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.
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.