At the end of the day, the debate about whether homosexuality is a sin or not will long be like the debate between Calvinist and Armenians. Each will quote their bible verses and line up their arguments with very little to any resolution between them. Those who believe homosexuality is a sin have their biblical convictions, as do those who do not believe homosexuality is a sin. As a result of their disagreements, there is unfortunately very little, if any mutual respect for one another to be found in most circles. This, in my opinion, is reflective of the sad state of Christianity in America and beyond.
For me, beyond the question of, “Is homosexuality a sin?” is perhaps a much more important question, “If you believe it is, now what?” What is the Jesus-way of dealing with that which you believe is sin?
Here are some thoughts… if you believe homosexuality is a sin… fine, now…
1) You should focus on taking your sin seriously, now more than ever.
Since you believe homosexuality is a sin, and apparently increasing in influence and presence in our culture, you should start taking your sin much more seriously as the same reality could manifest with and because of your sin issues.
Imagine if our culture had the same “outbreak” and increased acceptance of your sin issues as you perhaps feel is happening with homosexuality. That could be catastrophic.
Imagine if things like lying, gluttony, gossiping, coveting, or “not doing the good that you know to do” (to name a cursory few sins) were legalized and lit on fire in our culture. That would be world changing! Imagine if everybody adopted and legalized the sin in your life. Comparatively, the presence of homosexuality in our culture would pail in comparison to the damage potential of the sin in your life (or mine) going viral.
Furthermore, in the familiar teaching about logs of personal sin and specks of sin in other people’s lives, Christ taught how suspicious it is to be even merely looking at sin in other people’s lives when there is obviously a log-full to be taken seriously (looked at) in your own life. In fact, one could surmise, with much wisdom, that Jesus was pointing out the fact that if you properly took your own sin-log serious enough, there would be little if any time for looking, let alone, finger pointing at another’s sin. And even more, Jesus seems to set the standard, if your log of sin isn’t so serious to you that in seeing your own, you can’t even begin to dream of having the perspective from which to judge just a speck in another, you aren’t taking YOUR sin seriously enough.
Perhaps, we Christians who are often so sin-conscious in our outward gaze, but sin-justifying in our inward gaze are the reason why sin seems to be increasing in our culture. The culture sees our example, and concludes, “Double standard for you, double standard for me.”
See, a lack of needed seriousness (apparent because one seems to have time for sin finger-pointing) about one’s gluttoness face-feedings at the local Golden Coral every Sunday after service could be sending a message that a person’s homosexuality is not so serious too. A lack of seriousness about one’s church gossiping, slander, and backstabbing could be sending a message that one’s homosexuality is not so serious too. A lack of seriousness about one’s coveting of other people’s lives, ministries, salaries, homes, marriages, finances, clothes, health, etc. etc. etc. could be sending a message that their homosexuality is not so serious too. And the list goes on and on.
Since you believe homosexuality is a sin and it’s growing presence and influence in our culture is alarming, all the more reason, you better spend every waking moment getting off of their sin and on top of yours, for your’s could become even more alarming than theirs.
The way of Jesus in responding to believed sin isn’t to point fingers and focus attention externally, but to be humbled by the alarming, toxic reality of sin in our own lives that demands our internal vigilance and heavenly mercy.
The way of Jesus is to make sure you don’t take your eye off the ball. The ball is your sin, not theirs.
2) You should be befriending many more gay people.
Jesus befriended sinning, sinful, sin-ladened people. Can’t get around that.
In fact, much of his reputation was founded on it. Apparently it wasn’t a hobby, but a priority. People don’t get reputations from hobbies. Jesus saw sinners as friends, and more profound, sinners saw Jesus as “friend.”
Every gay person you meet, from the day you declared homosexuality a sin, should now conclude from your investment and interaction in their life that you are a real-deal “friend.” That’s the Jesus-way and the Jesus-result.
