Evangelicals Need to Love Gay People

By Brian McLaren 04-23-2009

Jonathan Merritt may be the most courageous Southern Baptist in America this week for his USA Today editorial on how evangelicals need to love gay people. Even if we might take a stand that differs from his in some ways, those of us who know the world Jonathan comes from know he is showing remarkable courage to say what he's saying and should be applauded and appreciated. He reports:

According to Public Religion Research, 37% of evangelicals ages 18-34 have a close friend or relative who is gay. Only 16% of evangelicals 35 and older can say the same.

Another hero in this regard is Andrew Marin, whose new book Love Is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation With the Gay Community gently educates and thoughtfully challenges evangelicals to rethink some of their assumptions about gay people. I wrote the foreword for Andrew's book.

By the way, Tony Jones continues to foster good dialogue on this and other subjects at his site.

And last but in no way least there is Wendy Gritter, who helped produce an extremely helpful video called Bridging the Gap. Its purpose is not to take a for-or-against position on homosexuality, but to create space for Christians, whatever their opinion on the issue, to learn to be more loving and Christ-like to their gay and lesbian friends and neighbors.

Brian McLarenBrian McLaren (brianmclaren.net) is a speaker and author, most recently of Everything Must Change and Finding Our Way Again.

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