LGBTQ Christians get no love from fellow Christians
LGBTQ Christians had it bad this past week with a coalition of evangelical Christian leaders releasing a manifesto that condemned “homosexuality immorality and transgnederism.”
Moreover, a Vatican cardinal criticized a reverend for the latter’s new book on how LGBT Catholics and the church can meet in the middle.
Talk about not getting any love from their fellow Christians.
Condemnation over LGBTQ Christians
The Council on Bibilical Manhood and Womanhood released their manifesto last August 29 that expressed their belief that marriage should be limited to a man and a woman even as it condemned the acceptance of gays and transgenders.
This declaration, dubbed “The Nashville Statement,” gave guidance to churches to address seuxality issues, and was endorsed by a group of evangelical leaders, scholars, and pastors at a Southern Baptist conference in Nashville.
The manifesto is composed of 14 beliefs that reject the idea that “faithful Christians should agree to disagree” on LGBT matters and said this mentality as “moral indifference.”
“The spirit of our age does not delight in God’s good design of male and female. Consequently, confusion reigns over some of the most basic questions of our humanity,” said Denny Burk, president of the council.
“The aim of The Nashville Statement is to shine a light into the darkness — to declare the goodness of God’s design in our sexuality and in creating us as male and female,” Burk added.
This declaration drew widespread criticism on social media, including a rebuke from Nashville Mayor Megan Barry who said the statement was poorly named and does not represent the city and people of Nashville.
Statement targets LGBT Christians
In a New York Times opinion piece, Eliel Cruz said these sentiments send “a particularly dangerous message to the approximately half of LGBT people who, according to the Pew Research Center, identify as Christian:”
This message, Cruz– a journalist and founder of the Faithfully LGBT project– pointed out the declaration tells LGBT Christians that they “don’t belong in our religion. And anyone who so much as accepts you isn’t Christian either.”
“It’s no exaggeration to say that when Americans believe their churches require them to embrace messages like the one in the Nashville Statement, lives are at stake,” he warned.
“Members of the clergy and laity, Christians and non-Christians, politicians and citizens, should continue to speak with one moral voice against this kind of dangerous intolerance,” Cruz said.
“Every time it manifests itself, whether in a widely publicized statement or a message from a hometown pastor, we should condemn theology that causes LGBT people harm as the spiritual malpractice that it is,” he added.
Church argues over LGBTQ Christians
Meanwhile, Cardinal Robert Sarah, who heads the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, denounced Rev. James Martin’s new book on how the church and the LGBT Catholics can find common ground.
Cardinal Sarah opined that homosexuality is “at odds with human nature” and declared the church considers same-sex relations are “gravely sinful” in a column last Thursday in The Wall Street Journal.
Reverend Martin authored the book, Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter Into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity.
Though the reverend didn’t question Catholic doctrine on same-sex relationships in the book, he said the church should welcome LGBT members and the gifts and talents they bring.
In a response to Cardinal Sarah, Reverend Martin said, “Cardinal Sarah’s op-ed inaccurately states that my book is critical of church teaching, which it is not. Nor am I.”
“Building a Bridge is not a book of moral theology nor a book on the sexual morality of LGBT people,” he said.
“It is an invitation to dialogue and to prayer, and I’m sure that Cardinal Sarah would agree on the importance of both,” he added.