This past week in Orlando, Florida, 49 people were massacred at a night club and another 53 people were critically injured. They have called this one of the worst massacres in U.S. History. The left has drawn their line in the sand. The right has drawn their line in the sand. Yet, the lines are blurred. Anyone with an agenda has chimed in to give their opinion. The mainstream arguments have varied from stricter gun laws to arming the patrons of the nightclub; from terrorism by a specific religion to xenophobia; from showing God’s love to God showed his wrath toward the homosexual community. However, I ask, specifically, what should we, as Ambassadors of Christ, be saying? What should we, as Ambassadors of Christ, be doing? How do we, as Ambassadors of Christ, handle this quandary between homosexuals and Christians.
Before I jump any further, I want to clearly state that I stand uncompromising with God’s Word on marriage and sin. There is no gray area, no between the lines definition, in how we interrupt His Word. Our church has an entire ethics course on many hot topics that, if interested, you can watch HERE. I also encourage you to watch the sermon from our former Pastor, Steve Berger. Millions have watched his sermon titled “It’s Evening In Sodom.” Also, here is the outline to “It’s Evening in Sodom.” The ethics course and this sermon will help you, my beloved readers, in understanding what I truly believe.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” – John 1:1-3 (KJV).
[clickToTweet tweet=”We get our word, theology, from the Greek words Theos (God) and Logos (word). ” quote=”We get our word, theology, from the Greek words Theos (God) and Logos (word)” theme=”style2"]
In its simplest definition, theology is “God’s Word” or “Words from God.” However, learning about the theology is one thing. How do we relate, interact, and live in the world with those who are LGBT. What does the Bible tell us to do? How do we stand firm on God’s Word while following the greatest commandment, which is to love?
One of my cousins I grew up with, graduated high school with, visited him and my aunt, played games, one of my closest cousins, is gay. Be that as it may, he is very closed to discussions on religion, the Bible and any other ideas besides what he believes. He thinks that you are intolerant if you disagree with his lifestyle or opinions. Having said that, we cannot be friends on Facebook. Even though we played together all the time and were super close our whole lives, we just can’t be friends on social media. So we don’t. We do, however, keep in contact through text messaging.
On the other side of the coin is my friend Mark. Mark is also part of the LGBT community. He was also raised in a Baptist church. Mark is VERY open to discussion. He and I have talked about a lot of things concerning the thoughts and feelings revolving around the LGBT community and homosexuality.
Two very different people, both living separate lives as part of the LGBT community.
So what is a Christian do to? Do we take the stance of those who proclaim to be Christian and demonstrate our love by holding distasteful (for lack of a better word) signs outside the nightclub where this travesty occurred? Do we take the stance of those self-proclaiming Christians in leadership positions who believe all gay people should die? Do we take the stance of those who proclaim to be Christian and “let love win” by believing homosexuality is of God? In this day and age, with the popularity of social media, I have heard and read it all. My heart grieves over many hateful, vile and repugnant comments I have read.
It’s been said that actions speak louder than words. I have witnessed beauty through the ashes throughout this tragedy.”
Beauty such as:
- The church that offered to help lay to rest those who died.
- The organization who brought dogs to comfort those who had lost loved ones.
- JetBlue flying family members to Orlando for free.
- The guy who drove 1200 miles with crosses to show his love for those who died.
- Chick-Fil-A serving food to those waiting in line to donate blood to the victims who were in critical condition.
- Franklin Graham sending his team from Samaritans Purse to minister to victims and families.
- The people who dressed up as angels and stood singing hymns to shut out Westboro.
- And many more stories of amazing people doing amazing things during this time of sorrow.
I have been in a lot of prayer about this for a while now. What do we do?
- We are ALL created by God. Before we were formed in the womb, He knew us. When we realize that the LGBT community are all created by God, it is much easier to love them, just as Christ loved us, though we were yet sinners. Don’t misconstrue my words. I am not saying I condone the LGBT lifestyle. I am saying to love them and show them love just as Christ showed us love, though we were not worthy of His love.
- That word Tolerance. The LGBT community has to realize that they cannot expect tolerance without giving it. The same thing applies to Christians. Tolerance, in its simplest definition, means fairness. It doesn’t mean you condone anything. It just means you are willing to understand that each have different views.
