Last night my church held a congregational meeting. We were to be voting on whether or not to purchase two apartment buildings that are on our block. The fear is that if we don't buy them, a developer will and perhaps put up condos which has been happening all around our church. After presenting the motion, they opened the floor for discussion.
Someone raised the question, "How can we ensure that we don't have to rent to homosexual couples?" The question was referred to a lawyer from our congregation that informed people of the fair housing laws which will apply to our church and means they can't discriminate based on this.
Law or no law, I don't think we should discriminate based on sexual orientation. I mean really, what a great witnessing opportunity! While this wasn't really the right time for it, I almost wish I could have stood up and said, "I love homosexuals and liars and thieves and adulterers.....because Jesus loves them." Who knows what doors for evangelism might open up if we had all sorts of sinners living in those buildings? I have a feeling that someone would have responded that we can't be seen as condoning such a sin. But then are we going to turn away heterosexual couples who live together outside of marriage or what about an adulterer or a thief or a liar? When did homosexuality come to be seen as a greater sin than others? I've always believed that someone who told a little white lie is just as guilty and deserving of hell as the person who murders ten people or lives in a homosexual relationship.
Or perhaps someone would have brought up the argument about how allowing homosexual unions hurts the institution of marriage. How? And is it any more hurtful than say the fact that over half of marriages end in divorce? And what about heterosexual couples living together outside of marriage? Now perhaps those who argue over this issue are actually thinking about family values. If homosexual couples are recognized with as legally married, does that give them the right to have/adopt children? And what happens to those children who are raised in such an environment? I feel like there have been studies that showed that the best place for a child is generally with a mom & dad, not a single parent, or two moms or two dads. But since I can't find that study, I'm not sure it's true.
Anyway, I walked away from the congregational meeting deeply troubled and wanting to know more about where my church stands on these issues. I'm going to be speaking with the chair of the elder board to see if I can learn more. In the meantime, I pray that we never become the type of church that strays away from homosexuals because they too are sinners in need of God's grace.