Tuesday, February 7, 2012

We Are Abominations.

Everyone keeps asking me what my beliefs are on homosexuality. And everyone keeps telling me that it’s an abomination before God. "If you are a Christian you must preach that it is an abomination! People must know the TRUTH! Stop with your washy Jesus-just-loves-everyone-new-age-love-fest Christianity!"

Do you know why this is a knife to my heart? Do you know? Do you feel this knife?

Because very few of you seem to understand that a human being’s sexual orientation is so extraordinarily intertwined with their very existence, that every man and woman hears nothing but, “you are an abomination to God.”

Bear with me for a moment, and imagine that your family and best friends shun you because your desire for the opposite sex warranted the label of “Abomination.” Tow’ebah, in Hebrew.

No one stopped to ask you if you chose Abomination or if Abomination chose you, but what does it matter? You are.

Where is the verse that says Jesus died for every man but the one who loves men?

Where is the verse that says God is a father to every child but the one who will realize his sexual orientation 7 years down the road from now?

And where is the verse that says once we love Jesus enough, our sexual orientation will be miraculously reversed because our sexual orientation bears weight on our eternal spirit?


To ask a person to walk into a church gay and then walk out straight is as outrageous as having someone pray over me and have me suddenly be “turned gay” in order to be a better Christian. Or worse, to prove that I am one.

To ask a person to be prayed over, and then judge the condition of their heart for the lack of miracle that you decided needed to take place in order to confirm their salvation, is to play the role of God. God promised to create in us new hearts, not new bodies.

We will receive our new bodies in paradise, but until then, each of us will live in the brokenness that we were born into, strung painfully between heaven and hell.

Coach a small child to despise the color purple, and have him shun its every appearance. From day one, speak out against it, barricade your church doors from it, pray against it, and refuse to touch any garment in the color purple. And then, introduce him to a man wearing a purple t-shirt. What response could you possibly expect from your child?

He will despise, judge, and run from this man in the purple shirt.

At the very best, he will welcome the man into his home but sit uncomfortably and offensively in the corner, terrified of nothing but a shirt.

I challenge you to stop using the phrase, “hate the sin, but love the sinner.”

I challenge you to simply love.

I challenge you to stop adding buts to your salvation. To stop saying outrageous things like, “But if ______ was really saved then ______.” To stop re-interpreting scripture to make someone feel accepted as they are, because THE SCRIPTURES ALREADY SAY THEY ARE ACCEPTED AS THEY ARE.

I challenge you to recognize that as we grasp for heaven with gravity pulling us ever downward, we MUST let our brother and sister stand on our shoulders in all of their brokenness, and we MUST stop looking at the outward appearance, as God looks at the heart.

I will tell you what is an abomination to God.

I will tell you what is tow’ebah.

People that cause conflict. (Proverbs 6:19)
Believing that we are better. (Proverbs 6:17)
Dishonesty. (Proverbs 11:1)
Lying lips. (Proverbs 12:22)
Meaningless church attendance. (Isaiah 1:13)
Worshipping things instead of God. (Isaiah 44:19)
Oppressing the foreigner, forgetting the fatherless and the orphans. (Jeremiah 7)

God has made it clear in hundreds of verses what he considers tow’ebah: We are tow’ebah without Jesus. And with Jesus? We are stainless, spotless white.

No conditions. Pure, permanently, forever accepted.

Bring me the verse that claims one man's actions are an abomination, and I will bring you the Creator of your Life whose very skin was shredded for all of your tow'ebah.

Our un-grace, our conditional love, our chronic handicap of evaluating and hating someone else’s sin while we can barely see through the plank in our own? We choose tow’ebah every day, over choosing our forgiveness.

Oh, dear church, I beg of you to love as your Father saw fit to love you. To die for you despite knowing that you would continue to sin, continue to play your own little god, continue to fall in the dirt - as we all do, children of God with bodies of dust.

Oh, dear church, I beg of you to know that we were all tow’ebah, before Jesus became tow’ebah in our place.

47 comments:

Hannah Elisabeth said...

YES YES YES a thousand times. Couldn't have possibly said it better myself. Thank you so much for this post!! <3 Hannah

Cortney said...

