In light of the recent events that happened here in Indiana, I will be writing this in a way that I never have before. I will divide this into 2 parts: the Christian response to homosexuality, and the Christian response to homosexuals. I believe that the action and the person are two different subjects, and should be treated as such.
- The Christian response to homosexuality:
Homosexuality is sin. The Bible tells us: “For this reason God allowed their shameful passions to control them. Their women have exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. Likewise, their men have given up natural sexual relations with women and burn with lust for each other. Men commit indecent acts with men, so they experience among themselves the punishment they deserve for their perversion.” (Rom. 1:26-27 GW).
I have heard two different views on why people are homosexual:
- That’s who they were born to be. It is natural for them to desire the same sex because that is their innate desire. To deny it would be to live a lie.
- It is their preference.
Each of us are the creation of God. The book of Ephesians tells us: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (2:10 ESV) The NLT renders that first part as: “For we are God’s masterpiece.” If we are God’s workmanship, or masterpiece, then we have been created perfect, because God is perfect, and He is not going to create anything that is flawed. We read in Romans 1:26-27 that homosexuality is unnatural. God’s creation is not going to be “unnatural”. He has given us free will, so people can choose to sin, but we are not born with unnatural desires.
To say that homosexuality is your sexual preference is to acknowledge that you are choosing to sin. Personally, I don’t understand sexual preference. I believe there are many things I have a choice in: what color shirt I am going to wear, what state or country I am going to live in, or to lie or tell the truth, etc. But to choose your sexuality? That is, as we’ve already read, unnatural. There are some things we just don’t have a choice in. We cannot choose our race. A Caucasian cannot choose to be an African-American, an African-American cannot choose to be Hispanic, and a Hispanic cannot choose to be Caucasian. You are the race you are because that is the way you were born. In the same way, our sexuality was put into us before we were born according to God’s master plan. We are created by God to be who we are. Why would we want to change that?
- The Christian response to homosexuals:
A homosexual is a person. As such, they are to be treated with respect. How would Jesus treat homosexuals? “And Levi made him a great feast in his house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at table with them. And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, ‘Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?’ And Jesus answered them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.’” Jesus saw no need to evade sinners of all sorts. He was accepting of the sinner (the person) while not being tolerant to the sin.
If Christ were walking with us physically, today, I don’t think He would advocate Christians refusing to serve the LGBT community. How are we supposed to show the love of God if we are shunning anybody? At the same time, He would not support the sin. There is a pizza shop in Walkerton, IN that has said they would not cater a same sex wedding. Catering a wedding is like throwing your support to them. The word “cater” implies tolerance, if not acceptance. Christ was not tolerant of sin, so we should not be, either. Christ did love and accept all people, so we should, too.
Late Christian music artist Rich Mullins once told a story that encapsulates the Christian response to homosexuals:
I remember one time Beaker and I were hiking on the Appalachian Trail, and he met some friends of his, so I walked into town. It was about a five-mile walk from the campsite down the trail…, down into town. And when I got there I went into a restaurant and I was having a steak, and this guy started talking to me and we had this great conversation. We were having a good time, and he said, “Hey look, it’s dark and it’s five miles up the road to your campground. Why don’t I drive you up there?”
And I said, “Hey, great!”
And so we got in his car, and just as we pulled out from under the last light in that town, the guy said, “You know what, I should probably tell you that I’m gay.”
And I said, “Oh! I should probably tell you that I am a Christian.”
And he said, “Well, if you want out of the car. …”
I said, “Why?”
And he said, “Well, I’m gay and you’re Christian.”
I said, “It’s still five miles and it’s still dark.”
Then he said, “I thought Christians hated gays.”
I said, “That’s funny, I thought Christians were supposed to love. I thought that was our first command.”
He said, “Well, I thought God hated gays.”
And I said, “That’s really funny, because I thought God was love.”
And then he asked me the big one. He said, “Do you think I will go to hell for being a gay?”
Well, I’m a good Hoosier, and I puckered up to say, “Yes, of course you’ll go to hell for being gay.” I got ready to say that, but when I opened up my mouth it came out, “No, of course you won’t go to hell for being gay.” And I thought to myself, Oh my God, I’ve only been in New Hampshire for one week and I’ve already turned into a liberal! What am I going to tell this guy now?
Then I said to him, “No, you won’t go to hell for being gay, any more than I would go to hell for being a liar. Nobody goes to hell because of what they do. We go to hell because we reject the grace that God so longs to give to us, regardless of what we do.”
I know this has been a touchy subject, and I promise to return to true form, next time.
I would love to hear anyone else’s point of view and beliefs. If you have an argument against what I’ve said, or an encouraging word, please leave a reply. Thanks.