Saturday, September 5, 2009

Q: "What's wrong with so many Gay churches? Why do the people in them act so badly?"

Many of us have been really hurt or grossed out in straight churches (see our discussion of what’s wrong with so many straight churches, too), and we may be overjoyed to discover a “Gay church” in our area. However, it’s also possible for us to discover that a Gay church can be a painful or ugly place to be, as well. Why is that? 

Well, first of all, being Gay doesn’t mean we’re immune to the same kinds of “churchy” sins that straight people struggle with!

  • Many of us have grown up in straight churches, and we unless we’re healed of it first, we will bring the worst of what we learned to accept as “normal” from straight churches to our new Gay churches, just like we’ll bring along the best!

    So, for example, if our previous straight church taught us to believe that gossiping is ok, we’re going to be gossipy in our new Gay church, as well, until we repent of it. And if our previous straight church allowed church leaders to be control freaks, then we’re going to continue thinking that’s normal until we start testing our leaders like the Bible tells us to. 

  • Many of us long to re-create the culture and atmosphere we were accustomed to in straight churches, when we join or create a Gay church. Unfortunately, a lot of that culture and atmosphere is simply human-made and unhealthy nonsense that has nothing to do with the real Body of Christ – and that means our Gay church efforts will be as human-led and damaging as the straight church efforts were.

    So, for example, if our previous straight church was very into the “things” it could get from God, then we’ll come wanting the same from our new Gay church. And if our previous straight church had people barking like dogs as “proof” of being “in the Spirit”, then we’re going to think something’s wrong with our new Gay church unless it starts sounding like a kennel, as well. 
Second of all, as Gay people we often have extra "baggage" we haven't surrendered to the Lord yet. 

    And there’s nothing wrong with that – the world gives us extra things we need healing for when it abuses us, condemns us, and so on, and a real church is a place we should be able to find understanding and healing for all that.  

    However, if it’s not recognized and dealt with, that pain can become a poison in the church, causing people to, for example:

    • Abandon rather than find their real strength in the Bible;
    • Abuse others who aren’t as strong as they are;
    • Create a theology that justifies sin, rather than seeking real sanctification;
    • Deny the gifts of the Spirit in order to maintain power and cliques;
    • Seek after signs and wonders from any spirit, rather than accepting only those from the Holy Spirit,
    • Pursue advancement into church leadership roles (pastor, prophet, teacher, elder, etc) as a way to “patch” a very low self-esteem or express one’s own neurosis,
    • And more!
    This is especially spiritually deadly when those who act as “leaders” in one form or another aren’t healed of their extra “baggage” before taking on a leadership role in the Gay church. For example, I’ve seen far too many people who were closeted and grossly unhealthy church leaders in straight churches come to lead Gay churches without first being healed of the damage done to them in those straight churches. It should be no surprise whatsoever that even in the Gay church they remained semi- or fully closeted to the world (which means that part or all of their lives continue to be lies), slack role models for their intended flock, a trouble to others with their questionable theology, and so on!

    So, what’s wrong with Gay churches? 

    In summary, they are full of human beings, just like straight churches are. And they require the same amount of Bible-commanded work and testing as straight churches do! 

    What should you do if you are unsure about or uncomfortable in a Gay church?
    • Pray and ask for the Lord’s help!
    • Seek out others to discuss the situation with (not for “gossip” -- gossiping is talking about things you aren't part of the problem or solution for! -- but to get other impressions the Holy Spirit may be giving others, as well)!
    • Never discount your own “gut feelings” about something. Even if everyone else says everything’s fine, if the Holy Spirit is putting a question mark in your gut, then listen and act on it!
    • Seek out biblical justification for what seems wrong. For example, if your pastor says it’s ok for everyone in church to speak in tongues at once, ask for the Scripture that says that’s ok. Then look that and other related Scriptures up, and see if he or she is right!
    • Realize that the people around you are just as human as you are – and they probably have the same hurts you have (or had). But don’t let that hurt be a justification for making worship time into “therapy time” where people vent their emotions chaotically just because it feels good or gains attention and so on!
    • And consider some of these things (saying “no” to any of these means something’s really wrong!):

      • Do your leaders fit the qualifications the Bible requires for church leaders?
      • Are your leaders “out” (of the closet) and holy-living role models for those they lead?
      • Does your church follow the Bible and only the Bible for its decision-making (so, for example, prophecy is only accepted if it conforms to Scripture teachings)?
      • Do you continue to grow in love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, and knowledge in God’s Word, the longer you attend this church?
      • Is this church a place to worship and learn more about God, instead of just a place to socialize, or to show off, or to feel superior to others, or to get a "rush" to carry you through to the next Sunday?
    Going to a Gay Bible-based church, or a Bible-based church that welcomes Gay people, can be one of the most wonderful, healing, and growing experiences you’ll ever have – if it’s a place where the leadership is truly biblical, and where the fellowship is truly about loving God and living the life He asks of us! 

    If you are attending a Gay church that just doesn’t seem “right” somehow, then consider some other options. God knows you need friends and fellows, but you also don’t need to abuse yourself and risk your salvation with a fake church – whether it’s straight or Gay!
    • Before you do anything else, always see first if there’s some way to fix the problems you find in your church -- they may not be easy problems to fix, but they just might be fixable with prayer, repentance, and a return to God's real Word!
    • If all else fails, see if others are interested in doing a simple Bible study in someone’s home (that’s how the early church ran!), or if there are ways to fellowship with other Queer Christian people interested in the Bible on the internet.
    • Email me if you'd like some help looking for new resources or assistance.
    God bless you!


    1. Amazing article

      I totally agree, I am just grateful of how much grace you pour in to this work. I still have too much baggage right now to write a lot about gay churches because of all the hurt I am healing from...


    2. Hi Jason,

      If there's any grace here, it's from God -- not me! But I am glad you're here, and I'm glad you found something of value here.

      And many, btw, are suffering from the kind of hurt you feel. You are not alone in that!

    3. I am very very impressed with the articles you write and you web sight, I am trying follow the Lord. And minister and being a living Tesament to the Power and Love of GOD! Thank be to GOD for your wonderful work and for your Ministry! God Bless you and your Ministry in 2010, Happy New Year, Regards Randall

    4. Thank you, Randall! May God continue to bless you, and may He never allow you to lose sight of how much He loves you!