This post first appeared in the Christianity for Life blog.
…If we take our faith seriously, and if we accept the teachings of Jesus, it follows that we should show all humanity, LGBT or otherwise, our unconditional Christian love.
One of the LGBT mantras is, “Feel the love,” and the Christian religion is all about God’s love. But unfortunately there’s not much love around when it comes to LGBT and Christian interactions. Christians don’t understand LGBT folk and are therefore afraid and feel threatened. LGBT folk think Christians, because they don’t condone their lifestyle, are filled with hatred and must therefore be silenced and/or despised.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
As Christians, we need to get our message straight (pardon the pun). If we take our faith seriously, and if we accept the teachings of Jesus, it follows that we should show all humanity, LGBT or otherwise, our unconditional Christian love.
Last year I had the privilege of visiting India and Nepal. My journey took me through a wide eastward swath from Delhi across Northern India and then further north into the Himalayas and Kathmandu. This region is almost untouched by Christianity. My itinerary landed me in one of Hinduism’s holiest cities on one of Hinduism’s holiest days. I was in Varanasi for Holi.
The city of Varanasi is known for its ghats descending to the river Ganges where the devout perform their absolutions, wash away their sins, do their laundry, and dump their dead who don’t qualify for cremation. On the day of Holi these activities take on a fever pitch and the entire city of Varanasi becomes a pagan party scene as the faithful paint their faces, get high, and throw colored powders at each other. At the nighttime riverbank ceremonies I felt the dark, centuries-old pagan oppression that holds almost one billion people in its grip of poverty, caste discrimination and hopelessness. There were incessant bells, chants, and priestly dances invoking myriad spirits that govern every aspect of the Hindu life. The evil was palpable.
One’s Christian inclination in these circumstances is to get the heck out of there ASAP. Leave these pagans to their primitive superstitions and thank God you’re not one of them. But that’s not what we do. Instead, we feel compassion. We feel Christian love for the beautiful people of India and we pray. We pray that they will hear the gospel and come to learn of God’s gift of salvation to all of mankind through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We don’t ostracize them. If they show up at a church door we welcome them with love and compassion. We don’t hate them because of their sin and misery, and we don’t ask them if they’re gay.
The permissiveness and wanton pursuit of feel-good experience has allowed western society to create our own Varanasi. And every day is the equivalent of Holi. We wrap it all up in the shiny trappings of wealth and possessions. We adhere to our superior, knowledge-based faith in nothing. The evil is palpable.
One’s Christian inclination in these circumstances is to get the heck out of here ASAP, leave these pagans… Oh, wait a minute, we’re not in India. We’re right here! What should we do? Here’s a thought. Feel compassion. Feel Christian love for the beautiful people of our society and pray. Pray that they will hear the gospel and come to learn of God’s gift of salvation to all of mankind through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Don’t ostracize them. If they show up at the church door welcome them with love and compassion. Don’t hate them because of their sin and misery, and don’t ask them if they’re gay.
It’s the old adage, love the sinner, hate the sin. But that isn’t enough. The LGBT community have heard that line and they reject it because when we hate the sin we usually want nothing to do with the sinner. And that’s wrong. Did Jesus take that attitude during His ministry on this earth? No, he mingled with sinners and continues to walk with us every day of our lives.
Please don’t listen to anyone who teaches hatred. Whether its the Christian crusader who pickets your wedding or the LGBT advocate who preaches that Christians hate you. Real Christians don’t hate.
Here’s another thought, if you walk into a strip-club and announce to the staff and patrons that they’re indulging in a sinful lifestyle, you know that what happens next will involve a couple of bouncers and some degree of pain and suffering. But if you befriend an individual who frequents that establishment, and you refrain from judgement and criticism, there’s a chance that the Holy Spirit might use you as a living witness.
You’ve heard all this before, but we’re heading into difficult times. You really need to think about it and pray.
Dear LGBT person, if you’re still reading this post then God bless you for hanging in there. Here’s some advice. Please don’t listen to anyone who teaches hatred. Whether its the Christian crusader who pickets your wedding or the LGBT advocate who preaches that Christians hate you. Real Christians don’t hate. Its not what we’re about. We love you regardless of your lifestyle. As fellow sinners we’re in no position to judge you or suggest that our lifestyle is superior to yours. Jesus loves every individual on this planet, including you. Learn about Him. Find out as much as you can with an open mind. He won’t disappoint you.
This concludes my rant on the LGBT debate. I’ll weigh in again from time to time as events play out.
Next time I’ll talk about…
…hmm, I haven’t a clue. But don’t worry, I’m never stuck for words. God bless.
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