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Homosexuality is a hot topic in my church and in THE church right now.

But it has been a hot topic in my life since a family member came out of the closet when I was a teenager.

This is a personal conversation for me.

I am so weighed down by how the church is handling this conversation, because all I can see is how this conversation impacts my family and myself.

I have been in churches where I was overwhelmed with shame for being so closely connected to someone who was living an “alternative” lifestyle. Shame that felt so heavy I dared not share my secret…. my secret that someone in my own home was gay. What would they think of me? What will they assume about me?

This may be a hot topic for the church but it was and is a shameful conversation for me.  I know that I am not alone.

Imagine being a 14-year-old insecure girl or boy being raised by gay or lesbian parents. How would they feel at your church?

Imagine being a 14-year-old insecure girl or boy questioning your own sexual identity. How would they feel at your church?

Would they feel the same shame I felt for years in the church?

I am a grown adult…who works at the church…who is confident in who Jesus is…and wow, I am so glad that I know Jesus. I am so glad that I have learned about how hate sometimes is more a reflection of someone’s own brokenness rather than a reflection of  Jesus whom they are trying to follow. I have the ability to see that the way this hot topic is handled in the church or outside the church isn’t a reflection of how Jesus feels about my family member or me.  And that ugly shame that I sometimes sense is creeping its way back in my heart and mind…I am strong enough in my faith now to recognize it and call it what it is…a lie.

But I grieve, because there are young students in churches everywhere who don’t yet know Jesus but they know the hate, the anger and the shame around this conversation.

Everyday I pray for grace for the church…and for the fragile hearts we encounter each day in our ministries.

I pray that wherever we find ourselves landing in our theological views of homosexuality that we would cover the conversation with grace and love.

I pray that we would realize that our words could fill some one with either hope or shame.

I pray that love and grace be our greatest contribution to this conversation.

Neely / @neelym

6 COMMENTS

  • Mookie says:

    Well said Neely! I appreciate your thoughts and graceful approach to this conversation. Most churches either respond with hate or no response at all which is a response. Love well and keep having conversations!

  • Marco says:

    “I am so glad that I have learned about how hate sometimes is more a reflection of someone’s own brokenness rather than a reflection of Jesus whom they are trying to follow.”
    So right on Neely! Who are we reflecting in responding to this sensitive and popular subject? May the Gospel and character of Jesus be the way the world and our students approach/handle/discuss/process this subject. Thanks for the words.

  • Jeannie says:

    We’ll said! Thank you for sharing!!

  • Nymesem says:

    Praise The Lord I thank God for you Neely, deliverance from your past pain. I must make on thing clear Jesus Christ is the only way where by we will be saved and enter into heaven and it is according to his word the bible we leave. Therefore concerning the hot topic (homosexuality) we must make it clear it is not the spirit of God so we must pray for the deliverance of our loved once and others not cover this sin with grace and love. We can never judge for God is our judge amen. We must not embrace sin but identify it, and bring solution which only comes through Jesus Christ blood, in closing I pray that our father in heaven will forgive us all and break the yoke of homosexuality of the life’s of our love once your family member and others. Grace and peace in Jesus Christ.

  • Steve says:

    I am trying to learn how to make someone completely welcome no matter what their lifestyle is. I grew up in a legalistic baptist church. I rebelled agenst all the rules as I got older. Now I want to try and love every one the same. I’m trying not to judge people but love people.

  • Nadine says:

    Thank you for sharing your story and for allowing the Holy Spirit to open your heart to loving all of God’s children, regardless of their sexual orientation. “For we are saved by grace…” Thanks be to God.

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