Evidence of the Existence of Satan?

Jesus v SatanOn Tuesday my friend D and I were talking on the commuter train about the high incidence of LBGTQ kids born into conservative evangelical Christian families.

Me:  I’ve come to believe this is evidence of the existence of God.  “You have a hard time with gay people?  Meet your daughter.”

D:  Or the existence of Satan.  You have no idea how terrifying it is to be a gay kid in a family that gives money to organizations that want to arrest gay people. 

My jaw dropped.

I had never once considered this  – mostly because I can be an idiot sometimes.  I was imagining families like this one or this one –  shifting their views because their beloved son or daughter was gay.  I was not imagining the horror of being in a family that would respond by humiliating or condemning or banishing their child.  Or trying to “beat the gay out” of their child.  Or even killing their child.

Lord, have mercy.  I’ll say it again:  I can be an idiot.

Nevertheless, I still believe that God can use everything for good – including the conservative Christian families who are blessed with an LGBTQ child.  When churches like this one provide safe haven in the name of Jesus Christ, I see the hand of God.  When congregations like these make the conscious decision to support LGBTQ people, I see the hand of God.  It reminds me of this verse in Genesis.  God can make something good even out of evil.

In our own lives, in our own congregations regarding LGBTQ people, are we displaying evidence of the existence of God or the existence of Satan?  It’s a real question.

Pew’s latest report on religion in the USA states that 48% of all LGBTQ people self-identify as Christian – which is shocking considering how many congregations do not welcome these folks, much less celebrate their leadership gifts or marriage commitments.  But we can be the kind of communities that love in the likeness of Jesus – further evidence that God changes everything for good.

Next steps:  there are a lot of LGBTQ people out there who most likely do not have church affiliation.  How might we offer a welcoming, nourishing community?

Image source.

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8 responses to “Evidence of the Existence of Satan?

  1. Pingback: » Evidence of the Existence of Satan?

  2. My gay son was/is loved and honored by congregation and family, but has separated himself from “religion” anyway. Evidence of ______?

  3. One thing my congregation has discovered in our relationships with the LGBTQ community in Boise is the relationship goes nowhere if bringing them back to church is our goal.

    If our goal is to be present with them, to apologize for hurt caused by religion, and to let them know there are churches where they would be welcome as they are, it is much different. While some of the people we have met at PRIDE or at our protests at the Capitol have come to church, and while the Boise Gay Men’s Chorus has found a home in our sanctuary, most of the people who now call us friends are still far from coming back to organized religion. The pain and hurt is so deep.

  4. Exactly what Marci said… in our very small Florida panhandle town, there is a growing number of LGBTQ folks and allies who have learned that they can trust the Presbyterian preacher and who see me as their pastor. Will they ever darken the door of this church? Probably not… a couple have and have not been back. Thankfully I am still their pastor. Until the church gets over its obsession with brick and mortar and “bringing in young people” (can you say magic wand in a community that bills it self as a nice place to retire?) and go outside of the doors, the church as they know it will die. Out of the ashes, something new and closer to what God has called us to be will rise. Reformation can be messy…

  5. Christine Vogel

    Great post Jan. Made me recall my days as a college chaplain at a school where most students that I knew who were GLBT kept it quiet. And those who were willing to publicly identify themselves faced all sorts of push back from fellow students (not all, of course, but enough to be noticeable.

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