Sunday, July 6, 2008

Homosexuality and the Christian Response

I had an Uncle who was gay. I loved my Uncle and was very upset when he was told to go away and not come back until he was a Christian and out of homosexuality. The way it was explained to me, I understood that his sin was just too big and I needed to be protected from it. Well, even at a very young age I understood that no one's sin was too big for God. It was simply our job as Christians to love all sinners and through our love, bring them to Christ. Unfortunately, Christian love has a human time table it has to work in. That time table had come to it's end, and at the end his sin was so egregious that he was to be put out of my life forever. Or until he came to accept Christ as his Savior and leave homosexuality.

I still wonder how he was expected to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ when the only Christians he knew turned their backs on him. How was he to learn the love of Christ when churches shunned and/or wagged their fingers at him and shouted, "Abomination unto the Lord!" before asking him to leave?

He eventually got a job working on the barges. His job took him to Texas in the mid 80's. A man there invited him to church. My Uncle politely refused the invite, but the man was persistant. After a few invitations my Uncle said he was gay so he couldn't go to church. The man responded along the lines of, "Yeah, I know you're gay. We're all sinners. That's between you and God. I'd just like you to come to church."

It really touched my Uncle, this love, but he wasn't so sure the rest of the church would feel this way. So the man went to visit my Uncle again with a few other men, deacons and elders from his church. They all felt the same way. Sin is sin. They were in no position to condemn him. They just wanted to share the grace of Christ with him.

That Sunday my Uncle went to church. After several months in a church that taught grace instead of condemnation, my Uncle accepted Christ as his his late 40's! Consider the chances of that. A study conducted by Abilene Christian University revealed that 85% of people who do not accept Christ by the age of 18 never will. So here's my homosexual Uncle in his late 40's accepting Christ. What an amazing miracle!

He didn't leave homosexuality right away. It took some time of prayer and growth in Christ for him to be delivered from this lifestyle he'd been living in for over 25 years. It was after being a Christian for six months that he finally left homosexuality. He ended up meeting a woman in his church who could look beyond his past and they married.

He contacted my mother who decided he could come see us. By this time I was married with children of my own. I got to dance a Texas Two-Step with him again.

Three months later he died from cancer.

My Uncle is alive and well in heaven right now because of Christians showing LOVE, COMPASSION, and GRACE. They did not condemn him. They did not feel that they were any better than him. He was the same as they were. He was a sinner in need of Salvation. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Now I could end here and everyone would be happy. But there is more. This isn't a post about just my uncle, but a post about how Christians treats homosexuals.

I have a friend who has been with his "husband" "partner" "significant other" for two years longer than I have been with my husband. When he was in a serious car wreck a few years back, his husband had to lie and say he was his brother in order to see him in ICU. Had he told the truth he wouldn't have been allowed in.

But heterosexual couples in the same situation (not married) are routinely allowed "family only" visitation.

I do not condone homosexuality any more than I condone fornication, alcoholism, or thievery. I just try to look beyond the sin to the sinners and their heart. The sinners in a homosexual relationship may be two people who deeply love each other. Even though that love may not be Biblical, they are people with deep feelings. Those feelings need to be respected in the same way we respect the love of a Christian who marries a non-Christian, despite 2 Corinthians 6:14, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?"
Sin is sin. Sin brings condemnation. Jesus brought grace.

It's amazing the amount of grace we are willing to show an unequally yoked couple or a heterosexual couple living in sin. Yet we don't show that same measure of grace to the homosexual couple though, and it has it's costs.

My friend in the car wreck is a Christian. I know him personally. Yes, you can be gay and a Christian. Just like you can be a Christian and still be involved in fornication, adultery or pornography. And his heart breaks because the man he loves and has been with for over 20 years is not a Christian and will have nothing to do with church, the Bible, or Christ. Why? The judgement passed on homosexuals by "Christians".

My gay Christian friend use to be a big brother to a little boy in foster care with HIV. The foster parents, Christians, said that NO ONE had helped this boy the way my friend had. People were afraid of his illness. Through my friend the boy grew and was happy and was doing better in school and was intersted in God. Unfortunately, months later they found out my friend was gay. This Christian couple yelled and screamed at him, in front of the young boy, and told they'd call the police if he ever contacted the boy again. All the good that had been done was completely UNdone by their "Christian" response.

Yes, there are some gay men that are pedophiles. But there are some straight men that are pedophiles as well. We seem to forget that.

My gay friend saw a church doing a fundraiser on a corner vending food. They had tables set up and were selling lunch. He decided to buy lunch there and support their church. Sadly, when they found out he was gay they went after him calling him an "abomination unto the Lord". Someone from the church even called the police. The cop couldn't figure out what my friend had done. He wasn't the one all worked up. The "Christians" had surrounded HIM and was shouting at HIM. I'm glad there weren't any stones around!

I wonder if they would have reacted the same way had it come out that he was a drug addict or an alcoholic instead.

So now my friend's partner says he needs nothing to do with Christ. He's witness enough "Christian love" to last a lifetime. He doesn't want to listen to what my Christian friend has to say about Christ because the true lack of love and prevailing judgemental mentality of "Christians" has been showed to him time and again. He is lost in darkness and has no interest in the Love of Christ ... because of the Christian response he's seen his entire adult life.

I can't help but wonder how many more homosexuals out there feel the same way and will never come to know the saving grace of Christ Jesus. It saddens my heart.

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I have said these things unto you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
~John 16:33