The Homosexual Christian
To begin, I must apologise to those who have heard me argue otherwise about that which I am about to post. I understand that I was previously lacking in knowledge and acting out of a place of ignorance while pandering to, and accommodating, my cultural biases. I spoke from a place that was not in line with Scripture. I am sorry.
Let’s get down to business.
One of the many things that seems to be creating a storm in the world, let alone the church, these days are the expanding rights of homosexuals. I won’t say “gay” because I don’t think it’s accurate enough and for all intents and purposes, it’s actually a neologism when you think about it.
This isn’t a post about “love the sinner, hate the sin”, no. It’s more for us to examine where we stand in Scripture. Too often have I found myself saying on one hand that homosexuality is no different to fornication yet denouncing people who are homosexual and claim to be Christians as not being Christian at all (basically, that they are being disingenuous and Christ really does not dwell in them).
That’s where I really want to focus. I want to ask you a series of questions that should hopefully illustrate where Scripture lies with this:
Are you a Christian?
Since becoming a Christian, have you:
• Lied? [God HATES these – yes, I said hate. Read Proverbs 6:16-17]
• Been disobedient to your parents?
• Been envious?
• Been proud?
• Acted maliciously?
Search your heart sincerely and give an honest answer:
Would you still consider yourself a Christian despite all these things?
I’d hope all of you would say yes since you understand that we are saved by Grace through Faith and it’s not because of anything we have done to merit it but rather, God‘s gift (Ephesians 2:8-9). In this understanding, you’ll appreciate the fact that we all strive to lead a sinless life (yes, it’s possible – Psalm 119:11) but yet, we still fall on occasion.
In this falling, we do not deem ourselves any less of a Christian. We confess our sins, receive forgiveness and continue to work out our salvation. Why then, do we, have I, ever insisted that somehow, those who battle with the sin of homosexuality should be disavowed? Why are we so quick and comfortable to exalt this sin above others? Do we not know that if we break one of the laws, we are guilty of breaking them all (James 2:10)?!
The liar, the fornicator, the adulterer, the stubborn at heart, the quarrelsome, those consumed by rage – what are the differences? None! Sin is sin. Some people are homosexual in heart (never practising) and some are homosexuals in deed. There are no differences between the lust that burns within some for the opposite sex and the lust that burns within some for the same sex – lust is lust!
I find it very interesting that some bibles that have subtitled chapters label Paul’s letter to The Romans (from verse 7) “Struggling with Sin“. I would HIGHLY recommend that you read Romans 7: 7-25. This should put into context the relationship between the law, the commands, the opportunity that sin uses because of the law to then bring death to us. Homosexuality would not be an issue had there been no law against it (Leviticus 18:22), lying would not be an issue had there been no law against it (Proverbs 21:28; Deuteronomy 32:4; Titus 1:2), adultery would be no issue had there been no law against it (Exodus 20:14; Matthew 5:27)… I’m sure you see where I’m going with this.
Once the bible tells you and God reveals to you what is right to do, you fall under James 4:17:
“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” (ESV)
The next time we seek to pass judgement on another person’s sin, let us careful consider what Paul continues to write in Romans 7:
“For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.”
(Romans 7:15-20 – ESV)
What are the things you do that you do not want to? You know what you desire to do and you know what you find yourself doing. Where is the sin that dwells in you most evident?
It’s critical to remember that sin is sin – there is no hierarchy, there is no small or great sin. What you struggle with may not be what I struggle with but it doesn’t change the fact that we both struggle with at least one thing. Let us put off the garment of pride that easily causes us to believe our sins are somehow better or “not as bad” as another Christian’s. This is something that has been highlighted with the increased conversations around homosexuality and the church in recent months.
The Blueprint For Change:
I thank God that Paul does not stop at defining how sin will lead him to death but that he continues to explain the solution – the one we all need. Please consider Romans 7:24-25
“The written law was made weak by our sinful nature. But God did what the written law could not do. He made his Son to be like those who have a sinful nature. He sent him to be an offering for sin. In that way, he judged sin in his Son’s human body. 4 Now we can do everything the law requires. Our sinful nature no longer controls the way we live. The Holy Spirit now controls the way we live.
5 Don’t live under the control of your sinful nature. If you do, you will think about what your sinful nature wants. Live under the control of the Holy Spirit. If you do, you will think about what the Spirit wants.
6 The way a sinful person thinks leads to death. But the mind controlled by the Spirit brings life and peace. 7 The sinful mind is at war with God. It does not obey God’s law. It can’t. 8 Those who are controlled by their sinful nature can’t please God.
9 But your sinful nature does not control you. The Holy Spirit controls you. The Spirit of God lives in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Christ.”
(NIRV – emphasis mine)
Oh, how wonderful God is! What a beauty of a plan He laid out for us! Knowing that the law provided an opportunity for sin to keep us captive, He made His Son to be like us (John 3:16) that He may completely judge sin in His human body and give us the liberty to live up to what the law requires.
No matter what sin we struggle with, no matter how severe we may consider it to be, God has put His Holy Spirit in us that we may be controlled by the things The Spirit wants. The foundation of living a sin-free life is our thoughts! We must think on the things of God, the things The Spirit wants. What are these things? – see Philippians 4:8. Why else would Paul impress upon us to renew our minds (Romans 12:2)?
Before I go, I want to share something I heard yesterday with you. It changed my outlook significantly – “the opposite of gay isn’t straight, it’s redeemed”. That is to say, just because you’re heterosexual does not put you in a category where you are redeemed. You can be heterosexual and be in need of redemption and until redemption arrives, you’re the same as anybody else – even those who indulge in homosexuality.
God’s Spirit lives in you and He wants you to overcome. He wants you to think on the things that are of Him – the things of The Spirit. In so doing, you’ll please God and you’ll turn away from your sin, no matter what it is.
Remember, God is rooting for you and waiting to help you – He wants you to win!!