I want to say right off the bat that I am not sitting here writing this blog as a seminary educated theologian, minister, or “ex-gay” spokes person. I am writing this blog as a real person…. a person with fluctuating emotions, good and bad experiences, pains, joys, longings, satisfactions…. a person who has lived on both sides of this issue. I’ve walked in the shoes of the one who is angry at Christians, fearful of the Church, and not understanding of why they say God hates homosexuality—and now I walk in the shoes of the very person I used to hate (Christians)— the person who loves Jesus, turns from sin, and desires for others to do the same. So many well-meaning Christians feel inadequate, or just plain unable, to talk to gay people about Jesus… they can’t begin to understand what their gay family and friends experience, nor do they know how to apply the gospel to that person’s experience. But I am in a unique situation…a situation where I understand the experience of the gay person, but also understand the gospel and what Jesus can do in the life of the gay person (no… I’m not talking about sexual re-orientation!). So one of the main reasons I do this blog is to communicate the gospel of Jesus to the gay community on behalf of the multitudes that want to, but just don’t know how.
Probably one of the biggest questions in current western culture when it comes to the subject of Christianity is: “Can a gay person be a Christian?” For example, I shared the gospel with a coworker a few months back and her initial response (not even knowing my past/testimony) was, “Well what about gay people? Christianity says that’s wrong and I don’t believe it’s wrong.”
Can a gay person be a Christian? Well, it first depends on what you mean when saying the word gay. Language can be so complex and allows room for all sorts of misconceptions, so I want to clearly identify what we’re talking about when we say the word gay. The most common use of the word describes someone who not only experiences romantic attraction toward the same gender, but embraces this attraction toward the same gender as something good and natural, and consequently acts out on their attractions. Since this is the most common use of the word, this is the definition of “gay” that I’m going to go with in this blog. At the risk of being repetitious, let me say it again: When I say “gay”, I do not mean someone who just experiences romantic attraction toward the same sex—I mean someone who embraces those attractions as a good part of who they are and acts out on those attractions.
What I will say first about the self-identified Gay Christian is that at the very least they are professing a genuine intellectual belief in the true God. The God who made us all, knows us all, and communicates the reality of His existence to us all. He is the One True God who took on flesh and stepped into our fractured world to make peace by the blood of His Cross. He is the God who died for sinners, welcomes sinners, and transforms sinners. His grace is overflowing. His mercy is incomprehensible. But….in all these wonderful things about God, it’s easy for us to think that His saving love knows no boundaries. If we go back to the Bible, we will see that God’s saving love does have boundaries… or a better word: conditions. And those conditions can be summed up in two things: repentance, and faith in Jesus Christ. In the Bible, legitimate faith is identified by a life of repentance…. i.e., believing God, putting sin to death, and walking in step with the Spirit (walking as Jesus walked). Sinful men are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8), and that faith produces a life of repentance (James 2:20). True faith holds the hand of repentance… always.
So the Bible is crystal clear that a person who has faith in Jesus is a person who also turns from sin. The Bible is crystal clear as well that homosexual behavior falls into the category of sin. So what does this mean for the person who says they have faith in Jesus but does not turn from what His Word defines as sin?
I think I know what Jesus would say.
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?”- Luke 6:46
“You will recognize them by their fruits. 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.”- Matthew 7:20-21
“Unless you repent, you will perish.”- Luke 13:5
Sobering words from our Lord. Before I go any further I want to be blatantly clear with the gay person/gay Christian reading these words… I do love you. Not in a fake, ooshy-gooshy kind of way. I don’t know you…. so I don’t love you like I love my mom or my sister or my brothers and sisters in Christ in my local church. But when I say I love you, I mean that I genuinely care for you and your soul and your struggles that not many people out there understand. Everything I say from this point forward is from a loving desire to see your heart opened to the truths (hard truths) about God, yourself, and your need for redemption and transformation.
If you are currently a self-identified “Gay Christian”, I plead with you to feel the danger and urgency of the situation you’re in. The Bible warns that God’s will is for us to abstain from sexual immorality (1 Thessalonians 4:3) and that those who refuse to abstain will not inherit the Kingdom of God (1 Cortinthians 6:9) because they have not done the will of the Father (Matthew 7:21). If the person I just described would be you, then I need to tell you that you are currently under the wrath of God because of your unbelief (John 3:36)… and if you continue on this path, you will experience the torment of His wrath forever (Revelation 14:11). If you do not repent and stop pursuing the sinful desires of your heart, God will be just in condemning you—not because you’re attracted to the same sex, but because you have exalted yourself, your sexuality, your reasoning, and many other things above the God who made you and cares for you.
And please, do not bank the fate of your soul on the fact that you feel like you’re good with God and you feel He blesses your committed relationship with someone of the same sex. The fallen, sinful human heart is desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9)and can not be trusted. If you are delighting in what God has revealed to be sin, please do not rejoice… but fear. One of the most despairing things God can do is to give us over to our sin… to allow us to revel in it, enjoy it, and experience no guilt, remorse or shame. This path of embracing, celebrating and loving sin is the wide, easy path that has a sure end of destruction (Matthew 7:13).
Do not harden your heart any longer toward the Lord…. humble yourself. Turn from your sin and toward Jesus. Become a recipient of His saving grace. He will transform you. And I don’t mean that He will transform you into into a person who is attracted to the opposite sex—that is not the promise of the Gospel. The promise of the Gospel is that you would know God the Father and Jesus Christ and enjoy Him forever. I mean I do know men and women who have developed attraction for the opposite sex, but there are many–like myself–who haven’t had that happen. But I have more joy and peace in my life right now than I have ever had. Why? Because I am walking in an increased obedience to Christ. I am putting sin to death, seeking the Lord in prayer and His Word, and He is letting Himself be found by me (2 Chronicles 15:2). Jesus has transformed me—not into a so-called “straight” man, but into a man who’s very life, meaning and joy springs from knowing and walking with God. My hope is not in a temporal change in my sexuality, but in an eternal promise that Jesus has saved me and will lead me into a life of indescribable pleasure forever. <—-This is the hope of the gospel.
What the Lord has done for me (and countless others) He will gladly do for you. It’s not too late and you’re not too far gone….Jesus took upon Himself the wrath of God for sinners—sexually broken, stubborn and prideful sinners, just like you and me. All of your sin, including all the years of justifying your sin and refusing to repent, can be nailed to the Cross and forgotten by God forever—if you will just repent and trust in the good Savior. He will then not only clothe you with the righteousness of Jesus and declare you righteous in a legal sense, but He will also treat you as if you were righteous. He will treat you as if you had obeyed as Jesus did. Enter into a real, solid relationship with the Father through Jesus. All of heaven will rejoice if you do. Please don’t harden your heart, but believe.
“The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty..”- Exodus 34:6-7.
(Revised on Saturday, June 29, 2013)