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God’s house should be a safe house

“Mum, I just want to tell you I’m gay.”

These are the heart-stopping words that greet countless parents both inside and outside the church. As a Christian with pretty black-and-white views on homosexuality, I never thought this would happen to me because my son was a Christian! But it did happen. Late one night 12 years ago my son drove 650 km to the small conservative town in which we lived to tell me that he was gay.

Wendy Campbell. Photo: Supplied

Wendy Campbell. Photo: Supplied

Despite being an elder in a Confessing congregation, I found myself standing up at the recent 31st Queensland Synod to seek ways to make church a safe place for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender and their families. I know there are many people occupying our pews feeling trapped in private struggles relating to their own sexuality or that of their friends and family but not feeling safe to share their pain.

The recent marriage paper discussions have shone the spotlight on the issue, but it doesn’t matter whether you believe in same-sex marriage or whether homosexuality is right or wrong. As followers of the Lord Jesus, who constantly operated out of his compassionate heart and denied love to nobody, surely the love of Christ should burn through our prejudices and judgements so that we see before us only the one for whom Christ loved so much and died for.

Let us be the church of God. With pure hearts, let us see every person as a brother or sister in Christ, just as they are. Let us love and value them as he does, with unconditional love, so that all will see church as a safe place to be who they are in Christ. Church should be a place where we can bear each other’s burdens, and in that nurturing love of God, allow God to do his work. Our work is but to love.

Wendy Campbell
Paradise Point Uniting Church

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