I’m just going to dive in and say it…
The Supreme Court’s ruling on Friday was monumental. No matter which way you look at it, which perspective you take or from whose “side” you are on.
I have friends of every sexual orientation. One of the groomsmen in our wedding was a homosexual. I remember family members “threatening” to not attend our wedding if we were insistent on having a “gay guy” standing in the church when we exchanged vows. We chose to have him stand with us anyway. And the church didn’t burn down nor did lightning strike him dead.
I sat beside a guy in college for three semesters who was homosexual. He wanted to be an editor and had the most intellectual understanding of British Literature that I’ve ever heard. My cousin, who’s a few years younger than me, is homosexual. He’s a paramedic and one of the kindest people I’ve ever met in my life.
Placing the label “homosexual” on someone doesn’t mean that they are any less loved by Jesus Christ nor that they are incapable of receiving His love.
Jesus Hates Sin
He doesn’t hate people.
I’ve said it before, I am the very least of these. I have stolen. I have lied. I have committed murder in my mind. I have committed adultery in my heart. I have been envious and greedy and glutenous. I have used the Lord’s name in vain. I have failed to honor the Sabbath. I have been an alcoholic. I have had sex before I was married and with men I wasn’t married to. I was pregnant before I got married. I have strung together words and sentences filled with expletives just because that’s what you “do” when you’re a rebellious teenager. I have looked at pornography and read pornography (according to the perspective that 50 Shades of Grey is pornography).
I am a sinner.
I’ve committed every sin that God told us not to commit.
And I am no better than anyone else.
While I personally believe that God himself ordained marriage to be between a man and a woman…I will never, ever condemn or ridicule or mock or inflict mental, emotional or physical harm on someone who does not agree with my personal views on marriage.
And here is why…
I serve a mighty God who has called us to love one another. I’m not going into debate on the Old Testament Covenant and the New Testament Covenant and the belief that once Christ died for our sin that we don’t have to live by the laws of the Old Testament and all of that. It’s not even necessary.
I’ve learning in my 20-something years of life two things:
You cannot force your religion or your beliefs on anyone else.
That’s just all there is to it. I grew up in the church. I went to Sunday School, Sunday sermon’s, Wednesday night fellowship…every time the doors were open, I was there. I knew God, knew the main points of the Bible, knew the commandments and knew what was expected of me. When I got to college I met some people who did not believe the same thing that I did and practiced different religions. I saw plenty of Christians waving tracts around campus and beating them over the head with their Bibles (figuratively of course) trying to covert them.
Guess what? It didn’t work.
Forcing your belief, no matter what that may be, on someone isn’t the way to get them or anyone else to understand, take interest or even be willing to hear you out.
A homosexual coming to me and demanding that I hear them out or waving flyers or photos or banners in my face telling me that I have to believe or I’m destined to be persecuted or condemned wouldn’t get a response from me. Other than just getting me to walk away in a hurry.
Christianity is no different. Spewing scripture about damnation and hell and the lake of fire isn’t going to convert anyone or make anyone turn away from their lifestyle. It just isn’t. And that goes for any kind of sin. You cannot help anyone until they are ready to help themselves. Alcoholics, drug addicts, pornography addicts, women being beaten by their husbands/boyfriends, those committing adultery…until they want out of their lifestyle, they will remain where they are.
While you may not agree with the lifestyle, we are called to love.
Jim Daly, the President of Focus on the Family said it best:
In the days to come, we must remember to season our words with salt. It’s time to be a light in these dark times. It is not time to be combative and caustic. Now, more than ever, we must emulate Jesus Christ. We must continue to show that loving kindness as we talk with our neighbors and friends who see this issue differently (src).
We don’t all have to agree. It is entirely possible to love a person and disagree with their lifestyle. We’ve been doing it for generations now. I don’t agree with the lifestyles of those who choose to smoke around their children. But, that doesn’t mean that I’m going to start condemning them to hell or telling them how terrible they are or that they are subjecting their children to the possibility of lung cancer.
Jesus Christ ate and socialized and associated with tax collectors during his time…and at that point they were considered the worst of the worst. But, Jesus loved them anyway.
I may not agree with the homosexual lifestyle, but that’s okay. Because they may not agree with me. They may not agree with the fact that I post pictures of my children online or that I openly talk about things that so many are opinionated about. They may not agree with the fact that I voted against Obama.
But that’s ok!
The other thing I’ve learned is simply this…
God is God. Today, tomorrow, forever. I, on the other hand, AM NOT.
And it’s been made quite clear many times over in scripture that we are in no way worthy of passing judgement or ridiculing anyone else. Jesus makes it abundantly clear in James 4:12
There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?
When I die and stand before the Lord, I’m not going to have to give an account for what everyone else on this Earth has done. No more than I will get credit for the works that other people have done. I will have to answer for myself…for my wrong doings, for my sins and transgressions and for how I treated people around me.
Which means that I have to do the best I can with the life that I’m given and answer for this life when it’s over. I can not judge the actions of others, because I have too many sins in my own life to worry about the sins of everyone else.
So, what does all of this mean for Christians?
It’s time that we step up and show the world that Jesus is still the Almighty. That his laws far outweigh the laws of man. We’ve known from the beginning of the ages that these days were coming. That Jesus would be pushed to the back burner, the nation would fall into moral depravity and that the Devil himself would invade our land.
But, Clayton Jennings even points out…homosexuality isn’t the main issue in this world.
Immoral politicians, greed, genocide, human trafficking, ISIS, religious persecution overseas and within our own land, hate crimes, racism, rape, the influx in pornography, murder…those are the things that we should be focusing on.
Homosexuality has been legal in other parts of the world for a long time now. I don’t believe that the nation is going to go under because of the legalization of gay marriage. I may be wrong, and that’s fine. I may have to answer for my opinion on this to family, friends and church members. And that’s fine. I may have to account for this blog post when I’m standing in front of Jesus himself someday because I didn’t post a huge sermon stating that, “all gays are going to hell.” And if I do, I’ll just chalk that up to the other long list of things that I have to be accountable for in this life.
Because I know in my heart that Jesus would want me to love. Would want me to tell someone, gay or straight, “Hey…Jesus Christ loves you. And he died for you. And he can help you through whatever situation you’re battling.”
Because Jesus knew temptation. He knew what it was like to literally stare down the devil himself and have to walk away. And he did it. And then he spread his arms out on a cross and told God to forgive us because we didn’t know what we were doing.
And we still don’t.
But what I do know is this, Jesus said in 1 Corinthians 13:13
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
My prayer is that my fellow Christians, those who truly seek to follow Christ, wouldn’t turn their back on the LGBT community right now. Because all we are going to do, if we do that, is prove to the world what so many already think of us…that we are bigots who believe we are better than everyone else because of what we believe. I’d love nothing more than to see more members of the gay community welcomed with open arms into the churches.
Then, and only then…but demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ, will we lead others to the cross.
You just have to decide where you want to place your faith: in the Supreme Court…or in the Supreme God.
As for me and my house…we’ve chosen the Supreme God.