Tag: homosexual (page 1 of 2)

The best way for Christians to teach same-gender married couples a lesson

Lessons-LearnedIt’s actually pretty simple and I’m surprised that more Christians haven’t thought of this. With celebrities, like Brangelina and David Pocock and his partner Emma Palandri (I’ll call them Dama or Emmavid), vowing not to get married until same-gender marriage is legal, the likely Christian counter-point response should be obvious… DIVORCE. That’s right, divorce. You should feel stupid for not coming up with that idea yourself. But not all of us Christians are inept to the right way to get our point across that same-gender marriage will ruin all marriage. Nick and Sarah Jensen figured out this little gem of a protest for us.

Evidently, Nick and Sarah have warned the Australian government that should they legalize same-gender marriage later this year, then they “…as a matter of conscience, refuse to recognise the government’s regulation of marriage…” The couple says that they’re happily married and plan to stay together, even having more children, but should the definition of marriage change, they will not partake in it, thus landing themselves in “Ye Ol’Divorce Court.” Hopefully the Australian government heeds this warning because as a Christian, honestly I’d like not to have to live through the pain of reading this in the news or on my social media feeds and then having to write about how atrociously ridiculous it is.

I understand that many Christians feel the need to openly uphold their conviction about how the bible defines marriage. I get it, it’s important to you and a sensitive subject that has caused a lot of frustration and hurt on both sides of the issue. But what’s more important to me is how God views how sacred I treat marriage, not whether I get the government to acknowledge my belief. Honestly, I don’t share my view publicly because it doesn’t matter what I publicly think the definition of marriage is. What does matter is my personal private view. The way that I hold and esteem marriage as a covenant between my wife and I before God is a private affair and I hope that the evidence in how I treat her and speak of her reveals my view publicly. Being a Christian always comes back to how I follow Jesus, never how good I am at making sure the government legislates morality. The thing that pains me the most is the extent to which Christians will go in an attempt to prove a point.

The fact that this couple is willing to take something that in their view is “…a fundamental order of creation, part of God’s intimate story for human history…” and sully it with something that God outrightly says he hates blows my mind. Listen to what’s going on here: a Christian couple who say marriage is a sacred covenant, created by God, is using divorce, a man-made procedure created to destroy that covenant and something  that God hates and Jesus said only exists because we’re hardhearted, to prove just how sacred marriage is.  Does that make any sense? Because for me, it sounds as close to unbiblical as anything I can think of. On top of that, they’re going to stay together and have sex, outside the legal bounds of marriage, because marriage is between them and God. Got it. No muddy water there. This is almost like saying, “If the government makes abortion legal, I’m going to quit having kids.” What?

I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it, the bible is the standard by which WE, confessed followers of Jesus, are called to live. It is not a list of sins and right behaviors that we’re supposed to use to tell the world how wrong they are and how much they need to change. The bible is meant for His kingdom citizens, and yes, some day that Kingdom will be here and yes we’re called to start living in the image of that while we’re on earth (the whole “in the world, not of it” bit), but yelling at people and getting divorced aren’t really good ways to do that. Jesus never intended on changing the culture, He intends to change us and that only comes through communion with Him, and getting divorced isn’t part of that. Once you’ve confessed Him, you’re supposed to tell people about Him and then allow the Holy Spirit, not you, to lead them into truth, while you walk through it with them. That’s done through love and relational communion with others. It’s surely not done by divorcing your spouse. Christians, we can do better.

The worst part is that while all the gay people are going to be getting the tax benefits of being married, who’s going to lobby for tax protection for people that get divorced as an act of protecting their religious freedom, but intend to still continue to co-habitat, as if married, while having children out of wedlock? Maybe the Australian ACLU? Does that organization exist? Anyone interested in starting it if it doesn’t?

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Christians Shouldn’t be Advocates for Homosexuality

lgbt_rainbow_handsA couple weeks ago I wrote a blog titled, “Keep YOUR Gospel to Yourself.” I wrote it on the heels of a group of high school students in Pennsylvania that organized an “anti-gay day.” To be honest, my issue wasn’t that they planned such a day. I spent two decades in the military for the very purpose of protecting American’s right to say what they want, not matter how shortsighted or ignorant it sounds. My issue with their ”anti-gay day” was that they used Christianity and scripture to be hateful and violent toward other people. In that article I tried to make the point that if you use Christ and His teachings as the foundation for your hate, it isn’t Christianity and suggested that they weren’t followers of Jesus.

