In this sounds hopeful news an Evangelical pastor from the UK, Rev. Steven Chalke is calling on other Christians to be more accepting and welcoming to members of the LGBT community:
Rather than condemn and exclude, can we dare to create an environment for homosexual people where issues of self-esteem and well-being can be talked about, where the virtues of loyalty, respect, interdependence and faithfulness can be nurtured, and where exclusive and permanent same-sex relationships can be supported? … Tolerance is not the same as Christ-like love. Christ-like love calls us to go beyond tolerance to want for the other the same respect, freedom and equality one wants for oneself. We should find ways to formally support and encourage those who are in, or wish to enter into, faithful same-sex partnerships, as well as in their wider role as members of Christ’s body.
Are we beginning to see this trend among religious leaders? By some of the responses to Rev Chalke’s declaration, that seems like a plausible belief. Evangelical Tony Campolo that regardless of the position many take within the c\hurch that it is time that it’s members rethink their often close minded views about homosexuality.
If only we would hear more stories of acceptance from religious leaders every day the world would be better. How amazing would it be if these leaders began to actually honor the principles of respect and non-judgment that they preach? Is it going to change overnight? Of course not. But this does give us hope.