Christian Love for Gays
With all the rhetoric out there on different sides, we wanted you to know that Bible-believing Christians should love homosexual people and support their right to live free from persecution, fear, and hatred. True Christians are to love everybody, as 1 John 3:14-15 says. However, we do not condone a lifestyle or actions that are contrary to Godís teaching. This includes both homosexuality and hatred of homosexuals. Because you strongly believe something, that does not mean you hate people. Because many gays strongly believe homosexuality is a valid lifestyle, does that mean they all hate all people who believe it is immoral? -- I hope not. Likewise, even though those who follow the Bible strongly believe homosexuality is a serious sin, that does not mean we hate people who are gay.
Christianity is opposed to hatred of anybody, and Christians should not even condone others hating homosexuals. 1 John 4:19-21 says that if we hate others, then the love of God is not in us. As with many sins, not just homosexuality, we need to "hate the sin, but love the sinner."
Some, such as the Nazis, feed off of mutual hatred. No one should feed off hate, whether they call themselves Gay/Lesbian, Christian, or other. But, even though a person with strong convictions disagrees with you and opposes a political agenda, does that mean he or she must hate you? --No!
Since we care about gay people, and since some religious leaders are failing to tell what the Bible really teaches about homosexuality, the record needs to be set straight. Because of our love for homosexuals, we feel an urgency in presenting this information. Our motive is that we want to see more people of all kinds of backgrounds in heaven. Gays are like everyone else: they need repent of sin and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior to live with Godís people forever.
What Does God Say About Practicing Gays?
Lev 18:22,24 says, "Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable."... 24 "Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled."
Most people are familiar with the account of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19:1-29. Reasons given for its destruction were a) there were fewer than ten righteous people there (Gen 18:32), b) the outcry to the Lord against this people was so great (i.e. so wicked) (Gen 19:13), c) they had detestable practices and were depraved (Ezek. 16:47), d) "they were arrogant, overfed, unconcerned, they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before God." (Ezek. 16:49-50).
While some say homosexuality was not a reason for their destruction, Ezek. 16:49-50 and Gen 18:32, 19:13 plainly show otherwise. Furthermore, Jude 7 says, "In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire." So in both Testaments, the homosexuality of Sodom and Gomorrah was condemned.
The Old Testament punishment for homosexuality is in Leviticus 20:13: "If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads." So in Old Testament times (not today), they were executed just as adulterers were.
Jesus Himself did not overrule Old Testament Law on such sins as stealing, idolatry, physical murder, or adultery. Nor did He alter Godís Law on homosexuality. When Jesus came to this world, He rebuked the Pharisees on many mistaken ideas of what pleases God and what is sinful. However, He never criticized or corrected them for the scripture they studied or their view of homosexuality. To those who were not so familiar with the Old Testament though, Paul gave very explicit instruction prohibiting gay conduct.
All practice of homosexuality is a very serious evil. 1 Cor 6:9-10 is very clear, "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."
Romans 1:26-27 says that both men and women sin terribly in exchanging natural relations for unnatural homosexual relations. Now some have suggested that only the "exchanging" that is wicked, and it is OK to be homosexual if you were born that way. But this cannot be so. Not only is the emphasis in this verse on the relations themselves being "shameful", the word "exchange" (metallaso) is the same Greek word used for exchanging the truth of God for a lie. So the problem is not just the "exchanging", but the "indecent acts with other men" as Rom 1:27 says. Since Lev 18:22 and 1 Cor 6:9-10 show that the practice of homosexuality is evil, of course it is never OK to be in an evil state. This is true whether immorality is gay or straight, the point being that we all are born with a sinful nature and need to be born again to be holy.
Homosexuality vs. Other Sins
All homosexual practices are sinful; they can keep us from going to heaven. They are every bit as damning as sexual immorality, drunkenness, and other sins in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. No one should look down on gay people, because without Jesus all would be unfit for heaven. Paul told all Christians in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, "...You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." 1 Thess 4:3-5 says, "It is Godís will that you should be holy; that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God."
Good News for Gays
The Bible completely condemns homosexuality, but does it condemn homosexuals for an unforgivable sin? No! Homosexuality is not unforgivable. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 gives such bad news, but verse 11 gives such great hope. It says, "And such were some of you. But you were washed and you were cleansed." So some Corinthian Christians were former homosexuals just as some were formerly sexually immoral and drunkards. God forgave them and cleansed them of their sin. Let God forgive and cleanse you too.
Some may have the false idea that they must clean up their life, and cleanse themselves by their own power before they can accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and become a Christian. Re-read 1 Cor 1:6-11. It does not say the Corinthians cleansed themselves; rather God cleansed them. Have you ever seen a pig cleanse itself? -neither have I. All of us, both straight and gay, were and always would be as unclean to God if it were not for the special cleansing, called sanctification, done by the Holy Spirit in lives of believers.
Since you do not cleanse yourself prior to coming to Christ, can you be unconcerned with your sins? Look again at 1 Cor 6:9-10. It talks of these wicked sinners and says such were some of you. Php 2:12-13 says "...continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, to will and to act according to his good purpose." We do not "work in" to save ourselves, but those who are truly saved "work out" the salvation within them as God works in their lives.
So if you have gay desires, yet really want to dwell with the Holy God forever, what can you do? To all, straight and gay, in Acts 2:37-40 Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off- for all whom the Lord our God will call."
So repent of gay actions, words, and fantasies just as you must repent from all other sins. As Godís holy child, with the help of the Holy Spirit, you must resolve never to engage in gay activity again. 1 Peter 2:11 says, "...abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul."
Do not try to fight this struggle alone! Fight the good fight with the encouragement, prayers, and accountability of your brothers and sisters in Christ, for we are all one. God may choose to instantaneously cleanse your mind of homosexual thoughts. On the other hand He may not. An ex-gay Christian brother and beloved friend of mine still had some gay thoughts and temptations. God did not take away all temptation, but he was given strength to successfully resist temptation.
Our Attitude Towards Gays: Love
Jesus died and rose so that homosexuals could be forgiven and sanctified, just as surely as He died and rose for you and me. We want to give our full support and pure love to true Christians who struggle with this awful sin. Jesus Christ came to this wicked, sin-filled world to make a holy people for Himself, and let us praise God, who transforms sinners into His saints.
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