We Want to Join a Church that Accepts Thailand’s LGBT
And Stops Destroying LGBT through a False Bible*
Supachai Laingam, Pathum Thani, Thailand
[Translation of the sticker: We are LGBT. Stop using the Bible to Destroy Us. We are no different than other people. We want rights and freedom to be Christian.]
In this year 2559 (2016) it is undeniable that the numbers of homosexuals in Thailand and around the world who are admitting [their sexual orientation; i.e. “coming out”] are increasing. And there is greater acceptance in various countries, as well as in Asia, Taiwan, for example, where a trend is emerging to accept same sex marriage, as also in many other countries in America and Europe. Information on this is available at http://www.gaychurch.org/ where groups who believe are more understanding of sexual orientation. But Thailand still does not have a church for those who have chosen to be [openly] LGBT, not even in Bangkok where a lot of churches have been established.
PURPOSE AND HELP
We want to ask brothers and sisters who are spread across 16 sexual orientations, no matter your circumstances, age, status, or vocation to open your hearts and receive us who are LGBT to join in your ministry of service sincerely and proudly, not to exclude those of us who are LGBT from giving our love and concern in lives of enhanced service together and to move forward on the way of the Lord.
At present those of us who are [openly] LGBT are unable to join in Christian work or activities due to the use of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah and many other passages as excuses. Those who use these excuses tend to rely on outward appearances and do not care about our hearts in the least, along with hating and ridiculing us as humorous, worthless, sinful and cut off from other brothers and sisters because they believe they have received the Word of God. They proclaim that those who choose to be LGBT are sinners and too unclean to be servants of God.
At the present time many local churches and Christian organizations in Thailand have not found the best way toward LGBT persons and prevent them from joining in worship of God.
Aside from this, some LGBT persons are “lost” (have left Christianity) or have posted more than 100,000 questions on Google a year. This statistic indicates a large number of believers in God with LGBT orientation who want advice and acceptance, rights and appropriate freedom of expression, and equality with other believers in God.
There have been questions on pantip.com about how to be a Servant of God [a minister or church leader] with sexual options, in search of truth, love, and salvation in the Lord. Here in Thailand there are a lot of LGBT people searching directly for right answers and who want understanding. This campaigner is a believer and has taken the name of the Lord for more than 5 years and wants to have an atmosphere of cordiality in the church on the part of all believers, free of hatred, attack, and discrimination based on sexual preference to seek the way of the Lord in Truth.
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* The headline and text on the cross in the sticker change when clicked on. The text below the sticker remains constant.
1. This is the first public manifest of this kind I have ever seen in Thai by a Thai Christian in behalf of a change of attitude on the part of the churches in Thailand. I admire the risk Supachai has taken.
2. Supachai’s purpose is to campaign for other Thai people to join him in seeking change. He even included his telephone number for volunteers to call him. Of course, he might get calls from despisers as well.
3. Supachai uses certain terms that indicate he is acquainted with the most conservative sides of the church in Thailand, rather than the Church of Christ in Thailand (CCT), the largest and oldest Protestant denomination in the country. But his belief that it is unacceptable to be openly LGBT as a church leader or minister applies to all. Being a member as an open LGBT person is not usually impossible in CCT churches, but discrimination on the part of other members is to be expected, as Supachai indicates.
4. Supachai does not make any reference to arguments against Biblical texts that have been used to oppose LGBT people. This is not surprising because those arguments have not yet been mentioned in Thai written material (although I would heartily welcome any citations or leads to articles in Thai others might know of). Supachai understands that it is the Bible that is the weapon used to oppose inclusion of LGBT people, and he calls that an excuse.
5. Supachai suggests that there are “a lot of people” who have LGBT orientation or preferences, without mentioning numbers. My unverified guess would be 32,740 LGT oriented persons in a total Christian population of 819,600 (1.2% of 68,300,000 Thai people). If 409 thousand men and 410 thousand women are Christians, and if 6% of the men are gay and 2 % of the women are gay the total would be 32 thousand. If only half of them were Christian believers, the churches being anti-gay as Supachai says, the number of Christian LGT persons would be 16,370 or something like 10 per congregation.
6. Equal opportunities and rights within churches for LGBT believers would include: the right to be a member without discrimination based on sexual orientation or preference for a sexual life-partner, the right to participate in all activities and opportunities for being selected for leadership positions, including the right to be considered for ordained offices on the same bases as other candidates, the right to be protected from accusations based on real or supposed sexual activities and orientation, and the right to propose interpretations of scripture and church traditions with the expectation of those interpretations being considered seriously.
Rev. Dr. Kenneth Dobson posts his weekly reflections on this blog.