Hurt hate and homophobia in the church

I wrote a blog very recently about Vicky Beeching coming out and about how good it was that the church was talking and taking another look at the views that have been engrained with in the church for so long.
I’d seen the hateful comments written on almost every post she wrote.
I’d had hateful comments aimed at me not so long ago either. I was told I had the devil living in me, that I was going to hell, that I was a liar a deceiver and a false Christian.
Anybody who wants to use those words by the way, no matter how much you believe you are saying it in love, it hurts. A lot actually and it doesn’t help or heal.

Then I read another comment written on One of Vicky Beechings posts.
On it they wrote about how hurt they had felt when Vicky Beeching came out. It wasn’t a pleasant read, filled with anger and hate but the hurt that coming out between the words, was tangible.
She had followed Vicky around for years, listened to all her music and Vicky had become a role model for her children. Vicky coming out had completely shattered that.
That’s ok.

Moving away from Vicky Beeching now and onto the broader coming out process, and the way views are slowly moving within the church, people are going to feel hurt and anger.
It’s ok. It’s not ok to direct that anger and hurt so it hurts others, but it’s ok to feel it and it’s ok to voice it.

These really are thoroughly engrained views. People have been taught for a long time (at least with in the church) that homosexuality is something we need to protect our children from.
There are warnings about false teachings and about wolves in Sheeps clothing (I’ve been called that too)

So yes, when anybody stands up and says I’m gay and I’m a Christian and that’s ok, there is going to be hurt there.

How people respond to that hurt over time though is ultimately what’s going to change things.

1. Don’t apologise for your views
Do acknowledge the hurt though.

2. Stay loving.
This one is much harder, especially when you are receiving a barrage of hate. By shouting and hating back all you do is add fuel. Love is what softens hearts, hate makes them hardened to change.

3. Be the change.
Lead by example, live your life in the way you always have. Show them through your actions that you are ok the way you are. Maybe the views of those around you will change without having to say anything.

4. Walk away.
Use wisdom, if people really aren’t willing to listen then you need to walk away.
There is no need to be a martyr and subject yourself to hate if what you are saying isn’t getting through.
You are with in your rights to deny them the argument.

Going back to Vicky Beeching, I think there is another lesson to be learned about about putting another human so high on a pedestal that you feel that amount of hurt when they disagree with you. It’s different when it is a friend, or a family member or somebody you knew well, you build up trust on both sides. Here though that’s not the case.

To sum up, stay loving! On both sides! We can all learn things, but think before you speak and respect everybody’s right to feel hurt.

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