Guest Blogger

Top ineffective ways to "convert" gay Christians

Filed By Guest Blogger | April 26, 2009 5:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality, The Movement
Tags: gay Christians, religious right

Editors' Note: Guest blogger Wendy writes about life, love, spirituality, humor, plus LGBT issues at Burning or building bridges in the community?

Here are some top ineffective ways to “convert,” convince, coerce, cajole or otherwise change gay Christians.

  • Quote scripture at them. Using, or misusing, passages from the Bible bent to suit your purposes does not work! Many of the same verses are used over and over without the user fully having studied the context or meaning of the text.
  • Question their salvation. Pretty presumptuous for any human to determine for another their spiritual destiny.
  • Lump them in with pedophiles or porn addicts. Baseless and cruel, solely for the purpose of fear-mongering.
  • Look like you are going to “vomit” when you find out someone you know is gay. I went to a friend’s wedding with a couple other friends (a decade ago, before I “came out”). Afterward, one of them was talking about how much she liked one of the bridesmaids. The other friend looks at her and states: “Duh! She is gay!” And the first friend, no kidding, looked like she was going to vomit! I knew right then, no matter what, I could never “come out” to them… and lost them as friends.
  • Call them an “abomination.” You mean like eating shellfish, coming to church with glasses on, or playing football without gloves on “abomination”? Another selective (mis)use of scripture (more at this link).
  • Use the “sinners aren’t going to heaven” argument against them. What about: “there are NONE righteous” and “ALL have sinned”? (Ro. 3:10 & 23). A Christian is only saved by grace and faith. Name one single person that attacks LGBT individuals who is not a “sinner.”
  • Telling them their love is a “counterfeit.” Really? How? And don’t say because “gay couples cannot (naturally) conceive children from their union.”
  • Telling them they are not good (or even “fit”) parents. It is not true, and it will only push them farther away from anyone or anything like the person attacking their parental nature!
  • Label them “reprobate” or aberrant. This is definitely not how to “win friends and influence people”! I know those trying to “convert” gays are not trying to “make friends”, but seriously, this is not at all an effective influence tool.
  • Make fun of what they wear. Or any other generalizations, or general name calling.
  • Use shame.
  • Use condemnation.
  • Tell them that their “lifestyle” is unacceptable. What is all this about “lifestyle”? What is so different about what “I do” than “you do”? I work, feed my kids, pay my bills, go to church, go to the grocery store, help in my community (more at this link).
  • Treat them like “lepers.” It was my first day in Grad school, so I was just taking it all in. It was ethics class. There was a very large couple sitting amongst the students. When talking about various individuals one might encounter and have an ethical obligation to, the gay population came up. The couple then said in concert together: “I could never counsel THOSE people!” How sad! Definitely not a “WWJD?” perspective, but unfortunately, all to common amongst Christians and their gut reaction to gay persons.
  • Telling them “If God doesn’t judge you people, He will have to apologize to Sodom.” I have heard it said: “People don’t know what the Bible says about homosexuality, they only know what they have been TOLD that the Bible says about it.” Why is it, that of all the things mentioned in the Bible, this is THE one that is at the top of their worst “sin” list? I heard a professor answer a class that was clamoring about “gay marriage” with a question to them. What is the ratio in the Bible of number of times “homosexuality” (or references to it) is mentioned vs. the number of references to how God expects us to treat the poor? Silence, then some guesses. 7 to 1? 10 to 1? No, he answered: “700 to 1. So until we get it right as far as how God expects us to treat the poor, I have no right to condemn gay people.”
  • Withdraw relationship/fellowship from a person. You will be “rid” of that “sinner” friend or family member that way, but you will not have moved them to “covert”… only moved them to find a more loving and affirming place to hang out.

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Man, that's a long list. What would that leave them with?

You'd think that with Christianity losing influence and adherents in this country that Christians would try to hold onto believers, rather than drive them away.

Oh, wait a minute. Its mainly conservative Christians who do that. We've got friends on the left and in the middle... its only a matter of finding them. :(

A. J. Lopp | April 27, 2009 9:43 AM

Oh, yes, and be sure to call them "Sodomites" in an attempt to shame them.

I've reached the point in life that people with these attitudes would be a laugh if some many of them weren't my family members. It also doesn't help when they openly try to take over the government.

As a Christian, and a heterosexual mom of two, I apologize. There are some of us who are your friends, we love you exactly as you are. We are all made in God's image and we reflect the beauty of his grace. You are our neighbors, and we stand and vote with you.

Nothing to apologize for. Thank you for your support.

You know, I really like Kim's comment and it is encouraging. Wow! I have found a few friends who were more like Kim... and they are treasures!

As a Christian "queer" I guess I don't waste alot of time worrying about those folks and their inept "techniques". Whether they are trying to be rude or ignorant I don't know or care. What I do know is that there are alot of loving, caring, accepting and affirming folks and allies out there. I would rather spend my time and energies in conversation with them. If you have "friends" who are more like enemies...find a new church, new friends, and sometimes even you need to create a new definition of family. Find the love and support you need....it is out there.