A few weeks ago, a friend of mine sent me an article titled “Push Back – Part Fifteen.” He sent me the article and asked what I thought. I wrote up a reply and I thought it would be nice to share my response with all of you.
I’m not sure where to start, I think it’s kind of an upsetting article.
I don’t think anyone is saying that homosexuality isn’t a sin. If it’s a sin then it obviously has its roots in the the things that are not of God. Any sin can be classified as selfishness and self-love. It’s upsetting that the author would use homosexuality to prove his point. Paul was much more tactful in his approach, he recognized that none of these sins are really any different. They are all the opposite of love for God and love for others. At the same time, the author really doesn’t understand homosexuality (I don’t think he or she even knows one). For one thing, most of them truly hate themselves. They are looking for meaning and value any way they can. I suppose the selfishness comes in when we look for it in things that are not from God. When they use their own sexuality to get what we are all looking for: love. These people, honest to God, are hurting the most. To tell them “You are being selfish” is the opposite of what they need to hear. What they need to hear is “You are loved.” Of course, this does not mean that we accept someone’s sin, but if we can’t say that to someone, then we are truly lost.
I think what is important to remember, is that there is a huge difference between homosexuality itself and the temptation of homosexuality. I think it’s important to make the distinction because most things I’ve read written by believers do not make that distinction. I’ve even read things that go so far as to say if you are tempted in this way that you are sinning. I can’t find anywhere in the scriptures where we are told that temptation itself is a sin. Yes, we ought not invite it into our home, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t going to be there. I believe Jesus was a sinless human, but scripture tells us that he was tempted in every way (Hebrews 4:15), I would presume that he was also tempted into homosexuality (why wouldn’t he be?). But this of course is not the sin, the sin would be carrying out the temptation into action.
I think that distinction is important, because we cannot seek to “fix” or “cure” anyone of homosexuality. This is actually why Homosexuality was removed from the DSM. People were trying to “cure” people of it. What a folly. Who can be cured of temptation? What is sad, is that when it was in the DSM, a lot of “reparative” therapies were invented. These therapies would consist of engaging in sexual acts with woman at their best and electrocution or self-mutilation at their worst. All to “cure” the homosexuality inside of them. Thank God that this isn’t considered a mental illness anymore, but instead, the sin that it is.
If a gay man were to ask me “Will God take this away from me? will I become straight?” My answer would be “no”. Nowhere (that I can find) does God ever remove a temptation from someone. However, everyone, even Christ himself, asked God to remove it (Luke 22:42). However, I would tell the man what Jesus told so many: “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more” (John 8:11). You see, we can’t ask them to stop feeling that way or stop thinking that way. But we can, if they are followers of the Christ, ask them to stop having sex and move into righteousness (either being celibate or marrying a woman).
While I was reading that article, I kept being reminded of what Paul said:
I wrote to you in a letter not to associate with sexually immoral people. I did not mean the immoral people of this world or the greedy and swindlers or idolaters; otherwise you would have to leave the world. But now I am writing you not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer who is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or verbally abusive, a drunkard or a swindler. Do not even eat with such a person. For what business is it of mine to judge outsiders? Don’t you judge those who are inside? But God judges outsiders. Put away the evil person from among yourselves.
1 Corinthians 5:9-13
I love this so much, it’s become one of my favorite passages. Paul is telling us that we need to judge insiders, the sexually immoral people (in this case, the homosexuals), only, and I mean only, if they claim to be a follower of Christ. But if they are outside the church… what business is it of ours? Let me put this in blunt terms.. If we refuse to love and care for sexually immoral people, because of their sexual immorality, that is on us. We are the sinners, we are the ones who are selfish, uncaring, self-loving, prideful people. We deserve the wrath of God.
The article is so upsetting, because the man and his wife, who refused to bake a cake for the gay couple… damn them. How self-righteous do you have to be? Please don’t take this the wrong way, I think homosexuality is 100% a sin. I think they would need to give up their sin to be a part of the church. But if this gay couple, is outside of the church, what business is it of ours to judge them?
I love this passage that the author put at the beginning of the article:
Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had fulness of pride, abundant food, and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I removed them when I saw it.
Sodom’s sin, was not their homosexuality, it was their refusal to help the poor, their arrogant behavior. At which point they committed abominations before God.
Wow. Isn’t that crazy? Basically they refused to follow the commands of God. The church (for the most part) refuses to take care of homosexuals in our community because of their homosexuality, which is 100% against that little part where Jesus said “Love one another.” Wow, we are the ones that deserve to be destroyed by God. Not them.
What I am saying is that we need to stop being concerned about “America” and start being concerned for our neighbor, for “the least of these.” Honest to God, these people are not as selfish as this article makes them seem. They don’t go around raping anyone they can. To the contrary, they have a huge sense of community. In a lot of ways that community rivals that of the church. They are for each other, they love each other, they are committed to the well being of each other, and most of all, they stick together, they stand up for the rights of the oppressed among them. Isn’t it sad that those are the things that should describe the church? But you see it, even in that article, look how the members of the gay community felt slighted by the cake thing, so they were going to make it known (I’m not saying the church should do that, but you see my point).
And the whole gay marriage thing is another thing that is upsetting. I do believe that marriage is a religious institution and I’m not sure what role it should have in the government anyways. And if it does, in this great nation I think the states should have the final say on such things. But this is beside my point, if marriage is a covenant relationship. If marriage is like the relationship we have with God. Isn’t that better than the alternative for gay people? If they aren’t part of the church anyways, and they want to have a single sexual partner and a stable household… why should we prevent that? Would we rather then have a new sexual partner every week and wreck themselves further into destruction? I’m not saying that gay marriage is morally right, I’m only saying that it’s better than the alternative. I think it shows much more compassion, love, and caring for that group of people than the church’s current strategy which isn’t working one bit.
Finally, the author makes some snide remark, like if we don’t do something, God is going to destroy America. False. God is not going to destroy America, he’s going to.. I don’t know… I hope punish his church for their lack of love, their lack of compassion for such a hurting people.
Alas, Jesus took the punishment of sin upon himself, so that, by his wounds, we may be healed.
peace & love