We love God, and it’s because of our love for God that so many of us have wrestled so prayerfully and deeply with our sexuality, our gender identity, and our faith. We seek to honor God with everything we do, with our lives and with our relationships. We seek to follow Jesus, worshiping him as God and emulating his life, teachings, and ministry, especially in his treatment of those who were downtrodden and outcast.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”
We love the Bible and revere it as the Word of God, inspired by God and authoritative for Christian life and practice. It is because of our love for Scripture that we have studied it so carefully, seeking to discern the heart of God and the most faithful understanding of the text for the church today. Our love for Scripture is also what drives us to help the church interpret and apply it as faithfully as possible when it comes to gender and sexuality.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
-2 Timothy 3:16-17
We love the church, and we are compelled by our love for the church to help the body of Christ truly be the hands and feet of Jesus to the world, especially to those who only have heard messages of condemnation from the church. Our love for the church includes a love for fellow Christians who disagree with us theologically or are still seeking to discern their views about LGBTQ inclusion.
“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.”
-1 Corinthians 12:12-13
Monogamy and covenant
As a Christian organization with a deep love for the Bible, we believe that our values about sexuality must be shaped by Scripture, the communion of saints, and the Christian tradition. We honor the link that Scripture and the Christian tradition make between sex and lifelong commitment, and therefore, we embrace the principle that we should seek to say with our bodies what we are able and willing to say with the rest of our lives. That is why we are specifically asking churches to bless monogamous, covenantal same-sex relationships. (See Bible, Gender, Sexuality by Dr. Jim Brownson to learn more about our understanding of Scripture and sexual ethics.)
As churches assess their teachings on sexuality, we encourage church leaders to move away from shame-based teachings about sexual ethics that communicate that a person’s value or worthiness as a future spouse is tied to their virginity or their sexual history. These teachings have caused significant harm to both LGBTQ and straight people and have undermined the church’s credibility on sexual ethics across the board. No one is damaged goods, and no one should be treated as if they are.
Diversity and inclusion
Jesus’s life and ministry were marked by his love and concern for people on the margins of society, and as a Christian organization, we believe we are called to follow Jesus’s example by prioritizing diversity and inclusion in our work. LGBTQ Christians have too often experienced the pain of exclusion from the church, and that reality compels us to care about and address the ways in which the church has also fallen short of honoring other marginalized people as equal image-bearers of God.
We embrace the Bible’s teaching that if one part of the body suffers, every part suffers with it, and if one part is honored, every part shares in its joy (1 Corinthians 12:25-26). This biblical principle is why we’re committed to having a diversity of voices in our leadership and programming, and it is why we strive to foster belonging and inclusion for everyone regardless of their race, ethnicity, age, class, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.