Yes, that’s right. For the constant readers who have followed me from blog to blog, this issue is definitely old hat. So I apologize. For everyone else, I have a story:
A few years ago I was an assistant youth pastor at a moderately small rural church. There was a fairly large and vibrant youth group, and in that group were two kids. We’ll call them Jane and Henry. Jane was a slightly sweet but kind of mean pretty girl, who was found to be having sex with her morally squishy boyfriend. Henry was a sweet-as-candy gentle boy who was kind to everyone, not in a relationship but questioning his sexuality. He faced these questions with an immense amount of guilt and fear, wondering why he couldn’t just be the way he was “supposed to”, terrified that God would judge and punish him, and horrified that he was a disappointment to his church and family. Which one of these kids should have been embraced by the Church, loved and comforted? The answer is simple because the answer is BOTH. Yet Jane was brought back into the fold with tears and sympathy despite the fact that her attitude belied her words and she was more or less unrepentant. Henry, despite his ambivalence and self-hatred, was ostracized.
I feel that I shouldn’t have to explain how wrong this is, yet this scenario is played out from church to church without a second thought to its rightness. Sin is Sin and God is God, and may I remind everyone that 1st John makes it INFINITELY clear that God is Love. We are to love, first off, we are to allow God to be our Judge secondly, and we are to forgive all as we wish to be forgiven. I am baffled by the fact that people live as if homosexuality is somehow on a plane above and beyond other sins. I have seen murderers and child abusers welcomed back in to the fold with less questions that one would ask of a reformed homosexual- and yes, I said reformed.
I have also seen adulterers and gossips embraced while unrepentant. And yet… must I keep repeating myself? I don’t even care if the homosexual says they are at peace with their lifestyle and deny conviction- if a heterosexual came in to the church saying that they were at peace with living in sin, we’d accept it. We should do the same, across the board, equally- or we should judge all the same.
I know as well as all of my dear readers that most churches aren’t ready to be heavy handed about demanding repentance, because most churches realize that we are a flawed people and we all live with some kind of sin. The churches that are heavy handed (May I just say… Westoboro) are largely ostracized and condemned. We know why that is. It is because we realize that only God should judge.
So why, oh why, do we continue to judge when it comes to homosexuality? We should love and embrace, forgive and respect, see the good and not the bad, with the same temperance we do to any multitude of sins every day.
So there you have it, WordPress. The gays are not my enemy. In fact, some of them are my very good friends.