Let me be clear up front. NONE OF MY STATEMENTS SHOULD BE DIRECTLY APPLIED TO THOSE OUTSIDE THE CHURCH. This is all that non-Christians need to read: You still have an old nature and need to hear the gospel (the good news) that Jesus died to take away the penalty of your sins and bring you eternal life. Jesus died because He loves you. God the Father sent God the Son to save you from the penalty of your sins because He loves you. Yes. You’re a sinner, and God loves you anyway.
God loves you, fornicator. God loves you, glutton. God loves you, drunkard. God loves you, luster. God loves you, thief. God loves you, adulterer. God loves you, slanderer. God loves you, liar. God loves you, miser. God loves you, idolater. God loves you, homosexual. God loves you. God loves you. God loves you. Yes. You’re a sinner, and God loves you anyway.
He will not condemn you for those sins if you repent. Be washed. Be sanctified. Be justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God.
If you still aren’t a Christian you absolutely should stop reading now. That’s all you need to hear. The rest will just confuse you. You don’t have the right Spirit to understand it. (Yes, Spirit is supposed to be capitalized.) Seriously now… if you keep reading and get offended I take no responsibility for it. I tried to warn you, I tried to stop you. What’s going to come shouldn’t offend anyone who is supposed to be reading it.
Now, on to the part about and for the Christians to read…
When I speak of homosexuals and homosexuality from here on out I am speaking of it within the context of the Christian church.
Also take note: I focus on homosexuality because that seems to be the one sin that everyone has trouble applying this concept to… but replace it with any other sin and the words should be equally true.
What does it mean to BE gay?
The “be” is capitalized. The major oversight of Christians when discussing the issue of homosexuality is twofold.
The first oversight is exemplified above. Here it is brothers: stop judging those outside the church for their sins. They’re still sinners. What do you expect?
They still have a sinful nature. They don’t need to be told “don’t sin” they need to be told how to get a whole new life! Tell them the good news. Tell them the gospel. Tell them the stuff Jesus did and said. Make them understand that they are sinners and God loves them anyway. Make them understand that God does hate sin, but he doesn’t hate them. Make them understand that they can have a new nature that isn’t sinful by trusting in Jesus to KEEP HIS WORD that any who believe in Him will not perish but have eternal life.
The second oversight is how to deal with the already converted homosexual (and any habitual sinner who defines themselves by their sins). The oversight lies in the dichotomy of DOing and BEing. Christians are either way too condemning of a converted homosexual’s sins or way too accepting of a converted homosexual’s sins.
The idea I want to make clear (which should clear up the oversight) is that a Christian can’t BE a homosexual. A Christian can commit homosexual sins, or DO homosexual acts, but he (or she) can no longer BE a homosexual.
When the old nature passed away, the idea of BEing anything but a Child of God passed away with it. They are no longer homosexuals, they are now children of God.
Some protest the use of the word “they” to describe homosexuals when talking about them. This is a ridiculous protest. It is just a word that is used to distinguish a group of multiple people that share a common characteristic that you (the speaker) do not posses. I would use the word “they” if I were talking about Chinese people, women, or people who don’t like ice cream too. Only in the final example do I intend to say that “they” are some-how “less human.” (Seriously… who doesn’t like ice-cream?) We need to be less touchy about these sorts of things and more touchy about… oh… I don’t know… Christians openly living in unrepentant sinful lifestyles. See, that sentence fragment doesn’t even make sense because the thing that makes someone a Christian is that they have repented of sin.
A Christian calling himself a homosexual is like a butterfly calling himself a caterpillar. The change has been made and there’s nothing you can do about it. What’s more, the new you is way better than the old one. You can go on crawling around instead of flying and go on hiding your big beautiful wings, but you can never actually BE a caterpillar again.
When a human being undergoes regeneration and receives a new nature, he (or she) has been changed on a fundamental level, and that change cannot be reversed. The change was from a sinner to a saint, an enemy to a friend, a creation of God to a child of God. A homosexual who becomes a Christian isn’t a “Homosexual Christian” he is just a “Christian.” He might be “a Christian who still succumbs to homosexual temptations but repents of those sinful actions and turns to God for strength in resisting that temptation in the future,” but he can’t be a “Gay Christian.” The two words are exclusive of each other.
The error of being too condemning is when brothers and sisters in Christ make the ex-homosexual (yes, they do exist) feel like they aren’t christians anymore. The legalistic christian who ostracizes and condemns a new believer who still sins like their old self on occasion is not to be imitated.
The error of being too accepting is when brothers and sisters in Christ make the ex-homosexual feel like they’re still homosexuals. The licentious christian who applauds and praises the new believer who still sins like their old self and sees nothing wrong with it is not to be imitated.
There is a middle ground.
Love your brother. “Love” doesn’t mean tell him what his sinful flesh wants to hear. “Love” doesn’t mean tell him he’s a failure and can never earn God’s grace (because of course he can’t… that’s the whole point).
“Love” means empathize with him, tell him the truth, and help him follow the better way. Pick him up when he falls and point him back to God. Don’t kick him while he’s down and don’t give him a pillow to stay there.
So what does it mean to BE gay? It means not being a christian for one thing.
I do stand firm on this point: you can’t be both. You do have to make a choice.
Either die to self and live to Christ, or live to self alone. You can’t BE two contrary things. You must choose between “Child of God” and everything else.