What about my friends who are gay? | What’s up with Hell? Part 7

Question Answered: What about my friends and family members who are gay? What awaits them in the afterlife?
 

We round out our conversation on Hell by discussing a question we all must ponder when it comes to our friends and family members who are gay. The common thread in Christianity is if someone identifies themselves as gay, then there is no way they can be a follower of Jesus.

I believe there is more to the story…

Before we begin, let’s go on and be honest… my short blog on the topic of homosexuality isn’t going to solve really anything and the debate of “Can you be a Christian and be gay?” will continue to be something that is wrestled with over and over again in our Christian circles as we are genuinely concerned with our family members and friends who are gay.

I love the quote from Billy Graham who once said, “It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge, and it’s my job to love.”

I think if we took this topic and observed it through this lens it would change everything.

So here is what we all need to know:

1. Jesus loves everyone. 

Jesus came to this world so the world could know for the first time what “love” really is. His death is the eternal instagram so to speak of true love. He shared that love to the world with His own blood. That’s why He came. That’s why He matters.

John 3:16-17 (NLT)
16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 
17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
 

2. Our church loves everyone. 

Let’s be honest, the church as whole has done a horrible job of dealing with this topic because most have no clue what to say or how to have a conversation with someone who may disagree with them. Therefore, what has happened is a lot of hate has been spewed from the church that isn’t rooted in God or love.

That’s why I love our church. Our church is a place where everyone is welcome regardless of if you are happily or un-happily married,  single, divorced, or part of the LGBT Community. We understand that we are all broken people who need God and who are on a journey to know God. The church as a whole has to get better at how they loving discuss this topic.

That’s why we have to find the middle ground of standing on our beliefs without spewing hate. Let’s be honest…the gospel is offensive. Jesus came to die for sinners and He calls us all sinners in need of a Savior. We have to own up to our issues and that’s something we all have recognize about ourselves regardless of our opinion on the issue of homosexuality. We need Jesus. Sadly, for far to long the church has made the focus an issue and forgotten that behind the issue, there are people, some of which are our family and friends. People who both God and us deeply care about.

Colossians 3:12-15 (NLT)
12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 
13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 
14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 
15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
 

3. Sin is Sin

The Bible clearly discusses sin and our what our response is to it. We can’t step away from the fact that God lists sins throughout His word no matter how we may feel about them. Our opinion on this is pointless in response to God’s.

Homosexuality is one of them. So is greed. So is gluttony. We are the richest as well as the most greediest individuals to ever walk this Earth. We are also the fattest. One-third of Americans are obese and another third are overweight. The rate of childhood obesity is at 20% and the rate of adolescent obesity is at 18%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Out of the developed nations in our world, we are the unhealthiest. In my opinion, there are many topics that need to be discussed in the church that are just overlooked, but for what ever reason, homosexuality has been elevated.

So we need to be careful that regardless of our position, we don’t find ourselves so focused on this single issue that we miss the big picture. There is a world that needs love. There is a world that needs God. We ALL have sin in our life that needs to be brought to Jesus.

1st Corinthians 6:9 & 11 (NLT)
9 Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality,
11 Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
 

4. God is the ultimate judge.

So God calls homosexuality a sin along with gluttony, greed, lust, and not reaching out to the widowed and orphaned. Even though it is a sin when you bring in the idea of salvation and God, we want to know can the two coexist? Can someone be gay and still be a Christian?

Many times this is where we start trying to act like we have all the answers, but we don’t. It’s time we stop talking like we know the answers to things that God doesn’t completely share with us. Then we need to learn how to discuss, and even disagree with people in love. No matter how we disagree, we can still love together, study scripture together, pray together, grow together, and let God be God.

So can someone who is gay be a Christian? If you mean can someone who struggles with homosexuality and who has accepted Jesus, can they be a Christian? In my opinion, yes. All of us are born with temptations that are a part of our DNA that we struggle with more than others. One pastor put it simply: “The struggle of gays in being attracted to the same sex is no different than my struggle in being attracted to the opposite sex.” We all struggle with sin. Of course sexual sin has more of an impact on our bodies, but in no way do I believe God differentiates sins and punishes one more than the other. Sin is sin and sin has real consequences.

But once we meet Jesus we are changed. We are someone completely new and we are now looking at our lives through God’s eyes.  So if you accept Jesus as Lord and Savior there is no way you can continue eating uncontrollably, looking at porn, ignoring the needy, or sleeping with your girlfriend and be okay with it. The moment you are okay with any of those sins, begin to accept them as normal, and believe you can continue doing those things with God’s approval, you have missed the entire idea of the cross. Salvation should move us to want to be more like Jesus, not make us feel like we are free to sin because we know he will forgive us.

I believe homosexuality is a real temptation and struggle, but something God can help us with just like any other temptation and sin. We cannot overlook that our actions do have consequences, and when we know a part of our life doesn’t match up with God’s will for our life, we have to ask Him for help.

And love everyone…no matter what.

If you’re not gay, love those who are and deal with your own crap.

If you are someone who thinks they are gay or clarifies themselves as gay and you are trying to figure out where God fits in, open up your life and let God speak to you. Study His word and be open for change. Nothing is worth living for if it gets in the way of us being able to know God one on one. Regardless of what we are born with, God is able to move in our life in ways we could never imagine.  We were born sinful and will continue to be so unless God changes who we are from the inside out.

So where ever you find yourself on this issue, it’s time we change everything. If you are gay, it’s time you forgive those who have hurt you and be open for God to move in your life. If you aren’t gay, it’s time you stop judging and begin loving the way we want others to love us.

We are all people in need of a Savior.

We all have baggage and need God’s help with it…

Further the conversation:

http://healthland.time.com/2010/09/23/study-america-is-officially-the-fattest-developed-country-in-the-world/#ixzz23Xp1Ljfs

http://www.qideas.org/essays/unchristian-change-the-perception.aspx?page=2

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/church/features/1457-7-burning-issues-gay-rights

UnChristian By Gabe Lyons

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