“Homosexuality is a sin and I will tell someone that. I will still love them and treat them the same because that’s what Jesus would do, but I will still tell them it’s a sin.” This statement came from a great friend of mine as we stayed up late one night talking. He followed up by saying that God calls us to do radical things to follow him and because homosexuality is a sin that means the radical response from someone is to leave that lifestyle; even if it means leaving a stable life and family that they have built together. The disciples left families and business to follow Christ, so why would we be expected to do anything less.
My wife and I sat and politely argued. Not arguing the “homosexuality is a sin” piece, but the next statement to “leave that lifestyle no matter the cost to others”. We all agreed that regardless of whatever sin it may be, we are called to love that person and their sin shouldn’t change how we treat them. The difference with my wife and I versus our friend is he said he would have no problem telling a gay person that they are sinning and must leave that lifestyle. As our discussion continued my wife became visibly upset the longer we discussed the topic, especially given our friends strong stance. His wife sat and watched the two of us and as things settled down she asked, “there’s more to this for you guys isn’t there?”
Our daycare person who has helped us raise both of our boys is a lesbian. My wife works with another lesbian. Both of whom were in abusive heterosexual relationships. They are both now in committed gay relationships raising their families. Their children are loved and cared for like any “normal” family. I have witnessed the destructive power of Christianity and religion. I have seen Christian husbands who mentally and physically abuse their spouse and children. I have seen wives who leave their husbands and tear apart a family because they don’t get enough “me time”. All of these people are accepted in our churches. We offer support groups for the trauma and stress it causes. I have never seen a divorced woman come into church and be told “you know you’re sinner”.
To tell someone they are sinning is condemnation. It’s the strongest judgment you can pass on a person. It’s saying “God hates what you are doing”. I can’t tell the person who has raised my children with care and compassion, knowing the life she has survived and provided for her children, that God hates her and therefore I am standing in judgement of her as well. But I love you. Can those two statements really go together? Wouldn’t the first undo any relationship that would be built from the second?
Apply that same logic to any “sin”: Lying, Stealing, Swearing, Gluttony, Drunkenness, Covetousness, Divorce, Homosexuality, Greed, …
How many people in your church would you walk up to and tell “You’re sinning”?
How soon would it be before no one wanted anything to do with you or the “But I still love you” side?
My friend referenced John 8 where the adulterous woman is thrown at Jesus’ feet . It amazed me how the two of us could look at one verse two different ways. He saw Jesus saying “go and sin no more”. I saw Jesus saying “neither do I condemn you.”
Homosexuality is THE issue for Christians today. It is the one area where so many Christians lose their “grace”. I always come back to the fact that there is no sin greater than another. Jesus said “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone”. If the one perfect person to ever walk the face of the Earth can say “Neither do I condemn you” which of us can place ourselves in judgment of another? Who is willing to tell someone that you love, has suffered, and whose life my not be perfect as a result that essentially “You’re going to hell”?
I know my friend will read this. His conviction and passion for Jesus is one of the things I love about him. I wouldn’t have traded or changed our conversation. I actually can’t imagine him telling our daycare person to leave her family and “quit sinning” either. I just wish that more of us will take the time to have those kinds of conversations to grow personally before making rash statements.
Other thoughts on Homosexuality: