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Gay community should be allowed in churches, too

I noticed in the Aug. 26 Record that both the Immanuel Lutheran Church of Audubon and Faith Lutheran Church in Detroit Lakes felt a need to publicly disavow themselves from the recent ELCA decision to allow homosexuals to become preachers. They quoted 1 Cor: 6: 9-10 as their theological basis for this. Verse 10 states clearly that fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate or homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God. This verse has been quoted a lot to exclude the gay community from God's grace, but it dawned on me that we have never taken a good look at the havoc the effeminate community has thrust upon the Christian church.

I looked up effeminate in the dictionary and it was defined as unmanly or womanish. Immediately I thought of the huge amount of sin that was being allowed to fester by allowing women into the Christian church at all. (After all, what is more womanish than a woman.) I didn't think it was enough to stop there ,because there was the larger concern of allowing unmanly men to step through the doors of the Christian church. One can see almost immediately that we face a huge problem in defining what exactly an unmanly man is. Do we use the definition that was prevalent in the time of Paul when he wrote the letters to the Corinthians, or do we go by more modern standards? I also wondered about the unmanly men in the closets that would not openly identify themselves as unmanly. Do we allow them to continue to come to church unrepentant, or do we encourage them to come out so that we can assist them to undo the choice they made to become unmanly men in the first place? Since no one seemed to be interested in answering these questions, I decided it was up to me (with God's help of course) to make these judgments. One need not look very far to see the untold dangers of allowing unmanly men to worship with us and the sinful responsibility we take on by publically condoning this mortal sin.

It becomes imperative to us as Christians to become vigilant in searching for the signs of unmanliness. The man who is checking his fingernails palm down; the man who won't engage in a game of catch because he throws like a girl; the man who doesn't like to hunt or fish; the man who assists in housework and child rearing; the man whose chosen occupation doesn't involve getting dirty and sweaty or a man that takes on hobbies like sewing or gardening. If you take time to think about it, you can probably come up with many more.

I hope anyone reading this is aware that there is a great deal of sarcasm involved in this letter. What is not sarcasm is that if we try hard enough, we can use the greatest book ever written, the Bible, to turn any group of people into villains. We can then exclude them from our lives by refusing them entrance into our spiritual retreats and actually go as far as to persecute them. I hope, as a Christian, that there are churches in our community who are willing to take a politically incorrect stand and welcome the gay community into their church. Those of us who have gay family and friends actually fear for their lives and well being as potential victims of hate crimes. Now, on top of this they are excluded from the church and a chance to be part of Christian love. We know, along with most all reputable scientists and researchers, that they are not making a choice. The choice is being made by us. Do we love or hate?