This article was originally published by Mennonite World Review

God is love, or nothing

In the wake of Mennonite Church USA’s fierce conflict over the acceptance — or not — of LGBT brothers and sisters, it is ironic that my first exposure to how to treat and be community with LGBT people happened at a state college, in a secular environment. We knew who was gay and lesbian. We didn’t care. We showed respect, solidarity and community to and with each other. And that was 40 years ago.

Christ demonstrated that moving from the traditions of the Old Testament to the new traditions of the New Testament is the way he expected us to live. Violence, pettiness, wealth, material possessions and other trappings of the Old Testament were no part of his kingdom. He changed, or intended to change, the soul and spiritual foundation of humanity.

Why are we not heeding his call to repent of our old ways? I do not find love in the teeth-gnashing, hair-pulling process of disallowing anyone into our churches. That’s not love. I reject the line, “Love the sinner but hate the sin.” It doesn’t work.

God is love. And if God is love, there is room for everybody. Leave judgments to God. If God is not love, then God is not. Anything. Nonexistent. A void. If God is not love, that’s a God I will not believe in. That’s not a spiritual world fit for any of us.

Emily Martin
Broomfield, Colo.

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