I know that we are called to love people into the Kingdom of God, but I see many Christians that are confused on how to treat people who are entrapped in a homosexual lifestyle. I’ve seen Christian leadership use rhetoric that treats gay people like they are untouchables; however, I have seen some pastors just embrace homosexuality. Where is the proper middle ground? I have transsexual and gay family members, and they are so much more than their gender or sexuality… how do we get past hate to love them like Christ… embracing them, without embracing the sin they are, and to get them to see Jesus through us?
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NASB)
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
I want you to read these scriptures again. When you are finished, do it again. In fact, read the whole chapter and let it sink in. If Jesus said that we are to abide fore-mostly by the law of love, we should really get a good understanding of what it is. Now that we’ve done that, how do we move forward in a Christian way concerning these things.
One of our greatest issues today as Christian’s is also one of the devils greatest tactics. He gets men and women of God so stirred up on hot button issues that they miss the whole point of mercy. Now, before you write me off as a heretic, listen to all I am saying. I am in no way during any part of this discussion advocating for acceptance of sinful behaviors, however we do need to look at this correctly.
God hates sin, and as it would seem every and all sort of sexual sin appear to be at the very top of this list. I would never provide anyone in a discussion about these topics with the idea God embraces such actions. However, I do think we need to look at it balanced.
When you first meet someone, do you ask them if they are married or fornicating? When you see a young high school couple at the park eating ice cream, do you approach them informing them they are in danger of going to hell if they aren’t pure? Of course you don’t! I believe the same respect should be given to everyone. Just because a transgender or homosexual couple may be more recognizable doesn’t mean we should immediately enter into condemning judgement. On the other hand, I don’t see a place for Christians to be participating in pride parades either. The point that I am making is we need to understand our place and then embrace it.
Contrary to popular belief these are not new issues and the society we live in isn’t even close to as bad as some of the worst ones that have existed. The time when Jesus walked the earth was far worse, with certain places even having public orgies. Even in our country, the free love era of the late 60’s was worse than today. The answer was and is the same. You will not force people to change simply by hating them, but by showing them the love of Christ.
In Ephesians 4:29 we find a beautiful scripture, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” What’s interesting about this scripture is that it comes not long after the whole “equipping of the saints” talk in verse 12. Remember the job of the ministry offices? To equip the believers for the work of the ministry, or spreading the gospel! Wow have we strayed from that! It isn’t opinion hour in the pulpit, it is get people prepared to win the lost and dying of the world.
The Church got into serious error when it lost sight of the very reasons it was founded. Church was not to create a political party or agenda. It’s purpose was not to over throw the government or start a revolution. If you remember in Acts 1 that’s exactly what the disciples thought and Jesus corrected that thinking. The purpose of the Church is to equip believers to go into the world and make disciples or students of Christ. First, by the very idea of what the true gospel is.
Gospel literally means good news. The good news is not that God wants you blessed (He does). The good news was not that God wants you healed (He does). It is not that He wants you happy and at peace (though He most certainly does). That was not the good news, that was who God had always been. The good news was and is the same as it was when it came. Through sin man was forever separated from God and it was impossible for them to come to Him. Jesus came as a substitute for us so that that union could be restored. God is good by His nature and wants to bless His children because He loves them, the Gospel is that Jesus made that possible.
Now I am not saying there are no benefits to it, not even remotely, I am saying that’s not the good news called the Gospel. Look what Paul said to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 2:2, “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” What I am getting at is that though there are truths and promises in scripture, so, so many,our job is to spread the good news. The Holy Spirits job is to convict the world of sin (John 16:8). See when you approach all people from the standpoint that “all people have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” there’s not much room for individual name calling.
Again, I am not saying we hide our faith and if we are asked, sure we should be open about it. However, social media rants or Christian rally’s that only stir up other people who believe exactly the same as you do aren’t spreading the gospel. Those aren’t methods of using edifying (building up) speech. Those are exactly the same tactics corrupt politicians use to ensure their votes.
I have not met a Christian yet who became one by being a good person or by their stance on anything righteous. The way to be a Christian is to embrace the reality that they are lost, completely unable to save themselves, and Jesus made a way for even the very worst of them to come to the Father. When one embraces that they find salvation for their souls and through discipleship can learn what God expects of them.
We are called to act in love. I have learned by pastoring that people need to be shown the love of God continually, regardless of their sin. It is His love that brings them to true repentance… I think that that may even be written somewhere. 😉