What is the Christ-like response to the issue of homosexuality and "gay rights"? First, it requires us to put it in a Godly perspective.

The Gay Challenge

Redefining marriage is a far bigger issue than some may realize. It is in fact an assault not only on truth, natural acts, and marriage, but an attack on the very possibility that God gave His creation a reliable standard to follow. Before there were cities or governments, there was marriage. Marriage was there at the creation. In Genesis we read, “A man leaves his father and mother and cleaves to his wife and they become one flesh.” As long as there have been human beings, there has been marriage. It is the foundation for every other human institution.

It is highly likely both the Congress and the courts will impose same sex marriage on the American people even though their numbers are small when compared with the total population. The general public and the church will most likely be forced to accept the practice as if the people desiring the gay identity were born with unique attraction and they must not be held responsible for their choices or desires any more than a person would be for ethnicity or skin color.

What is the proper, Christ-like response?

  • Love them while not approving the desires or practices which God clearly says are wrong.
  • Love them as though they were your own child or grandchild.
  • At no time practice or tolerate mockery or bullying.
  • Faithfully and lovingly seek to win them to Christ and the liberating power of the Gospel.

Michael Sam, the SEC’s defensive player of the year, recently announced he was gay. Since the NFL draft is approaching, the story received added coverage. The response was mixed and often inappropriate.

Dale Hansen, a popular sportscaster in the Dallas/Fort Worth market, delivered a message on his television show, “Unplugged.” It immediately went viral on YouTube. Much of what he said made perfect sense; however, it was not a completely correct assessment. He rightly pointed out that fans accept talented players who may use drugs, abuse alcohol, consort with prostitutes, and constantly set a bad example. It seems all manner of evil is accepted, but some team owners said they would not accept Sam on their team.

My close friend Dudley Hall has ministered to those trapped by homosexuality and responded with the following:

It is true that we have overlooked serious behavioral issues in the NFL because we idolize the athlete. But even then, we did not celebrate their behavior. We tolerated it with hope for liberating change. My heart aches for Sam. In an effort to support his freedom of choice, we are confirming his false identity.

Although the Bible does not address sexual orientation, it clearly reveals homosexual behavior as outside the order that God has designed for us. In the gospel we are given the power to put to death all kinds of distorted desires that long to be satisfied in our alienation from God (Col. 3:5-10). Because of our union with Christ, we have the power of death and resurrection to use against all desires coming from our old life.

Desire is poor criteria for determining identity. When we have chosen to base our identity totally on being “in Christ,” we have access to all the power that belongs to Him. That power kills the perverted and resurrects the beautiful. There is hope for those trapped in homosexual desires, adulterous desires, greedy desires, hateful desires, etc.

When we normalize all behavior under the agenda of freedom of choice, we are preparing for war (James 4:1-6). Unbridled desire inevitably produces quarrels and wars. Mankind will oppress others to gain an advantage. We will use others and prostitute every good thing we have been given. We will work for money, worship ourselves, boast in our achievements, and manipulate all governmental structures for our own advantage. The oppressed will rise up, and there will be war. It is the judgment on a society that begins to define itself by its desires.

 

To be honest with you as a reader, if we do not have a supernatural spiritual awakening within the church where Christians begin to witness in the power of unconditional love, all manner of evil is going to be spewed out on our nation. Those who really know and love God will become the most persecuted people on the planet. The stage is set for this.

God left us here as His witnesses and He commanded us to love those who are held captive by any appetite or unwholesome desire. We are to live in such a way that people witness firsthand the liberating power of the Gospel. They must see how we treat one another as all of us struggle with various distractions and unhealthy attractions, weaknesses and desires. We must never be guilty of “stoning” one another by being cruel or unkind to any person within the family of faith or outside the family. Christ is our hope. He is the hope for you and me, the hope for Michael Sam, and the hope for every person deceived into thinking they were “born gay.”