Beautifully written. Powerful and simple. I recently started attending an open and affirming church after being a practicing Catholic for many years. I have a 19 month old son and I simply could not bear to raise him in a church that does not embrace all God's children. Catholicism still holds a lot of meaning for me and I still pray that someday the church will open its eyes.

rachel said...

amen! thank you! so glad for people of God who are focusing on the message of Christ instead of the politics and divisions that we have become so preoccupied with.

Gary Puckett said...

Great post Lauren! I believe it's wise to understand the scriptures in the context of the era and society in which they were given. God's revelation to man has been a slow unfolding of Himself, which climaxed in the person of Jesus. It seems to me that we have a hard time accepting or understanding His revelation if it's too far outside our cultural boundaries. That would explain why slavery was tolerated even in the NT, yet Christians led the Abolition movement that would lead to the end of slavery. What changed? Why was slavery viewed as an abomination in the 1800's but not in Paul"s letters? I suspect it was God's continuing revelation of what is just and right and what is not. I suspect that could be the same with sexual orientation. There are lots of laws in the OT declaring abominations....the eating of shellfish, mixing of different cloths...etc that don't seem to bother anyone anymore. It's also probably a good idea to try to approximate the emphasis that Jesus seemed to place on various moral topics. He barely alluded to sexual orientation...if at all, but spoke in length about greed, using religion to achieve status and wealth, ignoring and manipulating the poor and struggling. So if people of faith want to picket and protest against the abominations in our society here are some suggestions:

1) GOD HATES GREED! Picket Merrill Lynch offices. Go to Wall Street and picket there. They need to know this.

2) GOD HATES THE USE OF HIS NAME TO PROMOTE EGOS AND DEFRAUD THE POOR. Take your pick of tele-evangelists prodding the poor and needy to "sow a seed into our ministry" and picket their offices. You may even want to consider picketing any of several large denominations that build hugely extravagant buildings, primarily for self-promotion. (The church that brought us the Spanish inquisition, crusades, and rampant sexual abuse of children and the consequential coverups comes to mind.)

3) GOD LOVES THE OUTCASTS. Reach out to the tattooed and pierced skater kids who have no vision or hope for their futures. Have a bunch over to your house and fix dinner for them. Or have 2 or 3 or 7 or 8 or 10 or so live with you. (Not kidding.)

Ooopps....sorry! Guess I should get my own blog. But thanks so much for what you are doing and this excellent post Lauren. I'm proud to know you.

Mr. P

Ordinarystrange said...

"Love the Sinner and Hate the Sin" is a simple yet destructive phrase that too many of us hide behind. I feel like we (Christians) do a horrible disservice by refusing to wrestle with what Scripture says and does not say about same-sex attractions. In humility, we admit our lack of knowledge and yet affirm that God is the source of wisdom. Your words remind me of the importance of tempering our search with love and grace. I'm not sure if you've read this site before but I find it helpful.

http://www.newdirection.ca/

Anonymous said...

Romans 12:9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good

We are meant to hate evil.
Homosexuality is a sin. Just like any other sin. Stealing, murder, and lying are also sins in the eyes of God. He clearly instructs us to flee from sins. Yes, we are meant to love, but we must also know the difference between good and evil. We should always love the way Jesus did, but we should also recognize sin as sin.
Also, using the color purple as an example is not an effective comparison to sin. Change purple into a sin, like stealing, and it makes more sense. We are taught that stealing is not right from when we are children. We know that it is a sin, and that it is not what we should indulge in. Just because homosexuality is being seen as "a way of life," doesn't mean it is not something that God despises. He hates this sin just as He despises the lies, murders, and idols put before Him. No sin is better or worse than the next. We all fall short of the Glory of God.
I believe that you're blurring the lines between what is a sin and what is not. As Christians we must recognize homosexuality as a sin and hate it while still loving the man or woman that our God has created and loves.

jaybird7 said...

I saw a recent post on Facebook from Tony Campolo: "Love the sinner; hate your own sin."

Several years ago (2004), I heard Tony and his wife dialogue about homosexuality. I'm not sure where each might find themselves eight years later so I'm reluctant to say more.

But I know there is a vast difference between finding a behavior an abomination and slapping that label on a person.

I have wrestled with how Christians and the Church respond to sin. And it seems to me that the greatest sin is how Christians and the Church treat the behavior of people vs. how they treat people.

