I read an article today entitled “Stop Policing the Borders” of Christianity. In it, the author talks about how many people in the LGBT community reject Christianity because there is an “overt condemnation of homosexuality from the pulpit or anti-gay protests”. I think the overall premise is that, while a sense of community and belonging is at the heart of Christian doctrine, the church body has ultimately failed to meet the unmet desire for belonging amongst those in the LGBT community. Which brings me to my question/issue (sorry so long-winded). I am a Christian and I believe in the absolute truth and inerrancy of the Gospel and that there’s evidence that homosexuality is condemned by God. But one of the main issues that I deal with is the fact that homosexuality is singled out as the lone, cardinal sin in many instances. So, is it Biblical justifiable for me to NOT make issue of someone’s sexual preference in hopes that the Holy Spirit will convict them if they experience the same Grace the I, a heterosexual male, experience? Is it OK for me not to support laws prohibiting gay marriage, as I feel it is not my responsibility to prohibit choice–because love of God without choice isn’t really love at all? If I speak out against oppression of the LGBT community, am I in essence, endorsing sin or simply refusing to compromise Grace? Where do you draw the line? If any of this even makes sense. I might not even be posing this question to the right place but I thought you all may be able to shed some light, providing evidence that I’m unaware of.
Dear Is It OK,
Thank you for writing. I think you’re asking some very important questions.
“Why is homosexuality singled out as the lone, cardinal sin in many instances?”
Good question. And yes, this is a serious problem that we Christians need to work to correct and I see you are trying to do. But I also see you are trying not to overcorrect. That’s good too. I’ll tell you why I think homosexuality is singled out. I think people are afraid. What people do not make any effort to understand, they fear, and what they fear, they demonize. People are also afraid that the gay agenda to normalize homosexuality is a threat to marriage and the worldview of our children. But what if we spent time actually engaging the nuances of the issue, equipping our people, including our kids, to engage lovingly too? I also think the gay community is an easy target. Frankly, Christians have no business pointing the finger at homosexuality and rolling over on divorce. But it’s just easier to point at “them” than to deal with the messes in our own house.
“So, is it biblically justifiable for me to NOT make issue of someone’s sexual preference in hopes that the Holy Spirit will convict them if they experience the same Grace the I, a heterosexual male, experience?”
Tricky. I definitely think it’s important not make an issue right of the bat—-“Hello. I’m ______. You’re gay, right? Did you know that’s a sin?” Probably a bad strategy. But I think when you’re friends with someone, it’ll come up naturally, so you definitely want to be prepared to speak the truth in love to your friend.
Think about how the Holy Spirit convicts you. Sometimes he’ll do it through the Bible or through a book or a song, and sometimes, probably most of the time, he’ll offer loving conviction through other people. Right? God uses people to spread his message of Grace-Truth. It’s messy and imperfect because people are imperfect messes, but that’s how God has always chosen to work. And when I think about how God accomplishes his work through us! I’m amazed at his power.
“ Is it OK not to support laws prohibiting gay marriage, as I feel it is not my responsibility to prohibit choice–because love of God without choice isn’t really love at all?”
Yes. It’s okay not to support laws against gay marriage. But the reasoning you give is a bit shaky. After all, it is illegal to do lots of things that people technically have the choice to do… murder and speeding, for (extreme) example. Personally, I think we do more damage than good in trying to legislate gay marriage. Even when we “win” those battles, I think we’re losing the war. But many Christians won’t agree with me. The Culture War seems to focus on fighting certain types of people; where I come from: democrats, abortionists, gay activists… Ephesians 6 instructs us that our fight isn’t with people, even when they are attacking us—and they are. We’re not to play by their rules. We have another Ruler.
“If I speak out against oppression of the LGBT community, am I in essence, endorsing sin?”
Certainly not! Look to Christ who spoke out (remarkably calmly and with remarkably few words in this instance) against the oppression of the woman used by the Religious Leaders as a trap for Jesus in John, chapter 8. “Let he who has not sinned throw the first stone,” Jesus says to the Religious. And to the woman he says, “I do not condemn you. [In order that you may be able to] leave your life of sin.” Christ neither compromised grace nor truth; and of course, neither exists apart from the other: “truth” without love is not an extension of Christ, the Word, but merely a clanging noise, an irritation; and “grace” without truth is not at all a kindness.
I hope that’s helpful. May the Lord bless you as you continue to think through your Christianity.