Homosexuality and the Church
This article is a companion article to the more comprehensive one entitled Homosexuality: The Biblical-Christian View.
For those in the church, Jesus has set a pattern to follow. He was not afraid to deal with the issues and sins of the day. For those holding onto them in their pride (religious leaders) He was very strong in pointing it out. He does this throughout the Sermon on the Mount. For those caught in their sins and repentant He was not hesitant to offer His grace (John 8:3-11 ). For those looked down upon in society He was not afraid to socialize with them as He lovingly shared the truth (John 4:4-42). For those lost He was not reluctant to pursue them (Luke 15:1-10). Neither should we be. Grace and truth should characterize our lives. Wisdom will seek to discern what is the most appropriate word or action for a given situation.
Since we have been forgiven by Jesus of our sins, since we have been rescued from our slavery to sin, then we of all people on this planet should be able to relate to the struggles that others are going through. We know that our redemption has been entirely by His grace. It has been apart from any merit of our own (Ephesians 2:8-9). We should earnestly desire with every fiber of our being to see the same freedom come to those in the LGBT1 community. Our issues may be in a different area, but it is the same destructive sin that we all face. We should help others see God’s work in our lives and how He is helping us day by day. We should let them see how fellow believers and God’s Word help us to continue to overcome in our own struggles. We should have the most compassion and concern for others since we know our own helplessness in our own strength against sin.
Jesus laid down His life for us while we were His enemies. While we hated Him He died willingly for us. Nothing deterred him from loving, redeeming, and rescuing us from our sin. (Rom. 5:6-11, John 5:17-20) Nothing should deter us from being His ambassadors of love and truth.
Love will mean being honest about the truth of sin—our sin, and the sin of all people— without partiality. No one will want to hear that their covetousness, lying, fornication, evil thoughts, strife, homosexuality, gossip, pride, envy, adultery, taking the name of the Lord in vain, lust, murder, etc. deserves God’s judgment. Yet the most hateful thing one could do is pretend everything with God is okay when it is not. The consequences are eternal. What makes this so hard is that this point can be both over-emphasized and under-emphasized. We do not want to over-emphasize it so much that the next point of God’s gracious love is missed. Nor do we want to under-emphasize it so much that God’s gracious love become irrelevant. (If there is no problem between us and God, then Jesus’ death means nothing.)
Love will likewise mean being honest that the grace of God can redeem any sinner. God can overcome any sin. Though it will be a lifelong battle to walk in God’s grace there is victory through faith in Jesus Christ. We do still live in this fallen world and in our sin-affected bodies, but God’s grace is sufficient.
Love also means that we should follow Christ’s example and be willing to give up our lives to serve our brothers and sisters in Christ as they too try to grow in becoming more Christ-like. Many sins and struggles that are deeply ingrained require a process of walking alongside. Just like our struggles when we became believers (or that we struggle with now) might require continual encouragement and assistance, so too will those who come to faith in Christ from LGBT experiences. We should be part of the expression of God’s grace to our fellow believers—whatever struggle they might be going through.
Love also means that we should follow Christ’s example and be willing to give up our lives to serve those who do not believe in Christ. If the grace of God is real to us, and if we have truly believed it, and if it has truly changed our lives, then we should be learning to become more like Christ in sharing the good news of the gospel through both our actions and our words. This is not a giving to get. This is a giving like Christ gave. Everything.
So, brother or sister in Christ, how are you doing? Are you walking in truth and love? Are you expressing the saving grace of God through your words and actions? Are you expressing the same grace that saved you? Are you growing in your understanding of God’s grace? Are there any sins that you are holding onto that God is strongly calling you to give over to Him? Is your local assembly of Christians a place where people will see Jesus Christ faithfully proclaimed? Will they see both the truth of sin called out impartially as well as God’s loving grace? Will they see God’s grace changing you and how it can transform them?
May we seek God in prayer and through His Word daily so that we continue to become more like Christ in these ways.
1 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender