On Angry Christians and Homosexuality

I read an article this morning in which a Christian berated another Christian for his position on gay marriage. That article is not all that important, but it got me thinking on the subject of the attitudes and actions of Christians toward unbelievers in general and homosexuals specifically. So, here are some random thoughts that will hopefully offer some perspective.
• While the Bible certainly condemns homosexuality (1 Cor 6:9-11), it never condemns it as a worse sin than any other. In fact, several of the times that homosexuality is specifically condemned (1 Cor 6:9-11, 1 Tim 1:10) it is listed equally with lying, stealing, greed, drunkenness and all other sexual immorality. Despite this, I never see Christians lining up to campaign against lying or greediness. The fact of the matter is that most professing Christians react to homosexuals out of prejudice and mask it with a self-righteous proclamation of concern for holiness. Perhaps I could have more respect for the political attempts to bring about holiness if the American church were more concerned with holiness in every other aspect of life.
• When the New Testament condemns homosexuality, it does so in two contexts. The first context is as one example among others of the manifestation of the human sin nature. The second is as an example of sinful behavior that believers must avoid. What you never see is the condemnation of homosexuality (or any other sin for that matter) in the context of a command to reform unbelievers. For many, the motivation to rid the world of gays is merely selfish. Many so-called Christians are simply concerned with their comfort. There is no Christ-like concern for the soul of the sinner, merely a self-centered desire to not have to be around anything that is unpleasant to them.
• While I believe there are certainly practicing homosexuals who are saved (just as there are practicing liars, drunkards, etc.), the majority of the homosexuals we encounter are probably unsaved. The issue a true Christian must be concerned with is the salvation of a soul. Is “curing” homosexuality going to make someone anymore saved? Of course not. Tragically, the behavior of most so-called Christians toward homosexuals pushes them further from Christ. The world would be much better off if Christians were half as concerned with the souls of those they were attacking as they were with waging a moral war against every sin the unsaved world commits.
And I suppose this is the reason that I feel compelled to write at all. The preoccupation of believers should not be with the sins of unbelievers, but with their own holiness and conduct before God. It is my desire to urge every believer to consider their actions in light of Titus 3:2 which exhorts believers “to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.” It is not my intention to anger anyone, but I do hope that my comments have caused you to think a little differently about a very important issue so that together we might win the lost rather than alienate them.

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Remembering Easter

Easter is upon us once again and, as with most major holidays, memories of past Easters begin to invade my thoughts more frequently. Most of them are pleasant, like shish kabob lunches with our church family followed by egg wars and bocce ball. Some of them still come with just a twinge of sadness, like the memory of singing “Because He Lives” Easter morning just a few weeks after singing it at my grandfather’s funeral. Some of my favorite memories, though, are of the sunrise services when I was young.

Now back then, especially down south, we did real sunrise services. You get up early and you hold a service outside – which you could do, because unlike here in the arctic of Northern Indiana, it’s generally warmish outside. Everyone gathers and listens to scripture and sings great resurrection songs while the sun is just coming up and it’s easy to visualize what that first Easter might have been like. My favorite sunrise services were held in the cemetery. That may seem strange to some, but there is something special about making the very real connection between the resurrection of our Lord and the subsequent victory over the cold, hard reality of death. It’s easy to feel the power of Paul’s words as he declares that “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where [is] thy sting? O grave, where [is] thy victory? …Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1Co 15:54-57). These words are truly the story of Easter in its simplest form. Our savior has gained victory over sin and death.

As you celebrate this weekend with friends and family, I hope you make some great memories of your own; but don’t forget to meditate on the life made possible because of Jesus’ great sacrifice. Remember that He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities. Remember that by His stripes we are healed. Remember that by his shed blood we gained the possibility of forgiveness from sin. Remember it is in Him we are justified. Remember, that if not for His sacrifice, all other memories and experiences –no matter how wonderful – would be meaningless.

With those thoughts in mind, I pray that you each enjoy a blessed Resurrection Weekend rejoicing in the great gift of life our Savior purchased for you.