This is no easy accomplishment. That is, to be known as a “friend” by gay people. When gay people see you in public, they ought to be saying to one another, “he (or she) is safe, they truly get me, and love me for me.” Not an easy response to gain.
Thats why this Jesus-way of befriending means genuinely loving gay people, not for the purpose of trying to change them (as if you or I could do that anyways), but simply to love them. People don’t hang out with and call a “friend,” people who are simply trying to change them and thus put another spiritual knot on their belt. Do you call people like that, friends?
Oh, and by the way, that whole “hate the sin, but love the sinner,” thing. That’s like saying, “Love the pizza, but hate the sauce.” Loving a person the Jesus-way is loving the person, as is.
But, if you believe your befriending a homosexual can change them, all the more reason you ought to be befriending every gay person you meet. Oh, and I guess that applies to every other kind of sin and sinner; hookers, liars, murders, child abusers, sexual predators, rapists etc. Shoot, for that matter, you ought to be befriending yourself.
Dang, between taking your sin more (properly) seriously and genuinely befriending gay people (who you may believe are our culture’s worst sinners) there isn’t going to be time for much else… hate, condemnation, marginalizing, political rants, declarations of your right and they’re wrong.
3) You should be studying the “clobber” passages that relate to YOUR sin much harder
Along with your belief that homosexuality is a sin, you may believe that people hearing the so called “clobber” passages in the Bible about homosexuality is going to change their mind and heart. Therefore, perhaps you memorize them and even rehearse them in preparation for that next debate or anticipated time when you get to “restore a brother gently.”
At the very least, if you are like most people who believe homosexuality is a sin, you have studied the 6 “clobber” passages in the Bible widely believed to condemn homosexuality as sin.
By the way, you also may believe there are passages in the Bible that give you license to point out people’s sin and get them on what you believe to be the right path. Just a question… these passages, that have become important to many people now, especially with the whole homosexuality issue, have they been just as important to you in regards to sins like gluttony, cheating, coveting, divorce, etc. etc. etc.? Have you made good on those passages and leaned across the cubicle to confront or “restore” your over eating, Christian coworker? What about your gossiping small-group buddy? What about your envious worship band team member? What about your non-biblically divorced next door neighbor?
If not, why not? There are tons of other sins and corresponding “clobber” passages to choose from? Aren’t those sins just as serious?
Why is it, with this whole homosexuality thing, that seemingly it’s all the sudden now so important to make sure we dust off the biblical badges that seem to justify our spiritual policing of believers and the world?
Well, if you believe clobber passages change hearts and minds, so be it… great. But that means you should now be all the more memorizing and studying the clobber passages about your sin for the same purpose. You should be writing yourself blog posts, Facebook statements, political messages, declarations of doom and wrath, and holding yourself to the fire for the destruction of America?
See, God doesn’t need to look any further than your own sin (or mine) for cause and reason to open up a can of angel-wrath upon the world. In fact, God expects the world to sin, but you (and I) do it having “tasted and seen.” Oops, probably not good if you believe in all that judgement, wrath, and hell-fire stuff.
I mean really, if God was looking for easy justification to man-handle the planet and drum up disasters of judgement, I think we would ironically find him far more peering into the stain-glassed windows of the Church more than bedroom windows of the world.
So you believe homosexuality is a sin because of your understanding of the “clobber” passages in the Bible. What are the clobber passages that speak to your sin issues? Are you studying them with equal diligence and debate? What about your self-posts, self-articles, self-rants?
If you believe clobber passages change people, are you just as adamant to use them to change you?
4) You should be defending and declaring from the mountain tops the righteousness of homosexual Christians and God’s unconditional love for them.
So, you believe homosexuality is a sin, great… now what? Is it more of an important sin than yours?
I read somewhere, “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Sin, in God’s eyes, is not placed in hierarchy. Therefore, the same righteousness declared over your life, through faith in Christ, is the same declared over a homosexual Christian.
