Everyone knows what Christianity, taken as a whole, has to say about homosexuality:
- It’s condemned by the Bible
- It goes against the natural order
- It’s harmful to decent society
- It’s just… yuck.
Not everyone knows all of the subtext to that argument, but the overall thrust is clear: gay people are bad/gross and we don’t want them around. Sometimes I’m asked why I speak in such a guarded tone, allowing gay people to think that I believe being gay is “okay” and never pushing the issue of holiness.
The people who ask that question seem to be missing a very important fact: I do require holiness. I require the holiness of my fellow believers. And I am mystified by the belief that it is holy to behave in a way that condemns an entire subset of the population without giving them a chance to get close enough to God to hear his voice.
The only time a gay person would attend a church, knowing the above four beliefs that most Christians have about most homosexuals, is if said gay person was already of the opinion that they wanted to leave their lifestyle. Almost all ministry geared towards homosexuals is centered around the fact that it is a given that they SHOULD leave their lifestyle. In fact, with meager few exceptions the only time I have ever witnessed a ministry to gay people that was centered around God’s love and desire to know them and NOT their need to change was when it was done by other gays.
There HAS to be another way. There has to be a way that does not sound like condemnation, fear, and disgust. There has to be a way that focuses on the immense love their creator has for them, and it has to be possible to get that message coming out of a not-gay mouth. That is why I’m here. It’s not about sin. It’s not about who does and who doesn’t sin. We all sin, and we all fall short. We all have our own slippery slopes to debauchery and we all play with sticking our toes over the edges. The point of discipleship is not to come up with a reproduceable model and to stuff everyone into it’s mold- it is to evaluate each person as they come and wish to become and to help them on their way.
If we start out with a list of sins we simply cannot tolerate existing, we condemn some people to never hear our voice or experience our ministry or feel God’s love through us. I don’t care if the sin is homosexuality, heterosexual promiscuity, or drinking to excess: Our goal HAS to be allowing people their own revelations of their sinfulness and coming to an INDEPENDENT will to change, through God’s grace.
Basically what I am saying here is that if God doesn’t want someone to be gay, and that person learns how to listen to God, they will hear it for themselves. My job, as a Christian and a Christian teacher, isn’t to tell other people what God is saying to them- it is to teach them how to hear God for themselves.
But more than that- it’s my job to love them. And love doesn’t sound like saying: “you’re a sinner, you’re an abomination, the Bible condemns you, you’re hurting society, and besides which you’re just plain gross.”
If I ever gave a speech like that, how on Earth could I expect anyone to stick around to hear the good parts?