Are You Gay? What Christians Want You To Know

                          

 

 

Dear LGBTQ community,

True Christians love you and care about your eternal salvation.  Please focus on the word “true” because it makes a world of difference.  As born again, blood bought people of God, Christians do not hate you.  We cannot hate you.  Nor would we ever desire to hate you, or anyone else for that matter.  There are just some things we wish you would understand about us.  And I’m sure, there are things you wish Christians would understand better about you.  Don’t worry, I will challenge Christians on this blog post as well.  I will ask myself, and other believers, some very personal questions about how and why we deal with gay people the way we do.  But right now, there are also many things we want you to know about us.  And when I say “us”, I mean people who are born again and truly fear God.  Gay people, please think about these things I mention.  It really is that important to me, and other Christians, to learn more about you.  We want to know how you think through interactions with us. We want to know how to enter into your life, and how to have solid friendships with you.  We desperately want you to know that we care.  So to everyone who is a part of the LGBTQ community,  we want you to know that……..

1) Christians agonize over how to befriend you, because most of us don’t think that you really want to be our friend.  We do not want to hurt you.  We do not want to make fun of you.  We do not want to get into arguments with you.  In fact, we are so afraid of NOT showing compassion to you, that we sometimes fail to say anything at all.  Admittedly, most Christians are not very good at building relationships with gay people.  I personally struggle immensely with how to do this.  I have read books and countless blog posts to try to learn how to get better at it.  And I’m sure many other Christians do the same.  Christians tend to believe that you want nothing to do with us, and so we often hold back due to our own sinful fear.  This is not an excuse.  It is failure on our part, that we should readily admit.  In fact, Rosaria Butterfield (a former lesbian who converted to Christ) once said, “Prior to conversion, my experience with Christians  was that they were mostly fearful people.”  If you are a Christian reading this, I would advise you to watch this powerful interview with Rosaria.  Gay people, we really want to have empathy with all you have been through, and we want our empathy to be real……not just lip service.  And where we have failed you, we do not cover it up.  We ask for your forgiveness, and we ask for your help.  Yes, we want you to help us to love you.  We want you to somehow let us into your life, so that we might get to know you as a person, and not simply a project.  We do not know your world of friends and hobbies and work.  We do not know your hurts.  But we want to.  And Christians, lest you think I’m going overboard with all of this, please go back and listen to Rosaria Butterfield above, especially when she talks about how Christians can learn much from the gay community.

2) Christians are grieving over the massacre in Orlando.  Yes, we hate when wicked people commit acts of violence against other people.  Yes, even when the victims are people whose lives contain sexual practices that we disagree with.  Can’t you understand this?  Whenever I see those smiling pictures of the Orlando victims, I do not start thinking about the fact that they were gay.  I think about the fact that their loved ones (parents, gay partners, friends, co-workers) will not see them anymore.  And I also think about how scared they must have been to be there at the Pulse Nightclub when Omar Mateen stormed in and went on a killing spree.  Christians have great heartache over this incident.  No, not enough heartache I realize.  Never enough.  But well-known Christian football player Tim Tebow left the Bahamas to go and visit one of the victims.  Please know, gay people, that all true Christians wish to have this same heart as Tebow does.  We want to serve you with acts of love and mercy.  We want to be better with the LGBTQ community.  In a previous post I wrote on the Orlando massacre, I made it clear just how devastated we should feel for all of you.  And if we don’t feel that way, then God help us to repent.

3) Christians feel heartbroken when we see a gay AIDS patient on the cover of a magazine.  I still cannot get this image of David Kirby from Life Magazine out of my head.  I have stared at this image several times in my life.  There are times I have been sitting at my workplace when I had an impromptu thought to google Life Magazine just so I could look at that photo.  I don’t know why I think about it sometimes……..I just do.  Perhaps it’s because I never want to lose compassion for people who are suffering.  Even today, my heart breaks for the Kirby family when I look at that photo.  And when I look at these precious young faces murdered in Orlando, my heart goes out to the families.  I, and other Christians, never want our sharing of the gospel to be words only.  We want to share the gospel, while demonstrating the love and compassion of Jesus Christ.

