The following post was written by Kevin Harris, Director of Community Relations at The Marin Foundation.
When we look to scripture, we see the way that God sees us in Christ.
Holy. Secure. Loved dearly.
Yet we do not have to search very far to hear the spiritually abuse and biblically unfounded messages that are communicated to Christians that are also a part of the LGBT community. They are all too familiar…..
Sinner. Abomination. Damaged goods.
I’m tired of hearing about and receiving messages from Christians (and those that used to be Christians) that believe that God hates them because of what they have been told by people in the church.
From those that are depressed and contemplating suicide…..
From those that have lost their faith…..
I’m thankful for the letters themselves as I applaud the courage and vulnerability entailed in sharing pain and searching for help, but I’m tired of the bad theology and the lack of compassion that brings them about.
In Luke 17:2, Jesus expresses the seriousness of causing someone else to sin when he stated “It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble. And though it might have almost caused us nightmares, a part of me is sad that Jesus did not continue to speak in hyperbole about what it would be like for someone to hurt one of his children in a way that contributed to them losing their faith.
In a recent sermon, my co-worker Nathan Albert shed some light on the use of the word “sinner(s)” as it is used in the Bible.
“There are twenty-eight uses of the word “sinners” and thirteen of the word “sinner” in the New Testament. Yet NONE refer to people who have come to a saving faith in the Lord Jesus. NEVER is a person with a saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ called a sinner. When we have a saving faith in Jesus, God views us if WE actually lived the life Jesus lived and died the death Jesus died.”
So how does God see you?
In Christ you are redeemed and forgiven of your sins (Colossians 1:14) and you can approach God with freedom and confidence (Ephesians 3:12) to find grace and mercy when you need it the most (Hebrews 4:16). You are free from condemnation (Romans 8:1-2) and any charges brought against you (Romans 8:33-34) and nothing can separate you from the love of God (Romans 8:35).
You are an adopted son/daughter of God (Ephesians 1:5), a witness for (Acts 1:8) and co-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17), and accepted by God (Romans 15:7) and hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). You have been justified (Romans 5:1), made alive with Jesus and seated with him in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 2:6), united with the Lord and one with him in spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17), and are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) and complete in Christ (1 Colossians 2:10).
You are a child of God whom holds you securely (1 John 5:18). You have been bought at a price and belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:20) whom you have access to through the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:18).
You are God’s temple (1 Corinthians 3:16) and a member of Christ’s body (2 Corinthians 12:27). You are a minister of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17-20), God co-worker (2 Corinthians 6:1), and God’s workmanship (masterpiece, work of art) created in Christ to do good works (Ephesians 2:10). You are the salt and light of the earth (Matthew 5:13-14) and a branch of the true vine (John 15:5) who has been chosen and appointed to bear fruit (John 15:16).
You have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7). You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13) and can be confident that the good work God has begun in you will be brought to completion (Philippians 1:6).
If you are LGBT (whether you are a Christian or not) know that you are God’s beloved, fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God and that God rejoices in and delights over you. May you rest secure in God’s love knowing that who you are is enough. You are loved as you are in all your beauty/brokenness. May that propel you towards God’s heart and the beautiful mystery that is a relationship with the creator of the universe.