Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Your Homosexuality vs. My Pornography

I slouched in my booth, staring at the last few crumbs on my plate, trying to stifle the suffocating internal heat. He ignored my silence and volleyed his question right back over the table top for the third time. "But it's a SIN. Why won't you admit to me that it's a SIN."

"Because I don't understand why it's so important that I say that." I mumbled, as I moved the crumbs into a little circle with my straw.

"Because it's SIN. Sin is important, Lauren."

The bitter edge in his voice snapped something inside of me and I slammed my hands down on the table in Panera. "I don't CARE if it's sin or if it's not! It doesn't MATTER to me. And I'm not going to say that it is or isn't because I'M NOT GOD. Even if I think it's sinful, it changes NOTHING. It makes it worse. And I can't STAND the hate in your voice."

And so ended one more stupid conversation over homosexuality. A waste of words. One more place that sin was granted more power than it ever should have been given. One more relationship strained because a well-seated self-righteousness was given more weight than grace.

Yesterday, I read Emily's words, "I cry for fear of Christians finding me and learning I had a homosexual friend who was the most Christ-like person I've ever known."

Yesterday, I tweeted "Tired of the gay community being the Christian's advanced challenge for grace & acceptance. Man looks at appearance, God looks at the heart." And was barraged by people who replied, "I don't understand" and "It's not our place to fix their problem, it's God's."

This morning I woke up to an email from a 16 year old girl who just met Jesus - and got into a fight with her Atheist parents over homosexuality at the breakfast table. She was searching for someone else to defend her desire to love unconditionally and without question.

Today I sit in front of Jesus and hand him a list of every man's name that I've slept with and kissed - and a face sketched for the names I don't remember. Today I sit at Jesus' feet with an entire book filled with every lie I've ever told and every hateful comment I've ever made.

Today I sit next to Jesus and hide my face while he watches my life play back on the screen - every night I've draped myself over men at the bar and mixed profane lips with a half-dressed body, every minute I've spent watching pornography, and every coffee date I've gossiped about other women behind their backs.

Today I hand Jesus a lifetime of bank statements with every outrageous, self-satisfying expense highlighted - and I watch Him add up my selfishness that I "deserved" as He pulls a small, motherless and homeless child closer to Him in his lap.

Today I sit in the dirt, unable to see Jesus' ripped flesh on the cross through my tears. Knowing that it is for MY sins that He has endured Hell.

As I sob, I am approached by a stranger to grace who points at another man and says, "Tell me that it is sin. Tell me that his sexuality is a sin."

And I feel my soul stretch to it's breaking point.

I struggle to stand to my feet, with emotions I cannot distinguish raging through my veins. A jumble of fiery words tumble over one another in my mind. I want to scream, "HOW DARE YOU" to the accuser.

Instead, I stumble and fall in the arms of the other man - and cling to him for comfort. He is a man who knows what brokenness feels like. He is a man who has been trying since the day he was born. He is a man with his own pain-filled list of lovers. We are men and women who have become brand new and beloved, at the foot of the cross.

I call him brother. Because he is.

And together we are a broken generation of children who stand in the face of the accuser, so desperately needing a Father who refuses to look at our physical bodies and looks only at our hearts.

A Father who views us as wholly pure - who no longer names any of our sins because he has removed it from us as far as the East as the West, and does not remember it.

Believe me when I say that we are all born diseased, and Jesus has healed all of His children of every piece of brokenness.

- - - - -

"When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony of God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that you faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God's power." II Corinthians 2:1-4

"I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that there be no divisions among you but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought." I Corinthians 1:10

"God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; the weak things to shame the strong. God chose the lowly and despised things - so that no one may boast before him. It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us our righteousness, our holiness, and our redemption." I Corinthians 1:28-30

"You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister]? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat." Romans 14:10


Michelle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Just me said...

This is beautiful.

Katey said...

