Where do you place your identity, and what or who are you ultimately serving? For homosexuals, do you identify yourself as someone who is gay? Or do you find your identity in Jesus Christ alone? In this article, I will be discussing the Christian perspective of homosexuality, and then I will conclude back to my questions about IDENTITY.
What’s the standard, and who sets it?
We (Christians) do NOT hate homosexuals. In fact, our feelings towards homosexuals are far from any form of hatred. We understand why people may feel this way, but the real cause of that misconception is due to the lack of perspective and a misunderstood, self-created standard. In a nutshell, here is the perspective:
We serve a God who is beyond any perfection that we can comprehend. Our God is so perfect, holy, and righteous that we can’t even have a standard for that sort of being. Trying to understand God and his holiness is like trying to explain to ants how the internet works. We could possibly make a scale from 1-10, and ask how perfect God is on that scale, however, God would not even stoop so low to be a 10. God wouldn’t even stoop so low to be an 11… or 12… or even a 100. God’s perfection is so incredible that it is beyond our ability to even come close to comprehending.
“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” (Romans 3:23)
The Bible says that every person that has ever existed has sinned and has fallen short of God’s standard. Jesus said,
“Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” (Matthew 11:11)
In other words, even when someone seems like an amazing person here on earth, who loves to serve and care for others… even that person would be worse than the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven. The problem is that people try creating fairness, equality, and love according their own human standard instead of looking to the standard of a Holy God. They have a view of the world through their own eyes and what they think is right and wrong instead of opening their eyes to the idea that there is a true standard. With that said, many pro-gay Christians don’t like the true standard of God, so they slowly begin to justify their beliefs and begin to apply those beliefs to their own personal view of God. They say,
“Well, God wouldn’t make me like this, and God wouldn’t want me to struggle. He loves me for who I am, so this must be how he made me. He wants me to be happy! It’s the main stream Christians who have it wrong, and they are being hateful when attempting to change who God made me to be.”
There are so many things wrong with that statement, I don’t even know where to begin. *First of all, God’s desire is not always to make you happy. Instead, he desires a genuine relationship with you, but that only happens when obeying his commands and understanding who he truly is; not understanding who we want him to be. Personally, I don’t like the idea of an eternal Hell, but I’m not God, and I have absolutely no right to call the shots. I would encourage you to read the book of Job. Job was a man who’s life was ruined by the attacks of Satan. Everything was taken from him and he, himself was suffering from nasty infections. However, he remained faithful to God. Yes, he was broken and was angry towards God at times, but he never let his feelings and emotions form a false idea of who the true God is.
*Second, it’s not who God made you to be. God made you to be in relationship with him, but that doesn’t mean that we won’t have major struggles in our lives. Jesus himself told us that we would suffer in the world but that we shouldn’t worry because He has overcome the world. It’s okay to be broken. In fact, our brokenness is what brings us closer to God because. In our brokenness, we are allowed to see the goodness of our Heavenly Father. If you are struggling with understanding this idea, then maybe you have either – never truly been broken, or you have given up and turned your brokenness into a sin. In our brokenness, we have a choice to allow that to become sin, or to give your brokenness to God and overcome it!
*Third, brokenness is not a sin, and it’s NOT a sin to have homosexual tendencies and temptations. It’s not a sin to be tempted. It’s ONLY a sin when we turn those temptations into an action. Jesus was tempted in every way, yet without sinning because he never acted upon those temptations. Having homosexual feelings is not a sin. It’s a state of being broken, just like an alcoholic or a porn addict may feel broken due to the overwhelming urge to “act”. But again, what are you going to do with your brokenness? Are you going to give it to God? That doesn’t mean that you have to be perfect. It’s ultimately between you and God because He knows your heart. However, this can be dangerous because like I said before, it’s easy to slowly justify your convictions and beliefs which will cause a false idea of who God is and what he loves and hates. Yes, God hates, but it’s a righteous kind of hate. It’s not the same selfish and prideful hate that humans have. Because God is so perfect, he has to hate what is evil. God knows your heart, and you can’t lie to him. He knows if you are actually trying to give these desires up and follow him, or if you are trying to hide them and tell yourself that it’s okay. To follow Jesus means to carry your own cross. Jesus said that we must take up our cross and follow him.
“Take up your cross and follow Me” means being willing to die in order to follow Jesus. This is called “dying to self.” It’s a call to absolute surrender. After each time Jesus commanded cross bearing, He said, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?” (Luke 9:24-25). Although the call is tough, the reward is matchless.
