Defending the Gays: What I’ve questioned and can’t deny

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Yesterday, I posted a thought at Facebook about defending gay people.

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It got some great responses supporting and challenging. But it left me with little doubt this thorny issue is not going away for Christians, many of whom believe we’re supposed to know what we’re talking about when we discuss homosexuality.

Which seems to me like mistake #1….

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I’m still thinking about this and I don’t have many answers. But I’ve seen some things…

I’ve seen the American Psychological Association publish study after study about the complex nature of sexual orientation and Christians repeatedly disregard the research that “most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation” (http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/sexual-orientation.aspx).

I’ve seen the 2 arcane verses in Leviticus that talk about killing homosexuals. The Bible is brutal, folks. Look it up.

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And I’ve seen the few verses mentioning homosexuality in the New Testament. Yet how do they excuse the widespread prejudice about monogamous homosexuality between two loving adults? Even suggesting there can be such a thing gives some people hives.

That’s called prejudice. It’s assuming there are some people worse than we are. I’ve also seen how prejudice throughout history has led to attempts to eradicate others for being born different.

I’ve seen from experience that whatever turns my stomach about humans, that’s what God, in his perfect love, never feels for me, regardless of my ignorant revulsion.

And if I only understood the “unconditional” part better, I’d be able to share this better even with bullies.

This realization has made me question some things about this topic…

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First, I’ve begun to question our idea of the underdog and the aggressor in this losing battle.

I question how long Christians can ignore brutal domination of the human spirit and represent God so falsely.

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I’ve begun to question why we’re so quick to assume being broken is a sin. Why do we make people feel like their brokenness is because they’re evil? Is there anything more damaging and hateful than to believe someone’s evil?

Yet there are some things I can’t deny:

I can’t deny Jude’s point about pursuing desires that may feel very natural to us (http://www.openbible.info/topics/homosexuality), or that everyone—hetero and homo—is already condemned for pursuing what feels more natural in their fallen state.

Yet I can’t deny that if I condemn anyone, I know in my heart: I’m condemned.

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I also can’t deny that Jesus said the new law abolished the old, and he summed it up—“Do to others what you want done to you” And so I can’t dismiss that what I do, not just what I believe, will condemn or free me. I don’t believe saving faith comes through what I do, but I also don’t believe I have saving faith if I don’t do to others what I’d want done to me.

I can’t deny that everyone I know has feelings that betray them. Everyone is confused to find themselves attracted to what’s wrong. And I can’t deny that brokenness is in me and in all of us by no fault of our own. And whatever it looks like, a lack of shame just does not seem to be the problem.

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I can’t deny the proof in my own life that true change only comes through a realization of unmerited, sacrificial love. It’s the only thing that has made me willing to admit I’m wrong and to leave my “right” place to go with anyone who asks me. And even if it’s my enemy who wants me to go 2 miles, Jesus says I’m to go 4.

Love is the only thing that can make me.

And I can’t deny it’s only a loving defender who has made me less of a condemning dominator.

I can’t deny I was born into sin by no fault of my own, and without help I will automatically perpetuate others’ pain. And it’s an unnatural, i.e. a supernatural, work to stop it.

I can’t deny I’ve seen a change of heart can only come through love.

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So can gayness be changed? It’s looking unlikely, folks. And certainly not by me. That much I know. At least a greater love would be needed.

Judge not lest you be judged. Can anyone say anything about a gay person that wouldn’t only prove his own ignorance of love? I’m trying to understand. But all I can do is acknowledge my prejudices and repent. Like this:

If being broken is a sin, Jesus died for that. Why would I act like it didn’t count for some people?

Brokenness is not a choice. Brokenness is how we are BORN. Can we stop acting like anyone can do anything about the way they are?

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All I can do for someone is what I’d want done for me–to provide endless permission to share all that holds them back from wholeness that only comes from God. And as they find their feet on the narrow path to freedom…to give them all I can.

 

For a more biblical breakdown of this sticky issue, see John Piper’s response to “Why homosexuality is sin” here.

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8 thoughts on “Defending the Gays: What I’ve questioned and can’t deny”

  1. Mick, it takes some courage to post on this subject. Right now, it may take me some courage to post a comment too! You tackle it head on, and you posted a great video too- what a great project!
    People are people are people, right? And if you’re not a sociopath, it’s a valuable experience to get to know you, learn from you and share experiences together, no matter your race, faith or sexual orientation. My experience is that each person who comes into my life, adds something to it. As we value one another as humans, we open the door to connection, relationship, growth, and intimacy. All this is well and good- and most Christian and non Christian’s alike would agree with this.

    The problem is for the Christian, to hold to their biblical faith while walking in love with others. How do I believe the bible is true and is for all people for all times, and still connect authentically with people who believe differently than me? How do I connect without passing judgment, or seeking to change them? When changing them seems more in line with the Great Commission?

    I think this is the rub.

    I am compelled to believe the bible and its statutes about wrong and right. I am compelled to value and connect with people even if we disagree on major biblical issues. My gay friends don’t ask me what I think about their life style, and I don’t offer.

    Ultimately I am responsible to live out my values and faith, and they are responsible to live out theirs. They will know we are Christians by our love.

    1. Excellent. I think you’re right, Michelle. The fight is most often internal–the one I’m most supposed to change is me–and it can’t be done without some powerful assistance. God works through us all the time as we allow it and listen. I vacillate between being a fighter or a weakling…

  2. I’ve hashed and rehashed this in my own mind and with others ad infinitum. There is no easy solution – probably no solution – to the complexity of this dilemma. It grieves me to associate with some who are part of my “tribe” and have such vitriolic hatred for people who are broken in this way. It’s hard to make them see that God doesn’t categorize sin like we do and gay people are not in a group that God despises more than any other sinner. In fact, he’s proven he doesn’t despise but came to set the captives free. Drug addicts, gossips, gluttons, liars, and those who practice things the Bible calls unnatural. I’m tired of trying to persuade and convince and have come to the conclusion that Rob Bell was brilliant when he said Love Wins. It’s the only thing that wins. And it’s what God Himself demonstrates to our world. I mostly try to stay out of the conversation.

    1. Cathee, if we were any more alike I’d be concerned. :)

      You have so much to offer. I hope you won’t stay out of the conversation as much in the future. ;)

  3. my favorite poster which i posted on FB reads “Don’t judge someone just because they sin differently than you do.” And then i remember that sin in the greek means missing the mark. so what? we all miss the mark, we are human. and god is love and jesus died once for ALL. i guess part of my “ministry” (weird overused word…) is gay people. and all the other people, black people, white people, red people and the beat goes on….

    1. You’re one of my favorite posters…

      ;)

      Keep sharing the open arms, my friend.

      M

    2. sometimes i think and wonder if the ‘religious’ ones might think i’m a heretic and burn me at the stake…what do you think? the poor bound up ones, as were the quite proper works-oriented pharisees, might wanna stone me. good thing that doesn’t happen much any more. at least not so obvious….

    3. What’s funny is how little I care what the religious think about. They’re dangerous but are there enough Jesusites to override them? I wonder…

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