Amen! We've spoken briefly, but I'm so happy to have someone else articulate this particular thought. As an actor and a Christian I am constantly surrounded by many people on drastically different walks of life...but I have found, in my short life, that we are all broken and searching for His healing, regardless of whether we're aware of our brokenness or not. Thank you for this constant reminder of Christ's message-- to take out the beam in my own eye before taking out the splinter in my brother's!

Michelle said...

this is brilliant and beautiful. thank you so much for sharing your heart.

Laura Noelle said...

Thank you for speaking Biblical truth. I am so tired of legalistic answers and explanations that somehow qualify us to love less like Jesus and accuse more in the name of justice. It is not our place to say we are holier than another, and I wish this generation would truly grasp your message. Blessings!

Traci said...

Thank you Lauren. This is beautiful and so so true.

Anonymous said...

Awesome stuff, Lauren! Thanks for writing and sharing your heart.

seashellparker said...

Wow that is raw and honest, I love it.

ImNoBetterThanU said...

WOW! I am rendered speechless. This is y first time to your blog which I found via a retweet from Jenna Hamp Day. Thank you for sharing and allowing the Spirit to speak to me.

Erika Morrison said...

Hmm . . . That would've been such a good post for Deeper Story. Well done, you.

suzannah {so much shouting, so much laughter} said...

amen, lady. amen and amen.

Emelina said...

Thank you for writing this, Lauren.

It never matters that we label anyone's behavior "sin." It ALWAYS matters that we label everyone's behavior as never too much for Jesus to love, redeem, forgive, and celebrate as His precious child.

If our job was to identify sin, God would have given us a pie made out of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. But He didn't. We stole that power for ourselves, and the church especially loves to keep eating it.

Labeling does not make us new. God's love does. So love. Let the Holy Spirit convict. And love more.

Kimberly Beth Farnham said...

Lauren, I'm right there with you! This is exactly the stance I wish the church would take. We spend so much time discussing whether or not it is a sin and we end up making the LGBT community feel like outsiders who are unwanted and unloved. Who are we, as a community of sinners (who have been redeemed) to set ourselves up as the moral judge of society? You are not alone in this discussion, don't worry. :) Great post!

Danesh said...

I'm with you a 100%. Our call is to love, not judge.

Anonymous said...

i think it's true that we have made this issue it shouldn't be. i also think there is a difference between not judging someone and not agreeing with someone.
we should love unconditionally. and in all things, the only heart we can see is our own.
at the same time, there is such a thing as truth. separated from love, it condemns every one of us - but we should not fear it when combined with love.

Liz said...

This is just incredible. Beautifully said; I have no words.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I was so inspired by it all that I wrote a song about it. Haha. That is literally how inspirational I find your blog.
Here it is

ilene @ muchloveilly said...

wow, so well-written and thought-provoking. thanks, lauren. p.s. been following you via twitter, and now stumbling across you blog. so glad i did. thanks, sister.

Aprel said...

Thank you for writting this post. I totally agree with you. I have felt significant blow back as a result. I choose to see people and love unconditionally and not focus on anything else. Christ sees and loves me unconditionally.

Gary Puckett said...

I think it's probably wise to place priority on issues in about the same way the Bible does. There are very few mentions of homosexuality in the Bible, but numerous verses about greed. Why don't Christian groups gather around Merrill Lynch offices with placards proclaiming "GOD HATES GREED?"
Or at Easton Mall in front of Tiffanys "The covetous have no part in God's kingdom." (I Cor 6:10)

Joe Louthan said...

I read this and I am blissfully, wonderfully and lovingly reminded of my sweetest and dearest Jesus Christ who loved me and gave himself up for me :D

Galatians 2:20

kelly summers said...

I don't even have words for how much I love this. thank you thank you thank you

Ashley Parker, 2008 Class Reporter said...

I love this post. I have to admit, when I met you and Max a few months ago here in DC, I struggled with whether or not to tell you about my life in honesty because I am gay, and because I no longer trust that when somebody greets me as a Christian brother or sister, that they will not a few seconds later launch into a litany of hate and bigotry that nearly negates their previous greeting upon discovering my truths. I have been lucky to find a community of fellow Christians who, like the commenter above alluded to, strive to live by the Bible and Christ's most emphasized commandments; to love one another unconditionally and to not have divisions, treat each other equally as we are all equally sinners. God created and loves every one of us, and the Bible tells us that he knows "every hair on your head", then I have to believe God knows my heart and loves me all the same, whether I am gay, straight, bi, transgender, queer, or questioning. Only man tries to set restrictions or limits on God's love. Through Jesus we are told there are no limits in God's love through us, and that is what I believe.

Anonymous said...

I loved this, I try to take the stance that God can forgive all. I however would just inquire your thoughts on scripture that discuss this issue and what is the line we draw, when do we begin to preach holiness to the Homosexual or the greedy or the theif or liar or whathave you when do we stop tolerating the sin and chllenge them to live pure and holy. Just a thought

Anonymous said...

I agree with anon... While I think you are right in that we are not to be the judge, we are to be a shining Light to all and an example of Christ's unconditional love, you can't stop at that alone. The difference between homosexuality and many other sins (like gossiping and others you mentioned) is that more often than not the sinner confesses and tries to do better, but homosexuality is living in the sin. The scripture that clearly states that God views it as an "abomination" (lev. 18:22), and though we should only show them grace and love, it isn't very loving to let our brothers and sisters go on living in sin without urging them to confess. I know I would want my fellow Christians to tell me if I'm in the wrong. Don't get me wrong, I have many gay friends, but they all know how I think it's a sin and they should confess, AND they know I love them anyway. I just don't think it's loving to only share half of the truth, but that's just me. I know it's a touchy issue, and it saddens me to see hatred from believers just like you hate it too.

Tori said...

I feel the same way. It doesn't matter to me if its a sin or not. I have a lot of gay friends. One of my best friends is gay and seeing that kind of hate directed at someone as kind and big-hearted as he is makes me sick to my stomach.

Anonymous said...

What do you do with the passages in the Bible that say homosexuality is sin, along with all the others?
"And I'm not going to say that it is or isn't because I'M NOT GOD."
God has said it.
Love the sinner, hate the sin. Love the Lord of grace and justification.

dom said...

well said

frankenstein said...

really lovely lauren, i love you.

Anonymous said...

I hope my heart comes across when I say this and that it's not just cruel, black and white text on someone's glowing screen...

I've read this post three times now and still have many conflicted thoughts on it. Loving others is our call as Christians, second only to loving the Lord - I'm in full agreement on that end. But I feel like whatever an individual struggles with, (my lust and pride, your porn, so-and-so's fill-in-the-blank) it's wise on a personal level to call it what it is. It appears I'm in the minority here and that "sin" is nothing more than a bad, hateful word? I'm not sure if that's the conclusion or if I'm merely misunderstanding.

I love the end of Luke 6 where Jesus talks about how we tend to be more concerned with the speck in someone else's eye than the log in our own. It's a good reminder that we need to deal with our own issues and not run around trying to fix everyone.

Thanks for sharing this.

Stephanie S. Smith said...

Thankful for your strong words. We need to stop making a hierarchy of our sins and start focusing on grace.

Chad E. Wilhoite said...

I found this encouraging, however, I had something I wanted to share.

I think it's important to remember that homosexuality is a SIN. So is pornography, lying, stealing, gossiping, slandering...etc. Paul says, "what is difference does it make, for we all sin and fall short of the Glory of God". Paul doesn't say, the gay community falls short, Paul doesn't say, the adulterers fall short. He says, WE ALL FALL SHORT. I think it is important to remember that we are all covered in sin, because if not, then there is no point of God's Grace. His Grace is needed, only because we are all so dirty.

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