http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-u4Z3n2Fnyc (watch it all the way through, it’s worth it)
It’s been quite a while since I’ve gotten around to posting anything on this blog, but in the last week or so the issue of how we as Christians, and society in general, treat homosexuality has been weighing on my heart. Even more so after hearing this morning’s sermon on the story of the woman at the well, and how Jesus showed love and acceptance to a woman who was condemned by society and the Jewish religion. It’s this subject that seems so taboo, as if we can’t talk about it unless we are addressing how it will somehow destroy the very foundations of our livelihood. Now it seems that someone went as far as trying to pass a bill that would allow business owners in Arizona to assert their religious beliefs by denying services to LGBT people. The fact that not only someone has that idea, but has the power and support to attempt to pass it into law, scares and disgusts me. In case you don’t realize it, we did that last century with people of African-American descent. It’s segregation, it’s discrimination, and it’s oppression. Plain and simple, it is a violation of basic human rights.
I don’t understand how it can be okay to do these things, especially within the church which, unfortunately, is where most of this type of discrimination comes from. One thing I cannot fathom is why homosexuality is somehow treated as the worst possible sin someone could commit, disqualifying them from the benefits of a relationship with God or even the person that they love. I cannot understand how the sanctity or special-ness of someone else’s marriage is tarnished because a complete stranger wants to be married to someone of the same sex. That’s like saying my birthday is less special because I want chocolate cake but Timmy down the street prefers to eat marble. It doesn’t matter, my chocolate cake was awesome (as always), Timmy gets his marble, and everyone is happy. When we say that marriage is exclusively a Christian institution, one that exists between a man and a woman, and that this idea should be upheld in a legal sense, we begin to blend the barrier between God and Law. Which, in case you missed it, is what the Jewish people were doing when God came down to earth and died to get rid of that corrupted institution that religion had become.
Now I’m not trying to make an argument as to whether or not homosexuality is a sin (that’s a whole other discussion), you can believe what you want to believe, but what I’m trying to say is that we should not limit what others can and cannot do because we don’t agree with them. There is something fundamentally wrong with that idea. Jesus didn’t say to his disciples “hey, go out and take my teachings with you, and then use those teachings to impose my will upon others because anything else makes me kind of uncomfortable”. No, we were told to take His word out into the world, and to bring people to Him, where He would do as He saw fit. That is our only job, to bring others to Christ and allow Him to work in them in His loving and perfect way. We are not called to find someone who fits our preconceived notion of worthy, judge them, and then bring them to Christ, which is more times than not what we are trying to accomplish.
That brings me to my next concern, and my call for something to change, which is our view of homosexuals in the church. It seems that it is difficult for us to accept someone who is homosexual into the church because, after all, they have the audacity to sin. It’s as if the church is going to somehow be defiled and Jesus’ word corrupted with the blasphemy of a homosexual person (or anyone LGBT person, for that matter) choosing to love and worship Christ. In case it wasn’t apparent, the point of the church is for a group of defiled people to come and be washed clean by the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. We seem to be able to grasp that simple concept when it involves any other type of sin except for homosexuality. A majority of the men in any church currently struggle or have struggled with addiction to pornography; ensnared in lust and fixated on sexual objectification. And even though that is a sexual sin, at least they aren’t gay. That is so hypocritical it makes me sick. We accept drug addicts, alcoholics, murderers, thieves, liars, cheats, and any other form of sinner that the world has. And that is a truly beautiful thing, to accept those people who need Jesus the most. But the one person we forget about is that young man or woman who is so afraid of our society, one the church has helped create, that they hide in themselves the love they feel for others and a fundamental part of who they are. It needs to change. And I know that it can, because there are plenty of young people who feel the same way that I do. I am not directing this at anyone, and I know I have plenty of friends who would agree with me, and are actively seeking to be an example of Christ’s love to those people who the church continues to shut out. But now we need to take action, either in the form of addressing our churches and congregations, to supporting efforts that help LGBT people in the face of oppression, to simply being the shining light of love and acceptance that Christ sent us out into the world to be. We are the future of Christ’s body of work here on earth, the city on a hill that is to be a guiding light. We need to shine for everyone.