4) If God were ok with someone practicing homosexuality, true Christians would tell you this.  We would not hide this information from you.  We are not trying to steal your fun.  People who tell you that God is ok with homosexuality just want you to like them.  They care not for your eternal body and soul.  Yes, we have failed greatly at times in our methods and our approach.  We have failed to show the love of Jesus.  And yes, in the last few decades (especially during the AIDS crisis of the 1980’s), we have often just flat out preached the wrong message.  As Christians, we often say that it was only “professing” Christians who did this.  Well, maybe the majority of them were false believers, but born again believers must admit that we are often still influenced by the Moral Majority.  And this is not a good thing.  We must be influenced by Jesus Christ.  He loves sinners.  So should we.  Tragically, some folks in the visible church (not only Westboro), claiming the name of Jesus Christ, have often turned the gospel message into “Just be straight like us.  Stop being gay and God will be ok with you.  Repent of being gay.  Gays cannot enter heaven.  You’re going to end up in hell.”  This is not the gospel.  This is moralism, pride, and fearmongering.  But gay people, please realize that true believers want to tell you the truth.  We want our message to be balanced, with the right mix of law and gospel.  We always want you to know that God is not only holy and just, but He is also love.  We care about what happens to you when you die.  We believe hell is real.  How hateful would we have to be to NOT warn you of these things?

5) Christian pastors, as a general rule, rarely preach on homosexuality as a topic.  And I mean rarely!  In my experience, heterosexual sins are preached on just as much, if not more, than homosexuality or lesbianism.  For the most part, churches focus more on pornography than homosexuality.  We have sexual sin in our lives too.  Christians sin sexually…….. in our minds (by lusting) and sadly, sometimes in deed (by having pre-marital sex or committing adultery).  We’re not better than you.  Not by a longshot.  Christians are not perfect.  Our Savior is.

6) Westboro Baptist Church does NOT represent true Christianity.  I hope you can see a world of difference between them and the teachings of Jesus Christ.  Do you know that Jesus hates what they do?  I mean……….He really hates what they do!  And don’t you know that true Christians think about the pain that gay people feel when they see those horrible picket signs?!  That Westboro cult (notice I did not say church) moves from city to city to hold up banners displaying motives of bigotry and hatred.  Jesus, on the other hand, moved from town to town to show people love and acts of kindness.  He was moved with compassion.  And the kindest, most loving thing He did was to reveal Himself to them.  For since He is the only One who can truly fulfill us, then by revealing Himself to others He is displaying the ultimate love and kindness ever heard of.  Westboro Baptist does not do this.  Despite what they may claim, they do not reveal Jesus to others.  They plot out their picket schedule well ahead of time.  They strategically plan to reveal signs meant to demean, shame, and embarrass gay people.  Jesus, on the other hand, purposefully set out towards Jerusalem.  He plotted His own course.  In fact, nothing would stop Him from entering the town of Jerusalem at the end of His life.  Why, you may ask?  Not so He could hold up picket signs against the Jews and the sexually broken.  He went to Jerusalem specifically so He could die for sinners.  That’s the Jesus true Christians believe in.  He’s the same Jesus that we want you all to know.

7) Most Christians believe that practicing homosexuality is not the “worst sin in the Bible”.  There may be a few exceptions out there, but I believe they are wrong if they believe that is true.  Why do I say this?  Because rejecting Jesus is the worst sin ever.  And apart from God’s grace, that is what everyone in history (gay or straight) would do.  If God did not pursue us, none of us would ever choose Him.  Christians believe your worst sin is unbelief, not your sexual orientation.  Homosexuality is merely a symptom of a much greater disease.  Heterosexuals who have pre-marital sex are no holier than men who practice homosexuality.  Christians, I believe it can be a dangerous game when we start categorizing specific sins by degree.  Because whenever we do this, it is always based on what we think are the worst sins.  From what I see in the gospels, the church elder who sits in a pew week after week with a self-righteous, pharisaical heart is in far more danger than anyone marching in a pride parade.  Greater knowledge equals greater responsibility.  I see no profit in trying to argue that being a homosexual is worse than being a heterosexual fornicator.  Both groups need the cross of Christ just as much!

8) Christians should be much more judgmental about our own sin than that of others.  If we point a finger at you, we better be pointing a few more back toward ourselves.  Jesus reserved His harshest words for self-righteous folks.  A great man named A.W. Tozer once said, “Be hard on yourself and easy on others. Carry your own cross but never lay one on the back of another.”  This should be my personal anthem, and the anthem of all Christians.  We should be held to this standard.

