I have two family members, that I love, who happen to be homosexual. I also have numerous friends who are living the homosexual life. And I know that I’m not alone.
Every time I speak publicly about the relationships I have within the gay community I am amazed at how many people who happen to have parents, children, siblings, co-workers, etc., who are homosexual as well, stay after to talk with me.
The questions are almost always the same: How do we express love for the person of homosexual persuasion while at the same time not condoning the lifestyle? I wish there was an easy answer.
Here’s one very important breakthrough that I have had in my own life as of late. Most Christians, whether accurately or not, are thought of as intolerant of gays–even to the point of being gay-bashers. As a Pastor, unfortunately, I am almost always labeled with the “evangelical right” stigma. As a result, in any relationship I establish with a person who happens to be homosexual, I am almost always beginning in a negative hole.
I used to think that what I needed to do was balance what I believe to be God’s grace and truth. What I have come to realize is that because of the world’s perception of Christians, truth is shouting (if not screaming) simply because of my title as Pastor. Consequently, I work very hard to express God’s grace to everyone God has placed in my life. To build bridges rather than create barriers. To be loving rather than filled with fear.
In my understanding of the Jesus to whom I have committed my life . . . Jesus-followers are to be known by our love, not by our condemnation.
We get the CS LEWIS quote of the day on our home page….yesterday’s quote was pertinent to this and so many other topics…
“Authority exercised with humility, and obedience accepted with delight are the very lines along which our spirits live.” Of course, I think it’s the most difficult thing to do. I’m certainly not there, but it’s where I hope I’ll be some day.
Amen and Amen. I read the Jesus Creed regularly, although some of his entries are a bit long winded. He does some great series however. Anyway.., this was one entry that caught my eye and it speaks to the heart of what you speak me thinks. Also, the comments are awesome too! Thanks for sharing!
I appreciate the sentiment, Greg. But I do wish someone would explain to me what on earth you mean by “the homosexual life” or “homosexual lifestyle?” What is it about my lifestyle are you condoning or not?
I work a full-time job, usually get home too tired to do much during the week. I go to church, pray, read my Bible, eat, shower, sleep, watch tv, to to movies, call my mother, shop, surf the net, support a Compassion child, cook, go to the bathroom, read, struggle with sins of all kinds and on and on.
Is it sex? Is that my “lifestyle?” I take offense at the term because it seems to be used to separate us from them. (or should I say, you from me?)
My life is certainly not defined by sex. Is yours? My relationship is much more than nerve endings being stimulated and I am sure yours is as well.
What if I stayed in this relationship and there were no sex whatsoever? It could happen for many reasons. Straight people do it (or don’t do it) all the time. Would my “lifestyle” still be worthy of condemnation?
I know of many people in the church, and I’m sure you’d have to agree, whose lifestyles are much more offensive than mine. Yet I’m the one with “a lifestyle.”
That’s why I love you Marty.
Of course, when I’m referring to the homosexual lifestyle, I’m referencing the way you go to the bathroom :-)