Welcoming vs. Affirming the LGBTQ+ Community in Churches

Most people assume that all Christian churches rebuke the LGBTQ+ community and do not accept them, but that isn’t true.

There are two different levels of accepting LGBTQ+ people in the Christian world: Welcoming and Affirming. Welcoming but not affirming means you are welcome to come their Church and will not be turned away, but they will not explicitly state that being Queer is not a sin. In these churches their political views are often written very vaguely and don’t rebuke their members for their beliefs if they’re left or right. You may or may not be able to get married in these churches depending on the personal beliefs of the pastor and various members on different committees or elders if the church has them.

Welcoming and Affirming means you are welcome to come to the church and they will accept you completely. You can get married in these churches, and become a deacon or hold a place on a committee. I’ve gone to both, but I am currently going to an affirming church. While welcoming is a step in the right direction I personal wouldn’t go to one again, because I believe you should clearly state your political beliefs and not make them vague just to ensure you don’t offend any current members

I’ve found that in welcoming churches the staff is often much more progressive than the members. In the church I went to for a while most everyone I met was pretty conservative especially the other youth. Part of me felt a little deceived; why do you go to a church with a progressive pastor if you believe in conservative values? It was disappointing but it helped me know what I want and need out of a church.

The church I go to now is affirming. In the past year they’ve made huge steps for equality in the church ,and have been kicked out of some Baptist groups for declaring their support for the LGBTQ+ community. They are very politically charged and also do a lot to help LGBTQIA+ homeless youth and refugees. In theory this should be my dream church, but there’s a few reasons why it isn’t.

The main one is youth Sunday school. Every time I go it’s so so awkward. It isn’t this church in particular, I’ve been to others and had the same experience. Teenagers can be closed off and don’t want new people in their group or they just are terrible at holding a conversation. I try my best to ask them about their lives but conversation is a two way street and I can’t just keep playing twenty questions. I also can’t really relate to them since my life is so different from there’s and it’s always awkward when people ask me about school. My go-to answer now is that I do online school since the prodding questions get tiring.

Finding a church when you belong to the LGBTQ+ community can be difficult but it isn’t impossible. If I can find several in Texas than you can probably find some around you. The church I go to now isn’t perfect by any means, but it’s nice to go some where that you know you’ll be accepted.

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3 thoughts on “Welcoming vs. Affirming the LGBTQ+ Community in Churches

  1. You’ll get those awkward school questions everywhere, unfortunately. I thought the judgy-ness would stop once I reached 18, since people my age would have graduated high school by then, but nope! I’m almost 21 and now it’s all about college. lol I normally say that I’m taking a break for health reasons.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ugh! When i was younger i used to always hate people asking me if i played any sports but it’s been replaced with questions about high school or where i want to go to college. The judgment from white suburban people is unreal. That’s why i’m normally pretty vague about my school situation. I hope by the time you’re 22 people will stop asking questions, although i’m sure they’ll just change to “what do you do for a living?” “what kind of job are you trying to get?” “what did you major in?”It’s never ending!

      Liked by 1 person

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