9) True Christians are not, or at least should not, be homophobic.  Do you know that, if a Christian were displaying homophobic behavior, that he needs to be called on to repent of his sin?  Please, gay people, we kindly ask that you would not label us as part of a group like that.  Just like you don’t want us to label you as something you are not, we just want the same fair treatment in return.  That’s all.  The reality is that Christians speak out against many different sins that are listed in the Bible.  We speak out against lying, theft, adultery, envy, anger, etc.  But no one accuses us of being a liar-phobe, or a thief-phobe, or an adulter-phobe, or even a murderer-phobe.  It has nothing to do with hatred or fear.  We are simply warning people that living your life as though the Bible does not exist is a dangerous game to play.  Both sides (gays and Christians) fail in showing empathy, and both need to work on it.  I do not believe that Christians have the market cornered on this one by any means.  We have much to learn.  We cannot let difficult circumstances, and a rapidly changing culture, keep us from reaching out to the gay community.  And I realize that for both sides, with all of the litigation going on regarding issues of religious freedom, and the political mudslinging on top of that, it is very difficult to maintain empathy for people we disagree with.  However, if there is to be any progress made, or any bridges to be built, it must begin with empathy coming from both Christians and gay people.  If we’re not willing to meet each other half way, it is going to be difficult to meet at all.

10) Right now, Jesus loves homosexuals, and transgender people, and lesbians, and transvestites.  He loves you and He died on the cross for sinners to prove that love.  Don’t listen to Westboro.  They are wrong.  God loves Bruce Jenner.  He loves Ellen DeGeneres and Anderson Cooper too.  And by the way, I called him Bruce (and not Caitlyn) because I believe something important about how God created gender in the beginning.  I was not trying to offend you, and I really care about Bruce Jenner.  I am simply obeying my Lord and rejoicing in His perfect distinctions between a man and a woman.

11) Our ultimate goal in sharing the gospel with you is not for you to become a heterosexual.  No, it isn’t the goal.  Not even close.  Our goal is that you would be born again, escape the wrath to come, know the beauty and glory of Jesus Christ, and find all of your joy in Him.  And if we were friends with you, and you reject the gospel message that we share, we have no intention of breaking off the friendship.  Because we believe………..yes, we really believe that you might just be pretty cool to hang out with.  Not everyone that Jesus spent time with embraced His message.  Friendship is much deeper than that.  Gay people, Christians really do love you.  Yes, we disagree with Obergefell.  Yes, most of us oppose the legalization of gay marriage.  I won’t pretend these beliefs do not exist.  But, at the same time, we still care about you.  We wish we knew how to care more.

12) We pray for you.  Yes, my gay readers, we pray for you.  And not just when a tragedy strikes you.  We just…….well, we just pray for you.  Not enough I know.  We can always pray more.  And that is the goal with you, and anyone else who doesn’t know Jesus.  We want you to know the Christ, the Holy One.  We want you to know the King of glory.  And since we are powerless to pull this off ourselves, we go to the One who has infinite power to take out a heart of stone, and replace it with a heart of flesh.  We plead with Jesus to bring you into His Kingdom so that you will have eternal joy in Heaven with Him!

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9 thoughts on “Are You Gay? What Christians Want You To Know

  1. I’m wondering if you believe that gays can love Jesus and still be gay, as in Christian gays or gay Christians? Because in your article you just talk about gay people? I hope you don’t assume all gays are alike, just as not all heterosexuals are alike. There is a spectrum – an array – of types of people.

    Otherwise, you made some good points. I agree that the wall needs to be crushed.

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    • Thank you for your comments Sue. I appreciate you taking the time. I do believe that someone who gets saved will continue to struggle with same sex desires. I believe their attitude toward those same sex desires are now changed. Whereas before when they were unconverted, they embraced those desires and gave into them. As a Christian, same sex desires are now unwanted, and they do not want to give into them. As believers, they now find their identity in Christ. Hope this helps. (-:

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  2. Sorry to come late to the party; I only just saw this from a link on Facebook. It makes me happy that you have a heart to reach out to the LGBTQ community, but it makes me sad you say things like this:

    * “People who tell you that God is ok with homosexuality just want you to like them. They care not for your eternal body and soul.” What on earth would make you think that Christians who believe LGBTQ people can be and are Christians don’t care about them? That’s just … a crazy generalization at best or a blatant lie at worst. We just want LGBTQ people to LIKE us, that’s why we tell them the loving arms of Christ are open to them? That’s just … I can’t even …

    * “We want our message to be balanced, with the right mix of law and gospel.” No seriously, you cannot mix law and Gospel. Whenever you throw a little law in to balance out grace, you pollute the whole stream. Either grace is the free gift of God (the actual Gospel) or it is something you earn by your law-keeping (false gospel). You can’t mix the two and still have grace. It’s there in the Apostle Paul’s epistles.

