In response to the plethora of posts floating around in regards to the LGBT community, God has definitely stirred some emotions within my heart. I’m sure this post is going to start quite the conversation, but I feel within my heart that it’s something in need of saying. Why? Because I value people. I value souls. I’m called to love people. It’s what Jesus did.

You can’t ignore the fact that the conversation between the Church and the LGBT community is something of importance, and I believe this will be one of the most discussed topics for the next 10-15 years. We must realize that how Christians handle this situation today is going to greatly impact the quickly-approaching future of the church. You can still love someone and not affirm their lifestyle.

When looking for guidance on how Christians should treat people they would say are different than them, I believe Jesus is the perfect example when seeking for an answer.

A few things I know about Jesus. 

1. He loved people who were different than him.

2. He ate with people who were different than him.

3. He served people who were different than him.

If you call yourself a Christian, you’re called to do the same. You don’t have to agree with someone’s lifestyle in order to spend time with them. You can still showcase love and compassion to someone, even if you don’t see eye-to-eye with their beliefs. Jesus would have never wielded a “Got Hates F*gs” picket-sign, nor would he reject the opportunity to sit and eat with someone for dinner just because they were gay. He loved all people equally and you and I are called to do the same.

While I don’t believe all people have hateful picket-signs stored away in their closets, I do believe the unspoken opinions of the LGBT community would resemble something quite similar. That’s a bold statement, but I believe it to be true by what I’m seeing and reading taking place in our world.

Regardless of what your interpretation of biblical text is, loving your neighbor is not something you can ignore or push aside. And while I don’t believe all Christians need a crash-course in “showing love 101,” I do believe that there are millions who do. Are you one of them?

“The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”—Mark 12:31

Pastors, teachers, brothers and sisters, you are CALLED to love all people in the name of Jesus. You are CALLED to show compassion to those who need it. You are CALLED to befriend those who are different than you, all to exude the grace and mercy of your Savior;Jesus.

I have family members who are gay. I have friends who are gay. I know people who are questioning their sexual identity. So, what do I do? I show them love and grace as Jesus would. My calling is to lovingly point people to Jesus, His Word, and not shove my egotistical, “I’m right, and your wrong” beliefs down their throat. That never works out well. That’s why Christians are in this spot in the first place.

Does this mean you a live of passivity? Nope. This means you evaluate the way you say things and make sure they are said with love, compassion and mercy.

It hurts my heart to see how many pastors and leaders are wrongfully handling the LGBT conversation, and I believe that coming back to heart of compassion is what’s needed most. There are so many people who are handling this conversation correctly, and I wish more people would follow suit in the name of Jesus.

Regardless of what side of the conversation you find yourself landing on, your commandment to love people and share truth in a loving way remains the same. Love well.