Christian, you are not loving
There’s a problem with the way some Christians talk to members of the LGBTQ+ community. “I love you so I’m going to tell you the truth” is a manipulative platitude Christians often use to frame their attempts to correct someone else. I recently had a conversation with a Christian friend who said this to me so that he could follow up with a condemnation of my “homosexual lifestyle.” He didn’t think I should make being gay my identity, but then was surprised when I told him I don’t think of myself as a homosexual first and foremost.
“I’m going to tell you the truth,” is hard to believe from someone who has decided to go out of their way to comment on something they haven’t tried to understand. My conversations with Christians usually circle around homosexuality and their perspective that it is a sin — which I always reject. Though I don’t disagree that sin exists, I do not share in the belief that homosexual attractions and relationships are inherently sinful or disordered. Tony Reinke says, “Sin is not merely wrongdoing; sin is essentially wrong adoring.” Christians have made it clear to me that they consider my desire for a husband to be wrong adoring as well as wrongdoing.
I disagree that it is wrong at all. In fact, I know that the people who articulate these things to me have never cared enough to ask me about it first. They don’t realize I have already considered their perspective and hearing the same arguments from their mouths does not change where I am. To them, the only thing that matters is that “the bible clearly says” that they’re right and I’m wrong, and they feel entitled enough to say so.
Christian, you are not loving your neighbor if you are not listening to them.
Michael Lamb is a software engineer living in Jackson, MS.
You can find his technical blog at michaellamb.dev