I think everyone’s blood boils when a Christian begins to write about homosexuality.
“Ehh, more hate speech.”
“Here we go again.”
“If I hear one more ‘Hate the sin, love the sinner’ shpiel, I’m going to puke.”
I admit, I am going to write about this topic. And yes, I do claim to be a Christian–though God is ultimately my only Judge of that.
First of all, I’m not here to change your mind. God gave you a brain and the ability to make life choices, and He gave us the Bible to lead us in the best choices. I’m also not here to condemn anybody–because in the end, God is the only one who will determine how you and I have measured up to His standards.
So why this post?
Social media has a phenomenal way of spreading people’s opinions–right, wrong or indifferent–at lightning speed. Honestly, sometimes we just need to shut up and dump some of our thoughts in the recycling bin, because they’re really not that important. For example, whatever passionate thoughts you had about Seahawk player Richard Sherman’s post-game interview from Sunday’s game…it’s not worth riling everyone else up. I’m serious. In a few weeks, no one will even care.
But really, there are some things worth being passionate about, and discussing. I want to talk about homosexuality right now because there have been so many thoughts and opinions and articles blazing through the internet…and some of them have been plain fluff.
(No, that’s not a nice thing to say. I hope you didn’t post anything fluffy.)
Here’s the thing: Homosexuality is a hot topic because it’s a very personal, should-be private issue. No one likes to hear that what they are doing is wrong–especially if it’s something they really like doing. It’s like little kids bouncing on the furniture and being told “no”.
“But I WANT to do it, Mommy! I don’t WANT you to tell me I can’t!” Instant flare-up.
And yes, I said it: Homosexuality is wrong. It’s not wrong because I am a “homophobe” or because I am a “gay hater” or because I “just don’t understand”…it’s wrong because it is a perversion (a bad thing) of something that God designed to be good.
Way back in the book of Genesis, God created the first man, Adam. He decided it was not good for Adam to be alone, so He created a “suitable helper” for him; He created Eve, the first woman. He created these two people, male and female, to celebrate life and unity, and through unity to reproduce life. He designed them with different pieces of physical equipment that fit together. He designed it to be a good thing.
However, whenever God makes a good thing Satan tries to warp, twist, pervert or destroy it. Since the human sexual relationship also serves as a reflection of the unity between Christ and His bride (the church), it becomes a very clear target for the devil’s schemes. The thing is, sex is so unique and so intimate and beautiful that Satan can’t even replicate it–all he can do is muddy it up and try to re-market it.
God created sex to be between one man and one woman, in one relationship committed to Him. Satan promotes sex to be between one man and one woman in however many non-committed relationship they want, or, to glorify sex between one man and another man, or one woman and another woman. God designed the best model with blessings and Satan markets a cheap imitation with consequences. (More on that in a bit…)
In my opinion, the book of Romans presents some of the best theology for explaining the principles of sin and grace and how, though we are born into a sin-filled world with our own sin nature, God calls us all to repentance and offers forgiveness and redemption into a new life. He acknowledges where we started, but offers us a new ending.
Romans also talks about some of the specific sins that God opposes. Yes, the Bible does talk about homosexuality.
Without copying the whole text of Romans 1 and 2 here (you can look it up here: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+1-2&version=NIV), let me just post some key passages that explain some of this:
“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–His eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse...”
God’s wrath is against godlessness and wickedness and the suppression of truth. Don’t misread this and say that God’s wrath is against people and therefore God is unjust. God’s divine nature has been made plain to us.
“Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another…”
Skipping ahead a few verses, we see an interesting element of God: sometimes He gives us what we want, even when it is displeasing to Him. And there are always consequences. We see here that the sexual relationship apart from holiness is deemed “impure” and is now a “degrading” act. Again, apart from holiness.
“Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion…”
God designed men and women to be attracted to each other. Where there are God-given desires, there are blessings. Where there is only a human appetite for someone else’s body, it is lust and is devoid of blessing. This passage is specifically talking about homosexuality, though, where the natural relations are abandoned for the unnatural ones, followed by “indecent acts”.
Also, there’s that part about “[receiving] in themselves the due penalty for their perversion…” HIV/AIDS, anyone?
“Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done…”
Just don’t do it.
“Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them…”
I don’t write this to be harsh, but more from a sad and concerned standpoint: If God made the best thing, if He made the most natural thing, and if He designed it with blessings…why are we letting our culture sell itself short? Shameful lusts. Unnatural relations. Indecent acts. These are condemning descriptions.
So how can we approve of those who practice them?
Can we honor and serve them as people? Yes. Can we “love” them through our actions (per the Bible’s description of love: patience, kindness, gentleness, etc.)? Yes. Can we approve of and tolerate and support this sort of lifestyle? No.
The world’s message is toleration. It seems like you have to tolerate every view, every opinion, everyone’s life choice…or you hate them. Pardon me, but that is a load of crap.
For example, I don’t like chickens. I tolerate people who like chickens and raise chickens, but I still don’t like chickens. Nor do I plan to. This doesn’t mean I hate chicken people, it’s just that those feathery little beasts freak me out, and I like to keep my distance.
I also don’t like whiny children. Do I hate whiny children, or their parents? No. I can tolerate the time I spend with them, and I can even serve them through love–but don’t expect me to go on a campaign promoting that children should be allowed to whine all the time.
What I’m trying to say, via these silly illustrations, is there is right and wrong (defined by God) and there are personal opinions (chosen by individuals). Personal opinions can be tolerated, but God’s rules and standards of what is right vs wrong are to be obeyed.
We can’t tolerate sin like it’s just someone’s personal option, because God doesn’t tolerate sin.
See, God can‘t tolerate sin; it’s against His nature. He is purity in the highest form; undiluted, undefiled, sacred. We can’t be in His presence with our sin, yet He offers to wash us clean. Sin is an abomination to Him–and lest I confuse anyone, let me repeat: sin is an abomination to God; we are not the abomination, our sin is. So before anyone starts a tangent about God hating sinners and sending everyone to Hell because of sin and that’s not fair because we were born in sin…just stop. That’s not what I said.
He offers to cleanse us. He wants to make us like Himself. It is His free gift to us, but it is our choice to accept it.
So how do we exist in a culture that supports homosexuality and labels Christians as “homophobes” or “gay haters” or other such things? Well, we have to first understand Scripture–and then live it out. Our job is not to convert or save people; our job is to bring the Gospel–the real, true Gospel–to the world.
Don’t say the Bible “doesn’t address homosexuality”. It does. Don’t say Jesus “loves gay people just the way they are”, because it is too easily misinterpreted. He loves people, and He bids us all to come to Him in our broken state…but He also calls us to repentance and to not remain in the sin we came in. Jesus doesn’t love gay people because they’re gay; He loves gay people because He created them as heterosexual human beings and died to set them free from the bonds of sin…including the sin of homosexuality. He doesn’t love their gay-ness any more than He loves an adulterer’s adultery, a murderer’s crime, a glutton’s gluttony or a rebellious child’s rebellion.
The thing is, what Jesus did in dying on the cross freed us from being labeled by our sin. God removed that sin from us, and He no longer identifies us with it.
Homosexuality is not a label to be proud of. It is a sin, like any other sin in the Bible, that God despises yet so desperately wants to free us from.
And for those who claim they were “born that way”, the only thing I can say is this:
Talk to the One who created you. He has a far better purpose for your life than this.