Last Friday I had a friend repost that article on Facebook, to which I had someone comment on it. They even went to my blog and commented there. I was stoked. I don’t get a ton of comments, so when I do, I get excited. After reading it, I wasn’t so excited. The commenter suggested that because I called a kid, that was using the cross as a symbol of hate, ignorant, I was hypocritical because I was being “judgmental and hateful” toward him. He suggested a few other things, but ended with, “I skeptically wonder if the author would also turn his hateful judgmentalism toward Christians gathering for anti-abortion? Or anti-child molesting? Or anti-drug abuse? Or anti-anything else other than homosexuality?” I won’t even start on the ignorance in that thought. I can only assume the commenter doesn’t think through things on a regular basis. You can read my response to his dribble HERE. I could have deleted it, but I’m not afraid of people disagreeing with me.

The comments and questions continued much further on the FB post. Most of what he said doesn’t even warrant repeating. But, toward the end of our back and forth he asked, “Are you not an advocate for homosexuality?” I thought about it for like 5 minutes and responded with,

“I’m an advocate for Jesus. I’m an advocate for not spewing hate at people and choosing to show Christ’s love. I’m an advocate for choosing to let the Holy Spirit deal with people’s hearts and souls. I’m an advocate for being in the world, with people and ministering to their deepest need, Jesus. On my best day, what I have to offer Jesus is filthy rags. I’m an advocate for doing life with people and pursuing Jesus in a community that cultivates love, so that others can meet Him. I’m an advocate for Christians applying the bible to their life before they try to force others to live by the standard it sets.”

That answer wasn’t good enough for him, so he insisted I answer, but I ended it because nothing I could say would be good enough, lest I quote Leviticus and call for the stoning of gays everywhere. But, it did get me thinking about whether I’m an advocate for homosexuality or not, because I’d never put a any thought into it. The short answer is, I’m not and I don’t think any Christian should be, even if you identify as a Gay Christian.

Jesus followers are people advocates.

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An advocate is someone that publicly supports a particular cause. In that case, I’m an advocate for Jesus. The cause that I want to publicly support is the one that He came for; to seek and save the lost. God’s chief cause for sending Jesus into the world was not to “condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” The real answer is, I’m a people advocate. My cause in this world revolves around Jesus’ command to love God and that’s done through loving your neighbor, other people. Jesus made no distinction about who that was. Well, actually He did. In the story of the “Good Samaritan” the injured man’s neighbor was a man he looked down on, so there’s that.

Bottom line is that if you’re a Christian, Jesus requires you to not only serve those you think are beneath you, but commands you to love them. Jesus followers are people advocates. Plain and simple. It doesn’t matter if they’re a different skin color, economic status, gender, religion, sexual orientation or anything else, we’re called to love others. That’s it.

I know some will read this and have issue with the fact that I said “Gay Christian” earlier and may try to use 1 Corinthians 5:12-13 as an argument for their responsibility to tell other Christians how they’re living in sin. But, before we worry about others, let’s remember that Jesus said, “first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” I think it’d be beneficial for most of us if we started to worry more about how we’re following Jesus, rather than how others are.

Love-CrossWhether or not I’m an advocate for homosexuality is irrelevant. That isn’t the cause that I stand on. I’m an advocate for loving God, through loving others, so that they can come to know Jesus. And for those that already know Him, I’m an advocate for loving them well, so that others will know we’re His and so that we grow in unity and deeper in our love and knowledge of Him. If you’re a Christian, you ought to advocate for the same. His agenda is people, our agenda is His, so our agenda is people.

*I‘d love to dialogue with you. But, I want to dialogue with you only if you’ve actually read what I said. If you chose to comment, please start your post with “Fish Fingers & Custard.” Thanks.

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If they’re an abomination, you are too.

MovieAbominationIndiana’s recent passing of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law has reignited the discussion about how Christians should approach the LGBTQ community. Not that it was dying or ever went away, but the volume of the discussion definitely rises and falls. Right now, it’s at a 10 (I use 10 because when our kids turn the surround sound in our basement up to 10, we get to enjoy whatever they’re watching from the comfort of our living room, upstairs). With that, no matter where you turn, whether you want to participate or not, you’re bombarded with 8,000 different points of view. I have mine and I added to the conversation with a number of blogs. As I’ve read through many of the articles, and their comments, written by those Christians supporting the new law and exerting their “rights,” it isn’t uncommon to see scripture quoted to hold up the argument against homosexuality for “religious freedom” sake.