    And then, apparently without any sense of irony, you say “Tragically, some folks in the visible church (not only Westboro), claiming the name of Jesus Christ, have often turned the gospel message into ‘Just be straight like us. Stop being gay and God will be ok with you. Repent of being gay. Gays cannot enter heaven. You’re going to end up in hell.’ This is not the gospel. This is moralism, pride, and fearmongering.”

    But isn’t this exactly what you, yourself, are telling LGBTQ people? Take away your pretense of loving LGBTQ folk and your message is: “You are going to hell for practicing your sexuality because people in same-sex relationships cannot go to heaven. Be straight, and confess Jesus as Savior, and God will be OK with you. I am only telling you this because I love you, not to condemn you. ” You say it’s tragic when Westboro says this, but it’s love when you say it in a nicer way? It’s tragic either way. You call it moralism, pride and fear-mongering, but how is your message any different in its essentials?

    I applaud you for a desire to get to know an LGBTQ person as a person and not a project. I admire your assertion that you love and want to emphathize with the struggles of LGBTQ people. I feel like you might really prosper a lot in these endeavors by reading Justin Lee’s book, “Torn.”

    He was born into a Christian family who raised him right, experienced no abuse of any kind, discovered that he was gay and went on a journey to discover what the Bible really says about that. His story may actually show you a little bit of how LGBTQ Christians feel, which will be a great lesson if you actually do want to emphathize with your LGBTQ brothers and sisters.

    https://smile.amazon.com/Torn-Rescuing-Gospel-Gays-vs–Christians-Debate/dp/1455514306/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473196134&sr=8-1&keywords=Torn+Justin+Lee

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    • Dear Jax,

      Thank you for this response. It’s ok if you’re late to the party. I invite comments even long after the party is over. (-: I wanted to thank you for clearly stating the issues you have with my post, and doing it in such a way as to further conversation. You gave me much grace, even while disagreeing. I wanted to take each point you brought up, and do my best to explain a little further why I said what I said.

      1) My quotation was: “People who tell you that God is ok with homosexuality just want you to like them. They care not for your eternal body and soul.” As I look back on this post, I believe I erroneously made a blanket statement here that I should have been more careful of. It may very well be that some people are not aware of what the Bible teaches on the issue, and they are getting their information from the media, from school/work, from friends and family, and sadly- even from some “evangelical churches.” So with that said……. It may be that some people are telling homosexuals that God is ok with their sexual lifestyle because they really believe that God is ok with it. I should not have assumed that their motives were to simply “get gay people to like them.” Not every case is this way. Good point. I will take more care in the future to not make sweeping statements that lump everyone together.

      2) My quotation: “We want our message to be balanced, with the right mix of law and gospel.” The law is meant to drive sinners to Christ. When I say we need to have the right mix, I just mean that people who embrace the sin of homosexuality (and do not believe that it is sinful), need to hear the law in order to be driven to Christ. In Galatians 3:24, Paul says the law is a tutor to bring sinners to Christ. If we simply tell people that they are Christians, regardless of whether they repent of their sins, we are preaching a false gospel. The gospel is made available to everyone, gay and straight alike. Everyone needs to repent and believe in Jesus to be saved. A person can be a Christian and struggle with same sex attraction (maybe even the rest of their life). But, a person cannot be called a Christian who embraces and justifies their homosexual identity. Scripture simply won’t allow this.

      3) This next quote is your interpretation of my statements: “You are going to hell for practicing your sexuality because people in same-sex relationships cannot go to heaven. Be straight, and confess Jesus as Savior, and God will be OK with you. I am only telling you this because I love you, not to condemn you. ” First off, the message of the gospel to a gay person is not “be straight.” Nor have I ever made this statement. The message is that Christ died for sinners, and if you repent and trust in Him, He will forgive you. Repentance and faith cannot be divorced from one another. Both are elements of a saving relationship with Christ. I don’t expect a gay person to come to Christ, and then immediately have all of his same sex feelings eradicated from his or her life. That’s not how it works. Christianity is a lifelong battle with sin. The difference will be that such a person will no longer love his or her sin, but they will now hate it…….and do battle against it.

      And for the record, I do not want anyone to go to hell. I love gay people, and because I love them, I need to tell them the truth. I want them to escape the wrath to come.
      God bless you, Jax. I hope we can have further discussion at some point. I have a lot to learn about gay and transgender people, and I am already learning from you. Thanks for pointing these things out. I already know some things I need to work on. (-:

      P.S. Thank you for the book recommendation. I have made note of it, and I will read it as soon as I read through another book called “Do Ask, Do Tell, Let’s Talk: Why and How Christians Should Have Gay Friends.”

      Like

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