We are all sinners. Some of us know that. Some of us don't. To quote John Fischer: "What would happen if the sign in front of our churches read 'Only Sinners This Sunday'"?

The difficulty I have these days is finding time to hate the sinner when loving others as Jesus wants me to is a full time job.

I am not a universalist. While I believe Jesus died for sinners (and I consider myself chief among them), it is only when I confess my sinful nature that I experience the blood of Jesus washing me clean so I can then experience the instantaneous nature of justification: Just as if I had never sinned but also just as if I had always obeyed.

Since no one is without sin, I'll let Jesus decide (and I'm perfectly content with this) who gets to experience the Blood of the Lamb.

I'm trusting the Holy Spirit to teach me and equip me how to be Christ-like.

Our standing before God is not based on performance; it is based on grace. "God doesn't love us because we're the best kid in the class, or because we try really hard. God loves us because he loves us" (Jon Walker).

In heaven, there will be two things I'll have in common with everyone else: Sin and Grace. Since no one gets into heaven without either of these, the least I can do is live like I'm held by the firm grip of the One who died as he offered cleansing grace.

Because I am.

Abby said...

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this, Lauren; I only wish more people in the church thought as you did.

leeleegirl4 said...

This is beautiful, Lauren. Who are we to decide which sins are worse than others? How can we judge when we are no better ourselves? Too often the church forgets that we are all sinners, saved by Jesus, not by our own actions.

Daphne said...

This is such a wonderful post! I used to be involved in a church that loved the phrase "Hate the sin, but love the sinner" and I never fully understood why it irked me so much but this post is it. Thank you for the simple, honest words that remind us that we are already accepted.

Brady said...

so how must we love others, and still realize that a good tree produces good fruit (Mt. 7.17), offer rebuking and correction to our brothers and sisters (2 Tim. 3.16), bear the burdens of others (Gal. 6.2), or proclaim freedom from sin and slavery to righteousness over others (Rom. 6.18)? this beautiful bullseye in the middle is so difficult to find, much less hit, but i can't help but remember paul, through many of his letters, declaring sin in the church and individuals and asking the church to do the same (1 Cor. 5.1-2, 1 Cor. 5.5, 2 Tim 2.24-25, Gal 6.1). the last verse is the kicker for me; spirit of gentleness, deceiving myself, bearing one another's burdens, not being tempted myself. i don't know how paul did it, but i'm still figuring out how to strive in rebuke and correction (while also taking rebuke and correction), but doing it in love and gentleness. the fact of the matter is i hate calling people out. i'm a pretty relaxed person who just lets things go, but the scriptures tell me that for me to be an active member of the church means to love people. if i see my best friend cheating on his wife, and i say nothing, i don't love him. i hate him. i watch his marriage dissolve in front of me because i don't want to be out of my comfort zone. i'm not advocating the all to common christians blasting their sin flavor of the week (abortion, liberalism, feminism, blah, blah, blah). but if i truly love my friend, i will in private (matt. 18) call him aside and tell him that what he's doing is wrong and will destroy something beautiful in his life. i know dealing with the LGBTQ is a different subject, but i think the analogy still fits. how must i say, "i love you, i love christ, i know you love me and love christ, therefore let's walk in the fullness of life he's called us to, which means not doing xyz anymore. not because actions save you but if we love Jesus, we will keep his commandments (jn. 14.15)." maybe you can help? would love to hear your thoughts, and sorry its so long.

-brady

Erin Farrell Speer said...

Good morning, Lauren!

This is so clear, and so straight to the point. I have lived my life in the Arts, and some of my closest, dearest friends are homosexual. I've long struggled with the fact that other "Christians" shunned them, especially considering that my gay friends were often kinder, gentler, more loving, more generous and more willing to listen without bias than most of my "Christian" friends.

So thank you for speaking out on their behalf. And thank you for reminding us that we are ALL sinners, and God hates our sin as much as he hates all others - and that Christ died for ALL without bias.

This was so well said.

Hugs!

Erin

lizzie said...

AMEN, AMEN, and again, AMEN. Lauren, you just wrote out the words that have been on my heart forever. I love my God, but I stopped going to church a few months ago because I was sick of being part of a population who condemned the gay community and talked of them like they were animals. We're the animals when we speak like that. You're post has given me hope that there are other Christians out there with the same feelings, people who are trying to live out Jesus' love in every aspect of life. I just might start looking to attend church again.

