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Monday, December 3, 2007

Its finally been asked...

So Josh finally put it out there: how do we (as the church) approach homosexuality? I'm glad someone asked...

I write a lot on here. And I really appreciate those of you who take the time to read, comment, and discuss these topics that I put out there. I apologize if I get defensive (which happens easily when I feel like people are asking questions that could easily be answered if they actually read what I'm writing). I am arrogant and stubborn--but the whole reason I write is to share ideas and to get your opinions and viewpoints. It helps me grow and develop these thoughts that are resounding in my head and heart. I am working through these topics and I like being able to do it in an odd communal way. It really is quite helpful. You challenge me and I hope I do the same for you...

But back to the question at hand.

Josh, I think about it a lot. I really, really thought hard today about a way to respond to this. I think I can boil it down to this: For homosexuals, healing will start when the church accepts them as children of God who are worthy of love and respect. That has to be first and foremost. I feel like we tend to tell people they have to clean up their lives, THEN they can be a part of this community we call Christianity. When in fact, that's reverting back to the old system of sacrifices and laws. That's ignoring what Jesus did for humanity. That's not Christ-centered.

I just know that God would have us to accept and love people for who they are: his children. I know people need to hear that. People need to know they are accepted no matter what they do, no matter who they are. God accepted me, chief of sinners. Who are we to say that someone else doesn't deserve that unless they change everything they are first? People need love, first and foremost, people need to be shown love. Unconditional love. No strings attached kind of love. I love you no matter what kind of love. The love God has shown us.

Its easy for us to say "those" people. We compartmentalize so much of our world. It makes it easier for us to not have to deal with it. To push it to the back of our minds and say that "those" people are bound for hell and we can't change the fact that there's a huge rift between the homosexual community and the Christian community. We are so separated. Its going to take all of us breaking down the barriers that divide us and being willing to honestly be like Jesus. I think we try to force things because we think its our job to change people. Its not. Our job is to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Our job is to love. Our job is to point people to the God who loves them so much. Our job is to let people know about the choice we've made. Our job is to live our lives in pursuit of Jesus.

I think we agree that this lifestyle we are discussing is outside of what God intended for us. But I don't have a list of bullet points that are "Here's What We Do" when it comes to homosexuality. I don't think there's a black and white process we could print up hand out to churches world wide to explain to everyone: here's how to handle this issue we've all messed up so badly. I think the response will differ based on the situation and the location. I know sometimes I don't provide all the answers. I may lead you to believe something, but not actually come to that conclusion. For that, I don't apologize. I haven't got it all worked out yet. Some things are still up in the air (gasp! and that's okay!). That's why I write. But I've said what I need to say for now... I'd like to hear your (everybody's) thoughts on the question Josh has posed. I'd like to keep this conversation community oriented--not just me telling you what I think. I want to keep this as US talking about things TOGETHER.

As always, thanks...

4 comments:

Josh Hussung said...

I agree, John David.
I am an associate Pastor/Music Minister/Youth Minister/... at a church in southwest TN. We have a few people who regularly attend our church who are living in a homosexual lifestyle. But you know what, we have people who regularly attend who are cohabiting outside of marriage, and people who are divorcing their spouses, and people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol. I feel like if my church does one thing well, we make all of these poeple feel welcomed. These people know that they are loved, and they also know that we consider these things to be sinful. But the love we show them makes them able to sit down in our church and hear the Gospel preached to them on a weekly basis.
I have heard it said many times that God takes you just the way you are, and that is absolutely true. He took me and saved me from his own wrath. I am no better than someone who struggles with a different kind of sin. God took me just the way I was....but he didn't keep me that way.
When Christ saves, he saves greatly. He changes us. And I pray that the people who come to our church, broken, weary, and in need of a savior, that he give them a new heart, and that they would realize their sin and repent from it.
Your right, JD, that none of us could ever clean up our act enough to deserve Christ. I pray that God would give us all the grace to love people and not think more highly of ourselves than we ought to, but to be humble, like Jesus, and obey him in loving others.

Saintdoc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Saintdoc said...

John David this is the best post I have seen you make on the subject of homosexuality. We must love in every case because we are loved and yes we are sinful. God cared for us even though we had failed Him. He died because there was no way we could have lived the life required for justification. Our God is great and His love can cover a multitude of sin. Love will win every time. Remember how loved changed Eugene King? I hope everything is going great with you and Brittany. Take time to make this first Christmas together special and remember It is not the gift but the giver that matters most. I Love you guys.
Mike

iSojourn said...

John i think you hit it right on the money here. So may times we get stuck on our sin that we become prideful in it. I am very guilty of it. Many times i think Christians lose sight of the "good-news." We forget the grace and hope and abounding mercy that comes from the Love of the Gospel. And the necessity to show others that same love. I just wrote on my blog about the way of love a few days ago. This is so pertinent. Christ calls to those who are sinful. We come with our faults and through Gods Love he changes our hearts. Sometimes we forget that we ourselves came the same way as other sinners. I hope we all can humble ourselves and Love those God has put into our path.