Many churches (that aren’t openly hostile to the LGBTQ+ community) have enacted a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy regarding these members. These churches would likely consider themselves to be welcoming (LGBTQ people are welcome to attend services) but they are not affirming (they would see gay relationships as sinful). Often gay families are dissuaded from participating fully, or come to find out after attending for a while that they are simply not allowed to become members or serve in a certain capacity at the church. There is an idea that you are “welcome,” but only this far.
Here at New Journey Church, we’re not like either of the churches described above. We fully welcome and affirm those in the LGBTQ community as our brothers and sisters in Christ. They are encouraged to participate at all levels, from becoming a member to serving alongside other believers in whichever ministries are best aligned with their God-given talents and gifts. We think that asking LGBTQ Christians to change, deny, or hide their identities in order to be accepted into God’s family is completely unacceptable. However, as much as this affirming stance is likely to make our LGBTQ members feel comfortable and safe at New Journey, we recognize that some other Christians may not fully understand or feel comfortable with our position. Perhaps they even see it as denying the authority of scripture, poor biblical scholarship, or an attempt to be popular. Nothing could be further from the truth. Below there are links that you can explore to explain a little bit about how we came to some of those conclusions for those who are interested in exploring a little deeper.
In the end, we recognize that many faithful Christians and scholars have studied this issue thoroughly and have come to very different conclusions. Entire denominations are now processing through this “issue” and coming down on either side of the “debate”. However, we caution our fellow Christians to remember that this is more than just a debate or an issue. It affects actual people and families and lives of those who were created in the image of God. So, even if you are super uncomfortable about all this, or don’t know exactly where you stand, as long as you’re loving toward all and not disparaging those in our community who are LGBTQ, we would love to have you journey with us! We strive to create a space where love is the rule.
While New Journey does not endorse all positions presented within the sites below, there are a lot of articles and other study material on this subject that may be helpful in your personal studies.
A Brief Biblical Case for LGBT Inclusion (The Reformation Project)
Queer Grace: An Online Encyclopedia for LGBTQ and Christian Life
The Bible and Homosexuality: A Nuanced Approach (Justin Lee)