Some things are not what they appear to be. There are so many things that the world has pulled a veil over our eyes, and we are taken captive by the philosophies of the world.
Allow me to depart from the normal family/crafting blog for the moment, and have another “deep thought by Gretchen” post. It’s my blog, so why not?
There’s one thing philosophy of the world that has infiltrated our church in America, and I think we should talk about it. Well, there’s a few philosophies, and all the them surround the topic of homosexuality.
Yep. I’m going to talk about it.
Even if you don’t know anyone who is gay, or think you have an idea as to what God says on this issue, you may not see how this directly effects you.
I’m not talking about the attack on the traditional family. Not going there. It’s bigger than that.
Let’s start with the sin that the world sees regarding this issue, because believe me, the world sees it and they are not wrong. Overgeneralizing, maybe, but not wrong. We as Christians, too often make broad statements, or have hateful feelings towards the homosexual community. This is wrong. You know all those gay people? They have feelings. They have hearts and souls and they bleed when you cut them.
Understand, when there are people in the church living in sin, that should be addressed, and a sin should be called a sin. We should lovingly get down in the dirt with them and pull them out. That is scriptural. Picketing funerals and saying we hope they go to hell…not so much.
However, when saved, redeemed, justified believers act out with such pride, as if equality with God were something to be grasped, I get mad. We’re going about it all wrong, mostly because we don’t think it through, and we don’t think it through because we don’t like to think about it. Furthermore, we see no reason to think about it.
This day in age, though, those people are the minority. Now, when this ever comes up in discussions (which is rarely in person here. No one talks about such controversial subjects. I’ve just been tempted to comment in some online discussions) people who I know love God spout some line about “they’re born that way, and God wouldn’t make someone one way, and then say it’s wrong. Why would God go out of his way to make someone unhappy like that? Who are we to judge?” I get scared, not mad. I’m terrified.
Why? Why would it scare me that someone who loves God wants to love someone else? Isn’t that what Christianity is all about?
No. Christianity is not about love.
At least, not by the world’s definition of love. The world might define love as: kind or nice.
Jesus said that people would know us by our love, and God is love, but the solar system of Christianity does not revolve around niceness. It revolves around God. The fruit of Christianity is kindness and goodness and self-control etc. The first part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit is love. Love is very very important.
God is love (as I’ve said) but he is not a sweet little passive kitty!
I get terrified when Christians start spouting stuff like that for two reasons: They are not understanding who God is, and therefore, they are not understanding what love is. Love is not defined by God in those statements. It’s defined by the world.
I’ll try to tie up all these loose ends before I’m done…be patient.
Where to even start? Where do you begin to describe God, and who on earth would dare to do so?
Well, let’s start there. Why is it scary to describe God? Because God is so above us. He’s so beyond our thinking. His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. We can’t wrap our mind around God, and to try to describe Him would always mean you come up short. God is holy.
I used to think when I was little that “holy” meant “really really good.” It meant some one high above. It, in fact, means “separate.” God is separate from us. He’s different. My favorite example of this is a passage of Scripture that I used to always struggle with, when King David was moving the arc of the covenant back to Jerusalem. God said that the arc had to be moved by poles carried by the priests in the tribe of Levi. King David didn’t think such things mattered, and he had the arc moved back in a cart.
Here’s the part that bothered me: when the arc started to fall out of the cart, a good guy...a good guy… couldn’t bare having it fall, and reached out his hand to catch it, and he died on the spot.
What kind of God would do something like that? God is untouchable. Have we forgotten that? When Jesus died on the cross for our sins, did he just become our chum? Yes, he came down and humbled himself and became man for our sake…but he was still God. He still is God.
I think what is so terrifying is that if we lose that: God’s holiness…the fear of God, then Christ’s crucifixion is no big deal. The only thing amazing about it is some nice guy died for us. Can our brains even comprehend that GOD laid himself down for us?
When you say “God wouldn’t make someone with the tendency to sin” is the most silly comment I’ve heard. At that point, it’s not just about homosexuality. That’s why this is such a big deal: It’s not just about homosexuals. It’s about ALL of us. It’s starting a doctrine that has no Scriptural support that God wants you to do whatever you want to do. God wouldn’t have you be tempted. If you are tempted with something, and I’m not saying something like a piece of chocolate cake, I’m talking about a life changing, rip your heart out temptation. If you are tempted with something, God wants you to give in. God wouldn’t want you to struggle, to wrestle, to be uncomfortable, or (heaven forbid) God wouldn’t want you to be unfulfilled.
The idea that it is more important to be true to yourself than true to God is infiltrating our churches. The song “Come Just As You Are” comes to mind as an example. I love that song, because it means I can come to God with all my sin, and all my failures, and he takes me in spite of all of that. Then He changes me. That’s the part we’re missing. We don’t want to be changed. Being changed means it will hurt, (and I mean REALLY hurt…please don’t breeze past that). It means we won’t be who we were when we first came to God. We will be His, and not our own anymore.
This philosophy is a lie. It’s a big fat stinkin’ lie, and it scares me because Christians…homosexual and heterosexual, are buying it. We should be ashamed of our sin! All of us! Homosexual and heterosexual! We are sick, and God is the cure! He found a way and became the cure! How can we look at someone who is sick and say they are fine! How can we see someone drowning and say, “he was born not knowing how to swim, so let’s leave him alone, and love him for the way he was born.”
Let’s review: Christians who say that they are better than homosexuals and look down upon them have such a problem with pride, that they can’t even see the severity of their own sins. On the other hand, Christians, who say that God wanted homosexuals to be born that way, and God doesn’t mind them that way and in fact, made them that way as a part of his beautiful creation, don’t know God.
