On Oct. 1, singer Jake Wesley Rogers uploaded on YouTube the official audio of his song "Cause of a Scene," wherein he creatively narrates the struggle of coming out.
Rogers was torn between coming out and fearing the consequences of his being publicly gay.
According to a report by Baptist News Global, Roger's song does not explicitly offer a Christian perspective on his experience; however, his feelings are echoed in the lives of many Christian listeners.
Coming Out Fears of a Christian
A lot of churches present themselves as welcoming institutions for LGBTQ+ institutions. They market themselves as being safe spaces where people, regardless of who they are, can freely worship the Lord.
However, a lot of LGBTQ+ individuals feel unsafe in the house of God.
One of the concerns of LGBTQ+ Christians is coming out to their families, friends, and church. There is the fear that they will "cause a scene" in their community.
According to the Ozanne Foundation's 2021 survey, only one-third of LGBTQ+ Christians in the United Kingdom felt that it was safe to come out to their local churches. Even a lesser percentage felt comfortable enough to declare their sexuality to the wider Christian community.
The survey also stated that less than 50% felt that they were taken seriously by their local churches, especially in regards to their physical, psychological, and emotional safety.
The reason is that LGBTQ+ Christians consider themselves to be well acquainted with their Christian community, so they know how the members are going to react.
Although there will be some who will treat them with kindness, compassion, and understanding after coming out, there will be others who will whisper judgments in their direction.
They also fear losing their position in the church's ministry, like their place in the choir or in the band.
There's also the concern that pastors may publicly humiliate or shame their identity as LGBTQ+ members.
According to Baptist News Global, LGBTQ+ Christians fear being made fun of in what was supposed to be their safe haven.
What Churches Should Realize
One of the most common reactions of churches when a member comes out is to tell them the words, "I will pray for you."
What they don't realize, however, is that the phrase comes off as judgemental.
Some churches also have programs that offer "conversion therapy," wherein they organize a "treatment" with the aim of changing one's sexual identity so they can build a relationship with God.
Some of them claim they have succeeded. However, most fail in the long run.
According to Alan Chambers, the president of the ex-gay ministry called Exodus International, the program's emphasis on change made them fatally flawed.
Another Exodus leader, Gary Cooper, also stated that he knew that deep down the ministry's success wasn't true since he never saw any of their members or leaders convert back to heterosexuality.
Instead of praying over them or convincing them to abandon their sexuality, what churches should do instead is listen to and learn about them.
According to Baptist News Global, what LGBTQ+ Christians need is not a debate about their feelings but rather a loving embrace.
Churches should remember that God's kingdom is not exclusive; hence, the community should not be exclusive either.
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