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