest to the hurting person you released from your church.
And God forbid they were part of your small groups. They would be put on the hot seat and told they would have to “give up their sin because they were going to hell”. They would be prayed over many times even though they can never change. Because you can’t change a gay or transgender person.
God’s business is changing hearts, not biology. You’ve made your business to make people conform to your view of God’s text. Again, dishonest to the very purpose of Jesus’ church.
You refuse to listen to their hearts, only judge them by their willingness to conform or be cast out of your country club Sunday gathering. That’s dishonest of you in light of your mission to be a representative of Jesus as Jesus always placed the heart of the person before anything else. But you don’t with their hearts. You reject them instead.
You reject them when they needed you most. Exactly the opposite of what Jesus would do.
So as you stand in front of your Sunday morning meetings and Wednesday night Bible studies preaching falsely about gay and transgender people, berating them as following an agenda and telling your congregation if they don’t “give up their lifestyle”, remember you are being highly dishonest. You are using them as political pawns in a chess game you have never been asked to be the King or Queen of.
The only agenda that is being followed is that of the church’s dishonesty with handling situations of gay and transgender people sitting in it’s chairs. “Conform to our demands or be cast out” is not Jesus’ way, but it’s the way of so very many church institutions.
You’re doing exactly the opposite of Jesus would do. He placed loving them in front of the system-based conformity.
I must ask preacher, why is your dishonest system of demand conformity so much better than the grace covenant of Jesus?
And you wonder why fewer people are attending your services every year, you are not free of deceit and untruthfulness.