Do you know how powerful your words are, girl? You are a blessing.

Overthinking Mama said...

I loved your article.
I have mixed feelings.. i guess its a pull between society and the way i was brought up and taught in the church. I believe in what you say.. but then I also believe in what the Anonymous person comments up above that it is a sin.
I am a very open minded person and try my hardest not to judge someone... and that is something i deal with on a daily bases.
Because of my open mindedness I am able to understand the views of many people and at times have a hard time figuring out exactly what my view point is because I can see how so many could be right.
I just wonder tho... sin is a sin period. homosexuality is a sin. but it is an acceptable sin. lying cheating and stealing are not. Yet all of us do it at some point in our life.. and rationalize why its ok to do that.
I consider myself a Christian. I was baptized 4yrs ago. I have tried to live a good life and I know I have fallen short. I sin every single day. I struggle with lust every single day. I am sexually impure. I have two kids by two different men. Only one of which I was married to. I have slept with numerous men in my life that I was not married to nor even in a committed relationship with. And even now that I am in a relationship... I am having premarital sex. Am I any better than the homosexual person??
It says in the bible not have tattoos... but how many preachers out there have tattoos and that's ok?? ( Leviticus 19:28 )
Why are some sins more acceptable in the church than other??? What makes some sins ok while others are so severely frown upon that it pushes people away?
We are not the one who have the right to judge anyone. We all are sinners and our sins are no greater or no worse than someone elses. If we took more time to just accept someone as human being.. as a sinner... love them as Jesus would.. there would probably more people willing to come to know Christ.

Tara said...

TRUTH!!! Can I read this to everyone around me?! I'm so tired of some Christians acting as if their better than others. Though, we've all been guilty of it one time or another. My favorite line was, "I challenge you to stop using the phrase, “hate the sin, but love the sinner.” I challenge you to simply love." This whole post is wonderful. Keep writing! Bless you!

Emily Hornburg said...

My friend Leah and I were actually just having this conversation yesterday, and thank you so much for posting this! You have such a better way of saying all of this than I do. :)

Randi-Kay said...

Well said. Well written. Thank you.

linds4lif said...

I agree with you but like Overthinking Mom I also agree with anonymous (& her) while I hate that Christians put so much effort into shunning and hating homosexuals and making it seem like a worse sin, I do recognize homosexuality as a sin.
Me personally I have a few friends who are homosexuals (I know what a cliche thing to say), I love them just the same.
The thing I do not like is that the world is trying to make this an acceptable lifestyle, saying it is not wrong and is totally okay do what you want.
So while the American Christian needs learn to love everyone and stop being judgmental, I don't think we should accept homosexuality as something that is okay to live in-though they need to understand sins are all equal.
We all sin everyday and all have our own personal giants we have to face but we should recognize our own sins and work to become more like Christ, rather than, looking at others sins and judging them...
It's a hard topic, thanks for your good thoughts!

Claire said...

Anonymous and linds4lif, might I suggest Andrew Marin's "Love Is An Orientation"?

Kera said...

This is beautifully written, and I always love a little Hebrew... but I too have mixed feelings about the post- not because I want to disagree with you, but because I think your post lacks practical application.

I absolutely agree that we should be focused on love and that it is ridiculous to call one person's sin an abomination when we are all abominations without Christ. I also agree that it is ridiculous that the Church is naive or disillusioned enough to think that embracing Christianity means rewiring yourself entirely so that you are no longer you. We cannot label people based on what we judge to be their sin and refuse to allow them to participate in the Kingdom or treat them differently because of those labels.

Personally, I hate the fact that we differentiate between heterosexual and homosexual sexual sin issues. At the end of the day, any sexual sin is a perversion of the gift of intimacy God has gifted for marriage.

When discussing homosexuality, I normally avoid asserting whether or not I think homosexuality is a sin issue. At the end of the day, I do not really think my opinion matters most of the time as I am still called to love and support everyone regardless of their orientation.

