I just watched the video – “Embracing the Call” by Exodus International and added it to my links. You can also view it – here. I found the video very encouraging. It is of Christians who have struggled with homosexuality explaining how local churches have cared for them well in some ways, but not well in other ways. Overall though they give great hope that churches can reach out to homosexuals well and have done so well in many cases.
In our culture, it seems to me that most people think that churches are full of judgmental and hypocritical people. On the one hand, I want to admit that that is sometimes the case. Christians are growing in holiness and becoming more like Christ, but we still sin. We are not perfect. On the other hand, I think churches get far too bad of a rap. Most Americans who criticize the church have never been in one, or have had very little contact with churches and Christians. They form their criticisms of the church based on what their friends tell them, what television shows say about Christians, or what they see on the news with radical churches who proclaim their hatred of homosexuals. But I think if people would actually go to church and meet Christians they would find very loving and caring and forgiving people.
This video is talking about homosexuality and how churches can reach out to homosexuals, but I think everything they say can equally be applied to the church’s response to crossdressing. Churches should be a safe place in which someone could potentially share their struggles, at least with the pastor, if not with the whole church, to find help, guidance, compassion, and care. In my experience, every Christian I have told about my crossdressing struggle has been compassionate and understanding and willing to listen and learn. They did not approve of crossdressing being okay but I didn’t want them to do so anyway. I’ve told friends, my wife, counselors, a professor, and a pastor, and I can’t criticize how they treated me in any fashion. In fact, if I was forced to make a criticism, I’d say that some of them didn’t realize how big of a sin and issue I think it is, and should have taken it as a bigger problem than they did. Maybe they were too understanding and forgiving at times, but I suppose that is much better than being too harsh and judgmental.
Give the Church a chance. God has chosen to work through the lives of churches and Christians to give out his good news of love, forgiveness, and compassion. Most churches are not like the “God hates fags” church. Get to know some Christians and churches before you judge Christians too harshly. And if you are struggling, perhaps consider talking to a pastor or a Christian friend. They may just come alongside you and give you the support you’ve been craving.