The following post is of a controversial nature. It is, however, not meant to offend or hurt anyone. This is a daily dilemma faced by God fearing, people loving Believers who want to share the love of Jesus with everyone.-anita
Do you ever struggle with the balance between what the word of God says in Scripture and the conflict with what society dictates as moral? I struggle with this a lot. One area of particular struggle is that of homosexuality. In reading Scripture, it couldn’t be more clear to me what God’s position is on the topic: “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination….” Lev 20:13.
Yet we have those seeking to be politically correct making a statement like this: Regarding homosexuality and it being forbidden by the Bible…this claim is “…poor biblical scholarship and a cultural bias read into the Bible.” The author of this statement (Jimmy Creech, a former United Methodist pastor who was defrocked for performing same-sex marriages and who wrote this for the Human Rights Project) supports his position by saying that homosexuality is not used as a term in the Bible and it was not understood “as an innate dimension of personality. Sexual orientation was not understood in biblical times.” He goes on to say that there is no word in Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek for “homosexual.” Finally, he says that what is being condemned is not the same-sex nature of the behavior, but rather “…the violence, idolatry and exploitation related to the behavior….” This all sounds like flippant word-smith manipulation to me; a wolf in sheep’s clothing is still a wolf.
But the core issue remains. How do we reconcile the Bible’s statements on homosexuality with the Bible’s commands to love our neighbor as ourselves? In simple terms, my own position has come to be: love the sinner and not the sin. In practice that sometimes is quite difficult. I have worked with a number of homosexuals and became very good friends with some of them. I tried hard to focus on all the things that were positive about them and their character, rather than being condemning. I also tried to make sure they knew I was a Christian and I even prayed with them, for example, at mealtime or when they were struggling with life’s difficulties and sought prayer. I tried to never laud their sexual choices but also tried to show them respect as a human being created in God’s image. But I don’t want to come off sounding like I had this all worked out fine and that I am a great saint in God’s kingdom. I often had to struggle with what I call the us-versus-them mindset. And I still do struggle with that. And given the bevy of sinful tendencies I carry around with me, to be any less than forgiving of homosexual sin would leave me wide open to the charge of “hypocrite.” And, of course, hypocrite is one characterization leveled at Christians all the time.
In a recent article that I read on the divine nature of Scripture, the author said, “Given cultural pressure, we could find ourselves slowly adopting [society’s] view of Scripture if we are not careful to remember its divine origin.” The same author goes on to say, “We reject modern notions of morality not because we are unthinking bigots who do not want people to be happy.” His point is that we have to believe in and live by what God has said to us.
But at the end of the day, it’s still hard to forgive the sin and love the sinner. It’s pretty easy to cross the line and find ourselves tolerating or ignoring the sin so as to avoid causing a confrontation. I suppose where the rubber will hit the road for me will be the day when an avowed homosexual asks me to comment on the homosexual lifestyle. Before I would ever try to answer, I would be praying fervently for God to give me gentle, caring words to say on the one hand, and the courage to say on the other that God considers it a sin. From there, it’s a perfect time to share the gospel.
By: Lee Pierce