Before you read on, I’d like to preface this post by saying I have friends who are gay and I love them very much and want to spend eternity with them in the presence of Jesus! That love has driven me to study the life of Jesus to try and understand His love and grace that He extends to each one of us. He truly does love each and every one of us and does not want to see anyone spend eternity separated from Him. I feel some followers of His have completely botched His message of love, especially when it comes to the gay community. Many would rather condemn than love the way Jesus did simply because they do not understand the extent of the love that Jesus offers us or how to show that love to others. This post is a feeble attempt at trying to bridge the gap between the love that Jesus extends to each one of us and a community of people that have been all but shunned from His love and forgiveness by the very people who claim to be His followers! The sinful behavior of those who claim to follow Jesus yet condemn others is not in any way representative of the way the true Savior, Jesus Christ, loves and extends grace to all who trust in Him. I hope this post challenges and convicts some. I also pray it gives hope and extends love to many more!
So, Are Gay Men and Women sinners? Yes, absolutely! And by the way, even if you do not have same-sex attractions, you are a sinner too! Every person on the planet has this in common…we are all sinners! It is in our very nature to sin. And anyone (especially followers of Jesus) condemning someone else because of their lifestyle is simply a hypocrite and not following the example that Jesus laid out to us!
Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Every sin ever committed has lasting, scarring consequences, even beyond the fact that they are sins against God.
If I view porn, my mind will forever be skewed with the images I have seen, and my idea of healthy sexuality will be changed.
If I lie, I will deal with the guilt and ill feelings over breaking trust with others.
If I have sex with someone that is not my wife, I break my commitment with her, obliterate trust, and skew my thoughts about proper, God-given sexuality.
If I am gay or have same-sex attractions, regardless if I act upon those urges, suppress them, or am fully living the gay lifestyle, I will forever be changed by those longings and will view human sexuality as somehow different than the way God calls out sexuality in the Bible.
Am I saying I believe homosexuality is a sin? Yes, from what I read in the Bible, I believe homosexuality is included as a sin among many others! I am also saying that any form of sexuality outside the confines of marriage is a sin. That includes:
Looking at someone else lustfully including the occasional glances at a women’s chest, no matter how brief, or checking out the guy at the gym who is cut.
Watching TV or movies that show, talk about or insinuate any sexual act outside of marriage – comedy, drama or any other genre.
Telling dirty jokes with sexual references or even sarcastic sexual comments.
Flirting with the guy or girl at the office (if you are married), regardless of any physical touch.
Get the picture? Everyone either has or does deal with sexual sin! Everyone, and I mean everyone, deals with some sort of sin on a daily basis! I cannot say I have walked in the shoes of someone who has same-sex attraction, but I can understand how easily it would be for someone to struggle with addiction to pornography or alcohol, for example. Just because I do not understand the sin you are dealing with doesn’t make yours any worse of a sin than mine.
So why is it that we weigh others sins as higher than our own? God sees sin as the problem from which Jesus came to save us – all of us. God loves each of us sinners so much that He sent His Son to die for us! So, when asked which is the most important commandment, Jesus said to love God and love one-another; everything else ever said revolves around these two greatest commands! Love and relationship is the key!
Romans 5:8 – But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Following Jesus is an honor and a privilege. What I do with my faith can draw people to my Savior or cause them to run from my “so-called” Savior and me. I am daily trying to love others the way Jesus did, which is a struggle for me quite frankly. He loved and showed grace like no one ever has or will. But He also said that we are to become more like Him every day once we begin following Him. So let me ask you…who did Jesus hang out with the most? Yep, Sinners! And not just anyone, He hung out the most with people the religious elite would have said were the worst sinners! And whom did He condemn and rebuke often? The Religious, pharisaical-thinking people – those focused more on keeping rules than on developing relationships and loving one-another! I’d say His life example is a good indication for us to love others, spend time with them and develop relationships. Relationships that not only offer opportunities to represent Jesus well to those who do not know Him yet, but also removes stumbling blocks that get in the way when inviting them into a personal relationship with Jesus. If I simply condemn others, or worse yet ignore them, I am no different than the Pharisees that Jesus condemned and rebuked for their actions and behavior. Unfortunately, many “religious” people land on the side of condemning those with same-sex attraction instead of following Jesus’ example of building a relationship with them and inviting them into a relationship with the only One that truly saves – Jesus! As a believer, my focus needs to be on building a relationship and introducing my friends to Jesus, and His job is to begin changing each of us from the inside out. Discipleship is more about relationship (with people and with Jesus) than it is about rules. When He begins to change us, it is our individual convictions from the Holy Spirit that will change us to become more like Christ. Telling someone to change simply does not work! Finally, to say change will immediately occur once one accepts Jesus as their personal Savior is a lie from the pit of hell! Transformation is a process that takes our entire lives. As Savior and Lord, Jesus will begin changing us from the inside out. Yet, the consequences of our sin, which is still at our very core as humans, will always scar us until we go home to be with our Father in heaven.
So, what if the Church (those of us who have made Jesus our Savior and Lord) stopped condemning and started loving…you know, like Jesus showed us and commanded us? It is a common misconception that the bible says to love the sinner and hate the sin. It never says that! Actually, from my research, Ghandi said that! Jesus says to love the sinner, and hate your own sin. Once you get rid of the sin in your own life then, and only then, can you see clearly to discuss the sin in your brother or sisters life!
Matthew 7:3-5 – 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
By the way, did you notice something…this verse is referring to your brother and sisters…fellow believers. Not to those who do not know God yet! That is huge! How many people have ever been introduced to Jesus by first condemning their behavior and telling them they need to change? Yeah, I don’t know of anyone either! That is why Jesus simply said to love God and love others. Showing His unwavering love and grace is the only way for us to become like Jesus. We must practice this every day in every relationship God brings into our lives! If the Church will get this simple truth, the world will be won for Christ…because He is simply irresistible!
Bottom line is that regardless of your sin, God loves you and so should every follower of His. If you have same sex attractions, though it is defined as sin along with every other sexual sin, you are loved deeply by Jesus Christ and He longs for a relationship with you. Don’t let religious people get in the way of you having the only relationship that will matter for eternity…one with Jesus! We will all deal with sin while we are here on earth, but as Jesus said, once we go on to live eternally in heaven with Him, we will no longer marry or be given in marriage. Since God created sex for the confines of marriage, sex will no longer be an issue in heaven. Thus, sexual sin will be eradicated, as all sin will be; A sinless existence for all of eternity where love is abundant and undefiled in any manner. That’s the kind of love that Jesus offers us all!!!
Don’t refuse the invitation Jesus extends to everyone based on the temporary sinful behaviors we all deal with here on earth. The time we have here on earth is short, eternity with Jesus is the goal and a relationship with Him is the only way to get there. Trust in Him and He will show you the way to true Freedom! Freedom from sin and eternal separation from God!
My heart goes out to the gay community and any other group that has been condemned by some who claim to be His followers! God has a plan for all mankind. And God’s plan includes you! Seek Him and discover Who Jesus really is and His love and grace will set you free! He really is amazing and He loves you very much and desires to have a life-long relationship with you that extends throughout all of eternity! Will you consider Jesus’ invitation in John 3:16-17 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.