My question for you is this... let's say you were personally mentoring someone for a few years. In a recent conversation, you find out that this young woman is actively seeking a relationship with another young woman. She seems like a solid Christian- reads her Bible, prays, and has a wonderful heart for others. She mostly thinks it is okay to be in a relationship with another girl, but she still feels a little guilty about it so she asks for your advice. She's unsure what God would think. Unsure what the Bible says. What do you tell her? How do you help her? Do you embrace who she is and affirm her relationship decision? Or do you embrace who God is created her to be and remind her that he has a relationship for her in the future? Or do you think that God's ideal relationship for her could be with a woman... ?

How do the sentiments in your post practically play out in the context of real life relationships? I totally agree with your feelings regarding how the Church handles homosexuality, but I find that it is a little more complex when you are helping individuals grow in their faith. And yes, I have mentored several girls in the scenario mentioned above. I know there isn't a perfect answer.

But as someone who champions sexual freedom and healthy relationships for women, how do you think you would respond?

Tyler Smith said...

Not all Christians who think homosexuality is a sin hate homosexuals or treat them any less loving. Nor does it mean that we view their sin any worse than other sins.

Since when is hating sin a bad thing?

With this said, I get the gist of your post and it's great.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this post. As someone who is currently questioning how these two worlds (homosexuality and the Bible) fit together, you've provided a lot clarity in my searching.

If you're interested in further reading on the issue, I found this article helpful. It is long and you may or may not agree with everything in it, but it's well thought out and worth the read.

http://www.soulforce.org/article/homosexuality-bible-gay-christian

Tjms318 said...

Beautiful. So much insight, I wish more Christians felt like this!

It is also important to note that most of the references in the Bible that Christians use to condemn homosexuality, can not, and should be applied to homosexuality.

The word in Greek that is often translated as homosexuality, does not mean that at all. There is no Greek word for homosexuality. The word most likely meant older gentlemen who paid for male child prostitutes.

In Leviticus, the word tow'ebah is used to describe things that are forbidden to a group of people during a specific time. Also, in a time when population was low, it is conceivable that any sex that was known not to produce children would be considered wasteful. It is important to note that women experiencing sexual acts with each other is not forbidden.

And of course the most used scripture comes from the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. If one goes back and reads the story carefully, homosexuality was never mentioned as the sin of the people. Being inhospitable and unkind to strangers was their issue. When it talks about them wanting to "know" the strangers, "them" could be male or female or both. Know in this case is definitely sexual but is understood in a violent gang bang/rape situation, which of course is forbidden and a horrific way to treat those who visit your country.

This is why I have no problem with homosexuality and I personally don't consider it a sin.

Ok, I'm done :) *steps off soap box*

I, Beth said...

These are truthful words.

Alyssa said...

I urge you to read the rest of that chapter in Romans. Yes, it says to hate evil, to hate sin. But it says that because sin is so easy to adore, sin is so easy to fall in love with. If you tell yourself to hate the sin, stay far away from the sin, you have a better chance of seeing God in the midst of temptation. Please, read the rest of that chapter in Romans. Ask God what He is doing in those verses.

3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

It is not for us to judge a member of the body of Christ. It is not for us to judge our friends in Jesus. It is our job to show love, regardless. To hate sin and stay away from it, but to love our friends, brothers and sisters. For those people who choose gay because it is "cool" or more accepted in a crowd or the state they live in, to choose to be gay because of worldly circumstance is trouble, but I know a few men that are ON FIRE for God, shout his name from rooftops and proclaim His goodness. I will not judge them or hate them, for they know the same Father I do, and struggle with evil and sin, just as I do, just maybe in a different form.

Alyssa said...

Just a small note; I believe this is where faith comes in. I believe this is where we learn to trust in God's goodness and mercy, trust in His truth in our own hearts. We have to remove the planks from our own eyes before we can work on the planks in others. I believe this is where we let God work in our hearts to help us and heal us, and He'll take care of the rest. Keep on loving, keep on having faith, keep on trusting in God to have all the answers and control so you don't have to.

Alie said...

Thank you for posting this- I think it's good to hear another perspective. I do, however, agree with anonymous and linds4lif. I see homosexuality as a sin, but I am sympathetic to those who struggle with it. I was just talking with a friend about this today- if someone were to come to me and say "I'm struggling with homosexuality", I would listen to them, be there for them, and pray for them. In no way would I judge or condemn. While I would love the person, I would also recognize the sin for what it is- a sin. I think this is very important for us as Christians.

snailsseethebenefits said...

