Many of you heard our president’s recent remarks on homosexuality, and some of you may have been at Watermark yesterday when I shared how we should respond as believers. You can also check out my comments here.
In addition, I received an email this week with some very helpful resources. Give this a read and be equipped!
From: Xxxxx Xxxxxx
Sent: Thursday, May 10, 2012 8:32 PM
Subject: Fw: TGC: How I Wish the Homosexuality Debate Would Go
I’ve debated for several weeks whether or not to seek your guidance on a matter that is creating a lot of division in my family. I was raised in what I considered to be a strong Christian family. Approximately 15 years ago my little brother shocked the whole family when he revealed that he was gay. He had kept the secret for several years and had sought “Christian” counseling for a few years prior to his declaration. At the time, he told us all that he was ashamed of his sin and had done everything possible to try to fight it. He recognized homosexuality as a sin and told us that he was trying to figure out a way to abstain from ever acting on these feelings (we later found out that he had already been in previous hidden relationships).
Sadly, after many years of counseling and soul searching, he has reconciled his sin as acceptable to God has recently joined a church (one of the growing many) that has twisted the Gospel into convincing homosexuals that God has somehow “changed” and believes they can continue in their lifestyles as long as they are married or in “committed” relationships in states where gay marriage is banned. Sadly, two of my three siblings have also Biblically reconciled this lifestyle as acceptable to God and are now encouraging him to pursue this lifestyle in an effort to find a partner he can spend his life with.
We have been exchanging emails back and forth for several weeks, but the conversations always end in the same result below. I believe that the commentary that my little brother’s best friend (a strong believer) posted below was perfectly stated. I’m convinced that the rebuttal from my brother is coming from his pastor and other gay Christian friends.
I would love to get your thoughts on the statement below where he makes the assumption that God has “evolved”, as evidence of his grieving over creating mankind in Genesis. My other brother has echoed this same sentiment and questions Xxxxx’s multiple references to sexual deviance as being out of touch with today’s homosexuals. Most of my siblings believe that I am not sensitive to my brother’s natural, “God given” tendencies and just want him to be lonely his whole life. This couldn’t be further from the truth as I deeply love my brother and just want God’s best for his life.
Thank you for your prayers and your wisdom!
Email chain between Xxxxx, his brother, and another friend.
From: Friend of Xxxxx and Xxxxx’s brother
Subject: TGC: How I Wish the Homosexuality Debate Would Go
This is a great article on how the writer wishes a conversation would go between a talk show host and evangelical pastor on gay marriage.
By the way, I highly recommend www.thegospelcoalition.org — tons of consistently great content there, articles, short blog posts, video and audio.
From: Xxxxx’s Brother
Subject: Re: TGC: How I Wish the Homosexuality Debate Would Go
There’s another aspect of this argument that goes undiscussed… Actions are not sins merely for the sake of being sins… When we sin, we hurt ourselves and those around us.. They are self-destructive and lead to estrangement between God and the sinner… We can see explicitly what it does to the adulterer, to the thief, to the murderer, to the liar, to the prostitute.. To a lesser degree, we see what it does to those who fornicate… Obviously, there are many who have had sex before marriage, whose marriages have ended up working out and being “fruitful.”
For the homosexual, however, there has never been an opportunity to marry, so they are always trapped in a perpetual state of sin, only when they “act out” of course. Because of this, they wrap their identities around their sexuality which leads to all sorts of debauchery and wickedness— the worst of which is a complete abandonment of spirituality- belief in or closeness with God.
This brings us to the question as to whether homosexuality is innate or developmental. Everyone knows my struggle in this regard. My views have changed. Some might say my views evolved. Some might say they’ve devolved. Honestly though, I really don’t care anymore what people think. I know where I stand at this moment in my life, and I feel closer to God then ever before. I may have a completely different view 10 years from now, I may not. I just ask God to guide me however He can
I believe God changes in relationship to us. The core of God never changes— pure and unconditional love. We see proof of this when God grieved that he had made man in the Old Testament. I’m being borderline heretical right now, and digging into this question is for another time… But…
I believe gay people, particularly Christian gay people, have matured— and I believe God’s relationship toward the homosexual condition has perhaps changed.
I have a friend named Xxxx— he happens to be engaged to a man. I know that sounds strange and probably very uncomfortable to hear, but he is one of the most loving, well rounded individuals I’ve ever met. Unlike most gays, he never grew up with this stigma that homosexuality is wrong or unnatural. In fact, his parents told him he was gay before he told them. And they made it very clear that they had no problem with it and they loved him as much as their other children. As a result, he never went through a period of self hatred… Unlike the vast majority of gays I know.
He can’t relate to his partner’s or my struggle with being gay. It’s completely foreign to him…
People like to believe that all of the debauchery and sadness and hyper-sexuality and promiscuity is a result of being gay. But I believe it’s a result of self-hatred. I’ve seen it in too many people.
I know most Christians will never believe that sexual union between two people of the same gender is condoned by God — married or unmarried. The scriptures are clear that the homosexual behavior at the time of Paul was deviant and evil. But homosexuality at that time was often combined in Pagan ritual. It was often an older man and a submissive boy. It was prostitutes… And so on…
But homosexual people today are much different then they were back then.
God is complex— we will never understand His mind while we are here on this earth. Only He can see what lies at the core of all human behavior.
What I’m trying to get across is…
Why not grant homosexuals the right to marry so that they don’t have to live in sin? Homosexuality will never go away. More and more people know someone or have a family member who is gay. Don’t you want them to have the same rights to be as happy as you are?
Don’t you believe God is loving and that perhaps He approves of certain homosexual relationships?
The friends referenced above are two of the most wonderful people I know. And their relationship is pure. One of them became a Christian recently.
Instead of intellectualizing everything and making Biblical views black or white, let’s take a look at the face of these relationships that are so condemned. God might bring ease to your minds.
Sent: Monday, May 14, 2012 8:33 AM
To: Xxxxx Xxxxxx
Cc: Johnny Hawkins
Subject: RE: TGC: How I Wish the Homosexuality Debate Would Go
Xxxxx…glad you are asking and thanks for reaching out. Though I understand that your question is primarily about the innate nature of God and how He or His character doesn’t change, I’d also love to offer you a resource that I think would be most helpful to you. Below is the link to a message I did on homosexuality in 2004. If you’ve never listened, this may be helpful to you as you continue to speak truth to your family.
I would agree with you that God’s convictions don’t change…in fact, Numbers 23:19 is clear in saying this. Look it up and be encouraged! I am as saddened as you are by man’s attempts to define God based on their own finite understanding. Does God deeply love your brother and others in his lifestyle? Absolutely. Is He surprised by his choices? No, and He is absolutely grieved by the self-inflicting pain that can be caused.
Also…to continue to dive into whether these tendencies are “God-given”, I’d encourage you to check out Ricky Chellette’s ministry at livehope.org. You can also see some of what he has taught at Watermark here:
One last suggestion, and that is to continue to bring these sorts of issues to your consistent community around you so that they can be a source of encouragement for you, help you research these questions, and pray for your family. I’m looping in Johnny Hawkins here, who is the director over your community group, as I know he would love to jump into the conversation.
For the record, I thought the hypothetical interview in the link was great. Praying for you and your family, and grateful with you for Hebrews 13:8!