“For we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:20
I have something to say about many things. But I think I know when to speak up and when to shut up. There are certain things that ought to be shared, and other things that ought not to be shared. Well, there’s one thing I would rather not speak about, but since it is a topic so many others are sharing their thoughts on . . . it seems unavoidable that I will have to share my own.
The topic to which I am referring is homosexuality. It’s hard to think of a topic more polarizing, especially when it comes to the church. There are those in the church who find it appalling that men could be partnered with other men and women could be partnered with other women. And at the same time, there are those who find it appalling that anyone could try to prevent others from engaging in such relationships should they desire.
It grieves me that an issue like this should divide the church, or worse keep people out of it. I have to speak up because I know we cannot maintain such a hard-nosed, stubborn attitude towards homosexuality. If we are ever going to reach peace over this issue, there are certain facts we have to face.
Fact 1: The Bible forbids homosexual behavior. Plain and simple. Try as hard as you can to weasel your way around verses like Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1:26 and 27, or 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 10. My honest opinion is that any who say God is ok with homosexual behavior are deceiving themselves.
Fact 2: There are people who are attracted to members of their own sex. Some of them are Christians. I know this because I am one of those people. I have had an attraction for men since I was a boy. I didn’t want that, and I didn’t ask for it. It’s just the way I am. And I know I’m not the only one. I am sure that there are thousands, perhaps millions of other Christians who struggle with same sex attraction and are afraid they will be rejected if they “come out” about it.
Fact 3: Sexuality is not a source of identity. Whether homosexual or heterosexual, we are all sinners, and we are all in need of grace. What really matters is what side of grace you are on. If you have not accepted the salvation provided in Jesus’ sacrifice, you will never be the person you were meant to be, as hard as you may try to “discover” yourself sexually, relationally, vocationally, or otherwise. If you have accepted the gift of salvation, you have all the qualities of Christ, and you are truly the person God made you to be. Thanks to God, I have been able to live a normal, satisfying life in spite of my sexuality. A far better one than I would have had if I had chosen to disobey God to follow my own desires.
Fact 4: As Christians, we are called to love others. You could say this is our number one priority on earth! But our attitude towards homosexuals is often far from loving. We have to be careful not to be so passionate in our commitment to holiness that we confuse the sinner for the sin. Telling someone how disgusting we think their lifestyle is will not encourage them to come to Christ. It will only push them further away. We don’t want to sugar-coat the gospel, but we don’t want to use it to shame people either.
If those are the facts, the only question that remains is how we will respond. How will you respond? Will you join me in making the church a place where homosexuality can be openly discussed without hate or judgment? Will you go out of your way to love those who struggle with same-sex attraction and let them know there is a place for them in God’s kingdom and in the church? Will you commit to ending the war of words and beginning the work of reconciliation? Things cannot continue as they are. That’s why I had to speak out. Let your voice be heard too.