A Christian coffee shop that I know about has a non-binary-identifying employee. The shop’s motto is “Love God, Love People, Love Coffee,” and their Facebook presence is full of customers celebrating God’s love. The shop chose to celebrate God’s love for that individual on social media a couple days ago.

I’m deeply disappointed.

Surprise: It’s not by the employee or the social media post. I am disappointed by how the employee and the coffee shop have been treated as a result.

Since the post, Christians have been coming into the coffee shop explicitly to harass this young person and harass the shop for its stance, pressing Bibles at them and lecturing. The shop was forced to pull down the social media post simply to protect the employee. The manager is fully expecting the valuable and hard-working and well-liked employee to quit rather than suffer such abuse.

I grew up in a strongly conservative Christian setting. Homosexual behavior was treated by all my various mentors as one of the most abhorrent things possible, even worse than all manner of heterosexual sins. We were not at the level (like some groups) of attacking gay people, but tolerating it in our midst was certainly unthinkable. I certainly did my best to outright avoid anyone who had a hint of LBGTQ on them.

But here I am in my 50s, my heart breaking over how those who call themselves “little Christs” seem to forget that Jesus Christ chose to defend and spend time with those that the religious establishment of His day wanted to stone and cast out. He called the sinners to repent and change, but He didn’t hesitate to fully and richly love them despite their failings.

What a contrast with these “Little Christs”, who in the name of defending God, are literally attacking the lost, instead of loving them like Christ.

Do God or His principles need to be defended that way? Attacking and harassing and abusing people strikes me as missing the entire point. I too want righteous laws passed and righteous rulers elected, and to see us turn from OUR wicked ways and seek His face, but I don’t see anything in the New Testament about hating people on God’s behalf. When the ones supposed to be representing Christ are very vocal about the Law but are failing to represent His deep and rich and penetrating and unconditional love, is it any wonder that so many are now turning away from the church?

The world has no way to see God’s love in action without our example. If we chase they/them away from God, and only teach them hatred, how will they ever be saved?

“When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some.” – 1 Corinthians 9:22 NLT

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One Reply to “They/Them”

  1. It’s disappointing to see folks stepping in to judge and condemn. We pray for a better heart in ourselves and others. Meanwhile, progress in neuroscience suggests there’s much more than simple choice involved in many human traits. I wonder how much more we don’t yet understand.

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