We’ve all heard racists say, “Some of my best friends are black”, so I’ll understand if you are skeptical when I say, “Some of my best friends are homosexual” . . . but it’s the truth.
I paid my way through college and graduate school by working as a server in restaurants. These jobs allowed me to make good–and quick–money, but they also gave me the opportunity to make friends with men and women who struggled with–or indulged in–homosexuality. It was a transformational experience.
Homosexuality was no longer an abstract issue, but a real person who laughed, cried, struggled, worked, cared, wondered about the future, loved his friends, covered my last table so I could go home and study, and wanted his parents’ acceptance.
My heart softened and opened as I began to understand the sin and the “sinner”.
I have a burden for people who are struggling with the sin of homosexuality and I have a burden that the Church share that burden, too, so I read this week’s issue of the Christian Standard with great interest because it deals with homosexuality (http://www.christianstandard.com/).
The articles are great and I encourage you to read them carefully. I found the entire issue to be insightful, but I was struck by the fact that two of the articles were anonymous.
If you read the articles you’ll understand why it was prudent for the authors to protect their identities, the identity of those whom they mention who are struggling with homosexuality, and the congregations involved by maintaining anonymity.
Sinful people gossip about other sinful people and life gets complicated.
It’s not fair, but we Christians seem to do what God does not: categorize sin.
We read Romans 1:26-27 and see that God views homosexuality as “shameful”, “unnatural”, “indecent”, and “perversion”, so we pronounce the wrath of God upon those struggling with the sin of homosexuality allowing them to be the punch-line of jokes and the poster children for sin, but we wink at the rest of the sins Paul lists in 1:28-32 (envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice, gossip, slander, God-hating, insolence, arrogance, boasting, and disobedience to parents) embracing and excusing those who struggle with these sins, even though Paul reminds us that all of those who do such things “deserve death” (Romans 1:32).
All sin is wrong, and all who sin will die without Christ, and Christ died so that all sinners could be redeemed, so all Churches need to be communities where all sinners can be redeemed.
The Church should be a place where alcoholics and drug addicts can be redeemed.
The Church should be a place where adulterers can be redeemed.
The Church should be a place where those addicted to internet pornography can be redeemed.
The Church should be a place where murderers can be redeemed.
The Church should be a place where liars, thieves, and those who disobey their parents can be redeemed.
The Church should be a place where homosexuals can be redeemed, so the Church should be a place where sin can be addressed, confessed, discussed, and healed openly.
And, the Church should be a place where articles can be written about important issues without names having to be withheld.