Thursday, August 20, 2009

Q: “Does God really condemn Gay people?”

In a word: Sometimes. 

But then, sometimes God condemns straight people, too.

In fact, God condemns everyone – regardless of sexual orientation, gender orientation, racial characteristics, culture and subculture, and so on – who reject God’s Holiness because they prefer the ugliness of sin. The Bible says that “..all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” [2 Thessalonians 2:12].
So we can say with certainty that God condemns Gay people who enjoy being evil. They will be cast into the fire along with their straight fellows, at the Judgment. 

But then the question becomes, “Does being Gay automatically make someone a lover of evil?”

And now we can say, in a word: No.

Being Gay doesn’t automatically make someone a lover of evil anymore than being Gentile does – and yet, 2,000 years ago, the majority of those who believed themselves to be God’s people believed just that about Gentiles.

Why did they believe that?

Because the Scriptures, as they understood them, said so!

The Scriptures, as they understood them, said that only Gentiles who became as Jewish as they were could be saved. And these Jewish believers were stunned when God proclaimed through His Spirit that what they understood of His Word was incorrect. Even Peter came to understand that “God shows no favoritism”, but accepts people of every kind who live His way. [Acts 10:1-11:18] Then, everyone who was more interested in what God was saying, than in what their translations and interpretations said He was saying, looked anew at His Scriptures, and discovered that God had never put a blanket condemnation of God-fearing Gentiles in His Scripture, at all [e.g., Galatians 3:8]. 

Today more than ever, God has poured out His Spirit on Gay people all over the world.

And where He has done so, Gay people have demonstrated His Spirit in their lives just as the Gentiles did 2,000 years ago: speaking in tongues, praising God, and growing in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control [Acts 10:45-46; Galatians 5:22-23].

So what should be the response of those straight Christians who witness God’s Spirit within Gay Christians? It should be the same as those Jewish Christians who witnessed it within Gentile Christians 2,000 years ago:
  • Understand that God is truly sovereign, and He acts exactly as He wants to. When God’s Spirit fills Gay people, and though now growing in the fruit of the Spirit they forever remain just as Gay as they were before they were saved, that’s a big “hint” that those who are seeing automatic condemnation of Gay people in the Bible are missing something – not seeing or interpreting something as God put it there.

So what about those Scriptures that seem to condemn Gay people?

You can find discussion about the more God-focused, and less human-focused, ways to understand God’s Word in many books and websites these days, including this blog.

The sum of it all, though, is that God doesn’t automatically condemn Gay people, but He does automatically condemn:
  • worship of anything but God,
  • engaging in “magical” practices to increase one’s bounty or prosperity
  • rape,
  • murder,
  • hate,
  • paranoia,
  • domination,
  • love of evil,
  • being arrogant, overfed, and underconcerned,
  • not helping the poor and needy,
  • living a “soft” life above others, and,
  • having sex with animals or angels
And it doesn’t take a whole lot of contemplation to figure out who benefits most when God’s real condemnation of all of these things is instead turned into a false “God condemns Gay people”! Satan began by beguiling the human race with his own “interpretation” and “translation” of God’s Word – and he hasn’t stopped doing it, even today. 

So what does this mean for Gay Christians who still feel or fear being condemned? 

2,000 years ago, many Gentile Christians feared that unless they stopped being Gentiles, and instead became Jews, they could not be saved. That’s what they had been taught, and that was the message they had internalized. But one thing was certain:

The intensity of their fear had nothing to do with the reality of God’s truth!

We Gay Christians today often act based on our fears, just as the early Gentile Christians did.
They submitted to circumcision knives and priestly dominations and cultural rituals that had no place in God’s way any longer.

Yet we submit to psychological mumbo-jumbo and peer pressure and Scripture twisting that was never part of God’s way in the first place.

And in doing so, we are submitting to other people’s sin.
  • They have willfully ignored God’s Spirit at work in Gay Christians.
  • And we have then turned off the peace and joy God gives to bless and enliven us for His work, to accommodate them!
Do we sin in doing so? Some would say yes, because we become like the fearful servant who eventually had to stand before His master, only to say, “I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.” [Matthew 25:14-30].

I would say that at the very minimum we are tormenting ourselves for no useful purpose. And there is no godly reward for that.

Even worse is that we also cause very real damage to our faith, trust, and love of God, when we fail to cling to God’s sovereignty to create us as He sees fit, and instead cling to other people’s ideas of what should exist. We can say all we want that we love and trust the Lord, but if we believe He despises what we are and will soon cast us into eternal fire if we don’t “behave”, we will love Him in the same way that abused children love yet also fear and hate an earthly father who threatens to murder them violently if they don’t stop making him angry. Just like those children, we may cling, but we will never truly adore. We may reach out, but we will also inwardly shrink away.

There is also the damage that can be done to our very character, if we stick with religious bigotry rather than God’s sovereignty. How many Gay people end up being dominating “control freaks”, for example, or bitter neurotics, or perverse rejoicers in evil, having been emotionally warped by the controlling, neurotic, evil of their “church” leaders, friends, and family?

Yearning to be straight when God has made us Gay also makes us covetous. It makes us turn away from the blessing we’ve been given, and long instead for the blessing someone else has been given. Coveting can easily become obsessing, and obsessing leads down to all sorts of dark, painful roads.
No one but the devil himself benefits when people – straight or Gay – wrongly believe that the Bible condemns Gay people and then won’t let go of that belief even in the face of proof otherwise. 

So what is the answer for us, then? 

The answer for us is the same answer for every person on the planet:

Jesus.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30]

So, hand over your burden of worry and fear to Him. He is far, far bigger and better than anything you’ve been taught and internalized through over people’s opinions and bigotries, and He wants you to understand that.

Accept the peace and joy He offers you through His Holy Spirit. Pray for His help in no longer blocking His action in your heart, mind, and soul. He longs for you to stop shrinking back from Him as if He were no better than those who hurt others in His name.

Kneel before His sovereignty – His decision to make you Gay. Accept that there is a lesson in it for you, and for those around you, once you begin to explore it. Know that His greatest blessing on your life was to make you someone who doesn’t automatically fit into mainstream Christianity – because He doesn’t either.
Live the life of a Gay, Bible-believing, holy-living Christian that He’s assigned you to. And live that life well, and to the fullest!

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