We Love Gay People

Scott AtteberyChristian Living, Church, Culture9 Comments

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Several years ago, I published this article in a denominational paper. Needless to say, it received mixed reviews -some positive, some negative. Nonetheless, I think the issue is just as important as it was then -and certainly more relevant. I look forward to hearing your feedback.


 

Let’s put this in perspective. Fact: Homosexuality is a sin against God. Fact: So is lying, cheating, laziness, lust and more!

While homosexuality is a terribly wicked act, so is every other sin we commit against a holy God. But why does the church tend to point out homosexuality as the “untouchable” sin?

Perhaps it’s because, up to this point in history, the church has been full of liars, cheaters, adulterers, murderers, etc. But since homosexuality has remained “taboo” in the church, it is the only sin that liars, cheaters, adulterers and murderers can point to and still feel “holier than thou!” “At least I don’t do that!” If homosexuals came into the church, we would lose our moral superiority. We might just be grouped in the same category as “wretched sinners.”

Perhaps we should reconsider what Rom. 3:10-12 says: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” That verse describes you, me, liars, homosexuals — all sinners!

The Pharisees didn’t see things that way. They believed they were better than the average sinner. Of course, Jesus called their bluff when He gave them permission to “cast the first stone” at the woman caught in adultery.

Speaking of stones, there are a lot of them being thrown in the name of Christ these days. Anti-gay rallies featuring signs saying “God hates fags” are commonplace. Sadly, many churches encourage their members to participate. It sure feels good to point out how terrible someone else is!

But what if we decided to display the love of Christ instead? It was the radical love of Jesus that compelled Him to minister to taxpayers, prostitutes, Samaritans and drunkards. And by the way, He helped them transform their sinful actions into God-honoring lifestyles. Jesus knew the only way they would change is through His unfailing love — the same love that saved you and me “while we were yet sinners.” (Rom. 5:8) Maybe we just don’t want these people to change. After all, that would take away our “holier than thou” crutch.

But what if we took all our “hate” energy and poured it into ministries for homosexuals? What if we abandoned anti-gay rallies and replaced them with “God loves you” rallies? Perhaps then the homosexual community would be able to see past our arrogance to the powerful love of Christ and the cross.

Bottom line: Homosexuality is a terrible sin. Gay people are wicked sinners. And so am I!

We do not endorse the gay lifestyle. Nor do we support gay marriage or gay adoption. We should, however, follow Christ’s example in loving sinners and calling them to repentance. Of course, once they repent and place their faith in Christ for salvation, we help them resist temptation and discipline them if they consistently rebel without remorse. That’s how we should treat every sinner in the church!

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9 Comments on “We Love Gay People”

  1. Carey Crawford

    Scott, I wholeheartedly agree with you on this matter. A double standard definitely exists in the vocal resistance to homosexuality and the stunning silence about other sin among churches.

  2. Michael

    Scott, I appreciate the heart behind this. But I question one huge statement made: that is the claim of common anti-gay rallies, an obvious reference to the Westburo “Baptist” bunch, and that many churches encourage members to participate? Was this meant as metaphorical hyperbole? Indeed, even rather ugly and unchristlike congregations tend to recoil from anything remotely connected to them.

    That single claim/paragraph diminishes what otherwise is a great and convicting article.

  3. Kelly

    Disappointed! There is a difference. Sins the author listed are made everyday because we are all human. But a Christian will ask for forgiveness for their sins as they know a Christ died on the cross and was resurrected 3 days later so we can have eternal life. Homosexuals continue sinning, not bothering to ask forgiveness for this sin, as it’s too important they live their lives their way instead of God’s way. If Christians were to continue lying or having marital affairs or whichever sin you want to name without asking forgiveness then they are unlike gays. We as Christians can make a stand against the behavior without judging or hating someone personally. I’m sure Noah was judging his fellow man when God destroyed the earth and neither should we as God will pour our his own judgement when the time comes. I think false prophets such as this writer are exactly what the Bible talked about in the end times. It’s okay if they are gay, we all sin, so let’s accept their sin. I don’t think so.