I really struggled on whether or not I wanted to become another commentator on this, but since it's on a personal level... why not. My little brother "decided" to take this path almost two years ago, and it's been REALLY hard. This is never a situation to downplay when it comes to your own family. So, from this perspective, I have this to say. In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul refers to this "thorn in his flesh" that he begged three times be taken away. God never did. It was a reminder each and every day that Paul needed God fully in order to live through the pain. I believe we all have thorns in our flesh, homosexuality being one of them. Most of these thorns (or desires for things of the flesh) will never go away... because God sees the need to fulfill that spot so desperately. Now, I will clarify - no one is born "that way". God is not gay and we are all created in his image. Therefore, it's impossible. I believe that through day-to-day prayers, being intentional about being led by the Holy Spirit, and being surrounded by a community of supportive Jesus-followers and doers that homosexuality CAN be beat. I've seen it in so many of my friends. I've seen their mountains moved. I pray that my brother will be back, but again, I am only one to plant the seed - God makes it grow (1 Corinthians 3:7).

John said...

Of course homosexuality is a sin. I don't understand how there's any doubt on that subject. I also don't understand how it's this monumentally huge thing. Of course it's a sin, just like the little white lie someone told the other day, just like the crazy chick who murdered a girl just to see what it felt like, just like the lust in my heart when my eyes linger where they shouldn't. Sin is sin and separates us from God, regardless of how big or little we perceive it to be. To place importance on any one sin over another is foolish and wrong, and just keeps us from loving one another. It's important to recognize sin for what it is, yes. But if we're going to howl about one, we should howl about them all.

The funny thing to me is, sin's no big deal. Yes, it keeps us apart from God. But Christ has already done what's needed to bridge that gap. Confess, repent, and move on. No sin requires more penance than this.

Thanks for the post Lauren, I was hoping for something like this.

Anonymous said...

As someone who is literally on both sides of this issue, I would like to say a few things.

I am married to a fantastic man. We've been together for more than 10 years. We have a beautiful family. He is an amazing man of God, compassionate, hardworking, understanding, loving, honest, the list could go on forever.

Here's what the "problem" was. While I love my husband and I'm very attracted to him. I also have a strong attraction towards women. We both grew up in "old school", "traditional" churches that taught homosexuals were abominations. So, when I confessed my feelings to him, I thought that it would present a problem. But what we discovered through study and MUCH prayer is that even though I feel a certain way doesn't mean I need to act upon those feelings.

Love is a choice. The feeling you get when you're first in love or the feeling you get when something is new, forbidden, taboo, is fleeting. What do you do when that *warm fuzzy* feeling is gone? Did you fall out of love? No, because love is a choice.

Can you help who you are infatuated with? No. Can you help who you love? Absolutely.

Yes, I am attracted to women. But, I choose not to act upon that because God clearly states that homosexuality is wrong. "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against their nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another..." Romans 1:26-27. Now let me teach you a little Greek. The term "use" used in these verses means, in the original Greek, means sexual intercourse. Just so there's no confusion in what the term "use" means.

Am I judging someone who is gay? Absolutely not! That is not for me to do. I do not think any less of anyone because we ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. I do not know where they are in their walk with God....or even if they have a relationship with Him. I wouldn't be as bold as to go to some and start a discussion about their sins, regardless of what the sin is, UNLESS they wanted to discuss it with me.

We are called to love everyone, regardless of what you think or don't think their sin is.

Lauren, I also hope you don't delete your blog just because some people disagree with you. I get your point but, your blog helps so many people that it would be a shame to see it go over something so petty.

Just_as_I_am said...

As a gay Christian, my heart has always been very unsettled on this topic because of what society told me for so many years. I prayed and prayed and prayed for years to have my attractions removed. I could never understand why sinful desires of other natures were removed but not this. Then it dawned on me to ask God that question. There are several moments in my life when He spoke clearly to me, this was one of those times. I was sitting in my car at a stoplight,and I shouted full of anger "why won't you take this" and in that moment, I was graced with peace and I heard "peace child, just love ". No answer other than that. So I do. I love my family, I love my friends, I love my community, and I love my partner. I still don't know all the answers, and I would be arrogant to say I ever will. I do know that being consumed with the fear of this sin led me to the point of suicidal thoughts and addiction. I can assure you neither of those are God's desire for me. His desire for me is to show love. Jesus took care of the rest. That being said, faith without works is dead. But I will be judged by what I do not who I am. And who I am is a child of God, being a lesbian is secondary.

clare said...