If sin were not such a big deal, if it were not so bad than why did Christ die?
Furthermore, God does want us to be happy. He does. That part is a lie. However, God knows that we can only be happy in Him, and so the devil roams around, telling us that everything else will bring us happiness. Money, sleep, vacation, children, marriage, sex, companionship, food, respect, are all things from God, but are twisted and distorted, and used by the devil to replace God.
I’d like to add, the thought that sin isolates. It isolates us from God, and from each other. No matter what the sin is, we think we are the only ones who struggle with it. We think it only effects us. That is also a lie. I have never met a Christian who does not struggle with sin, and most Christians try to hide it (including myself) because we think “what will other people think of me.” We think that we can deal with it ourselves. We think that it only really effects us, and as long as my sin doesn’t hurt someone else, it’s not bad.
It’s bad because God says it’s bad, period. When God says it’s bad, that’s because it does effect other people. I’d like to propose to anyone to name a sin that does not effect other people! Lying, cheating, stealing, murdering, lusting…all of them effect other people in one way or another, but it doesn’t always feel that way. That’s where the lie slips in. We rely on our feelings, and not on God. We become our own Savior.
Since homosexuality is on the table, let’s show how quickly the slope can go? This is from my observations of the handful of gay people I know. First, they go through all the parts in the Bible addressing this sin, and re-explain it with a different type of interpretation. I could actually follow them that far philosophically if I try. Then they get a partner. Well, then you’d have to go through the Bible and re-address every passage talking about fornication. Ironically, that doesn’t happen. They blame the culture for not allowing marriage, so multiple partners gets waved in. Do they go to church anymore? Mostly, no. Maybe they used to, but haven’t felt at home. Really, they don’t see the need for the accountability brought about in a healthy Christian community. It feels judgmental. So then other sins creep in, and maybe not even homosexual ones. Because there is no family to surround. No standard to uphold. Sin is really in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it? Their Christian life soon becomes redefined. It used to be: bring your brokenness to God, so He can make us whole again. It is now: be pretty good and live your life the way that makes sense to you.
With all of that in mind, how should we treat a homosexual in our midst? Are they born that way? You bet they are. Just like you and I were born a sinner, so were they. If you look hard, you’ll find a sin “gene” in all of us. Our sins have become classified as “illnesses” except homosexuality which has been elevated from illness to healthy. How long will it take for our other sins to be labeled “healthy” by the world?
I’ll name mine. I’ll say it. When I gossip, I label it as “healthy” because I’m unburdening my feelings on someone else and not holding it in. Never mind that the Bible has laid out other ways for us to unburden ourselves, and deal with conflict. By the world’s standard, as long as the other person doesn’t find out, thus getting hurt, it was healthy for me to gossip. Of course, you can’t call it gossip then, because that sounds bad.
See how that works?
Back to an earlier point, how do we, then, treat homosexuals?
Like people. Like people God died for, and wants us to pray for, and wants us to minister to, and be there for. Like any other human, ahem, I mean sinner who we come in contact with.
I more than understand that many Christians need to confess and deal with their hatred of homosexuals. As a community, we need to be putting more effort towards AIDS research than keeping gay marriage out of the legislature. For heavens sake. These are people. Banning gay marriage won’t make them straight. Making them straight won’t mean they’ll magically know God. Is it possible to love them, and not condone their sin? Absolutely.
And if they don’t know God, then what hope can we offer? What’s the point, if they don’t know Jesus and the happiness, and joy, and life he brings? Heterosexual marriage will not unburden them. Only Christ can.
It all boils down to God’s holiness. We’ve either thought we were like God, or we thought what God has to say doesn’t matter. As long as the arc get’s to Jerusalem, it doesn’t matter how…right? Even David was guilty of picking and choosing what were the “important” commands to obey. Every instance in which God’s holiness is magnified, is a reminder to us how much we need the cross.
If God is not holy, the cross doesn’t matter. Satan is sneaky. He knows he can’t take away the cross. It’s on our jewelry and in our homes. So he goes after God’s holiness, and asks the same question he always asks: Did God really say that? God is keeping something from you. God is holding back something good from you. Or going back to David: God doesn’t care about how the arc gets there, he just cares that it’s there. He just wants to be with you and love you.
I’m not saying that those questions don’t apply to homosexuals, it applies to every one, and every sin. There’s a reason priests used to wear ropes around their waists when they went into the Holy of Holies. Our God is holy, and as C.S. Lewis would say: “He is not a tame lion.”
To be honest, I don’t know why God says homosexuality is a sin, and I wish it wasn’t, because someone very dear to me struggles with this sin, and I cry almost every day for him. Why would God put him through that? I want it to be okay, and I’ve searched the Scriptures numerous times over it. I just want him to be happy.
Then I realize, I’ve bought into the lie too. I’ve bought into the same lie he has, that he will find joy there, and if God would just let him, he would be happy. I’ve forget that God is the source of happiness, and joy. Not sin.
Let me just end this extremely long and controversial post with a thought from a good friend of mine who I was discussing this post with. She was talking about a struggle in her life that had a firm grip on her. She tried medication, counseling, etc. She couldn’t shake it until one day God spoke to her heart and said “if you don’t call it a sin, you can’t take it to the cross.” She repeated those words over and over to me. If you don’t call it a sin, you can’t take it to the cross. Let’s not overlook that when we are stuck somewhere in our life. When we are lacking faith, not seeing God, and lost, we must look at the part of us that we see as “just the way I am” and call it a sin. If not, we’ll be crippled Christians. Trying to handle this life on our own like we can be our own Savior. We must all call our sin: sin. If not, we our missing out on the amazing healing, life changing, power of the cross.