Dear Evangelical Church

Dear Evangelical Church,

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this…Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:28-31

I need you to know that I love you. You are my family. I was baptized in a Southern Baptist Church in Bossier City, Louisiana when I was a teenager. You saved me. I attended another Baptist church when I went to college in College Station, Texas and another when my husband and I moved to Carrollton, Texas in 1998. You raised me. I have nothing but love for my churches, their leaders and lay people. They are my family.

My husband and I have been helping to plant churches in the Pacific Northwest since 2007 through NAMB and the SBC. Here is my dilemma: the evangelical church, the ones who raised me and sent me out into the world to save the lost are the very ones hindering my ministry to the lost. Maybe this isn’t personal to you because you do not know any gay people. I do. I live in Seattle, Washington and I am living out the gospel and fiercely loving anyone who crosses my path. That includes members of the LGBT community. I love them. I genuinely do. I love them because I know them. Honestly, once you get to know them, you can’t help but love them. They are funny, kind, incredibly hospitable, and overall magnificent people. That should not surprise you as they are beloved children of our King.

Church family, it is not our duty to take a stand against them nor to oppose or oppress them. Our responsibility, while we are here on this earth, is to love them. That is it. We must love. We must live out the gospel so that we can share the gospel. Then, let the gospel do its work.

This has been on my heart after all that has happened since the World Vision announcement on Monday. I wanted you to know from one evangelical to another how your reactions affect the church and our work here. We are on the mission field. We are on the front lines. We are on our knees fighting daily battles against the enemy. We are wrestling for lost souls and we will not stop preaching the gospel and loving everyone and anyone who comes in our path.

Please, let us love the world and not condemn it.

We have kingdom work to do,

Becky Cole