I know, maybe you say your sin is not a “life-style” of sin. You don’t willingly choose it. Really?
Btw, how many times sinning in the same way makes for a “life-style?” Is it two, five, ten, twenty four? Who gets to determine and judge that? And, how much time in between the sin is this limit. One hour, one day, one week? Who gets to determine and judge that?
See, if you (or I) can’t shout from the mountain top that homosexual Christians are righteous in Christ; unconditionally loved, holy, sanctified, and justified, than neither can you say you are. All these spiritual realities of the believer are based solely on Christ’s performance and finished work on the cross, not the believer’s. It is Christ who makes and keeps us righteous, holy, loved, sanctified, justified, and yes, even saved.
The moment you pull back from the righteousness of homosexuals, you are pulling back from your own.
If they aren’t righteous, you aren’t either. If they are second class citizens, so are you.
5) You should be welcoming and wanting homosexuals in your church all the more.
In the same way, if you, with your sin and sinning, are welcome and wanted in your church, why aren’t homosexuals?
I know, it’s maybe because you see your sin as a sin and many homosexuals don’t. And yes, many don’t believe the way you do that their homosexuality is a sin. Therefore, perhaps in your mind they are not welcome or wanted. They, through their behavior and attitude towards what you call sin, are condoning sin. And you perhaps believe we can’t have any of that running around on in the church.
Well, maybe now you see your sin as sin, but did you always? Furthermore, do you see all your sin? Are you aware of all the areas of sin in your life and see every sin-area of your life as sin? Is not, in your beliefs, the heart wicked and full of deceit? Even portions of your heart, due to the “flesh?” Therefore, can you really trust that you see everything, and aren’t missing an area where you think you aren’t sinning, but actually are? Just like you believe homosexuals do.
By the way, perhaps you say you see your sin as sin, and that makes all the difference, is that why perhaps you overeat still? That’s why you perhaps still lie, right? That’s why you are better than homosexuals? You are better, more worthy, more wanted church-material because you are managing sin better in your life? That’s why you are the perfect leader, right? Never make mistakes that you know are mistakes, never see thing that you are doing as o.k when in fact, they are sin? Right?
I mean seriously, tell the Holy Spirit to move onto someone else. You don’t need any truth guidance, you got it all under perfect view, watch, discernment, and containment in your life. Which makes you the perfect gatekeeper for a church, right? Who better to know who should be in or out, welcome or wanted then you? You see all your sin perfectly, surely, you can do that in other people’s lives, right?
Trust me, awareness of sin makes a terrible safe-guard for sin. Just because you know and say it’s wrong doesn’t make you any more protected from acting on it, nor does it make you any better of a Christian or worthy of being welcomed or wanted in a church.
If “Church” is of and for the sin-aware, then “Church” would have never started. No one starts as sin-aware and therefore, there would have been no one to begin “Church” with on that first Pentecost.
Besides, in your mind, are homosexuals, regardless of “sin-awareness” better off in fellowship with the world or in the family of a church? If, while you were knowingly sinning, no one welcomed and wanted you, where would you be right now? Do you trust the Holy Spirit to change people, if change is needed? Point out sin, if sin pointing out is needed? Or, are you dependent on your “church-strength” and “church systems” to do it and manage it.
It’s one thing to welcome the knowingly sinning, and another to want them. It’s easy to welcome, and not want. Easy to let them sit in your pews, enjoy the same air conditioning, and sing your songs. But a whole other thing to “want” them; want them connected, want them serving, want them doing life along side everyone else.
Truth is, while you were knowingly sinning, through the cross, God welcomed and wanted you into His Kingdom, and still does. To not welcome and want homosexuals, is in all natural and spiritual reality, not to want and welcome you.
If you can’t welcome and want them, you can’t welcome and want you.
So, you believe homosexuality is a sin… now what?
Nice job with this topic Chris! You’re a great writer and I’m proud to call you “my preacher boy!”
