Today’s letter to the General Synod comes from Liz Halsey, a college student and member of Third Reformed Church in Holland, Michigan. If you are an LGBTQ person or an ally who is affected by the decisions of General Synod regarding same-sex marriage and inclusion of LGBTQ+ people, please consider submitting a letter for the #WeAretheRCA project to firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters can be published with full name and bio, first name only, or anonymously.
I cannot express the sadness, anger, and general feeling of helplessness I am experiencing at your decision to publicly condemn me and others like me. I grew up learning that we should all love each other, no caveats, no questions asked. That we should do our best to love each other like Jesus loved us, as if we ever could. Here’s the honest truth: your failure to accept LGBT+ folks is the antithesis of loving like Jesus did. Do you honestly think the God who accepted lepers and prostitutes as his children would turn up his nose at queer folks? I sure don’t.
Furthermore, I don’t understand why we’re considered so much more sinful than straight people. All sins are bad, and one sin isn’t worse than another. We all sin, but for some reason, the fact that I prefer to have sex with women makes me more of a sinner than a liar or a thief is.
Somehow, through all of the hate and intolerance you have for me, I still keep coming home to the church. I have felt nothing but caring and support from my congregation, who I love and who loves me in return. Should I turn my back on these people the way my denomination has turned its back on me? That doesn’t seem very godlike.
Honestly, I’m about ready to say that I’ve had enough of the hypocrisy. To say “I’m out” and leave the RCA, or maybe even the church as a whole. You wonder why more and more young people are leaving the faith, but fail to examine your archaic attitudes which serve only to push us farther away. I want to work to fix the deep-rooted issues the RCA has, but I refuse to stay in a church that won’t acknowledge my legitimacy as a person. I’m tired of fighting to be seen.
Member of Third Reformed Church