I agree with one United Methodist preacher who said that the question is not whether most of us will be sexual at least some time in our lives, but whether we will be faithfully and joyfully so. Isn’t it funny that when we talk about sex, we get so nervous? Maybe it’s hard for us to admit that God created us as sexual creatures in the first place. Yet, we’re alive aren’t we? Someone somewhere had to make it happen, and that generally has something to do with, you know it, sex!
Here at our Online Gathering, maybe it’s time we got real about sexuality, and that means accepting people of all types, including specifically LGBTQ+ folks—the way God made ‘em. And whether we feel comfortable talking about it or not, the rest of the world does, so I guess we’d better learn more about it.
It’s like the mom who very nervously sat down with her fourth grade daughter, and said, “Hon, don’t you think it’s time we had a talk about sex?” The little girl said, “Sure, Mom, what do you want to know?”
A research project by the Barna Group discussed in the book, You Lost Me: Why Young Christians are Leaving Church and Rethinking Faith, by David Kinnaman, explores the reasons why regular church-going teenagers and young adults leave the church after age 15. And they do leave the church. The answers from the study are revealing. Reason #1, according to the kids, is that churches seem overprotective. Teenagers say Christianity feels stifling, fear-based and risk-averse. One-quarter of 18- to 29-year olds said, “Christians demonize everything outside of the church….”
And that includes them.
But that’s not all. Young Christians find church experiences related to sexuality simplistic and judgmental. As the researchers put it, “With unfettered access to digital pornography and immersed in a culture that values hyper-sexuality over wholeness, teen and twentysomething Christians are struggling with how to live meaningful lives in terms of sex and sexuality.” To become a genuinely welcoming congregation means we’ve got to do more than just sit on our laurels. It’s not just being open, but affirming. We need to share our faith and welcome folks in new, innovative and Christ-like ways. Plus, it’s not just them we’re talking about; it’s us too. Our church friends and members are more diverse and interesting than most of us even know.
Join us as we explore “Out of Many, We Are One: Love LGBTQ+” at our Online Gathering online at our YouTube and Facebook pages. This message is a discussion with my friend and colleague Rev. Floren“Tino” C. Cordova, Pastor, Iao United Church of Christ, Wailuku, Hawaii on the issue of love and LGBTQ+. I know you won’t want to miss it!