@snailsseathebenefits

I will politely disagree with one of your statements - that "no one is born 'that way'". You suggested that God is not gay and we are created in his image, therefore people cannot be born gay. I'm sorry, but that logic is flawed. God is omnipotent and we are created in his image. That does not mean we are all powerful. God is not hetrosexual. He doesn't have a sexuality therefore it is odd to comment on Him not being gay and use it to justify a belief in the origin of someone's sexuality. For some, they have always been attracted to people of the same sex. Not because they've experienced some sort of trauma when younger and so are acting out, nor for attention. But because they are attracted to someone of the same sex. This cannot be explained by claiming God has a sexuality.

Julia :) said...

While I really appreciate what you're trying to say I have to disagree with you on a lot of this. When people say "Love the sin, hate the sinner" that does not mean they are condemning gay people to hell. When people say they don't support gay rights or gay marriage it doesn't mean they are hating gay people or saying that God hates gay people. It is merely saying that they don't support people in their sin. It is possible to love gay people without supporting their practice. I know because one of my very best friends is gay. I love him just as much as I love any of my other friends. Yes, it makes me sad that he's gay but that doesn't mean I'm going to spend my time trying to convert him or condemn him, that's between him and God.

The main flaw in your argument is that we're all abominations and so therefore being a homosexual is no more or less of an abomination than being a heterosexual. While this true IT IS STILL A SIN. Just like lying, or stealing, or murder, or adultery, homosexuality is a sin and because of that I cannot support it. But you know what, I try to look at it like the way God looks at it. All sin is the same in God's eyes and so whenever I feel like pointing the finger at the gay community and saying what a bunch of "sinners" they are, I remember to look right back at myself. I am a sinner too. I am no better, and no worse than a homosexual.

But that doesn't mean I have to support it. I will not support homosexual activity anymore than I will support people who are lying, stealing, murdering, or committing adultery. But just because I don't support a persons sin doesn't mean I don't love them and on top of that I would never hate someone merely because they are gay nor would I teach a child or anyone else to hate people that are gay. But that doesn't mean that I will support it as a normal lifestyle.

ifindithardtosay said...

This is something that has really been a struggle with me as someone that is just returning the Christian faith. I come a family with strong religious root yet still have several homosexual family members that extend generations that continue to believe in God and are the moral fiber of anyone I'd want to be. I understand that it is a bible teaching and I understand that we are all sinners yet I just can't get on board with anyone not supporting their relationships because they are "Christian" so I am very much on board with you.

I can really agree with the struggle to be a good Christian and trying to interpret the Bible, especially on this topic. But it truly saddens me that we as sheep think we should dictated to each other (in our society) the legitimacy of our relationships in any form. Like Jesus says the most important of the Commandments is loving God and each other and they go hand and hand so we as flawed people need to do this and not separate our love from respect and support of each other.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this, Lauren.

To hear the other perspective, read: http://www.believeoutloud.com/boltoday/20120210/my-journey-back-into-church-gay-christian

Anonymous said...

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JRUSH said...

Interesting stuff, but it seems a little unbalanced to me. You talk alot in here about love - that's great and very helpful!- but I am concerned about being so focused on love that one is almost winking at what is called sin in Scripture. I understand that people deal with all kinds of feelings that feel ingrained in their DNA. So do I. But God wants us to go above and beyond acting those feelings out.

I know two gay men who found Christ for themselves - one of which is married and has a daughter. I know that everyone has to go their own path with Christ and I don't know if he still feels "gay", but he was able to go outside of that to live the life God called out for him.

So myself, yes I will choose to love, but I can't support the lifestyle. Not only is it an immoral lifestyle but it is something that can be conqured with God's help.

Blessings!

Miyah Faith said...

Amen and Amen.

amylynn0002 said...

Thank you for writing this.

