Is Homosexuality a Sin and Why Does it Matter? — Part 3

Is Homosexuality a Sin and Why Does it Matter? — Part 3 April 12, 2013

keep calm

My friends… your response to these posts has been wonderful. Some of you have found these posts hard, especially if you came into it certain homosexuality is a sin. I urge you only to consider this is not as clearcut as you have believed… and I’m glad you’re still reading.

But many more have found here a fresh breeze – long-awaited permission to rethink not only our understanding of those passages but more importantly, our whole relationship as Christ-followers to the LGBTQ community. You’ve sent tender-hearted messages saying you’re uncomfortable trying to “tough-love” gays into being straight, or making this a dealbreaker for coming to Christ by withholding fellowship until they change.

justanothermom captured my heart for this whole series beautifully: I can’t possibly KNOW the heart of God on every earthly issue…and since the Bible is relatively soft spoken on the issue, I feel that leaves room for the heart of God to move among His people. ALL of whom (male, female, straight, Gay…etc..) belong to Him and it is His job alone to judge, instruct, and intervene. Thank you. That’s it exactly.

As God diverted me onto this path a few years ago, I needed to know what the Bible said and meant on this subject, if homosexuality is a sin. The two links below answered those questions well for me, with an excellent analysis of exactly what the bible says. I will let them handle that instead of trying to restate it here. I hope you find them illuminating. And if you disagree, that’s perfectly okay — that’s what makes it a disputable issue!

The stakes are enormous if we continue to be at war. The casualties of depression, bullying and suicide, are staggering. Christians have been hateful to the LGBTQ, and LGBTQ have been hateful to Christians too. Both have suffered and inflicted many wounds. To let Jesus reframe our thinking in the conversation is not only right but strategic. Those who don’t will go the way of the corded phone – iconic, but irrelevant. If you claim Christ, your job is to be love to a world that sorely needs it. That’s what we signed up for.

When we continue in the great debate of gays vs. Christians, we are distracted from The Great Debate: Who is Jesus and what have we done with His incomparable offer of salvation?

When the world sees our hatefulness and judgment, they don’t trust us. They want to shut us down. If they hate us because they hate Jesus first, as He says, then I can live with that — that’s the price of being a follower. But if they hate us because we’re hateful and condemning (of something that feels intrinsic to them), then we have made it much harder for them to come to Christ. Far be that from me. Our hearts should break that anyone thinks from listening to us that He will not accept them. Whether it’s a gay person who does not believe it’s a sin; or whether it’s a Christian who believes it is: we have to find common ground. Jesus is the only common ground that matters. Read the life-giving story of Shane Windmeyer and Dan Cathy, if you haven’t yet. Beautiful.

To come to Christ can be deeply challenging. You must realize your brokenness, humble yourself, and admit you need someone else’s help. Let us not add behavior to the mix when Jesus didn’t tell us to. We can instead heed Paul who says: “Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this — not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way” (Romans 14:13).

Again, I love how justanothermom said it: I know that the Lord instructs us to be fishers of men and go forth and make disciples, I don’t recall ever reading in the Bible that it was my job to “clean up the fish” that I catch. Bring people to the Cross, the glorious, wonderful Cross. Love them right where they are. Let Jesus clean up the fish. He is far better at it than I am…and maybe His idea of “cleaning them up” and mine are different… When did we go from “Come just as you are” to “Come and fit the mold or be shunned”? Our Cross is an all access backstage pass to the throne of Jesus. Gay. Straight. And everything in between.

With love, Susan

* Matthew Vines, founder of The Reformation Project has made an excellent and well researched video. As nomorefreerent commented: If you are curious about what the bible says specifically about homosexuality watch Matthew Vines’ The Gay Debate: Homosexuality and the Bible. It’s on Youtube, and yeah, it’s long but thoroughly researched. Matthew is a Harvard student who put in over 4000 hours of work on this project. He learned Greek and Latin so he could study the text better and has read hundreds of books and articles on the subject.

* Justin Lee, author of Torn, founder of The Gay Christian Network, has posted several enjoyable and informative videos on his site, covering the common arguments. I highly recommend his beautifully told story in Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-Vs.-Christians Debate

CLICK HERE TO READ “To Christian Parents of Gay Children.”

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  • Tally

    So good! I am filled with peace and love every time I read your posts. Thank you for continuing to post!

  • You’re welcome. I can’t help it. Thanks for your kind words.

  • Thanks, Audra. I so agree. Not everyone is going to see this as a disputable issue as I’ve suggested in my posts, but we don’t have to. Christians can have their own convictions about homosexuality, as Dan Cathy does, and still be the love of Christ. That’s the challenge before us.

  • True. And they are similar in that they were huge issues that people stood on their understanding of scripture to disapprove of. Not every issue will be the same in every respect, but giving freedom to respond to one’s own conscience is another commonality — the one Paul was pointing to.

    Interesting that you put homosexuality as dissimilar to something that can be abstained from — you seem to underline that homosexuality cannot be abstained from. I agree, practically speaking. That is, one can abstain from behavior but not attraction. Practically speaking, those who disapprove ask that gays abstain from not only sex for the rest of their lives but, more importantly, from lifelong companionship. That’s a high price to require of anyone based on 6-7 arguable passages, isn’t it?

  • You’re most welcome! A gag order is a great way to put that. All I know is to abide in Christ like a branch on a vine, and let Him fight your battles for you. Imagine Him carrying you every moment you’re with them… or just every moment!… and you will find that He is sufficient. Also, maybe you can enjoy time with those gay friends’ parents. And — I honestly didn’t set out to give you advice but it’s an occupational hazard, ha!! — the third option is to let them know how you feel, that you feel like you can’t be you around there. Ask them if they could just trust Jesus with whatever you need to know, and just accept you as you are. To lay aside, as a conscience choice, the responsibility of disapproving of you, and let the Holy Spirit do His job, and just love you. Ask them if they might be able to do that. Let me know how it goes! Best to you.

  • Well, thank you! 🙂