We are constantly surrounded by the wrong Christian response to the LGBT movement or community or individual. I will first point out those wrong responses (and why they are wrong) but then will cover what the true biblical response should be.
Wrong response #1: Condemnation and exhile
This is the low hanging fruit. This is also the argument that the left points to all the time, claiming that the “right wing” is always responding this way. The truth is that some on the right do respond this way, but their actions cannot be defended.
The left rightfully points to the fact that “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:17) They also emphasize the many scriptures where the Pharisees were attempting to condemn someone who was outside the Law and Jesus said they had no right. The other famous story they point to is the story where Jesus saved a woman from being stoned. Their favorite quote from this scripture is “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7)
To this point, the left is not wrong. However, taking a few lines of scripture out of context and attempting to apply it in other situations, and stretch its application beyond the intent, is very dangerous.
Keeping the John 8:7 verse in context, Jesus was not making accommodations for the woman’s behavior. He was not saying that what she did should be considered OK. He was not arguing that we should accept her behavior as her choice and let her live as she chooses. He was saying that the action of stoning her as a result of her sin was wrong. Only the one without sin has the right to ultimate judgement. In fact, Jesus does not condemn her to death but does call her away from her life of sin. ““Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”” (John 8:11 NIV)
Wrong response #2: Acceptance and normalization
The first argument is where some on the right error. Now this argument is where others on the left error. In their endless chant of the “judge not” mentality, they go further. It’s not enough to say that all is forgiven, they want to say all is acceptable. There is simply no biblical argument for this stance, (other than taking scripture out of context).
In EVERY case where Jesus showed acceptance to a sinner, He called them out of their live of sin. He repeatedly told people to ‘go and sin no more’. Now we all know that there’s not a person alive that can actually be successful in living without sin. So was Jesus telling them to go now and live perfectly? Of course not. He was telling them to leave their life of sin.
You see, we all fall to temptation at some point and ‘commit a sin’. But living a ‘life of sin’ is where we continue the actions and make excuses for those actions, claiming they are not sinful.
The best non-political example I can think of is premarital sex. This is simply wrong, but our society has totally accepted it, and even championed it. It’s pervasive in our pop culture, in just about every TV show and movie above a G rating. Our society has so normalized this action that we think nothing of it. But the truth is, it is just as wrong as homosexuality.
I myself was found in this life of sin, before I was a Christian. Even as a new Christian, I continued in this lifestyle, thinking nothing of it. But when I was in premarital counseling and our Pastor called us out on this, telling us to ‘go and sin no more’… we finally got it. We ended that life of sin and fought the temptation, holding off until marriage.
The right response
The right response to homosexuality was the same response my pastor gave to us engaged in premarital sex. Pastor Nate did not condemn us. He did not say we are now going to hell. He did not say we were somehow less worthy. He simply called us to leave that life of sin. Did this end our temptations? Of course not. However, as time went on, fighting those temptations became easier.
Pastor Nate also told us something else in that counseling session. He said if we weren’t Christians, he would not hold us to this standard. But since we claim salvation through His blood, we ought to let our “manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ.”
You see, how we respond to homosexuality with non-Christians is quite different than how we respond to those claiming salvation through His blood. Non-Christians still live in their sin and we should continue to pray for them and teach them about His love. But a Christian is called to live a life worthy of the Gospel. That life means acknowledging our sinful acts as what they are, fighting temptation as often as possible and accepting His free gift of grace for those times we fail… but never claiming our sin is not sin.
So don’t condemn those who struggle with homosexuality. Don’t mock those who live this lifestyle claiming it to be normal. Love them, pray for them, show them His love and forgiveness. But never make excuses for their lifestyle, claiming it to be acceptable.
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