A letter to my conservative Christian friends...

If you know me well you know I'm not conservative. On the liberal to conservative spectrum I started out on the more conservative end and slowly moved to the opposite end. While talking with a friend this week, we discussed these labels and our mixed feelings towards them. At the end of the day, I understand why they exist. A label provides a safe place. When you don't really know where you fit in, labels provide you with a family. On the other hand, labels can be quite divisive. So when I address my "conservative" friends, my intent is not to be decisive. Keep that in mind as I write.

For the longest time I would have considered myself to be moderate, but now I look back and see myself as pretty conservative at times, especially in my theology. I remember what it was like to think and feel like a conservative. I say this not to sound pious, like I'm someone who's enlightened or has outgrown an old belief system. Trust me, that's not the angle I'm trying to use. I say this in an attempt to relate.

I've been asking myself today how the Lindsey of 2,4,6, or 8 years ago would have dealt with the news of the supreme court decision ruling same sex marriage legal in all 50 states.

I know that version of Lindsey would have been sad. She would have had mixed feelings about the whole situation. She would have wanted to handle the situation delicately, yet I'm sure she would have been frustrated. She would have felt the tension of wanting to love LGBT folks while also believing that their lifestyle is ultimately sinful and leading them astray. She would have felt like the world was becoming darker and darker, abandoning God, and running away which each step leading them further into the ways of Satan. She would have been worried about people's souls. She would have taken into account people's eternal destinies and perhaps even fallen asleep crying over them.

I know this Lindsey's heart was pure. She may have been misunderstood, but she wasn't a bigot. She wasn't inherently evil. She had the best of intentions. She wanted what God wanted. Or at least what she thought God wanted. She wanted to trust the bible, even in her limited knowledge of it. She wasn't out to get anyone. She meant well.

If that sounds anything like you, I want you to know a few things:

1. You are loved and chosen. No matter what you believe or who you vote for, you are loved and chosen just as you are. The finished work of Christ covers you.

2. Your feelings are validated. What you feel and believe cannot be disregarded. You have a right to those views. You have a voice to be heard. I may disagree with you, but you won't find me tarring and feathering you for not believing as I do. I won't insist that I have the corner on truth, that I'm right, and you're wrong.

3. You are welcome here. We can discuss our views, argue, and get up in arms, but you'll never be told you don't belong. You'll never be told you're not a Christian. The doors are and will always be open. Come on in.

I wouldn't believe what I believed if I didn't think it was the best way to believe, but at the end of the day none of us can be 100% sure about what we believe. I'm comfortable with that obscurity. I'm comfortable with you, too. I'm not afraid of you. I don't think you're toxic.

As I write this, I am sitting in a coffee shop eating a rainbow decorated donut. A pride donut. Yeah-- I'm that far left. Far enough left that I'll eat a rainbow donut to celebrate. I cried so many times yesterday because I was overwhelmed with joy and gratefulness after hearing news of the SCOTUS decision.

You and I will continue to discuss and disagree, but know that I love, validate, and welcome you. I hear you and I see you.

Because just as it always does, love wins.