    1. Matt Outlaw

      You’re clearly separating homosexual sin from the other sins that “are made everyday because we are all human” – homosexuals are also human, and heterosexuals are no less guilty because of it.
      You speak as though you know some homosexuals that “continue sinning, not bothering to ask forgiveness…” – this is the most judgmental thing I’ve read anywhere. You’re clearly disgusted at people that are beneath you.
      “We as Christians can make a stand against the behavior without loving or getting to know someone personally.” – I read that correctly, right?
      Oh crap, I just got to the last sentence where you throw out the “false prophet””end times” lingo. Never mind, this was a waste of time.

      1. Debra

        Juu, ei ole vaikeaa ennustaa, että tuollainen kirjoitus aiheuttaa kirjoittajalle ongelmia. Se on huolestuttavaa jo liikkeen itsensä kannalta. Ei nimittäin liene kovin vaikeaa kaivaa historiasta esimerkkejä, jotka osoittavat, että rohkeiden ja ajattelevien ihmisten vayyrtamisinitekset johtavat lopulta koko systeemiä koskettavaan kaaokseen ja usein jopa sortumiseen. Vaiennettu kritiikki kyllä kytee ja roihahtaa sitten jossain vaiheessa liekkeihin, joskus enemmän ja joskus vähemmän tuhoisasti. Kuka tietää miten tässä tapauksessa.

  4. Matt Outlaw

    Scott, I love this. I wrestle every day with where my place is in the church over this. I support the right for homosexuals to marry (and adopt) in our society. I’m clearly an outsider in many segments of the Christian faith in America. But I don’t apologize for supporting those rights.
    The difference is this. I don’t desire for our laws and government to adhere to my beliefs as a Christian. However history has played out regarding our founding, this is our current culture, our current society. I honestly feel that the church is better off (and more effective) if we are not the mainstream and our beliefs are NOT the law of the land. But that’s a larger narrative entirely.
    As for our stance on gay marriage, since when is a marriage sacred under the law of the United States? My marriage was sanctified when I stood before my pastor and my church family and friends, not when the state of Arkansas recognized us as tax-paying teammates.
    My biggest question currently (even to myself) is: Can I support the right of individuals to marry in my society and culture, while not personally supporting their lifestyle?
    I believe that I can. My beliefs and convictions do not apply to them. Nor is it my calling to deny them any right, because this is MY country, or OUR country (meaning Christians). It’s my belief that my calling is to recognize, alongside them, that this is OUR country (theirs and mine). And APART from that government structure there is a collective, a body, a loving family, that believes in a God who is for us. A God who made us. And a God who is working through all things to see his ultimate glory fulfilled. If they wish to walk alongside that family, there are differences of conviction to journey through, together.
    But nowhere in our faith (imho) is there the call to shout condemning objections to our brothers and sisters outside the faith. This would not be the case for an addict or compulsive criminal, so it shouldn’t be for any sinner we want to point a finger at.

  5. Natalie Rader

    In reference to Kelly’s comment:
    (In which I think it’s interesting that those who are against “the authors” opinion didn’t place their last names.)

    Scott did NOT say we accept their sin, and it’s ok if they are gay. He in fact said the very opposite. Refer to the first sentence of the last paragraph.

    “We do not endorse the gay lifestyle” but…”follow Christs [ultimate] example in loving sinners.”

    Love them! Jesus knew that that was the ONLY way we would find Him…was to love. So it is our responsibility to LOVE them as a person…as a human…as an individual…but utterly detest sin itself.

    I do not want to be held accountable one day for the times that u did not love on people like He commanded me to do. What a disheartening time that would be.

  6. Indy

    I can relate to so much of this. The &#0os8;Hi2t2rian” argument is really interesting. I’d like to think I still have creative ideas, but after 15 years at my job I do recognize myself in your Historian description somewhat. Also, my commute is an hour each way and I think it’s a pretty large part of my job satisfaction, or lack thereof. I have a hunch I’d like my same job a lot more if it were a 10 minute walk away. So I’m really not sure about the distance thing for me.I’m glad you found something that works for you.

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