Well folks, I’m back again! I’ve felt compelled to add my two cents on the recent Supreme Court declaration that all states must permit gay marriage. This issue has been brewing a long time and it has many people up in arms.
Some would say that the country is going to hell in a hand basket. From the Christian perspective, I would have to agree. We are a long way from Mayberry RFD. Our country has fostered an environment conducive to it. No doubt about it. Not only in our laws; but, television, Hollywood, and our music all contribute to the environment. In some sense we are all contributors.
How then should Christians respond and react to these circumstances? Should we jump up and down, shout, participate in a straight parade, hold our breath till we pass out, or maybe, join the Westboro Baptist Church? (Tongue-in-Cheek). As the representatives of Jesus, can you imagine Jesus doing these things? I can’t wrap my brain around it. The Jesus represented in Scripture wouldn’t behave that way; and, neither should we.
Sure, homosexuality is a sin; but then again, Jesus died for the redemption of all sinners. Scripture tells us so in Romans 5:6-8. “6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Christ died for my sins, your sins, and the sins of the homosexual. So you see, homosexuality is just another sin . And guess what? This just in: Sinners sin. Whether or not they are married changes nothing. They will continue doing so no matter whether you or I want them cease and desist or not. The fact of the matter is that homosexuals deep down know that what they are doing is wrong. I suspect they are, however, looking for someone or something (the government) to justify sinful behavior. Since God won’t do it, they turn to their god (the government) to put their stamp of approval on it.
Martin Luther King said, I think in the 1960’s, that you can’t legislate morality. And he was right. Although, it sort of appears that you can legislate immorality. It is a matter of heart! Judaism has had the Law of the Torah for millennia; yet, people still break the law. Laws never had (or ever will have) influence over people who are not convinced that God is God of the universe and that their behavior is hindering their eternal relationship with Him.
So how then should a Christian respond? What Would Jesus Do? I suggest it should be with the same kind of love that Christ displayed to all other sinners! And I’m not talking about some warm, sloppy, huggy, puppy love. That’s not the kind of love Jesus was talking about either. The English language has an unfortunate way of confusing the type of love Jesus displayed. In the Greek language there are four terms used to describe different types of affection. The type of love we are talking about here is agape love. Agape love can be defined as a kind of love where one has a philanthropic caring disposition toward the welfare of others. In this type of love, one cares for both the temporal and eternal welfare of all sinners, homosexual or not. We are called to care. And like Jesus, we should speak the truth in love (agape love) to gently help guide others (including homosexuals) to a relationship with God.
Simply telling someone they are a sinner (even if it is true) is a surefire way of getting into an argument. You can’t win an argument about your faith or religion. Arguing doesn’t work. If you read your Bible, I’ll bet you don’t see Jesus getting into any arguments. Well, okay, maybe he did with the moneychangers at the Temple. But, that wasn’t an argument it was more of a butt whuppin’……
Instead, I suggest you shine your light. Live the life God has called you to live. 2Corinthians 4:1-12 describes it beautifully in this way: “Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.”
It reminds me of a time in life in which I was doing some temp work delivering mail at a large health care provider. There was a very openly gay man working there with whom I worked. He knew I was studying to be a pastor. At the time I was attending a Christian College and I was able to sometimes talk about my studies. I made a point of never ridiculing his lifestyle while not giving approval to it either. Instead, I treated him as any other co-worker. After a few months, he got curious about my faith and started asking questions about it. He even asked questions about how God (and I) viewed homosexuality. I gave him the answers as I understood them in my reading of Scripture. If there was any condemning to be done, I was content to let the Word of God do it through the Holy Spirit. Truth in agape love is a wonderful thing. There was no argument…. Just questions answered!
The truth is, I don’t know how things turned out as I resigned from that job shortly afterwards. I would have to say that in the short time between we had a different relationship. Certainly it was more respectful. I let Jesus work through me to attain an opportunity to witness about Kingdom dynamics. You see, I was living out 1Peter3:15-16 which says “15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” [Italics mine]
In the quotation above it mentions “Set apart Christ as Lord” and “keeping a clear conscience.” When we set apart Christ as Lord we need to separate ourselves from the values of Hollywood, television, and music exploits values that are opposed to Christianity. In this way we can in clear conscience separate ourselves from the world. If we are just another part of the world, behaving the same way sinners behave, the sinner has nothing to ask about. He or she already knows about the world according to Satan! Make yourself enough like Christ that a sinner wants to explore what makes you tick. Then you’ll get the opportunity I did!
Who knows what became of my co-worker? God does for sure. One never knows when the seed will sprout. Years later my words may have come to mind and he may have sought God out. I hope he has been reborn into a new relationship with God. This is the same process that has been worked out in every believer.
I hope I have been successful in bringing my point across that homosexuals need Jesus too! I also hope I have made the point that it’s not up to the government or the courts to bring about eternal changes in the lives of people. That’s the Holy Spirit’s work. Let the Holy Spirit work in you!
If you have any questions or want to comment (not argue) please send an email to email@example.com. I’ll be glad to add them to the post if they are helpful to the conversation.
Till next time…..
©2015 Casey O.Hooper