Changing Our Stance On Homosexuality

This morning I watched the news feeds light up because of a few casual comments by the current Pope on not judging people who are gay. Besides the fact that I really truly am starting to like this Pontiff, I thought the reaction by people everywhere was very telling.

It’s been going on for months now. Last month we saw DOMA overturned and Exodus

Pope Francis saying: “Who am I to Judge Gay people?”

International president and founder Alan Chambers change his stance on homosexuality. Desmond Tutu coming out say God is not homophobic. The pressure is so intense on every side for the church both protestant and catholic to “change it’s stance” on homosexuality. Never before has there been such a drive by secular culture to infiltrate faith/ religion and change it’s meaning so the world can feel less judged.

The Pope’s comments from yesterday are sentiments that I echo. It is not for me or anyone to judge another person for who they are. We are all sinners. All are in need of grace. All are in need of transformation into the likeness of Christ, not the likeness of who we want to be. At the same time no man can change the “churches stance” on homosexuality, because no one can change God and His word.

I fear that we have done such a poor job at representing Christ to the world as believers that we have led them to believe that God is a moral idea that changes with time. That Christianity is simply a moral code to live up to and should evolve with culture and time. Which Christianity is not morality; it’s a man who is God.

God is a person. Doctrine is not a man crafted truth, but a God birthed truth to show us who we were meant to be in his infinite and beautiful imagination. It’s a road map to His heart where we can experience the love, joy and peace we were created for where sin has robbed us.  You can’t change His stance, no more than you can reorder the atoms in your hand.

That said, I have many gay friends. Guys I grew up with. Guys that used to serve with me in ministry. Girls who I consider friends who are now lesbians. I love them. When I see some of those guys I give them great big hugs. I listen to them. I don’t treat them any different then the other acquaintances I have. I do not change my beliefs on their lifestyle. However their lifestyle is between them and God.

We face a difficulty in the church, that wont go away or change. The Homosexual movement is only going to grow. The pressure is only going to increase. We as Christians can not give into the pressure to change God’s stance on Homosexuality. Because it’s His stance, not our own.

That said, In our resolve to stand firm with God and His word, we could use to love and accept the gay community as fellow humans. We don’t need to be constantly known for what we are against, but what we are for. We are for love. The love of Christ that saved our hearts, is available to homosexuals as well. They are brothers and sisters we want to see walk in the fullness of who they were created to be by God.

If there is someone who has genuine love for Jesus, who are we to question their salvation because they are presently gay? Lets encourage their faith. Encourage their reach for Christ. Encourage them in their journey with the Lord in the same way we would encourage those who love God but get drunk regularly and don’t want to admit they are alcoholics. To condemn anyone would be to curse them and assume that our words, not Christ’s, are the one’s that save them. To judge them is to declare that their story is over when it’s not.

It is entirely possible to love homosexuals with genuine affection and hold the line on homosexual acts being a sin without shaming and condemning people. My point is that we as a church need the grace of God to learn how. Not because the church will become irrelevant or because we’ll lose the culture. Those fears are silly. Jesus will always be relevant because he’s the creator God eternal, and to think we ever had a Godly culture in America in the first place is delusional. We need the grace to do this well because it’s the Gospel. It’s who Jesus was. It’s how He treats us.

If we want to see humanity walk in restoration, and have true transformation from sin (like homosexuality) we must remember that it’s God’s kindness and mercy that draws us to repentance. It’s true that sometimes kindness isn’t nice, but it’s always kind.

Romans 2: “… Don’t you know that it’s God’s kindness that leads to repentance.” 

Father show us your love that we may learn to love well.

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18 thoughts on “Changing Our Stance On Homosexuality

  1. I agree with everything except the statement that “God is a person”. God is not a person. To say he is a person is to put himself on the same level as us and some might then conclude that we can then become gods ourselves. God is God; he is not human, a person, a thing, or anything we can humanly understand in that regard. He is neither man nor woman. His son, Jesus, came down as a man, but he was both God and man together (which is something that makes my head hurt if I think about it too hard). Just something I thought should be noted.

  2. Thank you Leah. My point in saying God is a person is to promote the deity of Jesus, not to humanize God or say that humans can excel to deity. It’s to say that God isn’t an idea but a God that’s alive who become and forever dwells as a person: Jesus. Make sense? It changes the way we view the validity of God when we realize that he who was so high, bowed so low, to draw us so near.

