I can’t stand it any more. I have to weigh in. Besides, everyone else is and I’m feeling left out. 🙂
I don’t really want to repeat what Duck Dynasty’s hairy dad, Phil Robertson, said – if you somehow missed it – just log on to any news site or watch TV. He was quoted saying that homosexuality is sin, in a fairly graphic manner. He then went on to say some things about black people that I personally found far more offensive.
So….as you would guess – it’s a lightning rod for both sides. Everyone’s up in arms. Here’s what I think. I might surprise you….
I’m very conservative when it comes to biblical interpretation. I believe that acting out on homosexual desires is a sin. Feeling gay is not. Thinking you might be gay – not. Deciding you’re gay, but remaining chaste, is not. It’s the homosexual act that God is against (in both the old and new Testaments). There are only about 6 verses total that say this. Not very many. But there are no verses that support a homosexual lifestyle. There is no example in nature that supports it. It’s not natural. It’s sin.
Now that I’ve surprised some of you – let me bring in a couple of other thoughts that might be helpful. First, Jesus never mentions it. There was plenty of homosexual activity in the days of Jesus. He could have said something. He didn’t. I try (not very well, I might add) to be like Jesus. He didn’t talk about it – I don’t want to. (Except for this blog, of course)! 🙂
Secondly, I believe the word and concept of “sin” is often misunderstood. It’s often described as “missing the mark” which is the perfection God requires. Or it’s thought of as hurting God.
Here’s what sin is. It’s something that hurts us! God doesn’t want us to sin – because he loves us and wants the best for us. And when we sin, it hurts us. I have yet to meet a fully healthy happy practicing homosexual. They typically have lots of pain in their life. That’s what hurts God – he wants them (and us) to be whole. Healthy. Happy. He’s for us!
Thirdly, more specifically about this controversy, when we make the issue the issue – it’s not usually helpful. I don’t want to run from things or pretend they don’t exist, but focusing on issues (abortion, gay marriage, politics) isn’t the way of Jesus. He went much much deeper – he headed for the heart.
Talking about “issues” is easy. We’re either for or against something. in this case, we can focus on the freedom of speech. Or gay rights. Or what the Bible says. Or bigotry. Or….any number of issues. And then we’re either for or against them. Easy.
It’s much more difficult to ask heart questions. Questions that make us ask “why” rather than “what.” Questions that focus on motivation and purpose rather than facts and figures. But here’s the problem with focusing on the heart – only God knows it. We can’t. I cannot know what’s in the heart of Phil Robertson or the GQ editor asking him the questions or Piers Morgan right now on CNN or Sean Hannity on Fox. I can make some guesses based on what they say – but I’ve found that’s often wrong.
And the deepest problem/frustration is this – not only can we not know someone’s heart, we can’t fix or change it. Only God can change hearts. He uses us for sure. When we focus on the issues – people’s hearts often grow more calloused towards God – it’s a weird reverse psychology that happens. When we fight against “them” they don’t appreciate it. They can’t hear. And their hearts grow cold (whoever the “they” might be).
When we love people the way Jesus did, and lift him up for them to see – the actual biblical Jesus of Nazareth – hearts are changed. When hearts are changed, issues change. Issues change because the people have changed.
It’s simple to say – hard to live. I commit to the way of Jesus, once again!