Writer John Shore summarizes well the message that the traditionalist church offers to the LGBT community these days: BE ALONE. LIVE ALONE. DIE ALONE.
Not only is the position untenable, it is also very non-Jesus like.
Here is what Shore writes:
When you tell a gay person to “resist” being gay, what you are really telling them—what you really mean—is for them to be celibate.What you are truly and actually saying is that you want them to condemn themselves to a life devoid of love. Be alone, you’re demanding. Live alone. Don’t hold anyone’s hand. Don’t snuggle on your couch with anyone. Don’t cuddle up with anyone at night before you fall asleep. Don’t have anyone to chat with over coffee in the morning. Do not bind your life to that of another. Live your whole life without knowing that joy, that sharing, that peace. Just say “no” to love. Be alone. Live alone. Die alone. The “sinful temptation” that Christians are forever urging LGBT people to resist is love. Being, of course, the one thing Jesus was most clear about wanting his followers to extend to others.
Some will suggest that this is an over-statement of the traditionalist and evangelical position, but the truth be told, Shore has captured accurately what the church teaches.
The only people who try and suggest that this is not what the traditionalist view is are those who want to pretend that their theology is not anti-gay people. They like to think (or at least convince themselves) that their “all gay expressions are evil and sinful” and that the best path for gay people is “be alone, live alone, die alone” (forced, life-long celibacy) is a “loving position” because it is “true”.
Now by “true”, they mean “consistent with one particular conservative reading of scripture”… but the position is about as loving as the position that the Good Samaritan did the wrong thing because at some point the guy in the ditch needs to learn to stop getting beaten up and robbed and left in ditches. In other words, it fails the basic “love test” of Jesus and the Gospels. For Jesus, love always starts with acceptance.
Now I can respect people who hold this traditionalist position. I can fundamentally disagree with them while still respecting them (I wonder if they can say the same thing about those they disagree with?) Bu what bugs me is when they pretend to be saying (or not saying) something that they are (or aren’t).
The logical implication of what they teach to LGBT folks is indeed BE ALONE, LIVE ALONE, DIE ALONE.
I reject their theology based on my reading the Bible. But if you accept it, please at least own what you are saying to people. Don’t try and pretend that it is something else or some kind of compassionate good news that the rest of us are just not enlightened enough (or spiritual enough) to understand.