I recently saw a church’s website, and as a way to kick off their new acceptance of gays/lesbians in their community, they were hosting a woman who travels the world talking about homophobia and the Church and accepting your gay kids.
The bio of the woman stated that she had grown up a Christian and understood homosexuality as a sin. So when her daughter announced that she was gay, her mother rejected her because she recognized such as sinful. Several years later the daughter committed suicide. So after much healing and such, the mother had since been traveling everywhere preaching about accepting gays/lesbians, parents not rejecting them, and how it’s not a sin to be gay. The problem I have with this is that I think she’s still confused…confused on how she sees sin, how she sees sinners, and how she recognizes God’s views on homosexuals (I also think that many Christians have a misconception of how to see gays).
First, should parents reject their kid if they turn out being gay? No, of course not! If your kid was heterosexual and sleeping around with somebody of the opposite gender, would you reject them? Probably not. Would you support their sin? Hopefully not.
Let me explain this in the sense of evangelism: If you were to reject every sinner out there, not having anything to do with them, and stayed away from them completely, then how would you share and introduce Jesus with them? You might as well be a monk, isolated in Christian surroundings and never get out into the world. You HAVE to socialize with sinners somehow if you are to introduce them to Jesus. The same goes for treating people who are gay. You can’t ex-communicate them from the family because of their sin, for how else will they then come to know Jesus (soon or down the line)?
One might say, “but the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 5 that you should not associate with people who indulge in sexual immorality.” Yes, this is true, but notice also what Paul said in verse 10, “(I’m) not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or the idolaters. In that case, you would have to leave this world.” Also, Paul wasn’t talking about non-believers, but about people “who claim to be believers”, but are sexually immoral or greedy, idolaters or slanderers, drunkards or swindlers. “With such people, don’t even eat with them.” Why? Because they’re not living as people of Christ, and such behavior has the threat of behaving as yeast in bread, or food coloring in water.
The problem though is when people who claim to be believers, including the Church (and/or denominations), confuse people and their sins. They’re even creating an excuse for the sin, and justifying sin! I have a Pastor-friend who used to always say, “Love the sinner, not the sin.” God doesn’t hate gays…He hate’s their sin. God loves the sinner, but hates their sin. But when churches love the sinner and celebrate the sin, they’re moving away from the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and moving towards the gospel of cheap grace (similar even to that mentioned in 1 Corinthians 5:1-3). They’re telling them not only that they accept them as people (which is good), and that Jesus died for them also (which is also true), but that they are also accepting their sexual sin, calling it “something they were born with” and can’t help from doing or being. Granted, they are actually correct in saying that they’re born that way, for we were all born that way – not gay, but sinful. We were all born in sin, all of us since the first sin of our original parents in Genesis 3. But saying that they can’t do anything about it is wrong, because they can. They can invite Jesus Christ into their hearts, follow Him, get to know Him, and allow Him to transform their minds and desires from the inside out…remember in John 3? Jesus told Nicodemus that if we wish to even see the Kingdom of God, we must be born again. So we were born sinful, yes, but we can be saved from this sin – born again as a new, holy creation – and not just gays, but everybody who struggles with sin. But we need the saving power of Jesus Christ and the costly grace that He offers if we are to accomplish this great task.
Understand, God’s grace is costly…so costly that it cost the life of God’s One and Only Son. If Jesus’ dying on the cross simply just opened the doors to Heaven for all to enter, regardless of whether or not they know or have accepted Him, and if all Jesus had to do was die, being the perfect sacrifice, then He didn’t have to live 33 years, appoint 12 Apostles, teach others the ways of God, insist on the repentance of sin and a change of heart, call forth the Holy Spirit, resurrect, train and disciple people…nor would God have had to give the Jews the Law through Moses. Instead, God could have allowed His people to continue in the ways of the Egyptians. Actually, God could have just left them in Egypt, for what’s the point of having His own people if they’re not going to resemble Him?
Here’s the thing, and it goes with anybody who’s sexually immoral, not just gays/lesbians: You need to choose which you want – God, or sin…a life of Godliness, or a life of sinfulness. The Bible has (and the Church was supposed to have) mapped out what sin is. God loves people: red, yellow, black, white, brown, gay, straight, etc. What He does NOT like, even HATES, is sin. Yes, God hates sin. I mean, yeah, God loves us more than the punishment of sin (death), which is why He first gave His people the sacrificial order, and later died for us (and was risen) – so that we could choose Him and He could then rescue us from sin – but even with such great love for us, if you choose to remain or continue in (your?) sin, then He will let you continue in your chosen direction. And I say “your?” sin because we’re also actually born into sin. So there’s the sin we’re all born into, and the sin that we commit, both punishable of death.
Sin also SEPARATES us from God’s presence…in fact, sin is what caused our separation from Him in the first place, and is why Jesus had to come and die. But in order to accept Jesus, you must also follow Jesus. And to follow Jesus, you must leave your old life behind – completely surrendered – and be baptized – born again anew, being cleansed from the grime of sin that you’ve accumulated since emerging from the womb. Understand also that accepting Jesus does not allow you to insist on your own terms. It’s either follow Jesus, or don’t follow Jesus, but there’s no in-between. You must be willing to give up your sin and life as you know it if you wish to follow Jesus and/or be called a Christian. But if you insist on continuing in your sin, then you cannot follow Jesus, and you cannot call yourself a Christian, and you cannot expect to go to Heaven when you die…you’re like the man in Luke 9:61 who said he would follow Jesus if only he could first go back and say goodbye to his family, and Jesus said, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the Kingdom of God.”
Parents: don’t reject your gay kids, but do make sure that you reject their sin and address it as such (this goes also for sin and your straight kids).
Churches: stop justifying sin. You’re to be like hospitals to sick people. But if you never treat their illnesses, then you’re not fulfilling the purpose of existing. So love what God loves, but hate what God hates, and don’t rename the sin to make it sound natural (renaming a computer virus may cause it to be dormant, but it still needs to be removed). Sin is sin, and it needs to be addressed and regarded as such. But those doing the sinning need to be loved.