 

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18 comments

  1. Thank you, J.A. Barnett. I have been puzzled why the Christian leaders are not publicizing Romans chapter 1. Also I might point out it is not the occasional repented sin that is bad, it is continuous unrepented action of any sin that should be called what it is: sin. Yes, we should love them. No, we should not accept it because we all sin no more than we would accept a lier or adulterer as a Christian that does not need to repent while he is committing the sin, he needs to repent and turn from his ways. I am certain if I corrected a lier or someone unfaithful to their mate I would not be condemned, why would I if I correct a homosexual? WE christians that are true to the Word of God are being bullied. The Bible says open rebuke is better than secret love Proverbs 27:5. But we should correct them with love as someone mentioned like they are a loved one. The main problem with the bill that was passed is that if we give our Biblical views we are going against the law; no more religious freedom. I am disappointed that Mr Robison keeps likening homosexuality with other sin, which is true, but does not mention we are allowed to correct other sins but not homosexuality. Please Mr Robison, address how we are supposed to correct a homosexual in sin as we do other sins when it is against the law. You haven’t helped us with that yet. Are you afraid of the law? Pastor Tommy Nelson of Denton Bible in Texas is not afraid. See sermon, ” Of Mice or Men”. Now that is Godly leadership.

  2. I want to thank you, James, for your courage to step out and tell the truth about what you believe, the truth so many today are blinded from. I have a granddaughter who is a lesbian and have sought counsel from two pastors from two churches in my area. The only help I’ve been given is they tell me to pray for her…this is something my husband and I have already been doing. It seems as if churches today dodge this issue and really give no direction to family members of homosexuals. It’s easy to point someone to a book to read, when instead, they are looking for heartfelt compassion and understanding of how to deal with the issue of homosexuality.

  3. I believe all the said above sins are brought before the brethren as a diversion taking our eyes off of Christ and Him crucified. We are too often found just as the enemies of Christ are in taking up our posters, our slogans and protesting something that may very well be God’s will for this corrupt nation. I am not advocating we lay down but pray down the powers of darkness.

    I love our country only because it was built upon Godly principles; we have been blessed abundantly by God Almighty regardless of its faults. I’ve heard much over the years how America is not spoken of in the Scriptures but I believe it has been the one steady bastion of freedom upon this earth for those seeking refuge, freedom and liberty… and I believe this country has withstood Satan like no other nation because of God’s hand upon it.

    Many countries have fallen by the wayside becoming godless places and now we see America as the primary target of Satan’s attacks… attacks allowed and approved by the progressive socialist among us. I tire of hearing our self-righteous president and all other followers of unrighteousness telling us we need to study our bibles while they stand in front of the cameras with a bible in one hand and an aborted fetus in the other.

    All the sins of man are just that, sins! But I say let us not be caught with our blinders on focusing on abortion, evolution, homosexuality, etc., and in so doing allow the devil to slither up and blindside us. Let us allow God to take the battle where it is, in the heavens where it rages… it is finished. Let us indeed be wise as serpents and subtle as doves.

  4. I appreciate your encouragement on this matter, James; however, I cringed when I read one tiny phrase. I didn’t read this to criticize the points, or to find the negative in it, I was very interested to see what a leader like you would post. As someone who grew up in Montana, where we’re culturally behind most other states, homosexuality was not a struggle my small little world dealt with until I moved to TN for college.

    I have had the blessing of working with a friend who is gay. throughout building a relationship with him, holding him to a higher standard and creating healthy boundaries as well as still being myself and talking about my God; he has come to see the realness of RELATIONSHIP between myself, God, and my church family. He is coming to church on his own, and has even begun discussing Jesus with people in his context.