  3. I agree God’s Word does not change to accommodate political correctness. Homosexuality is not compatible with the teaching of the Bible. 1 Cor. 6:9…9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous[b] will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,[c] 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. These verses reveal that there is hope and healing for the homosexual. Yes, God loves them. My brother Mario is one of those God washed, sanctified and justified. His ministry web site is http://www.redeemedlives.org.

  4. I truly appreciate seeing these words, but they speak two truths. At once your words state that you should not judge someone’s homosexuality, because that’s between the gay person and God. However, you also say that you should be encouraging gay people’s faith; you want to encourage their reach for Christ. How is this possible if the church does not change their stance on homosexuality? If you follow that tenet as you feel you must, then doesn’t that mean gay people should not be allowed into the fold? I can’t reconcile the thought of encouraging a gay person to pursue their belief in Christ, and then turn around and block a path to do so. Their only option would be to remain “in the closet” and live a lie to themselves, which is certainly to healthy for anyone.

    I think your heart is in the right place, but your logic still needs some work.

  5. Zack, Great to see your still blogging in this new leg of your journey! I loved this line; “To judge them is to declare that their story is over when it’s not.” Man, so true. I love your heart, so good to read some more of what’s on it :)!

  6. I liked what you had to say, but be careful about starting to like the new Pope. You should look into his history and his connection with the Jesuit Order. Definitely some dark and evil things he is associated with if indeed he is a true Jesuit. He seems an awful lot like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Don’t merely look at his actions, but more at his ideology and beliefs.

  7. Thank you for your comment Jimmy. I think this is where we could get into a much broader theological discussion, however I will say this. Christianity isn’t a religion its a transformitive process where our faith has been met with grace that transforms us into the likeness of God: righteousness and peace.

    In other words when Paul is addressing homosexuality and many other sinful lifestyles in Romans 1, he is giving us examples of what happens to humans when we reject the truth about God for a lie. But If we live by faith and allow it and His grace to renew us, we are progressively restored into what He always intended for creation: righteousness, peace, and love.

    Though it’s offensive to say, I hope you hear my heart based on what I said above, the fundamentalists are right, homosexuality is an “abomination”. (decided to use their word for affect) However many things are an abomination: a lifestyle of promiscuity, drunkenness, greed, slander, etc.

    What I’m saying is that our job is not to point out everyone’s sin (that mentality in the church does need to change) Our job is to point to the way out. If someone is gay and claims faith in Christ, I want to encourage them in their faith. Not to keep them in the closet, but because I have no doubt it will set them free from homosexuality.

    I want myself and my peers in faith to fight for the power of the Gospel to transform us into His image and likeness, while not lying to people and saying they don’t need His transformitave work.

    I simply want us to fight that fight with arms open like Jesus had. The one who lovingly kneeled down to the woman in adultery and said “I do not condemn you” then told her to go and sin no more. Jesus’ primary message was to repent from things like this, but He did it with a kindness and tenderness that I only hope to aspire to, and in the grace of God will.

    Hope that helps. I understand where you are coming from but it’s like I said: “you can’t change God’s stance anymore than you can change the atoms in your hand.”

  8. You mention that: “…no man can change the “churches stance” on homosexuality, because no one can change God and His word.” and that is actually not true. The word of God is translated by man into the bible and translation is not an exact science. I suggest you look up various passages you know well in various translations of the bible. You will see that indeed, the word of God has changed over time. Word choice is very important in translation and God does not proofread the bible, people do. And as people’s opinions change, their interpretation of the parables in the bible change, the passages that are considered important change.

    Religions pick and choose from the bible. Muslims, Jews and Christians all have different interpretations of the old testament. And different denominations, Catholics, Lutherans, etc, all have different interpretations of the new testament.

    “The word of god” has a nice finality to it, but it’s important to remember that it’s written, spoken and interpreted by humans, who—as God makes clear—are imperfect beings. And the new testament as we know it is the result a 2000-year-old game of telephone.

