Below is a letter that I wrote and read at the beginning of our sermon covering the topics of homosexuality, same-sex attraction, and the LGBT community. You can view the whole sermon here. Please join us this Sunday as we continue our study in the "Doctrine of Sex." I am writing this to apologize.
I want to apologize to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. I am sorry for how Christians have historically treated you. I apologize that the Church of Jesus has not loved you the way Jesus would love you. I apologize that the Church has not welcomed you the way Jesus would welcome you. I am sorry that the Church has not befriended you the way Jesus would befriend you.
The truth is, we have not reached out to you because many of us are scared. We are afraid of what we don’t understand and what we are not familiar with. We are afraid to engage the struggles and pains that we have often created. In reality, there are many people in the church who struggle with same-sex attraction and gender dysphoria, but the church has not been a safe place and has often shamed them into hiding the struggle.
I sincerely believe that Jesus would treat you the same way that he treats sinners like us - with mercy and compassion and with a firm call to holiness. Often times, Christians pose like they think they are better than you, but deep down they are really just afraid. This is why you see such a strong reaction masked in hate.
I want to apologize because the Scriptures don’t actually teach that homosexual sin is worse than other sexual sins. Which means that every christian in the Church is guilty of sexual sin whether in deed or in thought - therefore, we are not in reality better than you, but equally in need of grace like you.
I want you to know that you are welcome here at Living Stones, but we are a part of a world wide Church that has sadly made it seem like you are not welcome in the community of Christ. I apologize if we have made it seem like salvation is by heterosexuality instead of by faith in Christ.
I want to let you know that you are welcome, you are loved, and you can be accepted into the arms of Jesus just like all the other sinners whom he has called to repentance.
You are welcome to explore the communion of sinners and saints and you are invited here to be healed with the rest of us, from our brokenness, shame and guilt.
From one sinner to another sinner, welcome to Living Stones.