This week, I took the time to look through the wedding pictures of a dear friend who married his partner. It was not easy. I wrestled with doing that, before I sat myself down and did. Why did I do it? Because I thought of the number of times I have reached out to hug the boyfriend of a sister in Christ that I knew she was living with AND sleeping with. I thought of the number of times, I either organized or attended a baby shower for a girl who was pregnant out of wedlock and was showing NO interest in living a life of abstinence. I thought of the number of times I continued to love on a person in the church who is a KNOWN GOSSIPER. But this same sex marriage thing, we turn our heads on that one. We actually act hateful to anyone who is gay. We for some DUMB and UNBIBLICAL reason think it’s our job to judge and condemn them before God does.
Another awful mistake we make is trying to force those who are not Christian or may not be following Biblical/orthodox Christianity, to live by Christian standards. There must first be a relationship before there is an action. Why would a non-believer live by the Bilbical standard? What motivation does he/she have? However, if we as a church inspire others to first fall in love with the God of Agape love and grace, then will they not, on their own choose to consecrate themselves? Even if it means laying down their sexual desires? Scripture says, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” We have it all wrong!
I cannot think of a nice way to say this, but I just have to say Christians are just a bunch bigots. We are hypocrites. We have our “favorite” sins to condemn people for and nothing about our approach to others is Biblical. I am including myself in that ‘we’! I have been guilty of that. But lately I have been thinking of Proverbs:
“There are six things the LORD hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
a false witness who pours out lies
and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.“
In this list of those things the Lord actually detests, we are ALL guilty of. Can any of us look at these and not be guilty? Are not all just as guilty of a sin that is equally an abomination to God? When I look at the life of Christ and take a wholistic view of the Bible, I feel that the way we deal with sin in the church is just as sinful as the sin we are condemning! Jesus did not act hateful to anyone who made the personal choice to do something he was opposed to. He loved and accepted them still, leaving the person in God’s hands. Yes, I feel we should be vocal about the Biblical standard so that others may know what it means to follow the Christian faith, but I do not think we should be mistreating, rejecting, or condemning anyone on this side of heaven. We spread the gospel, hopefully inspire others to want to live a life of conviction and then we leave the rest to God and the person.
The Apostle Paul really causes me to wonder about all of our sins struggles and I cannot help but theorize, what if Paul also struggled with being gay? Allow me to just theorize here! Here me out! Let’s look at some clues:
- He was not married and seemed to prefer it that way (1 Cor. 7:7-8)
- He had a serious wrestling in his flesh that he would not speak of (2 Cor. 12:7-10)
- He had a sin that he could not help but to fall in, and had to depend on God daily to walk holy (Romans 7:22-25)
This sin struggle he had was something that emotionally drained him, caused him to cry out to God for deliverance, and God used this weakness in his character to make him more humble before God. See we look at the heroes of the Bible as these upstanding (and often white, but I digress) holy warriors that had the character of Jesus. But these guys were fallible human beings, with some of the most awful sin struggles (ummm David was a MURDERER)! So wouldn’t one of these great men also struggle with being gay?
When the rich young ruler came to Jesus to be his disciple, Jesus told him to forsake everything to follow him. The Christian life is NOT about how perfect we are, but about our intense love for Jesus that we are willing to lay every thing we love in this life aside to follow him, AND we are willing to keep fighting the good fight to live holy whether we fall or not. We are willing to keep pressing on to meet the standard, until Heaven calls us home and to a new glorified body. It is not up to you or me to force people into being abstinent, stop lying, not be gay, not to gossip. We share God’s Word and standard openly, but with love, gentleness and grace, giving each person we make contact with space to sort through their relationship with God for themselves.
So, I looked at those wedding pics and although I did not agree with my friend’s choice in life (because regardless of our natural instincts to do whatever, it’s always a choice), I loved Him and I wanted to let Him know that “I see you and I care.” Just as Jesus did, when he walked past that tree where rejected Zacchaeus sat hiding because all the other religious people pushed him aside, I see all human beings. Jesus did not tell people to “get their stuff together” first before he reached for them, but “While we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”
God called Paul WHILE he was on the way to kill and persecute Christians. We love, we LOOK AT, we reach for, we hug, we eat with, we embrace, and we pray for all men and allow the Spirit of the Lord to draw them in through the Love of Christ that we exhibit. Our only job is to walk in the example of Christ, speak the truth of the Word in gentleness and grace, and ever love regardless of what a person decides to do. Why? Because Paul may have been gay (my own theory), that lady in the church who refuses to sit next to the gay man is a gossip, that worship leader just told a lie, and the church secretary is probably sleeping with her boyfriend and ya’ll will probably throw her a baby shower when she gets pregnant.