Gay, Lesbian, Laws, and Christ…
There are so many times a day that I hear, see or read something having to do with the gay and lesbian community’s situation, stances, legislative pushes, marketing campaigns, protests or the opposing positions from various “conservative communities” on all of the same topics. I have been thinking for quite a while about where my stance, my feelings, and my beliefs fall in line with these “issues.”
A few (ok probably several) thoughts I have specifically in regards to the gay and lesbian or transgender “community,” all the media, and issues regarding this topic…
First, it breaks my heart when anyone (gay or otherwise) attach their main identity to one random thing, be it sexual orientation, race or gender etc…
You were made for so much more than these shadows of who you are clinging onto as your identity.
You were made for more.
I, like everyone else, have personal views on the things that I read or hear about (regardless of the topic), such as legalizing marriage for all, don’t ask don’t tell, Hollywood’s portrayals of gays and lesbians etc.. However, after thinking about these things for a while, I always come back to caring more about the individual’s state of salvation and brokenness, and not really caring about the laws, the public policies or the media’s dogging of the issue… If I am going to say I believe in the Bible and its Truths (capital T), and then if they come into conflict with the government’s laws, I have to choose the Biblical laws over the government’s.
While I understand that politics can really accomplish some good things, ultimately we are charged to fight the corruption of our society with the gospel, not the ballot box. We want to change their hearts and expose them to Christ. Really, laws are primarily to protect the weak or innocent from those who would harm them (i.e. do not murder, do not steal, do not commit adultery, do not lie, etc.), laws are NOT about changing hearts. We DO need moral laws, and while realistically, you can outlaw some particularly destructive behaviors (especially those that harm others), you simply cannot outlaw temptation… There are some places where God’s law can encroach on the heart, but human law has no place (do not lust, do not covet, etc.). The political and legal fight on homosexuality (from both sides) tends to cross over the boundary of what only God can forbid (because He can read the heart) and what man should stay far away from (because we cannot read the heart).
“We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers. And it is for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.” (1 Timothy 1:9-11)
“Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor practicing homosexuals nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
“You are not to have sexual relations with a male as you would with a woman. It’s detestable.” (Leviticus 18:22)
Through all of this, above all else, I care about the individual’s salvation, and whether or not Christ’s love is being shown to them (and I am not referring to the all things are acceptable or permissible type of love, I mean the authentic I’ll walk through anything and die for you kind of love and dedication). I care so much more about whether the person (regardless of the issue or the sin) is being reached out to, exactly where they are in their brokenness, than I do about whether the government says something is or is not acceptable. That is where my heart lands in the end every time.
I think we (myself definitely included) forget so often, and too quickly how prevalent sin is in our lives.. in my own life. Regardless of the sin, pride, lust, adultery, drunkenness, homosexuality, lying, cutting etc.. etc.. Are you “born this way”?.. Quite frankly I have no idea, maybe, probably. But, that is not an argument to STAY living in sin, it merely means that regardless of the sin or the struggle you were born with, we ALL have fallen short of the glory of God. Due to the nature of how fallen, broken, and sinful we are, it is literally born in us because literally no one even has the chance of being perfect (It is by the grace of God that we are saved).
“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of human beings who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal human beings and birds and animals and reptiles.
Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.” (Romans 1:18-28)
The things I see regarding the issue of being gay or lesbian is this: it is not a new thing. It is not suddenly something we as humans are dealing with now, it is not more prevalent now than it was in years past, it is talked about numerous times throughout history (and in the Bible) as things humans have been dealing with for thousands of years.
Laws and policies are not going to help the situation or make it worse, laws are not where people’s salvation is won. I understand that everyone has their role to play in the body of Christ (head, foot, mouth, ear, hands etc..) and I am not saying anyone else should or should not pursue legislation or laws, all I am saying is that my personal place is firmly planted in the exclusive care about the person’s eternal salvation, not whether the government has deemed something appropriate or not. While I understand that this is a slippery slope, I am not actually making or explaining my position on any law or policy… What I am doing is explaining that when comparing someone’s heart, their soul, their salvation to a law or policy, I could careless about the law or policy. I only care about the individual’s salvation.
I talked with my dad about this topic, and he pointed out a few things that I think are worth mentioning, there is no evidence in scripture that becoming a believer “sets us free” from temptation. We find ZERO guarantees of being set free from ANY temptation in this natural life. It is very likely temptation of any kind will need to be resisted for the entirety of your life. What Jesus can do, is give them (us all) the wisdom to avoid the temptation (whether it be homosexuality, sexual temptations of any kind, alcohol, etc.. etc..), and the strength to resist that temptation (AND if they have been engaging in that sin and it has become a genuine spiritual bondage, Jesus CAN set them free from the bondage – temptation to sin, and bondage to that sin are NOT the same thing).
I also think it is SO important to point out, just because I am not tempted by the same sin as my neighbor does NOT make me more holy. It just makes me a different person. Different people have different weaknesses, but the fact is: we all have (and were probably born with) weaknesses to some kind of sin...
Also, please.. please hear me… A person who is a Christian and “living the normal life of a homosexual (i.e. regularly engaging in homosexual sin)” is just as problematic as a Christian who is constantly lying, constantly cheating on their spouse, constantly stealing or constantly doing any other sin… That is not to say they will lose their salvation, but the ramifications of their behavior WILL cause problems in their life, both naturally and spiritually (one of them being constantly separating us from real intimacy with God). Since Jesus calls us to holiness, continual, intentional sin of any kind is not OK, and can have serious consequences in our heart (including, I believe, that it could, not necessarily will, but could eventually hardening our hearts so that we just might abandon our faith). On the other hand, homosexual sin is no more or less wrong than any other sexual sin. All are wrong, and all have serious spiritual and natural consequences.
Jesus calling us to a life of salvation in Him is a call to moral cleanliness, and the moral part is NOT optional. Responding to Jesus’ Lordship (meaning not just acknowledging He’s real and brings salvation, but that He is Lord) includes repentance of sin, all sin, including any and all sexual sin. Repentance means “to feel genuine remorse, and to turn away from.” However, the really neat part is that merely refraining from sin is NOT at all what makes us holy. Faith in Jesus alone makes us holy, and that holiness from Jesus then empowers us to resist temptation, and make moral decisions.
In other words, real faith in Jesus cleanses our hearts, and makes us actually ABLE to resist temptation and lead genuinely moral lives. Praise the Lord it actually has little to nothing to do with us!