THE GAY QUESTION, PART 3 What Should a Christian’s Attitude Be Toward Homosexuality?

There will always be those who will hate me simply because I believe what the Bible says about homosexuality. The Christian should not be offended or alarmed that it is so. Messengers have always been hated because of the message. Jesus told His followers that they would be persecuted for the sake of righteousness. He said that if He was hated, we would be hated. The student is not greater than the teacher. Because of what I believe, I’ve been called ignorant, old-fashioned, racist, bigoted, mean-spirited, irrelevant, uneducated, and hateful. My response? Relief. I’d be concerned if it wasn’t going like Jesus said it would.

While Jesus said we would be hated, He also said to return hate with love, and to rejoice when you’re persecuted for the sake of righteousness. As a believer, I cannot allow hateful people to control the climate of how I relate to them. When hated, we love our enemies. When mocked, we remain silent. When bullied and intimidated, we stand firm.

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, and you were hoping to be liked, you got on the wrong bus. Of course, over the last few years, there has been a new stripe of Christianity that has tried to repaint our faith into something palatable for unbelievers. We water-down such doctrines as sin and judgment, and stay away from difficult issues like homosexuality or the roles of women, or redefine them altogether to in a vain attempt to become culturally acceptable.

So what should our attitude be toward homosexuality? Confident faith in God’s Word. Stubborn refusal to be moved by a culture whining for a softer Christianity. Hatred for sin.

What should our attitude be toward a homosexual? That’s a different answer altogether.

We are never told to mistreat, mock, or be mean-spirited to anyone, especially to someone that doesn’t follow Christ. There is no sin in God’s eyes that is more acceptable, or unacceptable, than another. Someone who uses God’s name in vain is not better off than someone who gets drunk. Likewise, someone who gets drunk is not better off than a homosexual. Sin is sin, and all of it separates us from God, as it says in Romans 3:23: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

There is not one sinner that is better off than another in God’s eyes. We all fall short, and are guilty before God, deserving of eternal separation from Him. God is holy, and by definition that means the absence of sin. That’s why we cannot save ourselves. Who can claim to have not sinned? If you sin ONCE, you are a sinner. And if a sinner attempts to enter the presence of holiness (the absence of sin), what happens to the holiness? It is no longer holy, because it is no longer the absence of sin. We all need the power of the cross, as Christ Jesus alone took the punishment for our sins.

What I am saying is that no one has the right to look down their nose at another person. This does not mean that we cannot point out someone else’s sin. It just means that we cannot do so while claiming that we are any better. If you are a Christian who has “not sinned much,” you must remember that God gives you the same grace He gives to murderers and prostitutes. It is not a different grace. You need the same enormous pardon that any sinner does. If you don’t believe that, you are on your way to being a Pharisee. When you do believe in grace, it gives you compassion and mercy toward people.

In Luke chapter 7:36-50, Jesus is invited over to Simon the Pharisee’s house. During the meal, a prostitute has the audacity to barge into the house, interrupt the meal, and begin weeping at Jesus’ feet.

The Bible says that Simon the Pharisee said to Himself, “If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner.”

I love what it says next. “And Jesus answered and said to Him…” (I love how the Bible is so matter-of-fact about how Jesus “answered” Simon’s thoughts.) “…’Simon, I have something to say to you.’”

Then Jesus goes on to share a story about a moneylender who had two debtors, one owing him a million dollars (I’m paraphrasing) and one owing him ten bucks. The moneylender forgave both debts, and Jesus asked Simon, “Which of them will love him more?”

I suppose the one whom he forgave more,” answered Simon.

Right answer,” Jesus said. Then he explained, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears…For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.”

First of all, Jesus was compassionate and gracious, but that doesn’t mean that He doesn’t call sin sin for He said, “Her sins are many.” Second, it would almost appear that Jesus was unfairly giving the prostitute the ability to love God more than Simon with the basic premise that “much forgiven sin=much love.” But that’s not the lesson in this story. The lesson is that Jesus is telling Simon, “Simon, you don’t realize that you are just like this woman! You think that, through your religious devotion, you’ve graduated to some elite level of humanity that gives you the right to look down your nose at those who are not as holy as you, but you are actually the same in God’s eyes as this woman.”

In the same way, it is not Christlike to have a “holier-than-thou” attitude toward homosexuals, or anyone that is struggling with sin or living in sin. We have to be like Jesus, and have an attitude of mercy and compassion. Isn’t it amazing that prostitutes knew that they could come close to Jesus and that He wouldn’t reject them? Simon was being more spiritual than the Son of God! If you’re a Christian, be careful that you don’t fall into the same temptation.

Homosexuals need kindness and compassion, not anger and condemnation. And they don’t need gay rights, they need help. I believe the gospel has an answer. If you are gay, or struggling with tormenting homosexual thoughts, know that Jesus looks on you with mercy, and has made a way through the redeeming work of the cross for you to be forgiven and delivered. If you have ever been hated by someone claiming to be a Christian, I ask your forgiveness for their behavior. They do not represent Jesus, or authentic Christianity. Come close to Jesus, and you will see.

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