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The Good Faith community is celebrating Pride Month with our LGBTQ+ friends and family. As an inclusive organization, Good Faith Media recognizes and affirms the rights of LGBTQ+ persons as dual citizens of church and state.

For way too long, our LGBTQ+ colleagues and friends have suffered under an exclusionist theology and unjust legal system.

While church and state still have a long way to go, we have made great strides over the years when it comes to the human rights of LGBTQ+ persons.

Good Faith Media was proud to support June Joplin last year when she came out during a sermon, identifying as a transgender female. Joplin continues to be an active member of GFM’s strategic advisory board, faithfully serving as a valued ministry colleague.

We are excited to add the Revs on the Road to our amazing lineup of podcasts this year. A few months ago, one of the hosts, Jenna Sullivan, came out to her friends, family and church.

Jenna’s and June’s courage and grace inspire us to fiercely advocate for our colleagues identifying as LGBTQ+.

On Good Faith Weekly this week (release date of June 25), Autumn Lockett and I sat down with Nathan Russell, senior pastor of Washington Avenue Christian Church, just outside of Cleveland.

Russell is an openly gay pastor ministering to a predominantly straight church. His insights and thoughts on the progression of LGBTQ+ inclusion to the church are remarkable.

Good Faith Media wants men and women discerning their gender and sexual identities to know they are loved and accepted for who God created them to be.

We are proud of you and celebrate what God is doing in your life. Do not let anyone tell you any different. God loves you exactly as you were created. LGBTQ+ people of faith are part of God’s plan and kingdom.

We celebrated the news this week of Las Vegas Raiders lineman Carl Nassib coming out to his teammates, the National Football League and fans.

Nassib shared a video in which he stated, “I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now, but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest.”

Our hope at Good Faith Media is that every LGBTQ+ person finds a safe community where they can be who they are in this world. We are working tirelessly to convince more and more people that LGBTQ+ individuals deserve our respect, admiration and appreciation.

For too long the world rejected them. The greatest of these rejections came from the church.

At Good Faith Media, we believe Jesus when he instructed his followers to love all their neighbors. Jesus opened his arms in death to welcome everyone into his presence as their authentic and genuine selves.

And as he rose from the grave afterward, he filled the world with the greatest hope imaginable: freedom to live according to the divine principles of love and justice.

As a pastor and a serious student of the Scriptures for almost three decades, I can state with certainty – and without hesitation – that God loves and affirms LGBTQ+ individuals.

In fact, I think if Jesus were to return today, he would rather hang out at a Pride parade than a denominational gathering.

John wrote in his first letter (1 John 4:6-8), “We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us, and whoever is not from God does not listen to us. From this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. Beloved, let us love one another because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

For those choosing to love over all else, they are children of God. Love does not come with strings or limitations, but it comes with acceptance and affirmation of personhood.

If Rene Descartes can say, “I think therefore I am,” then people of good faith can claim “to love means to accept and affirm.”

We love from the outpouring of God – full of grace, mercy and hope. We love others not because we seek their conformity, but so that the love of God can abound through us to others.

There is no greater hope for the world than God’s love. Therefore, as Jesus-followers, we need to display God’s limitless and unending love to others.

Good Faith Media celebrates Pride Month not out of wokeness, but simply for the fact that we believe in the abundant love of God as seen through the life and example of Jesus.

If the world wants to strive for a better tomorrow, we will need to shape the future beneath the hope of a rainbow instead of a religious slogan.

Happy Pride Month, everyone!

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