Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Have you hugged a gay man today?

Sometimes Christians tick me off.  And one of the things that gets me the most upset is how we as the Christian culture treat homosexuals.

I know what Romans 1, Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 say.  But I also know what is said in John 13:34, Romans 3:23 and 5:8, and Matthew 25:45.  The point of this post isn't to argue whether or not homosexuality is a sin, whether or not they should be in church leadership or whether gay marriage is okay.  I believe that those topics are all distractions that keep us from seeing the important issue that is right in front of us.  The point of this post is that we as Christians are sinning by treating gay men and women in our world as second class citizens.

You may be saying, though, "Aren't we supposed to rebuke the sinners?  Aren't we supposed to mimic God in the way we detest evil?  If I all of a sudden start loving these people, isn't that going to say I think their lifestyle is okay?"

Guess what?  It's not your place to condemn them.  It is your place to love them.  You may think homosexuality is a sin.  But until you 1) love them in such a Christ-like way that the Holy Spirit (not you) leads them to repent or 2) they directly ask you whether you think homosexuality is a sin or not, keep your freakin' mouth shut!

Like I said earlier, I'm not going to argue whether homosexuality is right or wrong in this post.  To be completely honest, I see it clearly in the Bible that God is not fond of homosexual behavior, but at the same time, one of the Godliest people I know is a homosexual man who has devoted his life to Christ.  I struggle to reconcile the two.  But I do know one thing for sure, we are Christians are called to love them with the same Christ-like love that Christ himself has for us.

"But Jenny," you may say, "I do believe it's a sin.  What about what Romans 12:9 says?  If they repented of their sin and were struggling to overcome it, that would be one thing, but I just can't love someone who is in a homosexual relationship and doesn't feel convicted to repent of it."  All I have to say is, have you heard Jesus talk about removing the log in your eye before you go after another person's splinter?

If you sexually look at that woman's breasts or that man's butt, because "a look won't hurt anyone", you are an unrepentant sinner just like them. (Matthew 5:28)

If you don't confess your sins to one another because "nobody needs to know my business," you are an unrepentant sinner just like them. (James 5:16)

If you don't tithe ten percent of your income because "I need to take care of my family before I take care of the church," you are an unrepentant sinner just like them. (Malachi 3:10)

If you feel justified in that fact that you see yourself as better than a gay man because you prefer your sex to involve a penis and a vagina both, you are an unrepentant sinner just like them (and your sin is PRIDE, if you couldn't figure that out).

So love the homosexual.  Always love first.  When in doubt, love even stronger.  Let them know that in Christ there is love.  I've known a number of homosexuals, men and women, and I can guarantee you, regardless of how flamboyant, regardless of how militantly anti-Christian, regardless of how offensive you may see them to be, they are hurting, just like everyone else.  They have been beaten, bullied, spit on, yelled at, isolated, ignored and abused, just like many of us.  Why do they need one more person, someone who supposedly has the great Physician, the only source of unconditional love inside of them, to pounce on them too?  If you really believe that homosexuality is a sin and you believe in the power of the Holy Spirit to convict them of sin, then is there really a reason to beat them over the head with condemnation, as so many of us Christians do?  Bring the great Healer to them and let Him work in their lives.  You are just the conduit.  You are not the judge.  Once you have built the relationship based on Christ-like love, they have accepted Jesus into their life and the Holy Spirit has begun to work on them, then you may talk with them about what you think is wrong with their lifestyle.  But until you get to that point, keep your freakin' mouth shut and just love!

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