Following Jesus is easy when life runs smoothly; our true commitment to Him is revealed during trials. Jesus assured us that trials will come to His followers (John 16:33). Discipleship demands sacrifice, and Jesus never hid that cost.
In Luke 9:57-62, three people seemed willing to follow Jesus. When Jesus questioned them further, their commitment was half-hearted at best. They failed to count the cost of following Him. None was willing to take up his cross and crucify upon it his own interests. …Truly, they were not able to put to death their own ideas, plans, and desires, and exchange them for His.
How many people would respond to an altar call that went, “Come follow Jesus, and you may face the loss of friends, family, reputation, career, and possibly even your life”? The number of false converts would likely decrease! Such a call is what Jesus meant when He said, “Take up your cross and follow Me.”
If you wonder if you are ready to take up your cross, consider these questions:
• Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means losing some of your closest friends?
• Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means alienation from your family?
• Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means the loss of your reputation?
• Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means losing your job?
• Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means losing your life?
In some places of the world, these consequences are reality. But notice the questions are phrased, “Are you willing?” Following Jesus doesn’t necessarily mean all these things will happen to you, but are you willing to take up your cross? If there comes a point in your life where you are faced with a choice—Jesus or the comforts of this life—which will you choose?
Commitment to Christ means taking up your cross daily, giving up your hopes, dreams, possessions, even your very life if need be for the cause of Christ. Only if you willingly take up your cross may you be called His disciple (Luke 14:27). The reward is worth the price. Jesus followed His call of death to self (“Take up your cross and follow Me”) with the gift of life in Christ: “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it” (Matthew 16:25-26).
If you choose not to give up your desires, then God will give you over to your own lusts and desires. Romans 1:24-31 tells us…
“Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”
With that said, it’s still possible for you to “believe” that you have a genuine relationship with God, when – in fact – you have actually been given over to your own selfish and idolatrous desires.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'”
What an awful day that would be! Hopefully, you are starting to see why Christians are trying to point Pro-Gay Christians as well as all homosexuals towards the truth. If we truly believe that you will be rejected by God someday, the most loving thing we could do is tell you what you are doing is wrong. We simply cannot believe that it is okay. We love you, but’s it’s wrong. And if you have a problem it, don’t talk to us… Talk to the Big Man. We understand how it could come off as hateful and judgmental, but this all goes back to what I said at the beginning; it’s the result of not knowing God, and not having the right perspective of where we are coming from.
*Fourth, if God didn’t allow us to struggle, then it would be impossible for us to have a relationship with him, and there would be no point of heaven.
If everything were already perfect, then we wouldn’t seek after God because we would have no reason to. Likewise, if everything on earth were just a perfect as heaven, then what would be the point of having the reward of Heaven?
It’s in our brokenness when we begin to seek God, if we choose to. The New Heaven and the New Earth will be a place of perfection. A place where there is no suffering or pain. This is a place where we will walk with God forever and ever. However, those who will walk with God forever and ever will only be those who are truly walking with God today in the midst of our sufferings. Do you have a desire to walk with God for eternity?
Relationships are formed in the valley. You don’t have a true relationship with someone until you have been through tough times together and you have been able to put your trust in that person. A true relationship is formed when you recognize what “sacrifice” really means. Try to see how many marriages work out when there is only one person calling all the shots. What would it look like if the man sat at home all day and did nothing, but benefited from what the wife sowed? Eventually, the wife would get tired and tell him to get a job, make dinner every once in a while, clean up, take care of the kids, help pay the bills, etc. Unfortunately, the happens today too often, and it’s not a real relationship. People expect Jesus to do the work while they do nothing, yet expect to reap the benefits.
A relationship is between two people, specifically between a man and a woman, sacrificing for one another without the expectation to have the favor returned. That’s not according to me; that’s how God designed it. That relationship must work two ways, and it must be mutual in order for it to be called a relationship. Jesus sacrificed himself in order to bring us back to relationship with God. He did his part which he did not have to do, but now we must do our part in order for it to be a relationship. For many Christians, it’s only a one way relationship because they thirst after our own desires. But Jesus calls us to thirst for him, and not for earthly things or even who we want him to be for our own benefit. This isn’t a part time job either. It’s a lifestyle, and you are called to be a “living sacrifice”.
Are you willing to give up your homosexual desires and follow the true Jesus? I know the desire is strong, but I could ask anyone a similar question…
(Are you willing to give up alcohol to follow Jesus? Are you willing to give up porn to follow Jesus? Are you willing to give up gambling to follow Jesus? I’m not asking you to be perfect, because you will fail. Rather, I’m simply asking if you are willing.)
