Whew! I’m glad to have this past week behind us.
On Wednesday, May 12, our state news outlet published 3 articles dealing with LGBTQ students attending Christian universities in Michigan. They had contacted our daughter a couple of months ago asking if they could interview her for the report. She agreed and was interviewed a few times, beginning at the close of the Fall semester.
I was not looking forward to what I thought would be this one article coming out because I was afraid of any further hurt being done to her due to her participation.
Anyway, the 3 (!!!!) articles were published online and I held my breath. I asked a few friends to pray that I would have the strength NOT to check out the comment section below each article. I knew if I read them that many would be hurtful to me.
So I read the articles and skipped the comment sections, except for 3 or 4 of the first ones made.
The comments I did read included several people asking, “Why would an LGBTQ person want to attend a Christian school? There are other schools out there that would accept them.” I thought about this for a while and I could see how that would be a question that others would have. But the comment bothered me and I couldn’t figure out why.
And then it came to me.
This belief that a person who is LGBTQ shouldn’t want to attend a Christian school is an indictment of the lens through which some straight Christians view their world, not an indictment of the LGBTQ Christian. It’s the lens that allows us to look at someone who has a same-sex orientation and assume they want nothing to do with following Jesus Christ. To us, it’s a given that the terms, LGBTQ and Christian, can’t possibly go together. It’s the lens through which we look but it’s not the lens through which the LGBTQ teenager raised in the church and getting ready to go off to college looks.
Most of the LGBTQ young adults who attend Christian colleges have been raised in the church. The church is what they know and they have a desire to grow spiritually. They are not at a Christian school because they have rejected God. They may be there because they are scared and think the school will help them not be gay; they may be there because their parents have made them enroll for the same reason; or, just possibly, they may be there because they have a relationship with Christ and want to grow in that relationship. They don’t realize until they get there that Jesus will be withheld from them if they can’t get rid of their orientation.
One of the things that hurts this mom is the assumption that our children have turned their backs on God by being gay. Nothing could be further from the truth! The students I know want to follow Jesus but most are taught very quickly that their spiritual walk will not be honored or respected by their fellow believers. They grow discouraged over time and begin to believe that what fellow Christians think of them is what God thinks of them. No wonder so many eventually give up on their spiritual lives.
I pray for the day straight Christians put down their faulty lenses and peer at these people through the same lens that God uses. He sees His beautiful children. He loves them as they are. He wants them to be allowed to grow in their relationships with Him. He wants their spiritual brothers and sisters to love them. And He wants this mom to be an encouragement to them as they follow Him.
I’m sharing links to the article I mentioned. Feel free to read the comments: just don’t share them with me. There’s only so much this mama can take!