Great Post Chris!! keep it up im going to share this with others if that is ok with you many many many people need to hear about this and look at there own sins insted of pointing the finger and looking down on everyone else and yet not looking at themselves 🙂
1. If you have not given your life (surrendered your decision making ability, made God ruler and master over everything you do, willing to sacrifice ANYTHING, including sex, relationships, personal desires, personal preferences, etc), then why on Earth would you be concerned with any individual law or offense of God?
2. If you have not fully given your life to Christ, as the example above, then why would you be concerned with someone else violating any individual law or offense of God?
3. If you HAVE fully given your life to Christ, then why on Earth would you be concerned with someone else violating any individual law or offense of God, when that someone else has not fully given themselves to God?
4. God calls His people to be a people “separate from the world”. He says to refrain from “fellowship with the works of darkness”. (The works – not the people committing them.)
Therefore, IF we agree that homosexuality is a sin, then supporting a homosexuality would be out, while meeting a gay couple for lunch would still be in.
Perhaps a better example would be a friend who is cheating on his wife. You might meet him for lunch, still love and accept him, but not approve of what he is doing.
5. The elders of any church, have the responsibility and the obligation, to put any member whom openly professes a sin, any sin, out of the congregation of believers in Christ (the church),
This applies to ‘members’ and not to ‘visitors’, as anyone is welcome to visit.
So, in summary, if you are gay, and not concerned with surrendering your life to Christ, being ‘gay’ makes no difference.
If you claim to be a ‘Christian’, but have not surrendered your entire life to Christ, then you are not ‘Christian’.
If you are ‘Christian’, and someone else has not surrendered their entire life to Christ, then stop worrying about what individual sins they commit.
If you are gay, but don’t consider being gay a ‘sin’, don’t go to a church that does, and realize that a church that does, is under command to bar you from joining.
If you are gay, and a ‘Christian’ says they can’t support you ‘being gay’, it doesn’t mean they don’t love you. It is the same to them as saying to anyone, “I love you, but I can’t support you stealing that candy bar”. And yes, they will view being gay, the same way they view stealing.
Finally, although God is all loving with ‘unconditional love’ (as everybody seems to like to quote and misunderstand), He has rules, He gets offended, and He, as any parent does, has punishment.
God said, “You all offend Me. You all violate My rules. You all have rejected Me, and therefore, NONE of you are welcome in My house. However, I love you, and I’m going to give you a Gift of ‘unconditional love’, If you surrender your will, which includes surrendering your sin, to this Gift, then I will forgive you for your rejection of Me, and I will accept you into My house.”
The ‘unconditional’ part comes in that we did not have to be ‘perfect’, or ‘sinless’, or in a certain ‘condition’ for the Gift to be given. But the Gift DOES have a condition in order to receive it. That condition is total surrender to God, the same as it would be in any relationship where we have put someone, or something, above the other person, violated trust, and then tried to ‘repent’ from it.
God never said (anywhere in the Bible) that He will ‘unconditionally’ accept anyone, and if we do not accept His Gift, ‘repent’ of ‘all’ of our sin, and restore the trust that we violated by saying that we know better than the God that created us, then we will not reap reward. Rather, we will reap punishment. We will be cut off from His paradise and His blessings.
It would be really nice if Christians and non-Christians alike, would stop taking what God has said and recorded, out of the context that He spent so much trouble getting it into.
God will ‘unconditionally’ reach out to us, but if we will not respond, not repent, and continue to reject, then He will likewise reject us in the end.
thank you to the over 2,000 people who have viewed this post in just a few days. Love to all of you!
god bless Chris and you are amazing 😀 keep up the great work
Hey Daniel, btw, I just added a way for people who enjoy this blog to contribute financially to help be grow this platform and better communicate the message of Grace. Please take a moment to click “giving” at the menu of the top of the main page! Thanks!!!
oh awesome 🙂 so glad to hear it will do my friend