A Conversation with a homosexual friend…
Recently, I have had a few conversations with an old friend from college who struggled with homosexuality. Now, she has changed her name and considers herself to be a man. She still knows it’s wrong but has wired her brain to believe that this is her. In a conversation with her several months ago, I asked her a few questions about he beliefs and why she is living this sort of lifestyle. She said,
“My beliefs never changed, just my actions. My days are miserable and I often feel stuck. My pursuit of transgenderism is genuine but I know those feelings are lies.”
Now, she is married to her “wife” and continues to dig deeper into those lies. Eventually, I’m not even sure if she will consider those feelings to be lies anymore. She is around “bad company that corrupts moral character.” I have been as loving as can towards her, but I eventually had to call her out on her lies because I genuinely cared for her. Her response was,
“I don’t understand how you love. I can tell your words are filled with the love of Christ but I can’t wrap my head around it. Everyone else has given up and walked away yet here you are spontaneously fighting for me. I’m not worthy of Christ or salvation or repentance…. the church shies away from people like me. My challenge comes from the feeling of shortcoming the lord. I can’t immediately fulfill the calling he’s placed on my life so I feel unworthy or pursuing it.”
She was missing the point. The fact is that NO ONE ON EARTH IS WORTHY!!! If we were worthy, then we wouldn’t need the cross! Remember Romans 3:23? Not one person is innocent, and we have all failed to meet God’s perfect standard. Because of the love of Christ, we are able to bring our unworthiness to the cross in exchange of worthiness.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, evenwhen we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved”— Ephesians 2:4-5
When we truly know Christ, we know what love really is, and not some false idea of love that we have made.
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8
But one might say, “why would God create us to meet his perfect standard, if he knew it would be impossible?” I would simply reply with Romans 5:8:
“But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, ‘Why have you made me like this?'”
In other words, what gives you the right to tell God how to do his job? He is a perfect God who cannot allow sin to go unpunished. So, perhaps that better question would be, “how would a perfect God create a standard that is not perfect?” It would cause him to be imperfect because he would have to allow sin to go unpunished, which is not perfectly JUST.
The entire reason why Jesus was sacrificed was because of sin. Justice was served when The Father sent his Son to die in our place; forgiveness couldn’t have happened any other way. Throughout history, God commanded his people to sacrifice animals for a temporal forgiveness of sins. Blood HAD to be shed for the forgiveness of sins, and God could not forgive without a sacrifice taking place because true justice would not be served.
Similarly, a murderer has to serve a just punishment. JUSTICE IS REQUIRED! It would be wrong to say the the criminal, “you are forgiven, so you don’t need to go to prison.” It would also be wrong for God to say, “you are forgiven, so you don’t need to pay any consequences.” However, God had a plan to forgive once and for all. However, no mere creature could possibly be sacrificed for all of mankind because all have sinned, and no one is worthy enough. So, since the only person who was qualified to be perfect enough to forgive all of mankind was God, God himself became flesh to die for all who believe in his name and confess that he is Lord. God loves us so much that he sent his Son to become a JUST sacrifice for us.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and JUST to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
Hopefully this might help a little bit… Parents, think about the standards you have made for your kids. If your child got tired of trying to reach your standard, would you allow them to convince you to use their standard instead? Would you allow your 4 year old boy to create his own standards? Would you allow your 16 year old daughter to created her own standards? Furthermore, would you be willing to submit to their standards? That would be insulting to your authority as a parent! How much more insulting would it be for the Almighty God of the Universe to stoop down and be obedient to our standard? Ironically, God did stoop low to become one of us, and submitted himself to the law, but God is not obligated to obey our standards. So, back to my question: “Would you allow your child to create his or her own standard that you had to become obedient to?” I would hope not. They are children, and do not understand many of the standards that parents may have, until one day they understand that all the parent was trying to do was protect them. Similarly, we are like 4 years olds to God. No matter how old and wise we get, we cannot outsmart him.
Think about this: A little boy loves to play in the street. However, his dad notices him and sternly tells him that he can’t do that anymore! The little boy doesn’t understand why, so he decides to play in the street again. Therefore, the father decides to enforce some consequences. The little boy hates the consequences and doesn’t understand why he can’t play in the street or why he is being punished. He simply doesn’t know any better, but one day he realizes that his father was simply trying to protect him.
In the same way, we have many desires to satisfy our own needs, but God desires to protect us from those things. But if we don’t listen, there will be eternal consequences because he is an eternal God. Most of the time, God desires to use us (Christians) to inform people that what they are doing is wrong in the eyes of God. It’s up to them if they want to listen. Unfortunately, many don’t listen, and they fail to see the dangerous things that God has warned them of.
