It is very important to acknowledge that for the Christian, his/her life is in Jesus! Jesus is the only founder of a “religion” who didn’t preach a way apart from Himself. He preached Himself! He says that He is the way, the truth and the life; He is the bread from heaven, etc.
We are not to allow mere fallible human beings who often retreat to some form of fundamentalism so as to avoid facing ambiguities and/or phenomena they cannot understand, to define “the Christian life” regarding the civil and sacramental rights of LGBT people or anyone else. When we allow that perversion to occur, we further encourage what has become the alignment and enmeshment of the institutional Church with the State; we take for granted the leadership of that institutional Church taking its cues from the powers of the State; we identify “Christianity” with adherence to the status quo, even if that status quo embraces discrimination, oppression, and capitalism run amok; we encourage demagoguery, where any professing Christian with even a scintilla of charisma, or a gift of gab, is allowed to define the reality of others as to what “the Christian life” is and what it isn’t; we allow the most reactionary forces within the institutionalized Church to define the nature of Christ’s Church in the eyes of other people, thereby understandably bringing charges of hypocrisy, judgmentalism, and hatred from intelligent, decent, and sensitive non-Christians.
It is only when Christians understand that our life is in Jesus and only in Jesus, that they will be truly free, and contend for, and live out, the values of grace, mercy, love, and freedom that Jesus admonishes us to have, and as He Himself lived, so as to, in the words of St. Augustine, help make the earth a colony of heaven! Any professing Christian who in any way discriminates against anyone, or who in any way encourages such discrimination by attending the churches pastored by homophobes or others who preach an exclusionary theology, is betraying the Gospel and is betraying God!
Indeed, so many clergy and their followers in the institutional Church so willingly embrace the institutional Church leadership who have largely been infected with the values and agenda of “the power elite” in society, and the institutions over which they have charge and/or populate, that most of the institutional Church’s representatives either mouth the rhetoric of the governmental leaders or, just as contemptibly, remain silent, lest they risk losing their tax exempt status, and offend any in their congregations and lose church membership and the money that comes from those and potentially future members. Similarly, since so many people have been brainwashed with the lie that same-sex love is a sin, most clergy in the institutional Church, even if they do know better, keep silent in the face of the oppression of LGBT people, as they don't wish to drive any members away from "their church" and lose the revenue that those members bring to their coffers.
These types of people are worse than mere faceless bureaucrats! By not showing mercy, by keeping silent in the face of all sorts of oppression of others, they spit in the face of God! And that despicable offense has been made increasingly manifest by the fight for equal rights for LGBT people; the oppression of LGBT people sharply brings to light this lack of mercy, and the perpetration of, and/or the acquiescence to, the oppression of others by all too many clergy in the institutional Church!
It is far better for a Christian to suffer the Cross life here than to have to answer to God as to why we kept silent in the midst of any crooked and perverse nation; why we kept silent in the face of the oppression of LGBT people by most clergy and their gullible followers in the institutional Church. The clergy and the followers of whom I speak have chosen to embrace this crookedness and perversity, being handmaidens, and representatives, of governmental repression and other repressive powers, and they have not only led countless people astray with their perversion of “Christianity,” but have aided and abetted virtually everything God has condemned.
Merely by their rhetoric and actions or inactions regarding the oppression of LGBT people, I truly believe these clergy have shown themselves to be witting or unwitting agents of the devil whose main purpose is to cast aspersions on God, the things of God, and the people of God! Indeed, if they deliberately seek to discredit Christianity in the eyes of intelligent, decent, and sensitive people, they couldn’t be doing a better job!
That’s why they must be confronted in every venue possible, and shown to be the wolves in sheep’s clothing that they, through their rhetoric and/or actions or silence and/or inaction, have shown themselves to be to all who have eyes to see. I like C.S. Lewis’ description of Christians as being warriors behind enemy lines, in enemy territory. When most of the institutional Church has also become enemy territory, it should alarm every single Christian who is a Christian in fact!
The tragic fact is that so many institutional Church leaders (with the all too willing collusion of their followers) embrace their citizenship in that enemy territory so as to enhance their careers, keep the money rolling in, continue to enjoy “their church’s” tax exempt status, and who have been more than willing to nail LGBT people (as they did in the recent past with African Americans) to the cross of oppression, suffering, shame, self-loathing, suicides, assaults, mockings, and death. Just like their predecessors did to Jesus!
So, all Christians worthy of the name must stand up for the oppressed, speak truth to power, and be more than willing to suffer the ridicule and hostility from professing Christians and others who have absolutely no clue as to what the Gospel means and requires!
The oppression of LGBT people in our generation gives those who are Christians indeed the chance to now demonstrate the cornerstone of the Gospel which is grace and love, and the requirement of demonstrating that love by confronting in every venue possible the obscenity of professing Christian clergy and their followers who have perverted that very Gospel of grace and love which is, and always has been, the hallmark of the Christian life!
And I can think of no better way of living out the Gospel than by fighting for full and equal civil and sacramental rights for LGBT people!