Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Christian Community Contrasted With the Gay Community

“When we can no longer change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” ~Viktor Frankl

As a Christian and teacher in the public school system, I see the interaction of students when they talk about gay people or being gay; making light of it and looking at it as something that could be desirable whether they all have a bent to go that way or not. They don’t really know that much about it, but somehow gay people seem to have done a better job of making their lives acceptable than the Christians have done. The gay community seems to be more accepting, more supportive and has created a culture of belonging within their community which is sadly lacking within the Christian community.

People seem to be willing to accept gay people more than they can accept the Christian life. As I said, my students often make comments about being gay, when they aren’t, and how they can find ways to identify with the gay community. In the same breath, they deny God and seem proud that they are agnostic. At the same time, students who are Christians are almost ashamed or afraid to admit their allegiance to their belief. There seems to be something missing in the Christian experience that stunts the relationships and loyalty of young Christian believers.

Gay people accept each other and have created the feeling of belonging and family within their
community. When they are with each other they consider each other a “family” member. This is something that the Christian community used to do. But lately, many Christians have experienced that unless a they have the same exact beliefs, dress the same, and live up to the expectations of the general population the few who are “different” are made to feel rejected. I would be willing to bet that a person who is living on the “fringe” of the gay community is not made to feel unwanted or unacceptable.

Gay people support each other and spend time with each other; meeting regularly to foster that support. Although I may not agree with all the types of “get togethers” that the gay community has, the fact is, they meet together regularly at each other’s houses, in restaurants and other venues where
people enjoy each other’s company.

If the Christian Church is going to thrive, they need to learn from a community that has had to survive through their own kind of persecution. The gay community does not reject the fringe elements of their population, and Christians should not be rejecting people on the edges who could be pulled in and loved into the kingdom. As Christians, we need to take a good look at our own community and reevaluate how we live our lives and how we approach others. We, as Christians, need to learn how to love, accept, and nurture the members of our community. We need to make each other feel that they are a brother or sister in Christ. They need to feel they are a part of a real family. And we need to spend time with each other, fellowshipping with each other and lifting each other up as the early church did.

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