This isn’t a light hearted post; I’m warning you right now. And I’m not writing this to ignite an argument or to make people hate me or to condemn people to hell. I have no right to judge anyone—I have enough sin in my own life. But someone needs to say it, especially in light of Pope Francis’s recent announcement that Christians need to apologize to homosexuals (among other groups). While there is no excuse for mistreating anyone (if love wasn’t the equation, apologies are in order), it is also necessary to be clear.
There’s a slogan you’ve probably seen plastered on Instagram posts, spewed across protests on the news, and captioned on Facebook. #LoveisLove. This is in response to the advances the LGBT community has made in the last year, but also to the tragedies like the devastating loss of 49 souls in an Orlando nightclub.
In our language, love is love; you’re not wrong. But that doesn’t make it right.
My generation is quick to jump onto bandwagons that promote change and acceptance. Sometimes that’s a great thing. We’re obviously progressive. It’s definitely been the case with the LGBT movement. Millennials are generally much more accepting and less tied to tradition than the generations before us, which leads to a quietness about issues that might offend. But I don’t want anyone to be misled by the church’s silence. It’s not fun to talk about this over a pulpit, so often people don’t. But for new Christians, or even Christians who have been diving into God’s word their whole lives, sometimes certain sins are dismissed as being okay, or a cultural exception, or simply “catching up with the times.”
But, guys, God’s laws don’t change with the times just because we do. He is unchanging. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His word is not fickle. Which means that so often we are in the wrong. And I’m just going to say it for those who don’t hear it, who might not know, or who are tempted to dismiss this aspect of our theology: homosexuality is a sin. It is wrong.
But Kay, what does it matter to you if someone lives like that?
It matters to me because sin separates us from God, and someone actively living that kind of lifestyle is actively separating themselves from The One who can love them in the deepest, fullest, only way their heart will be satisfied. If I love someone, how can I not want that for them? If I love someone, why would I stay silent while I watch them betray God’s love?
I’m not perfect. I’m certainly not saying I don’t have sin in my own life. I have my struggles, too. I am a sinner in need of grace as much as the next person. I miss the mark. And I’m also not saying that those in the LGBT community should be cut off. Absolutely not! I have friends, people I love, who are a part of that group. These people need God’s love just as much as I do. And we need to show it to them–to everyone.
What I’m saying is that in the midst of pressure to adapt, tolerance has somehow become synonymous with acceptance. And it shouldn’t have. What I’m saying is that Christianity calls us to a higher standard—an impossible standard for me, which is why there’s grace for me and for you, no matter what kind of life you’ve led. But that doesn’t mean it’s okay to keep engaging in an LGBT lifestyle (or any sin, for that matter). Yes, God grants us grace but that doesn’t mean we get a bunch of get out of jail free cards or that we can pay a fine and get off the hook. Hebrews 10:26-27 reminds us that if we keep living in deliberate sin, the hope of Christ is no longer ours. Instead, we have a fear of judgment and fire. And it doesn’t mean it’s okay for us as Christians, who are called to bring each other back to Christ, to ignore when our brothers and sisters miss the mark—regardless of the reason the arrow strayed.
So can we, as a Church, stop being shy and timid and reserved about this? Can we stop being tight lipped while we walk on egg shells? Can we stop worrying about who we offend and just lovingly speak truth into a world that’s so easily deceived? The Gospel is offensive. It reminds us that we are utterly incapable of perfection. But it’s also beautiful and full of hope because it offers undeserved grace. It’s not too late to accept that grace—for anything in your life. But the change needs to be more than skin deep.
Living a Christ-like life is not easy and it’s not popular. It’s not a crutch. It’s not hipster or mainstream, but it is worth it. We are called to live that life. And while we are in the world, but not of the world, we are still called to infiltrate and love and minister to it. So please, let’s not make exceptions because our culture tells us to or because we will lose friends. Let’s humbly support each other, encourage each other, and lead each other back to Christ on the lifelong road that is ahead of us.
Please don’t let yourself be fooled by icons or cultures that contradict God’s word. Grow in truth and seek out those who will help you find it not just when it’s convenient, but also when it’s hard.
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