US megachurches not welcoming to LGBTQ
It might not be a surprise to know that a study of the church groups in the United States reveal that none of the US megachurches have explicit LGBTQ affirming policies.
However, there are still a number of US churches that are accepting of the LGBTQ community so there is still some hope for those of us who are still religious.
US megachurches rated as rejecting of the LGBTQ
The study was conducted by the group Church Clarity, which reports on churches’ policies on the LGBTQ and rates them based on their clarity.
The group looked at the 100 megachurches that had clear policies on the LGBTQ on the main pages of their websites.
In their study, 35 of these megachurches reject the LGBTQ community explicitly while 54 of them have an unclear stance on LGBTQ issues.
Lastly, 11 of the churches haven’t disclosed their LGBTQ policies. However, 90 out of the 537 the group studied were noted as LGBTQ-affirming.
Church Clarity said on their website that: “An affirming policy means much more than ‘welcoming’ LGBTQ+ people. It means that the church will ordain, hire, marry and baptize LGBTQ+ people.”
Of those rated by the organization, the Southern Baptist Church was most likely to reject LGBTQ people at 62 percent. Second was Independent Christian Churches with 47 percent.
How the US megachurches were rated in the study
The Church Clarity group looks at how churches enact their beliefs through their actively-enforced beliefs, especially those that directly impact the LGBTQ community.
As stated on their website, “At the level of the local church, policies are often communicated unclearly, if they are disclosed at all. In many churches, especially evangelical ones, clarity is elusive.”
Because of this, the group looks at establishing a new standard for church policy disclosure. “We believe that ambiguity is harmful and clarity is reasonable,” they said.
Church Clarity Co-Founder Tim Schraeder said: “As people of faith commit to new resolutions, we wanted to set them up for success by helping them make the most informed decision.”
“We hope that increased clarity will inspire necessary questions and waves of change within the church,” said George Mekhail.
US megachurches and evangelical doctrine
One blogger pointed out that the results of the study is consistent with the doctrine of these Evangelical churches.
Terry Mattingly of GetReligion.org said the policies of these churches stated on their websites is just affirming centuries of Christian doctrines on sexuality and ordination.
Mattingly also quoted Christian ethics professor David Gushee, who said: “”It turns out that you are either for full and unequivocal social and legal equality for LGBT people, or you are against it.”
Mattingly noted that the Evangelical ministers who have already made their stand clear on LGBTQ were among those who signed The Nashville Statement.
“While much of the mainstream news coverage seemed to think this document was essentially political, its authors were very clear about their theological intentions,” Mattingly noted.