A Real Discussion of a Taboo Topic

For a while now I have been thinking about starting a discussion about homosexuality in the church. The church’s (at least most Churches that I have encountered) current position seems to be that if you are gay then you are evil and the enemy. They may talk a bit about “loving the sinner, but hating the sin” but that is just Christian double-speak to hide what they really feel. This is such an emotionally charged issue, that it is hard to start a conversation about it without just in the very opening of the dialog offending someone.

I think if I am really going to get into this (and honestly I may start to talk about it and find that other things keep me from giving this enough attention and simply going back to writing about basketball and my cute wife) but if I am going to get into this then we have to start by defining some terms and getting some general things out of the way.

  1. I believe that the Bible is clear that homosexual acts are wrong
  2. I believe that some people choose homosexuality as a result of their environment or events in their lives. I also believe that some people are born with a natural leaning towards homosexuality.
  3. I don’t believe that this natural inclination changes the right and wrongness of homosexual acts.
  4. I don’t believe that simply because I disagree with a certain lifestyle that I am a homophobe or a bigot.
  5. I believe that homosexual acts are no worse sin than other sexual wrongs.

So there we have my basic assumptions. The problem is that these basic assumptions on their face are very offensive to some people. Of course if you told me that for me to be with my wife is a sin I would react very strongly too. So how are we as the church supposed to reach out to and help homosexuals? I believe just as we help everyone else.

Here are some other things that I believe are wrong: 1) Gossip 2) watching South Park 3) not telling people about Jesus 4) pride 5) meanness 6) bitterness 7) holding grudges 8) envy 9) lust 10) taking credit for the things that God has done. Each and every one of these sins is just as serious as homosexuality, and some of them are far more damaging on a Kingdom level. These are all sins that I struggle with from time to time, and I am allowed to not only be an active part of the church, but I am allowed to be a pastor. For some reasons when dealing with sins like these we may preach a sermon or two about them, but we really turn our heads the other way when people fall back into them. And frankly we could get way too legalistic if we berated people for each little thing that they do or don’t do. There is something really wonderful about grace.

And I think that is where the real crux of this matter lies–with grace. You see when it comes to homosexuality I think our job is the same as with everything else. We teach truth, and we let the Holy Spirit deal with conviction. We let God be God and trust that he can influence people and help them to change, or if not, that His grace is sufficient even if they don’t. I know that there are many things that I see as wrong now that I had no problem with several years ago. As I have grown closer to God I look at my life differently and I look at what is right and wrong differently. I don’t see why we can’t as a church allow everyone to grow in knowledge like that. Why do we have to choose a few sins and single them out.

Of course the church has been so hard on gays for so long that it will be hard for us to take his message of love and acceptance to people who’s only experience with Christians is a picket line. If we are going to reach a generation of gay and lesbians we must make the effort to understand them and to go out of our way to show the love of Christ to them. And at the same time we have to understand if they don’t welcome us with open arms. Those people who call themselves our brothers and sisters hate them. As Christians we have to stand up against messages of hate with all of who we are and scream for all to hear the central truth of the Bible GOD IS LOVE! and he is pursuing you with a redeeming love.

Alright I think that is enough for a first post. I have some more ideas on this subject (mainly about the whole “born gay” stuff) but I will wait and see what you guys think. How can we reach out and share God’s love with people who have mostly heard a message of hate from Christians? In light of our world today what stand should the church take on Gay marriage? homosexual clergy? homosexual adoption? and if we should get involved what side should be be on?

5 thoughts on “A Real Discussion of a Taboo Topic

  • March 14, 2006 at 4:19 PM
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    I too think that we as "the chosen ones" spend too much time focused on the sins that we are not guilty of and not enough time looking at the ones we are. Also I have come to the conclusion that when Jesus came to the earth He didn’t spend much time with the religious folks because He was discusted Here they(we) are walking around with the cure for the world and don’t even use it for themselves. Jesus went to the homosexuals and the aids inflicted(lepers). And when Jesus went to them He showed compassion and love not condemnation and hate. i don’t have to tell them they are wrong. Two things here, for one they are living in with different worldview than me and a judgemental attitude will not change them, two if you have your hand in the fire do I need to tell you it hurts? You know it does. You need me to help you get it out. The reality of it all is that they are already living in hell. Hell on earth and they are looking for a way out. If we were to go to them and love them and treat them as human beings then we would see much more good done. Jesus ate with the tax collectors, prostitutes and all the rest of the riff raff why don’t we? Todd Agnew has a song that says My Jesus would perfer Beale street to the Stain Glass crowd. Do we? What will it take for us to allow homosexuals to come into our churches and worship with us? I think it will take us loving the world as Jesus loved it. With compassion and grace. Compassion means to come along side and help. Is the hate we speak doing that?

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  • March 14, 2006 at 4:53 PM
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    I agree! But how do we make this happen? How do we in our local churches reach out with love to people who only see Christians on TV who hate them? How do we educate our people to love and not hate?

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  • March 14, 2006 at 5:07 PM
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    It has to start somewhere. And that is by reaching out to people. I have to do it where I am, and you have to do it where you are. If we spend the time loving folks the old images will slowly fade away. We as individuals have to do it. I know from experience it is difficult. I am in a white church that for the last 150 years was (and still to some extent is) raciest. Three years ago we started working in an inner city homeless shelter. It opened many of their eyes. And some even repented of thier attitude from the pulpit! It was hard at first and I thought I might loose my job, but I had to walk through the door first.

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  • March 15, 2006 at 4:48 PM
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    I’m really with you on this one. We had a guy show up to our church a year ago or so, and through a course of events discovered that he was a homosexual. We (the assoc. pastor and I) spoke with him about it, walked through the scriptures compassionately that covered the topic, and encouraged him to give up the lifestyle. By the way, through the conversation we learned that he was indeed a Christian. He broke things off with his partner and moved back in with his parents (a very volatile situation itself). He continued to come to church for a while, and each time I would go out of my way to give him a hug and tell him how glad I was to see him. He responded well, but over time just faded out of fellowship. The struggle that homosexual-leaning Christians experience is very real and very hard for those of us not in that boat to understand. Its’ simplistic (but not wrong) to say, "just stop it." There is much more involved in the psychological and emotional bondage of this particular sin. Only God’s grace and the move of the Holy Spirit can really help to break the chains that bind them. Pray for this guy and others like him. They too are loved by the Father…

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  • June 10, 2006 at 12:38 AM
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    Homosexuality may not be part of natural law but is a law unto itself.

    Marriage, as part of state law, is not Christian marriage anyway. The signed contract has nothing to do with Christian love.

    Did you know that Adam Kadmon was of both sexes? That is what Jesus was referring to in the Gospels when He spoke of marriage.

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