Homosexuality is one of the hardest topics for Christians to address. Why? Why is this so difficult for us, as Christians, to tackle when we have the Word of God to guide us? Well, there are all sorts of reasons homosexuality is complicated to digest. It can make people uncomfortable. It is a fiery subject. Many people do not understand it. (Are people born gay or is it a lifestyle choice?) And, overall we do not know exactly how, or even if, we should address it.
Homosexuality is a part of human sexuality, and that area has been poorly handled by the church for years. From talking abstinence-only to using a “don’t ask, don’t tell policy” regarding human sexuality, the church has had a marginal influence on sex education for our youth.
Most Christians absolutely detest judging others. It can be argued that we are detested for judging others as well; especially by non-believers. As a result, we say things like, “Love the sinner, hate the sin” or “judge not lest you be judged” to escape doing what God commands. But, addressing homosexuality requires judgment not condemnation. God has not given the believer the authority to condemn anyone. Condemnation is defined as the act of judging and finding one unfit for use. Surely, God has the last say on who is and is not fit. As believers, we cannot declare someone’s existence as not useful; thus condemnation should never be a method used to correct sinful behavior or encourage repentance.
When used wisely and with great care, judgment can be the inspiration for repentance for unbelievers. When used harshly and with malice, it becomes condemnation. John 12:47 advises us not to judge the world, but use the Gospel of Jesus Christ to save it. In John 8:16, we are advised that if we, believers standing on the Word of God, do judge, we are not judging alone but on the strength of God who has sent us.
Homosexuality is a sin that is highly visible, and therefore needs to be addressed. And, because homosexuality can be seen in society openly, it is society’s duty to address it. A couple engaged in the sin of adultery may be less apparent in society (but subject to God’s judgment nonetheless). So, the Christian community must do its best to confront this issue.
Just because it should be tackled and God gives us the authority to do so doesn’t make it easy. Homosexuality is controversial. I cannot tell you how I have struggled with how to deliver God’s message to friends and family engrossed in the homosexual lifestyle. I had concluded it was not my business. The very recent issue of Proposition 8 and the legality of gay marriage left me dumbfounded at best; silent at worst.
The protests where people gathered outside of fallen soldiers funerals shouting vile, anti-gay slurs and rhetoric paralyzed me with confusion as well. The people doing the protesting identified as Christian. Yet, their behavior painted a different picture altogether. Is this how God would have us confront this sin? Is this how I am supposed to deal with my homosexual friends and family?
Studying God’s Word to understand how to use judgment in this matter has given me insight on how to deal with homosexuality in my inner circle. Because I believe in God, it is my business to teach others his Word and his love. If Christians would address this issue in the way that God commands, with love, kindness and a gentle, yet firm hand, we could save others from a life filled with homosexual sin.