In the past week I’ve been asked by two people, for entirely different reasons, if we are a “gay-friendly” church.
It’s a question I find strange. Our church is people-friendly (even pet-friendly when the pets are suitably restrained). When new people come to church, we welcome them, we don’t try to categorise them or judge them.
In the 21st Century, we’re used to be “fine print” on contracts, the “end user licence agreements” for anything on the computer. We’re used to there being exceptions to every rule.
But when Jesus gave us the “love your neighbour” rule, there wasn’t any fine print added. There was no subclause saying “unless….” In fact when someone asked for clarification, Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan – the story illustrating that the person we have the least in common with is still our neighbour. More than that, just in case anyone wasn’t completely clear on the point, Jesus also told us to “love your enemies.”
So I find the idea of whether or not we are friendly to a particular sub-group of people to be strange. If we are going to be who we are called to be, surely we must be “friendly” to everyone we encounter!
Grace and peace