I Love Gay People… Even If We Don’t Agree

randomlychad  —  February 13, 2012 — 4 Comments

I love gay people… Even though we don’t agree.

This post wasn’t easy to write. I take very seriously the obligation to tell the truth the best I can. Yes, I know I can be flip, I can be funny, I can be insincere.

This is not one of those posts. It merely represents my attempt to wrap my mind around some serious, and delicate, issues. And before I get to the post proper, allow me to lay my cards out on the table: I have my convictions, you have yours; we may not see eye-to-eye. That’s okay.

I’m not here to win you to my point of view; if anything, I would love to win you to Christ. (And then let Him–not me–work out your salvation with Him with “fear and trembling”).

That said, I’m going to take heat for this; be called intolerant, unloving, perhaps bigoted. I’m a big boy: I can take it. I’m not here to win any popularity contests.

I believe certain things, and those beliefs are informed by the Bible. I believe that God loves everybody equally–He is no respecter of persons. I am not a Calvinist; I believe everyone has an equal shot at salvation.

We are all sinners. Thus, regardless of the consequences of that sin, we are equal in that regard. Whether gay, straight, black, white, whatever: we all stand equal in our need for God.

That said, (and forgive me for seemingly singling out a particular people group) something I’ve always wondered about, something I’ve wrestled with, is the example of scripture. I’m not here to proof-text, or cherry-pick verses, in support of a position.

No; what I’m after is the bigger picture: when considered from end-to-end, where in the Bible do we see God’s depiction of the “happy homosexual home?” Where is His command to two men, or two women, to be “fruitful and multiply” (which from context we know does not mean adoption)?

This issue is foundational to me: if I subscribe at all to the Reformation tenet of “Sola Scriptura,” and that is what informs my convictions, then what place do I give my feelings? If I believe that all Scripture is God-breathed, what is the consequence? In my mind, this means that I will come down on the side of holiness–instead of happiness.

There is a dangerous, slippery, slope in the line of reasoning that goes thus: I have these feelings, and I know that God loves me, and just wants me to be happy. Really? Is this the same God who showed Paul how much he must suffer for my (God’s) name? The same one Who, through Peter, says “after you shall have suffered?”

Yes, there are both joys, and sorrows, on the path of life, but I don’t believe that the path He bids me trod is the one of least resistance. Of His purposes, one is to make me into a creature suitable to be in His presence for all eternity.

Please understand: it’s not my intent to “gay bash.” The questions above are sincere questions. (Note: I’m not here to debate the issue of marriage, or the rights of individuals in a pluralistic society). The simple fact of the matter is this: because God loves gay people, I love gay people. But I do not believe it is unloving to say that I understand the Scriptures differently than the prevailing, vocal, culture.

I am called to be in the world, but not of it.

Furthermore, my understanding of Scripture is such that I believe that it (and this is a mystery) takes both genders to even begin to (attempt to) represent His image–else why did He create them male and female? (Interestingly, one of the meanings of “El Shaddai” is “many-breasted one”).

For the sake of argument (realizing there are exceptions), let’s say that women are “pink,” and men are “blue.” What do we get when we mix those two colors? Purple–the color of royalty. The color of Jesus.

Somehow, in His economy, the two become one flesh. I don’t understand this, but I accept it. Yet nowhere in holy writ do we see this description applied to same-gendered relationships. Why is this? Did God not know what He was saying? Did He not know that the 21st century was coming?

Listen: go ahead, and hate me. Unsubscribe from my blog. It’s cool. Like a fine wine, I’m not for everybody. I’m trying to work out my own salvation with fear and trembling. I don’t hate gay people–or any people, for that matter–and God knows I have enough trouble with my own sin. Like everybody else, I’m just trying to figure this all out. Live by the light I’ve been given.

You may hate me for my convictions; that’s fine–but I won’t hate you in return.

(Here’s a hard truth: the same God who doesn’t hate “fags,” similarly doesn’t hate Fred Phelps. What I suspect He does hate is our constant vilification of one another. I hope I have not done that here today).

That said, as I wrote above, God’s grace–His love–are available equally to all. Ultimately, how you live is between you and Him.

Augustine said “Love God, and do as you will.”

Anyway, what do you think? How do you approach this delicate issue?

Comments

comments

randomlychad

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Christ-follower, husband, dad, blogger, reader, writer, movie buff, introvert, desert-dweller, omnivore, gym rat. May, or may not, have a burgeoning collection of Darth Vader t-shirts. Can usually be found drinking protein shakes, playing with daughter, working out with his son, or hanging out with his wife. Makes a living playing with computers. Subscribe to RandomlyChad by Email

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  • A lot of gay people already know Christ. So it’s not automatically necessary to win them to Christ.

