A few years ago a girl I knew remarked that she felt strange visiting her particular hairdresser because she was a lesbian. Knowing that this woman was attracted to women, not men, made her uncomfortable, and eventually she moved on to someone else. She meant no ill-will towards the hairstylist. She was a solid believer, valued God's word, and prayed fervently for lost people to come to Christ. But when it came to the homosexual hair stylist something just didn't sit right with her. I think her response is quite common for many of us within the conservative Christian community.
It seems the topic of bullying has been in the news a lot more recently. Maybe it's the rise of social media and a variety of avenues for young people to taunt each other, or maybe it's just getting worse. I don't know. But I do know that I've seen a lot of discussion regarding the basis for gay bullying. Often the push for tolerance of homosexuality follows the sad news that another gay student has committed suicide. As Christians, how are we to respond to such claims about tolerance? How are we to love and care for hurting people, regardless of their lifestyle, without abandoning the Bible's clear teaching about sexuality?
A while ago I overhead a conversation about why someone would choose a church far away from where one lives. When asked, this particular person responded as follows:
“When I saw the church had a female pastor I knew that they would probably be more accepting of gay people like me.”