Christians and Gay People
In my previous post, I spoke on the relationship between Christianity and gay marriage. Today I would like to discuss my beliefs on the relationship between Christians and people who are gay. I feel like Christians and gay people don’t see things objectively, because they both have an agenda. So here is my best attempt at trying to be objective:
1. Gay people should be allowed to get married, as far as the state is concerned. We live in a free country. That means that people of all kinds of lifestyles that are incongruent with the Christian faith should be allowed. Christians shouldn’t fear if gay people “get married” and enjoy the same tax breaks and legal protections of those who are traditionally married.
2. The state should let all other “alternative lifestyles” get married as well. Polygamy shouldn’t be discriminated against. Neither should incest. If all are consenting adults, the state should recognize these unions for legal purposes. This is only fair to all of the sexual philosophies represented in the general population.
3. Christians should understand that the concept of “freedom” in our country has largely worked for us, because the vast majority of our citizens have identified themselves as Christians who believe in the Bible, and so we all have affirmed the same moral views generally. Today, that’s no longer true. As a result, we are going to see a lot more divergence from what the Bible teaches is right and wrong. We need to get over it. Christians believe that sexual activity is a moral issue. The society today doesn’t—and that’s their right (even if they are wrong). With today’s sensibilities, people can have sex outside of marriage with no moral implications. The only concern society sees is the prevention of unwanted diseases or consequences (pregnancy, etc). Any Christian who doesn’t realize this has their head stuck in the sand.
4. Christians should continue to affirm that although the state acknowledges all of these various unions as “marriage,” God absolutely doesn’t. And Christians should stand up for their beliefs, while allowing the practices to move forward unhindered. The Bible is clear that gay relationships are sinful. The Bible is clear that any kind of sex outside marriage is sinful. Christians should continue to preach this lifestyle, and Christians should continue to live this lifestyle unashamedly.
5. Christians need to understand that we will be made fun of for these beliefs/practices, and that we will continue to be treated as prudes, bigots, jerks for these beliefs. It will only get worse. Our response should not be to attack back, but to turn the other cheek. I don’t see this kind of Christian response, and this one probably saddens me the most.
6. Christians should be completely welcoming and open to people who struggle with same-sex attraction. This struggle is no different from sexual struggles that straight people deal with. Lust, pornography, the desire to have sex outside of marriage—these are no better than the struggle against same-sex attraction. What would be so wrong with having a gay pastor?? As long as the pastor recognizes that he ought not to give in to his temptations, how is this any different from a straight pastor who has to recognize that he ought not give into his sexual temptations? All of us are born with sinful tendencies—and no one is worse than the other. Christians need to realize that we refuse to tolerate people who struggle with same-sex attraction. We treat them differently. This is abhorrent to God.
7. Gay people should recognize the difference between a Christian who says the gay lifestyle is sinful, and a Christian who discriminates against gay people. They are not one and the same.
8. Christians should recognize the difference between a gay person who says that Christians are morally wrong for their position, and a gay person who tries to take their religious freedoms away from them. They are not one and the same.
9. Christians have created an unnecessary stigma against those who struggle with same-sex attraction. As a result, people in the church can’t be honest and acknowledge this struggle. We are forcing them to keep this hidden, which only adds to its power. We treat almost all sexual temptations like this. It’s why so many men in our churches struggle with addiction to pornography and see no control over the practice. If we got things out in the open, things would be different. But that would require churches to be full of grace and forgiveness. This one definitely saddens me the most.
10. Christians who struggle with same-sex attraction: I plead with you to come out to the open. Help the church to see that you are no different from the rest of us. That you are going to continue fighting against sinful desires in your life, just like the rest of us. Coming out as gay doesn’t have to mean that you give in to your desires. Through the power of the Holy Spirit we all can resist temptation and live for Jesus in our sexual lives. Confessing is the first step to see power over temptation.
11. Christians who don’t struggle with same-sex attraction but realize it’s no different from any other temptation: I plead with you to speak out in support of gay people. Help the church to see that they are no different from the rest of us. Be willing to suffer rejection from other Christians who want to judge and condemn gay people for their struggle. Stand up for what is right, and stand up with those who are hurting.
A final thought: If anyone deserves the most grace, compassion, forgiveness, and support from the Christian community, it is gay people. We are basically telling them that they cannot be intimate with those they desire to be intimate with. Can you imagine having to carry such a burden? What kind of support would you need to pull this off? Instead of support, Christians do just the opposite to gay people. It makes me feel ashamed to call myself a Christian.
Yes, gay people are wrong for giving into their sinful desires. But straight Christians are much more wrong in their response on this issue, I’m afraid. We all need to repent and change our ways.