- We have to realize that Jesus gave us the right to free choice. You cannot force anyone to believe the way you do. We can plant the seed by sharing the Gospel, but we cannot convict anyone. This goes for anyone in any walk of life. It is our job, as Ambassadors of Christ, to plant the seed and then let God do what He does by growing the seed.
- We must be able to openly communicate without hurtful words. My friend Mark has taught me a great deal. One of the most important things I have learned is open communication. I would love to see more dialogue between Christians and the LGBT community. However, that goes back to point #2. We have to be willing to listen to each other. Listening does NOT mean we cave in. We listen. We pray. We seek the Lord in our remarks. We genuinely try to understand the person and their heart.
- We need to understand that criticism doesn’t help. All this does is point out you’re right and they’re wrong, and vice versa. It is alright to disagree, but if we want to reach a community, we have to be careful not to push them away. We have to be careful that our approach is one that Jesus would have. WWJD?
- Do not compromise your beliefs. God uses the word abomination to describe one specific sin – homosexuality. While pointing others to Jesus, we also need His love, patience and guidance when illustrating the idols in their lives. Many people, Christians, self-proclaiming Christians and non-Christians alike, will use specific scriptures to defend their beliefs. However, in order to stand firm on God’s Word, we, as Ambassadors of Christ, must be well-versed in God’s Word. We must know the scriptures alluding this defense, the scriptures before and after, as well as the scriptures throughout the Bible that relate to the verses. If we stand for nothing, we fall for anything.
I am one of the most conservative Christians you will find. However, this past week has placed an immeasurable sadness on my heart. I have become truly anguished by the responses I have heard from some of those who attach themselves to the Christian community. I have heard things such as “This massacre was the wrath of God; All gay people must die; They got what they deserved.” I have heard that Christians shouldn’t help because their lifestyle was a sin and helping was showing support for that lifestyle. I could go on and on. I have weeped uncontrollably. My heart is broken.
[c[clickToTweet tweet=”When did Christians become so closed off to sin that they shut the door on Jesus?” quote=”When did Christians become so closed off to sin that they shut the door on Jesus?” theme=”style2"]p>
Yes, you read that correctly! Do you realize that you can stand firm against sin, yet continue to help when there is a need? We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Alluding back to my shutting the door on Jesus, do you realize you were a sinner before asking Christ into your heart? Imagine if your church, pastor, Christian friend or mentor said to you, “Sorry, but you drank too much alcohol, injected drugs, cursed, murdered, raped, pillaged, lied, so you can’t be a Christian. So go away.” Imagine that. Let that sink in because that was you. The same thought has continuously raced through my mind this past week –
[cli[clickToTweet tweet=”How can we reach them, if we never touch them.” quote=”How can we reach them, if we never touch them.” theme=”style2"]
If we are strong in our faith and we are following the Lord, helping someone who lives a lifestyle that is different from ours is not going to taint us.
The golden rule tells us to “treat others the way we want to be treated.” Yet, how can we say or believe that rule when refusing to aid those who are suffering at the hands of a terrorist attack? Because their lifestyle is not of God? Because their lifestyle is different? Because we believe they are living their life in sin?
What better time to jump in, get our hands dirty and share the love of Jesus with someone who may have been turned off from the Lord by angry, hateful Christians? How do we let the LGBT community know that God loves them if we can’t talk to them?
How can we reach them if we don’t touch them?
God does NOT hate homosexuals. God is love. God loves everyone because He is love. He loves both the sinner and the saint. That old saying of love the sinner not the sin is true. While God loves every one, He does not love sin. Jesus showed His love to others everywhere He went. We need to remember this when encountering those who are part of the LGBT community and we need to show them God’s omnipresent Love. The same love that He showed to his followers.
We cannot compromise. Jesus demonstrated what it means to follow Him. Take up your cross and follow me. In Mark 8:34, Jesus told those who wanted to be His disciples that they must deny themselves and follow Him. This includes all sin that would keep us from truly following the will of God.
In closing, we must remember that we have all fallen short of the glory of God. As Christians we must stand firm, we must not bend to the world or be tolerant of that which isn’t of God. But, we can love while standing firm. We can get our hands dirty. We can be the hands and feet of Jesus. We can reach out to a community and show them the same love that Christ showed us. In that while we were sinners, Christ died for us. Who knows? Maybe you’re the one to plant the seed that God cultivates.