Back to my conversation with my homosexual friend… I actually had a conversation with her “wife” as well. (It begins with the “wife” talking to my friend “the husband”.
Does Jesus make mistakes?
If I could choose any section of this writing that really disappoints me, and honestly angers me, it would be this. To say that Jesus made a mistake shows that you don’t KNOW Jesus, and who have no idea what he actually did to pay for that sin. It’s complete arrogance that develops into these strange doctrines and ideas about who Jesus really is. Furthermore, to say that Jesus made a mistake is to say that he is imperfect, which makes his sacrifice useless. It’s telling God to his face that your sacrifice wasn’t good enough for me, so I”m going to try to fix it up a little bit.
Additionally, notice what she said was “true and truth” — “Him doing what he DESERVES[..].” First of all, WE DESERVE NOTHING!! THE ONLY THING THAT WE DESERVE IS WRATH! That’s why the Gospel is such good news. We are so filled with wickedness, and many are still lost in the darkness. However, when someone is in the dark for so long, he or she begins to adapt to the darkness, and living in the darkness becomes easier and easier. Like a stated before, even when people are in darkness, they can still “claim” to have a relationship with God. But those are pure lies!
“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:5-7
Second, the ONLY thing that is true and truth is Jesus Christ.
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
“Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24
Third, it all comes down to idolatry and the desire to fulfill our own desires. To deny ourself means to forget about the sinful desires that we selfishly have for ourselves – no matter how difficult it may be to let those go – and allow Jesus to give you his desires. This may sound challenging, but the more one comes to know Jesus, the more He will begin to replace your desires with his. Eventually, the desires you once had will no longer be your desires, and you will genuinely have new and righteous desires. I personally know people who have struggled with homosexuality for their entire lives, but – in their brokenness- they turned to Jesus, and now they no longer have those desires. I also no Christians who still have those sinful desire, but refuse to act upon them because they truly believe that Jesus is worth it. They were willing to sacrifice their natural desires for the sake of the cross, and God will truly bless them for it.
Christians do NOT hate homosexuals. Christians love them, and it’s purely out of love when we inform them of what’s wrong. I understand how it can come across as an act of hate, but that viewpoint only occurs when one lives according to their own standard. As a result, this causes one to take things personally and as an offense.
For instance, there have been many occasions when a Christian cake company has made the News because they refused to disobey God by baking a cake for a gay wedding. It had nothing to do with hatred towards gays; it only had to do with what they new was right. Not too long ago, I watch a video of a guy calling a gay wedding cake company – asking them to make a cake that said, “I’m a Christian, and I do not support gay marriage.” The company refused to make the cake. The man making the call didn’t actually want the cake, but he called to prove a point on how you can’t force people to do or make something that goes against their own beliefs.
As Christians, our goal isn’t to search out all the flaws in people and tell them that they are a bad person. However, I am aware that there are some “Christians” who do that. Shame on them! Unfortunately, there will always be people like that. The world doesn’t have a homophobe problem. Rather, the world has a “people” problem. There are some people who are homophobes. Similarly, the world doesn’t have a racist problem. Rather, there are people who are racist against blacks and against whites, and there will always be those people. When we hear about a rape crime on the news, we don’t say, “We have a rape problem today.” Rather, we say, “What’s wrong with PEOPLE today?!?”
As Christians, our goal is to show you the love and mercy of Christ and what it means to follow him. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to do it, and the Gospel will always be offensive to those who want to fulfill their own desires rather than God’s. This isn’t just a problem for homosexuals; it’s a problem for all kinds of people, including those of other faiths as well. In a recent debate between a Muslim and a Christian, the Muslim man accused the Heaven of the Bible to be unrealistic and boring because Jesus-followers will be walking with God for eternity. The Muslim said,
“I wouldn’t want to walk with God for eternity. I would much rather walk with God some of the time and do my own thing the rest of the time.”
This represents the exact problem of having selfish desires. Only those who truly KNOW God and desire to walk with him now are those who will be walking with Him in eternity.
So, the next time a Christian approaches you, remember their perspective. They don’t desire to ridicule or hurt you; they want to point you away from destruction and to a merciful God. It’s never to late to ask for forgiveness and live a life dedicated to Jesus. I’ll leave you with this question:
If you are a gay Christian who believes it’s okay to be that way, who’s standard are you living by and what or who do you put your identity in? Is your identity is Jesus alone, or in the person you desire to be, or even in the Jesus you have created? And if you are a gay atheist, where does your standard come from?
***The following link is a video several extra points that I would like to address***