4/11/2008

The Christian and the Homosexual

About 1.2 million people in America identify themselves as homosexual (see here on the difficulties and assumptions for this estimation). Those in the Christian church have written much about the homosexual agenda. However, many of these writings do not show any evidence of an honest desire to show Christ’s love to those struggling with this form of sin (see and inciteful article here). I wanted to make a small effort at outreach, and I hope that the reader would hear me out.

I was raised in a small-town Southern-Baptist church. Was the church a little backward? Yes. Was the pastor a fundamentalist? Yes. Did he clearly preach the Bible’s main message? Yes, thank God. One part of the Bible he preached was the condemnation of homosexuality in Romans, Chapter 1.

I became a Christian because of a particular sermon on Romans 1:18-32. I heard the sermon when I was seven years old. There are many things in that passage that a seven-year-old in a small town in 1976 did not understand, but there was one thing I did understand. Among those who God gave up to, “vile passions” were people who were “disobedient to parents.” I can assure you that a seven-year-old can understand that. I knew I was condemned under the law. I knew I had no chance.

Most people just flat don’t read all of the passage from Romans 1. They don’t read about “covetousness, maliciousness … envy, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness … Backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things … Undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful…” I find my behaviors on that list very easily, and many of those most critical of homosexuals can find their favorite sins on that list as well.

But then the pastor turned over to Romans 3:21-31. He preached of a way out for me, a way to be delivered from the consequences of my sins. If I believed in Jesus then what He did on the cross would pay for my sins. God would not be mad at me anymore. I could be God’s friend because “a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.” It was so simple, even a seven-year-old could understand it. I have to remind myself of that simplicity each day because I sin often.

It is this forgiveness and freedom from guilt that the Bible offers to the homosexual. His sin is like all of our sins, deserving of punishment, but Christ died to purchase forgiveness and mercy for all of those who would repent of their sins and turn to Him.

I want to explain very clearly how much of a sinner I am. The only hope I have is Christ dying for me. I am just one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread. I am not so different, and I am certainly not superior.

I struggle with sins that in many ways are more socially unacceptable in our day than homosexuality. I have no promise of freedom from that struggle until I get to heaven, and I must repent each day for my sin. My performance gets better in many ways, but I am also more and more aware of where I fall short.

God offers the free gift of forgiveness and its resulting freedom from shame to those who trust Him. Christ’s death can save any who repents. There are resources in the Christian church to help someone who wants to change (see here), and I hope that this post has clearly announced that hope.

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