LGBT and the Gospel
Back in 2016, Pastor Anson gave a special talk titled, “LGBT and the Gospel” in which he addresses professing Christians over this sensitive topic.
The Two Purposes for this talk:
- To equip God’s people to know how to biblically think about this issue.
- To humbly inform people in the LGBT community what we as followers of Jesus actually believe about this issue.
With both of those purposes laid out, let’s address three big questions that are vitally important when addressing this issue.
First, What should we as Bible believing Christians believe about this issue?
The short answer is to believe the Bible about this topic. However, the short answer needs to be unpacked by the longer answer. The long answer is Romans 1:18-27. What we see in this text is that there has never been a person who’s been justified in believe God isn’t real. Just look around at the world around us and we’ll see all sorts of evidences of God’s glory in creation. We also see in this text that people began loving the creation more than the Creator who created all of it. However, this question goes even deeper than this. There’s two main points that we need to address within this question:
- We are all broken because of sin.
- One result of this brokenness is homosexuality. We know this because the act of homosexuality isn’t God’s plan but rather a result of “de-creation” from Genesis 3.
- Bible Scholar Pim Pronk who is not a Christian admits, “Wherever homosexual relations is mentioned in Scripture, it is condemned.” The reason the Bible has nothing good to say about greed, lust, idolatry, homosexuality, and other sins is because of our brokenness.
- We must understand that the historical Christian worldview is that homosexual practice is a sin. Unfortunately though, politics eliminates any complexities in this discussion and turns it into an “us verses them” mentality. The Church itself is even guilty of this mentality.
- Empathy has ben missing when this conversation has happened within the Church.
- In John 4, Jesus comes across a woman at a well who had been unfaithful in multiple marriages and was currently involved with a man who was not her husband. The key thing we need to recognize for this discussion is that Jesus showed extreme empathy for this woman. He had a conversation with her and even offered her Living Water. Did Jesus look over her sin? Not at all. In fact, Jesus addresses her sin during the conversation, but it was not the issue he began with.
- We also need to look at the hate that is directed towards the LGBT community. This is a very real thing, and sadly there are multiple instances of vicious crimes being committed against them simply because they’re a part of the LGBT community. One example is the case of Matthew Shepard. He was a young man who was brutally beaten and left for dead in the middle of nowhere and later died of those injuries. If we are Christians who hold fast to the belief that all humans are created in the image of God, then we should be just as angry over this hate as we are over abortion.
Secondly, How can we engage with our LGBT friends and neighbors in a faithful and loving way?
There are three points to answering this question.
- We should always hold fast to the truth of Scripture.
- The answer is never to not believe Scripture. Passages like Genesis 2:18-25 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 show us that the practice of homosexuality is a sin and not a part of God’s design.
- Keep the main thing the main thing.
- There are more than 30,000 verses in the entire Bible, but there are only a dozen or so that explicitly address homosexuality. These dozen or so verses are authoritative, but homosexuality is not the main thing in the Bible.
- The main point of the Bible is Jesus!
- We need to change our goal.
- Historically, the goal has been to influence those in the LGBT community to become heterosexual. This goal needs to change immediately.
- Our ultimate goal is and forever should be to see Jesus and the Gospel as far more wonderful, far more beautiful, and far more satisfying than any temptation.
- Look at 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. In this passage, Paul discusses a thorn that God has placed in Paul’s flesh. What exactly this thorn was, we don’t know because God doesn’t tell us. This passage is meant to show us God’s grace is far greater than any thorn, any temptation, and any trial we could ever have.
- The truth is, God doesn’t always remove the thorn. Sometimes he does and sometimes he doesn’t. Either way, God shows himself to be far more satisfying.
Lastly, How can we be faithful to Jesus and loving missionaries?
There are five points that ultimately sum up this entire talk.
- Have friends that are gay.
- This helps us be empathetic because we can have real conversations with those in the community who are already near and dear to us. This conversation involves and is about people, and we need to remember that.
- Keep the main thing as the main thing.
- It’s all about Jesus!
- It’s about the Gospel!
- Make it easy for those struggling with this issue to feel safe to talk about it.
- Temptation is not a sin! To feel the temptation to steal, to practice homosexuality, to view pornography, to idolize someone or something else, or whatever other temptation we feel, it’s not a sin to feel that temptation. Jesus himself was tempted for 40 days in the wilderness by Satan, but never sinned. So we need to remember that temptation is not a sin.
- We don’t always create an environment to be open even with our own sins and temptations, and this issue makes it even more difficult to be open and honest about the temptations and sins of those struggling with this issue.
- We need to honor singleness.
- Some people are actually called by God to be single.
- The Bible honors singleness, and we as Christians in a culture that idolizes marriage and sex need to as well.
- Remember who the real enemy is.
- Our enemy is not the LGBT community. It’s Satan and his demons.