Tina said...

thank you so much for this...people in the church, and maybe sometimes even with good intentions, completely mishandle this subject. In a way that deeply scars a lot of people who are struggling with desires that really are just one shade of our shared sinful nature. this is a disordered world. It is a sensitive topic, someone struggling with this issue may hear those messages from an early age against "GAY PEOPLE" in church like they are these evil sinful monsters, and all they are going to take from it is that they are somehow forsaken by God for being given this orientation they feel is immovable. I would like to say that I have struggled with this issue in my life personally, and as a church we need to be more careful with what we say. Not because we want to accommodate the world or because we are accepting sin as some people have incorrectly asserted, but because the church is a place where we find out how to do this whole "following Christ" thing together, it is a journey. We all are at different points, and if God accepts us as we are the church much follow that too. We all have our crosses to bear. Remember that their may be people in your church listening, and they need to know that they can exist with their orientation without sinning, while living under God's grace, and obedience. "Gay" is a term that encompasses too many different facets to just tack on condemnation and throw it around, whether it is attractions, behaviors, ect. Temptation is not a sin, and some people can not change what is tempting to them. This is hard enough to deal with without ignorance from the church. There are ways to exist with your orientation and still be pursuing holiness. And pursuing holiness is something we all need to stand together and lift each other up towards. Maybe this is a message that should be shared more than one of unbiblical judgement. The attitude of disgust towards people who struggle with homosexuality in WHATEVER which way is a hideous thing, and revealing in regards to one's spiritual state. You made a great point that we all embody different abominations. So thank you thank you for this, it's good to know that there are people out there looking at the hard issues with critical thinking and with a open loving heart, god bless you and PLEASE keep blogging.

Anonymous said...

Opinions get everyone in trouble and we will be judged for every word, thought, and deed, whether we agree with His judgments or not. So, I will stick to scripture: "Now go, write it before them on a tablet, and note it on a scroll, that it may be for time to come, forever and ever: That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children who will not hear the law of the LORD; Who say to the seers, “Do not see,” and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us right things; speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits. Get out of the way, turn aside from the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.” Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel: “Because you despise this word, and trust in oppression and perversity, and rely on them therefore this iniquity shall be to you like a breach ready to fall, a bulge in a high wall, whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant.…For thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” But you would not. Isaiah 30

Anonymous said...

Do you plan on responding to this barrage of comments?? I am dealing with a situation involving this right now and therefore greatly appreciate you frankness. I know my love and only my love is needed when we encounter any and all people. I guess none of this talk really matters unless we agree or disagree that this is or isn't sin. Once we agree or disagree on that we can have a discussion about how to handle the issue based on that. Obviously we can all agree that God does not want us to sin because it is against God, our own selves as well as others. If it is a sin, shouldn't mature christians just be loving the gay community but not helping them to promote the sin. Loving your neighbor means as you love yourself. How do I want to be treated when I sin? hmmm? It seems though that gays that do not believe this is sin want to condemn those that do. Isn't this the same thing Christians are being accused of? That is why there is such animosity on this subject. I think that if it is sin then we cannot promote it just as we would not promote addictions or lying, etc. Thank you for talking about this EXTREMELY important subject for this seems to be the topic of the day in which we live. I believe there is an answer and that God wants us to know it.

Jaclyn said...

Don't forget dressing immodestly and without self control and respect. This is a subject that has been on my heart for awhile now.

agirlsrevolution.com said...

Thank you Lauren for this post. It may be months late but I found it through another blog. Thank you for showing that I am not an abomination to God.

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Anonymous said...

"But each man is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed."

--James 1:14

Sin comes from the inside. The exact variety of my sinful desires are particular to me--whether they have shown up in childhood, adolescence or adulthood. It's whatever pushes my specific buttons. For some, it's lying, for others, porn. Everyone's different.

As someone who experiences same-sex attraction...why are you telling me to embrace Just This One Sin?

Why are you condoning sin?

If I decide to only resist some sins through the power of God and and surrender only some sins to the grace of God, what does salvation even mean?

Anonymous said...

How many people here really read this and concluded that it "condones" sin, or tries to argue that homosexuality isn't a sin? Because I didn't get that - at all.

Also - sin is a big deal. Someone said in the comments that sin isn't a big deal but it IS. Such a big deal. My sin nailed my Savior to the cross - that's the hugest "deal" I've ever encountered.

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