Friday nights have become a sort of sacred, relaxing period in my household. Just after the baby falls into a deep (at least we hope) slumber, my husband will open up his computer and begin to type away. I can tell that this is one way that he finds his rest. My husband’s keyboard quietly and steadily goes “click clack” across the black buttons. With every finger prick to letters, I can see his entire being recharge. 
Me on the other hand? I find my rest in a glowing LED screen with a bold and beautiful word written across it: Netflix. Okay, okay, that may have been a bit of a hyperbole. But, man, do I love a good, long, and shameful binge sesh! 
On this particular evening I found myself sitting down in my big comfy chair across from my dear husband who found his place on the couch next to his trusty sidekick, the computer. I began to scroll through the shows under my “trending” tab and found myself falling on one program in particular. “Queer Eye”, I said to myself. I had heard about this show through many of my friends’ reviews on twitter. All of which were raves, by the way. I tapped the circular select button on our roku remote and thought to myself that this was going to be a mindless, entertaining, and enjoyable experience. Hah. Good one, self. I was wrong.
To give you a brief overview, Queer Eye is about a group of five gay men who help transform others’ lives in a way that they define as “more than a makeover.” Within the first 30 minutes of season 2, episode 1 of the series, I found myself pausing (and sobbing) and rewinding to hear one quote over and over. And once more, I found myself grabbing the remote to spool back the clip. At this point I turned to my husband and asked him to peel his eyes off of his computer screen to listen in:
“The church is what I feel alienated by, not God. I feel completely loved and accepted by God and Jesus. It’s a lot of the politics of the Church that made me feel not welcome.”
Immediately, my eyes filled with tears. I felt this wave of failure, brokenness, and guilt rush over my soul. Why did I have such a strong reaction to this man’s words? Why did I claim ownership and responsibility of his statement? The answer to this is simple: Because I have taken on Jesus’ life as my own and now represent the Church, the body of Christ. And if I am a part of the body of Christ, then I have taken part in allowing this man to be treated in this way. 
Brothers and sisters, have we missed the mark? Actually, Don’t answer that. Because, in my opinion, this question blatantly answers itself. As of 2016, The LGBTQ+ community makes up more than 4.1% of the American population. That’s more than 10 million adults. Only 1.9% of this community classifies themselves as “highly religious”.
According to a study by gallop, more than half of this community identifies as being non religious. The painstaking reality is that a large group of the LGBTQ+ community grew up in church but were later rejected and once again marginalized for how they identified themselves. 
Instead of seeing the error in this, we, as a church, continually turn our backs on this group of human beings. We tell them that they don’t belong in the body of Christ. We play victim and shout claims of persecution as the government “forces” us to do things against our will. Because how dare we welcome a same sex couple inside of our church walls and *gasp* declare them husband and husband! Our actions repeatedly tell them that they are not needed.
Dear friends, if you take anything away from this post, let it be this: the LGBTQ+ community has a role in building Jesus’ kingdom here. These people have a role in Jesus’ ministry. These people are a part of the body of Christ. So why do we treat them otherwise? Why do we shy away from them and treat them as outcasts? Why do we feel it necessary to take on the role of “Holy Spirit” and proceed to cast conviction? When did we stop loving like Jesus? 
Church, you are not the victim in this storyline. You are not the persecuted in this scenario. You are not the condemned in this screenplay. I am tired of seeing the body that is supposed to be the hands and feet of Jesus reject the “Queer Eye”. 
The greatest commandment that Jesus gives us is to love. Brothers and sisters, no one is “forcing” you to support gay marriage or whatever your excuses may be for why you treat this community the way you do. And to be quite frank, I’m not concerned with whether you believe homosexuality to be sin or not. That would require a whole other blog post about sin and how it’s defined written by my husband who’s a lot smarter than me when it comes to the understanding of biblical text (Tyler, if you’re reading this, write that crap, okay?). 
The bottom line is that Christ called us to love the way that He loved. Unconditionally, wholeheartedly, messily, and beautifully. Despite your precedence or what you believe to be “sin.” Despite what you call “right” and “wrong.” The heart of this matter is another person’s soul. And their soul belongs as a part of our body. 
Friends, the next time you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through your Netflix feed, I urge you to give The Queer Eye, Season 2, Episode 1 a watch. Or, better yet, the entire season. It’s really good, y’all. Open your mind up to the possibility of loving this community the way that Jesus does. Let’s no longer settle for being alienators, and remember the we are all wanderers in the desert until Jesus calls us home.
And with that being said, let me end with this. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3: 
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it;[a] but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.