*I wish I could relate to you just how long it has taken me to get to this place, how much “chipping away” at sin and hardheartedness God had to do to bring me here. When I first became a christian I lost my very best friend because she was gay and I didn’t know how to relate to her any longer. Later, I would go on to shut members of my family out of my life and my children’s lives for the same reason. Never in a million years would I have thought I’d be sitting here at my computer, writing what I’m about to write. Thank God for His mercy, His love and His exceeding patience….
Christians often bring up 1 Corinthians 6:9 in their case against homosexuality, which tells us that homosexuals “will not inherit the kingdom of God.” I find it interesting that adulterers are also among those listed as being unable to enter the kingdom of God, and that the bible defines those who divorce and remarry (except for in cases of sexual infidelity) as adulterers (Luke 16:18, Matthew 5:32, Mark 10:11.)
Stop and think about that for a moment. According to the bible, anyone who divorces and remarries for any reason other than sexual infidelity is considered an adulterer, and according to the same passage that seems to condemn homosexuality, adulterers are listed as among those who cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. Yet, inexplicably, I’ve never once heard a pastor teach that divorced people should not remarry, or that those who have already divorced and remarried are currently “living in sin” and ineligible for salvation. Not once.
People often like to say “you can’t pick and choose what to follow in the bible.” And yet, we all do it. Are women staying silent in church (1 Corinthians 14:34)? Refusing to wear jewelry or braid their hair (1 Peter 3:3)? Covering their heads during prayer (1 Corinthians 11)? Are we cutting out our eyes if we lust (Matthew 5:29)? I know what you’re thinking right now. You’re thinking “well, that’s because….” and that is my point. The bible very specifically tells us to do these things, and we don’t “because…” We all – every single one of us – choose which commandments to follow based on our understanding of the bible, and of God.
Seriously, can we admit that, just for a moment? And then, can we admit that if we feel free to “pick and choose” which commandments to follow and still call ourselves Christians, then homosexuals can also “pick and choose” and still be Christians?
Please know that I’m not writing this to convince anyone that homosexuality isn’t a sin. Heck, eating pork is a sin, according to Leviticus 11. But I also believe that those who eat pork are doing what they believe is right according to their understanding of the Bible. And many of those pork-eating Christians are amazing, wonderful, filled with the Holy Spirit and with God’s love and I admire and love and look up to them and want to be just like them when I grow up.
In fact, here is what I believe, more strongly than anything: We’re ALL wrong. In one way or another, none of us has the full truth, none of us are doing exactly what God wants us to do and we’re all in one stage of growth or another. And that is a good thing. Because if we can recognize that and embrace it, then we can keep our hearts soft toward each other and toward God. We can listen to Him and hear Him when He speaks to us and we can truly let Him mold and shape us into who He wants us to be. We can change. We should change. If we’re still doing and still believing the same things about God today as we did when we first met Him, we’re doing something wrong.
When we step back and consider this all-encompassing wrongness and wonderfulness of it all, are we really ready to say that those who believe differently from us regarding homosexuality can’t be Christian? That they can’t know and love Jesus Christ? That they’re going to hell? Can we, just for a moment, lift the veil from our eyes and acknowledge that just because we don’t understand everything about the bible, just because we don’t follow God perfectly, just because we “pick and choose” what to believe regarding the bible (and we all do, I promise!) doesn’t mean we don’t know Jesus, or that we’re not Christian, or that we’re “going to hell.” That goes for us and our homosexual brothers and sisters.