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.
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DEAR MONIQUE: I suspect you have a desire to be more diplomatic and understanding of LGBT people. I agree, we cannot be afraid to talk. I believe we must also be willing to make better value judgments, rather than painting everyone with the same broad “homosexual lifestyle” brush. I’m reminded of a Republican political candidate here in West Virginia who would purchase hour-long blocks of radio time to host his own talk show as part of his campaign strategy. I called his “show” and told him that, while I found myself becoming increasing conservative as I grew older, I was still dismayed by his disdain for Gay Americans. I said to him, “It’s almost as though you’re incapable of making a moral and ethical distinction between a monogamous Gay couple and someone who is promiscuous.” His response? “One is bad and the other is worse.” Case closed. Please forgive me if this seems confrontational, but my question for you would be this: Why is it that it’s perfectly acceptable, even admirable, for Straight (i.e. heterosexual) couples to date, get engaged, get married, and build lives together in the context of monogamy and commitment, and that this is a GOOD thing … but for Gay couples to do exactly the same is somehow a BAD thing? To me this seems like a very poor value judgment. It certainly would seem to conflict the The Golden Rule … namely, to treat others as you (and, presumably, YOUR spouse) would prefer to be treated. If your message to Gay people is that our ONLY moral option is to live lives of loneliness without any hope for love and commitment, I have to wonder how you might feel if the same message was preached to you. Respectfully, CHUCK ANZIULEWICZ http://anziulewicz.livejournal.com
“If your message to Gay people is that our ONLY moral option is to live lives of loneliness without any hope for love and commitment, I have to wonder how you might feel if the same message was preached to you.” Whether your life is “lonely” because male/male marriage is not biblical and not backed by scripture is going to be determined by you Chuck and how you react to scriptural reality. How would Christ react to the question of male/male marriage? How did he address issues of marriage brought to Him in the Gospels, even by those trying to set a theological trap for Him? He always pointed back to Genesis, to how the Father made Man and Woman for each other and this is the model the Father intends for marriage/sexual relationships because the union of male/female; a bride and groom is the physical image of Christ and His union to the Church, His Bride. Just as Christ is not uniting with Christ or The Bride is not uniting with another Bride, but with the Groom. This is the model God has for sexual relationships within an everlasting, Holy(complete and WHOLE and perfect)union. Male/male relationships or female/female relationships do not fit into this model of union in comparison with Christ and the Church. To say that someone with homosexual proclivities is therefore doomed to “lonliness” because their relationship can’t fit into this model which God has established indeed may be frustrating in a great way, but God’s hand cannot be forced by our own wants or what we say “feels right” to us because it isn’t about US at all, but about what Christ and the Father intends. So the question then falls to you. Will you simply wallow in anger that your feelings, while they can be acknowledged as being real, none-the-less are not equal to marriage and therefore is something you may struggle with, perhaps for life, but to surrender that to Christ and His provision to help you in life to endure and live with and through it. In the end it is a question as to how the homosexual responds to God’s model. Is it defiance and anger or will it be humility and faithfullness that “Your will be done”. Man can’t force God’s/Christ’s hand merely because God’s way does not match our feelings or beliefs on what feels right to our fallen intellects which are primarily motivated by selfishness. What we want or desire. We must instead focus on what God/Christ desires for His creation, for which scripture has revealed this to us and marriage and it’s specifications and boundaries and obligations where clearly set out in Genesis. This is how Christ would and did answer. Peace to you.
Brison, I believe you misunderstand Christ’s layout of the model of marriage. It is not “everlasting,” nor even “holy” if you rely on the words of Paul. Seeking to trap Jesus, the Sadducees asked Jesus about a woman who had married in succession several times the younger brother of her previous husban, who had died. This was custom in those days. They asked, “at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?” His response is recorded in Matthew 22:30, and I will repeat part of it here: “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.” Jesus own words. Marriage is not eternal. From Paul, we learn that marriage was given to the weak as a way of escaping their lust. He makes it clear that this is not the holy path, however. In fact, he devotes a significant portion of his first letter to the Corinthians (chapter 7, as we divide it today) to urging celibacy. He calls marriage out as a distraction from serving the Lord and says of celibacy (v. 35) “I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.” I would argue strongly that we have added the “holy” component to matrimony. Not God. Jesus clearly considers marriage a temporal affair, and Paul allows it for those with strong passion as a way to control themselves without the sin of adultery. With that context, “holy” and “everlasting” are not really adjectives that I am comfortable appending to marriage. I realize there are several other passages that appear to contradict Jesus’ statement in Matthew, including the one in Genesis that we all know by heart, but my personal belief is that the Christ was Word made living and so His Word on this topic, as supported by context, is the authority.
this september i got delivered totally from homosexuality and sexual immorality by the love and grace of God. i rejoice over this new life of mine. there is peace and joy. i think the church should learn more about homosexuality and should study prayerfully the Bible so that the church can wisely speak out and act on many gay issues and concerns…. i can do my part by giving powerful testimonies on the power of God’s love. indeed He can change gays into righteous and God-fearing men and women. the blood of Christ Jesus can do the work.