    Couldn’t God have been discussing a happy gay couple just when he was talking about couples? Is child-bearing a command for all?

    I do agree that the fullness of God is discovered in both sexes. However, it’s not like gay people segregate themselves from people of the opposite sex. It can be discovered in friendships, in children, in co-workers, in relationship with other Christians. To limit our understanding of God strictly to an opposite sex spouse means that singles are also unable to know God, and given that Paul said that singleness is good, it seems unlikely that this would be the case.

    I don’t believe that everyone has an inherent right to happiness. However, I can’t see that God ever refuses to allow someone love when they find it. Of course we will have troubles -- of this we are assured. But I don’t believe God expects us to go through them alone, and I see this being demanded of the LGBT community.

    I would encourage you to check out Dr. Jack Rogers’s book “Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality” for a further look into this. And right now you can stream “For the Bible Tells Me So” on Netflix. I can’t recommend that movie strongly enough for getting a sense of what it means to really love your gay & lesbian neighbors.

    Thanks for your candid thoughts here!

    • Alise,

      Thank-you for your thoughtful response. I will check out the resources you recommend.

      May we, as Michael Perkins says, “drip Jesus.”

  • Good post, Chad… and a nice reply, Alise.

    My opinion falls somewhere between the two of you… used to be closer to your view, Chad, but now I might be migrating a bit.

    I do believe we’re called to love everyone, gay or straight, alcoholic/druggie or sober, etc., but I haven’t quite got to the point that I can say I’m “affirming” — I’m not to the point of saying that I can ignore what the Bible says on the subject. When Justin (don’t remember last name), a young gay Christian that has a ministry to gays, posted on Rachel Held Evan’s blog some months ago, the discussion was eye opening.

    In the whole “nature vs. nurture” debate about whether gays are born that way or not, I’ve tended to lean a little bit towards the nurture side, or at least to a combination of the two. My exposure is limited, but a high percentage of gays that I know (particularly the females) suffered abuse before turning to the lifestyle. Justin’s testimony on Rachel’s blog is one of the first I’ve been exposed to who seems to definitely have been “born that way” (and like I said, I know my exposure is very limited and far from conclusive.) But, the other thought that kept coming back to me was comparing gay impulses to my alcoholic tendencies.

    Was I born an alcoholic, or did I turn to alcohol because I grew up in an alcoholic environment with folks on both sides? Either way, the real issue is, am I better off drinking or not? Now, I’m not going to say nobody should drink — I’m definitely not legalistic about it. But in my case, I’m better off not drinking.

    Where I’m still stuck at on the issue of whether to affirm gays is that I can’t honestly say they are “better off” spiritually if they live a sexually active gay lifestyle. I liked the way Justin handled the issue on Rachel’s blog — he basically split the Christian’s that are accepting of gays into two camps: those that believe gays should remain celibate and those that believe that monogamous gays should be accepted in the church. Based on his study of scripture, he believes that the admonitions against homosexual behavior were really addressing the “orgy-istic” lifestyles of the greek/romans of the day and not addressing monogamous homosexual relationships. Justin was also quick to point out that he didn’t expect everyone to agree with him, and he wasn’t 100% sure he was right… he was also living a celibate lifestyle because he still hasn’t met “mr. right.”

    Where I’m at right now is still a little unsure….. Like you said, Chad, I’m ok with encouraging someone in their relationship with Christ and letting God take care of how to work out the specifics of their walk. Where I’m unsure is if someone asks, what should I tell them? I would still lean towards recommending celibacy over sexually active for gays, but if someone is a believer in a monogamous homosexual relationship, I would have a hard time making that recommendation. At the same time, I’m not comfortable saying that there is nothing ‘sinful’ in a monogamous homosexual relationship, that the Bible is wrong on the subject. Would monogamous gays be better off if they lived celibate lifestyles, like brothers and sisters? My hunch is that is what Jesus would recommend if he were here and having the discussion with people, but like I said, I’m not sure…..

    In any case, we’re called to love people and treat them with dignity and respect. I know that Jesus would do that!

  • Chelle

    Well written. And very well put. I believe that Jesus (and God, obviously) loves everyone. But, as the Scripture says, he hates sin. So, he hates the act of homosexuality as much as he hates covetness and stealing and lying and not honoring your parents and not honoring God as God and so on.

    But somehow, we humans, made in God’s image, tend to stuff it up and put one sin (or maybe two or three) higher than other sins. I don’t believe God has a sliding scale for sin. But, sadly we do.

    We are called to love people as Jesus did, not to agree with their lifestyle, but to love them. And that can be darned hard. 🙂

    Hope you don’t get too much (or any) hate over this.