Wow. Just wow. I often find myself astonished at how Christians (in general) and the church are handling this issue of homosexuality and same sex marriage. I mean, it’s not like it’s a new thing. We’ve been really bad at handling this for years now, but with all the political hubbub, I feel like the latest surge has made the situation even worse. Don’t believe me? Find an openly gay person and ask them why they don’t want to come to your church.
Let me make a few things abundantly clear before I continue.
1) I love Jesus. He’s my Savior, He’s my God, and my life is His. It is my goal to love what He loves and hate what He hates, to live my life in obedience to His Word, to honor and glorify Him, and to grow to be more like Him.
2) I love gay people. I love straight people. I love drug addicts and CEO’s, college students and high school dropouts, single people, married people, people with a dark past, broken people, happy people, messy people, people who are “just fine, thanks”, rebels and protestors, runaways and religious freaks, and yes, even feminists. In short, all different kinds of people from all kinds of different worlds and backgrounds. I love the ones who love Jesus like I do and especially the ones who don’t. People are people, we’re all created equal, and it’s not my place to judge anyone. You read the Bible enough, that becomes pretty clear.
3) My God says homosexuality is a sin. Admittedly, this makes things difficult. This is the edge of the knife that Christians keep falling off, erring on one side or the other. But human beings are so complex and capable of so much more than standing on one side of a fence or the other. So please bear with me.
Yes, the Bible does say homosexuality is a sin (Romans 1:26-28), but so is envy, covetousness, strife, deceit, gossip, slander, malice, arrogance, disobedience, faithlessness, and hating God (Romans 1:29-32)– just to name a few from the very same text that I know every human being on earth has been found guilty of at one time or another. In fact, I know I’m guilty of all of these and more, which makes me a sinner in God’s eyes too.
So, what right does a sinner have to judge another sinner? Is your sin worse than mine? Certainly not! God shows no partiality, we’ll all be judged for the things we say and do (Romans 2:1-11)– so why then all the judgment? Why talk like we’re so much better and we’ve got it all figured out? Why use language that dehumanizes or belittles people who have a different system of beliefs than you do? Is that winsome? Is the goal to preach the Gospel and show the love of Christ to a world that doesn’t know Him? How then does placing a political sign in your front yard or clicking the like and share buttons on Facebook accomplish that? Or, for the outspoken Christian political activist– how does making war against one particular sin issue in the lives of others help?
Did Jesus have strong words of rebuke for the people who didn’t know him? Did he go ballistic on the social outcasts or the sexually immoral? Nope. He showed them love and kindness and patience which was meant to lead them to repentance and forgiveness (Romans 2:4). So who did Jesus go ballistic on? The scribes and pharisees– the religious elite, the Bible scholars, the people who knew his Word and should have known better.
So what then? How do we fix it? To be honest, I don’t actually know what to do or say to make it better. I don’t have all the answers, in fact, I don’t have any of them. How do you love Jesus and at the same time love (really love, not just say you love) people who reject Him? I don’t know. But I do know that the issue is not same sex marriage. It’s that there are people out there that don’t know Jesus and have never encountered His amazing, unfailing, all-healing, sin-erasing, selfless, sacrificial, covenantal love. And every sign placed in every yard, every careless word posted on the internet or spat in heated debate, every political Christian t-shirt pressed that doesn’t say “I’m sorry” places another obstacle between them and His love.
I’m calling for repentance and humility, friends.
“For You will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; You will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.” – Psalm 51:16-17
Jesus, your Creator who made you in His image, lived a sinless life and died the death that you deserve to atone for your sins. He drank the full cup of the wrath of God so you would never have to. He was forsaken so you would never be. He rose from the dead three days later, defeating the power of sin and death and hell. He did it for His glory, but He also did it to set you free. By faith in Him, your sins are forgotten and forgiven. Paid in full by the blood of Christ. Not because of anything you’ve done. You stand on His merit. You will never bear the wrath of his judgment or condemnation for your sin because you are in Christ. (Romans 5)
And there’s hope. He has promised to sanctify us, to help us follow Him and live a life of sacrificial love for others like He did. Yes, we will still sin and fail, but He has promised to help us and carry us through. (Romans 6) And because of what He has done, no matter how much we fail, there will never be condemnation for us. He will finish what He started and He will work all things together for the good of those who love Him. (Romans 8)
So. Since we have access to the One with all wisdom and knowledge, since He has already walked this road before us, and since the whole world is watching– let’s ask Him how to really speak the truth in love. Real love. His love.