One of the most common verses of scripture is Leviticus 20:13. It says,

“If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.”

aedFirst, thankfully most Christians don’t focus on the second part of that verse. Some whack-jobs do, but they aren’t Christian. Most Christians tend to focus on the word abomination and use that as the basis of their argument. It is true that the bible says that; can’t argue with it. This article isn’t intended to prove or disprove whether Christians use that scripture appropriately, but regardless, I do not think that word means what you think it means. As a quick side note, I found a great word study article that lends some clarity to the Hebrew word that was used in that passage, and 103 other passages, and gives the probably interpretation of that word. Here’s the LINK. Instead of trying to convince my fellow Christians that the word, “abomination” shouldn’t be the crux (or involved at all) of any argument against people in the LGBT community, I’d like to level the playing field a little. Here’s how; if they’re an abomination, many of us are too.

Proverbs 6:16-19 says,

There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.

There it is. There are six, no seven things that the Lord views as an abomination; which by the way, homosexuality isn’t listed here, and the ones that are listed here are actually listed in other places, as sin, in the bible. And, King Solomon, noted as the wises man to ever live, wrote this. So let’s go through the list.

1. Haughty eyes: If you’ve ever looked down on someone with an arrogant attitude, that’s an abomination to God. Pride is a sin and is the starting point for a whole host of other sins. Let’s be honest, a lot of Christians view others’ sin like this when comparing it to their own. If you’ve ever felt or treated someone as if you were better, or less sinful, than them; abomination.

2. A lying tongue: If you’ve ever lied, even a little white lie to your kids because you were too tired to take them to the park, that’s an abomination to God. If you say you haven’t, you just committed an abomination.

3. Hands that shed innocent blood: Any ex-con that’s doing (or did) time for murder, whether it was planned or accidental, has committed an abomination. That’s an easy one for most all of us to agree with. If you agree with that… haughty eyes.

4. A heart that devises wicked plans: This is subjective, but if you’ve ever made plans to call into work and lie about being sick to go to a sporting event (or anything), that covers two things on the list, so you’ve committed a double abomination. Or if you’ve ever planned to cheat someone out of something, that’s an abomination to God.

5. Feet that make haste to run to evil: If you’ve ever excitedly gotten ready and rushed off to a night with the guys/girls, in which you knew you were going to be drinking to excess, that’s an abomination to God. Drunkenness is a sin and if you gleefully run off to join in that, you’ve committed an abomination just by simply going.

6. A false witness who breathes out lies: Man, God really hates lying enough that He put it on the list twice. Maybe it’s because the devil if “the father of lies” and he and God don’t see eye to eye. But I digress, if you’ve lied about someone else, for any reason, you’ve committed an abomination. There’s no way around it, lying is an abomination; end of story.

7. One who sows discord among brothers: If you’ve ever created disharmony within your family or your church, you’ve committed an abomination. This could include, but is not limited to, gossip, not agreeing with you pastor, being part of a church split, doing something to upset someone and causing a fight, lying about someone else, being rude or arrogant, being prideful, theres a ton more, but you get the point, you’ve committed an abomination.

For most of us that should level the ground at the foot of the cross. If it doesn’t, you’ve just committed an abomination. Here’s what I want to point out more than anything else. Nowhere in either of those scriptures does God call the person an abomination. Leviticus says, “have committed an abomination” and Proverbs says, “things…that are an abomination.” Both of those passages of scripture are directed at acts, not people. Whether or not you believe homosexuality is a sin, calling the person an abomination is not only hurtful, it’s possibly the most hateful and damaging thing you can say. You’re telling them that they shouldn’t exist. That’s not true, because God made them; He made all of us the same, with the same need, Him.

We are not called to call out what we perceive as sinful in others’ life. When we approach others with that agenda, it doesn’t follow the Apostle Peter’s direction to share our hope with gentleness and respect. Maybe we go to God and start dealing with our own issues, first. Maybe we pay less attention to what we think is a more egregious sin and figure out where calling out others’ sin is really coming from. Is it from a deep desire for them to know the same love of Jesus that you enjoy? Or is it because it’s easier to tell others what’s wrong with them, then dealing with what’s wrong in us? If it’s the first, the word abomination should never cross your lips and you should ask God to remove it from your mind. There are far better ways to communicate others’ need for Jesus and share the radically intense love He gives. Maybe one of those ways is that you bake them a cake.

What are some ways to communicate Jesus’ love to others, with gentleness and respect?

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