  9. Your statements seem to stem from the idea that being gay is a choice, when it is no more of a choice than you had to be born as a man. It is a part of who they are in their core being. They could try and mask it the same way a woman might color her hair from blonde to brunette, but that’s just a facade to the truth. Imagine someone was out there telling you that you were wrong to find women attractive, and tried to suggest that you need to find comfort in the arms of other men only. That would be as wrong for you as what you are expecting of them. I’m also dismayed to think that you believe gay people are unable to live in righteousness, peace, and love.

  10. Zack,
    great post. I’m not sure if you’re familiar, but I’ve been reading John Burke’s ‘The Mud and The Masterpiece’ this past week. His words have been edifying, challenging and amazing to my walk and journey in discipleship and evangelism. Your words ring true, challenge and evoke greater dependence, need and appreciation for grace and greater capacity to give and extend the same love and grace to others, while not shying away from truth.

    I’m doing a horrible job paraphrasing the wonderful content from the book, (and I’m only half way through) but there is a wonderful section where he discusses the balance of truth and love and being held together by grace. I hear a lot of the same thinking in your words.

    Being a man who was rocked by God’s radical grace, but who quickly reverted into religious (and I hate to say it), pharisaical thinking and heart position towards ‘others’, words and teaching that continually put me in right perspective as being still now in need of grace, mercy and love helps bring me into right relationship with God and into a greater capacity to let that grace, mercy and love flow freely out.

    Bless you.

  11. Jimmy,
    I do not wish to interject in the dialogue you’re engaging with Zack, but I wanted to share something from my own story/testimony, that I believe applies to the thinking and logic that you’ve shared above.

    In my youth I felt that God was a system of rules or qualifications that I had to abide by to be ‘in’ or considered ‘ok/right/saved’. I may have used language of God as father, friend, redeemer and spoken of my ‘relationship’, but the relationship was more with a set of principles and statutes than a loving being that I was molded in the likeness of.

    One thing I could not reckon with however were the desires of my heart. I was good at masking them, but very, very poor at making them go away. I could keep a good lock on the door, but in my heart and in my private moments, my desires were too much for me to handle and they were bursting at the seams.

    As I got older, I went to college and got disconnected from Christian community, and slowly, my ‘personal relationship’, that consisted of somewhat regular prayer and bible reading began to wane. Since I was at college and knew very few people around me, and my parents were 100s of miles away, I was free to ‘let myself be who I really was’ or at least go on the journey of discovering who I really was.

    Slowly, I began to allow myself the desires I had always denied or felt had been denied FROM ME. I started pursuing sexual promiscuity, drunkenness and pretty much every other desire I felt was in my heart. It was as if ‘the good stuff’ had been kept from me for years. The things I had avoided didn’t bring near the level of sadness or emptiness and I might have imagined. I was still me, just now doing the things I avoided. The former denial I had felt, seemed like it was a false barrier to who I truly was, I felt freedom. I felt alive. I felt like I was finally being true to myself.

    As the years progressed I moved to a new city, with even fewer people who knew me. I was further removed from my religious ‘relationship’, and little did I know, and I seemed to be less and less concerned about searching for truth (this may not be entirely true) than I was about obtaining my desires and finding joy in satisfying them.

    Eventually after many relationships and nights of living how I saw fit, I found myself hollow. The difficulties in life came to pass, I had little on which my foundation was built, other than friends and fun and ‘worldly success’. This was not enough to anchor me. That’s when I was encountered by God’s grace.

    God’s grace met me where I was at. Loved me in the exact place that I was found. And eventually the Holy Spirit began to reveal to me my identity. Son, loved, restored, forgiven. It was an identity that I had once wanted, but felt impossible to achieve, because of the desires of my heart that I couldn’t control or make go away.

    This process of sanctification is far from over, but I can look back on the past 3 years, the past 6 months even, and see God’s process of bringing me more and more into what he calls: righteous, peaceful, loving, holy and sanctified.

    I think this process of extending grace, encouraging others toward Christ, whether they engage in or feel drawn in a way that does not align with God’s word, by: alcohol, drugs, other “gods”, same sex attraction, multi-sex attraction, greed, slander, gluttony etc. And being graceful in how we share truth in love, ultimately leaves the work of transformation in the hands of the Holy Spirit, the only one who can accomplish this work.

    Love your heart Jimmy and bless you if/when/as you read this.

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