First of all, most of these leaders are making these comments, not to the church, but to unbelievers in unbelieving forums. It is as if these leaders think it is their job to somehow repair the image of the church. So, there seems to be no shortage of men who want to, in one way or another, apologize to the gay community for not loving them in the way that the gay community defines love of course. My question to these leaders, if they really believe what they are saying about how terribly the church has mistreated gay couples is this; "where have you been?" Isn't the church the product of your leadership? If the church has not been loving gay couples the way it was supposed to, then doesn't it falls squarely on the shoulders of the men who are now out parading about rebuking the very church they produced as if they had nothing to do with her present condition. I call this rank hypocrisy. If these leaders should be doing anything about repentance in this area, shoudn't they should be apologizing to the church for ministry malpractice and to gay couples for their leadership? To blame the church is both hypocritical and refusal to accept ownership for the problem. Why does the church need to repent and the leader gets to stand up and say so as if he his hands are somehow clean?
Now, to be clear, I don't think the church owes gay couples an apology for not loving them. You have to understand that to most gay couples, refusing to allow them to marry is hateful and oppressive. Refusing to allow gay clergy is discrimination. Refusing homosexual membership in the church is viewed as unloving and cruel. The problem with the Homosexual-Christian relationship is that there seems to be no solution without one entity ceasing to exist. The Church cannot tolerate homosexual behavior in her community. Hence, homosexual behavior ends. If the Church tolerates homosexual behavior in her community, she ceases to exist.
Does the homosexual movement simply want the church to be nice to them? Is that really all they are asking? It would seem that such a position is radically naive. Look around you. Listen to the news media. Read the publications. Watch entertainment. Engage people outside the Christian community regarding the subject. I lost another unbelieving friend over this issue recently. He was not arguing that the church or conservatives be nicer to homosexuals. He was arguing that homosexual behavior was normal and that gay marriage should be permitted and anyone who disagrees with him is a hateful bigot. That is the position of the gay movement. I have yet to read about homosexuals legitimately complaining about not being loved or treated with respect. They are uncomfortable in the church because they feel guilty regardless of whether or not anyone says anything to them.
The real problem is that homosexuals do not think the church has the right to judge their lifestyle as unnatural and sinful. And the church has no choice but to make these statements because they are God's unambiguous revelation regarding that behavior. Secondly, how the homosexual community demands to be loved is not the biblical definition of love. They define love on their own terms and anyone who does not meet those standards is deemed hateful and bigoted.
If church leaders really do feel that an apology or repentance is in order, they need to address their own repentance first. If they insist on apologizing, then apologize to the gay community, but don't forget the Christian community as well. Leaders have a responsibility to shape the community after a particular fashion. Scripture is clear on this. If they fail to engage in the activities necessary to equip the body adequately, God will require this behavior at their hands. I am not saying that leaders need to apologize to the church or to the gay community at all. My point is simply that leadership must accept responsibility first before they start pointing at others. Outside the fact that the Christian community is a community of imperfect sinners, she has nothing specific for which to apologize to the gay community about. In addition, it may be the case that some Christians have behaved unlovingly toward gay individuals, this does not justify indicting the entire church for the sins of some.
The only thing I have to say to those in leadership is this: