When I initially wrote this entry over three years ago I was in in a very different season in my life and the entry was far too long and exhaustive. Although, by God’s grace, where I am now, mentally and emotionally, is different than where I was three years ago, my attitude toward homosexuals remains essentially the same. In order to maintain this entry and reflect what I have learned more clearly, I have decided to shorten it drastically and update some of its content.
From the start, let me say that, in my opinion, the Church has completely fumbled the ball with how they have handled this entire issue. At the outset, most Christians were basically vitriolic toward homosexuals, and now, as a result, many churches have become iniquitously tolerant of them. Both responses are flawed and sinful. We have to approach homosexuals with the same attitude that Christ approached us in our sin – with compassion and mercy. Simultaneously, we cannot tolerate the sin of homosexuality. We have a responsibility to preach the truth of God’s Word in its entirety in order to please God, not men, and so that those who are lost in sin can have the opportunity to respond to the Gospel in faith and repentance. Our preaching must be one of condescending grace, meaning, that we should preach the Gospel in light of the mercy that we ourselves have received from God.
Christianity should embrace homosexuality, and here’s why:
(1) BEATING A DEAD HORSE
Has God sent us to judge those who are lost in sin? Let me ask you, what do sinners do? They sin, right? So why do some Christians act shocked when sinners do what is in their nature to do? As the Apostle John says, Christ came to “destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8),” or in other words to terminate our enslavement to sin. If a sinner isn’t saved, they are still enslaved and will do what their sin compels them to do.
Judging the lost, then, is doing what is already done – It’s beating a dead horse. Jesus Himself did not come to judge the world but, rather, to save the world because the world has been “judged already (John 3:17).” So why do we sometimes take it upon ourselves to do what our Savior and God did not do Himself? One day Jesus will judge the world for its sin but that time has not come yet, and we shouldn’t usurp His authority in the mean time.
While we wait for God to make all things right and new we should be proclaiming the saving grace and mercy of Christ, not telling them what their conscience already preaches to them day in and day out. The saving Gospel of Christ will convict people of their sin and save them or harden them. Our responsibility isn’t to judge or to save, but to preach, and to let the Holy Spirit do His work.
(2) CASTING OUR STONES
Is homosexuality a sin worse than adultery? Is it worse than whatever sin, which we might conclude within ourselves, is insignificant? It’s true that God calls homosexuality an “abomination” and that it that it has its roots in pure arrogance, wicked lust, and resolute rebellion (Rom. 1:18, 21, 24-28). However, whether it is worse or not, in my mind, is irrelevant. All sin, whether insignificant to us or not, leads to death.
When the Jews were about to stone the adulterous woman (and adultery is a very serious sin on all accounts) in John 8:1-11, Jesus told the reproachful Jews to go ahead and cast their stones if they were without sin. Those Jews, who were no strangers to their own guilt, quickly and literally dropped the matter. Jesus’ response to the woman, who was most definitely guilty, was to show mercy. What is amazing about Jesus’ response is that He didn’t just leave the woman with mercy alone, as some churches/Christians have an aptitude of doing. He also expected her to turn from her sin – He told her to “go and sin no more.”
Jesus exemplifies what the Gospel is supposed to accomplish in the lives of sinners, even the worst of them. The Gospel offers us grace and mercy, and compels us to live holy lives. When sinners respond to the Gospel, as we know Mary Magdalene did, they are empowered by the Holy Spirit to live free of sin, to go and sin no more.
(3) FREE AT LAST, FREE AT LAST, THANK GOD ALMIGHTY WE’RE FREE AT LAST
Many people ask what homosexuals are supposed to do with their attraction to the same sex. How can they undo how they’ve been made? First of all, I deny any belief that homosexuality is something woven into people when they’re created. Homosexuality, like every other sin, is the repercussion and result of a fallen world and a fallen humanity. However, I do believe, like other sins, that homosexuality might be a thorn in the flesh that many people have to endure for the entirety of their lives.
Like with anything else, there will be homosexuals who place their hope in Christ who have to endure the suffering of being attracted to the same sex for as long as they live. Others might be delivered and set free, but many are not. Does this mean they are doomed to live their lives unhappy and devoid of peace? Absolutely not! God is more than able to make us stand and His grace is enough to keep us in His love, in peace, and to endure suffering with joy. If Christ is our supreme treasure, as He would be with every true Christians, then whatever it is we have to endure in this life will be inconsequential. As the Apostle Paul says,
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal (2 Cor. 4:16-28).”
I won’t go into the matter of joyful endurance theologically here, but if someone who is a homosexual, or someone who struggles with homosexuality, turns to Christ, then Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, has the capability to sanctify that person and cause them to live in conformity to His will (Phil. 1:6, 2:13; 1 Thess. 5:23-24; Jude 24). Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil, and He has all the authority and power, if we put our faith and hope in Him, to overcome any sin that might afflict us. So let’s put our hope and our trust in Him to do what we could never do ourselves!
Those who believe in Christ have a responsibility to show mercy and to live the Gospel. We should not respond to the sin of homosexuality with the type of judgment the world has come to expect from us. We should embrace them, as sinners, and present Christ. He has saved us and He can save them! He is their hope for true joy, true love, and true satisfaction, as He is for us. Instead of throwing stones, let’s offer the Gospel, and I can guarantee you that the all-sufficient Christ will do what He always does – He will save sinners.
“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.”
~1 Thessalonians 5:23-24~