    One of the things he recently said to me was that he thought there was no way this God of mine would last, or be a true part of every aspect of my life; but after all this time, he still sees it hasn’t faded away or been confined to certain parts of my life. One of the very first things he ever said to me when he started coming to church was that no matter what, homosexuals would never truly be accepted in church. His thought process, and I would venture to say, fear, is that he will always have this lifestyle, these desires, these thoughts/feelings/actions. What those who don’t know God don’t know is that throughout the process of knowing Him; He changes them from the inside out. He is continually redeeming me, which is why I just smile and continue to hopefully reflect my Father when my friend says such things.

    This is why I cringe when I hear people say, “win them over to Christ”. They aren’t a target, or a goal. They aren’t a check-mark or a label. They are God’s creation, confused and caught in sin just like me. God created us for relationship, not to label or subconsciously put ourselves on a higher level than [homosexuals]…which is what we are saying to them when we are trying to “win them over” I’m not trying to convince them of anything. My hope and desire is that they can know my God as I do, and enjoy Him forever; that throughout my refining process, He will be reflected through me.

    • Paul said, “Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.” It is a victory for the kingdom of heaven when someone comes to know Christ. I hope you will better understand the phrase in light of this truth.

  5. Thank you for your pastoral concern and counsel on this issue! I attend a large evangelical church and they don’t even discuss the gay agenda, much less equip the saints in how to respond lovingly to those who are trapped in that bondage. These people are just seeking the Love that only God can give them – but they are deceived. The Bible says that “the goodness of God leads men to repent”. God’s grace and love in Christ – expressed in His sacrificial death for ALL PEOPLE (gays included) is what will win them to God’s Kingdom. Isn’t that the Gospel? Gays have become the new “sinners” in the eyes of many Christians, and we are afraid that if we associate with them that we might get criticised. Well, Jesus has already set the example for us to follow. Gays think that Christians hate them, which is sad. Lord, help us to love them and lead them to you!

  6. Thanks James for your message. I myself struggled with homosexuality for 24 years, and I used it as a coping mechanism to deal with depression and suicidal thoughts which I also struggled with for 24 years. However after 6 years of being a born-again Christian, I finally got the revelation that God loved me truly in my heart, not just my mind. Once I got that deep revelation of God’s love, I was suddenly delivered from homosexuality, depression and suicide. I became truly free for the first time in my life through God’s love. I recently wrote an autobiography of my life called From Death To Blessing. Keep preaching God’s truth.

    L.Agius (Sydney, Australia)

  7. I agree with your article and certainly am in agreement with the Word of God. I have family members who are gay and I love them dearly. It is heartbreaking to see them live this life style and to know that they do not know the LORD and have no desire too at this point in their lives. What is even worse is to see my nieces and nephews grow up not knowing the LORD and being taught that homosexuality is natural just as it is okay to believe in any form or religion or no religion at all. I live the gospel of Jesus Christ “out loud” and am thankful that they are accepting of me and my beliefs. I pray for their salvation on a daily basis.
    When I was a young I had a couple of boys in my class that I knew (way before I understood what homosexuality was) were very feminine and they were way to young to be experiencing any kind of sexuality. This I don’t understand. I know God does though so all I can do is leave this to Him.

  8. I agree with your article. However, simply stated, even tho sin is sin, any kind of sexual immorality is looked on worse by God. If you sin in any way it is an outward sin. But if your sin is any kind of sexual immorality you sin against your body which is the temple of the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit dwells there this sin is definitely worse in God’s eyes.

  9. Thank you for not compromising the word of God on this issue or trying to be PC either. I can sense the love you have for all and that is what Christ brings us to. We do not have the right to rewrite the word of God, though, even if it makes us more comfortable or less a target of the PC police. The church in America is under attack as never before and I pray for a revival so that all will reap the benefits of a country walking closer to God.

  10. If we review Romans 1:25-32, is it not clear?

  11. Love. I love how you stated this, and your compassion, and your commitment.

  12. For many of us Christians the problem isn’t “hating” the homosexual. That’s their “lifestyle and they will have to answer for it.What we resent is their political agenda of transforming the natural and Divine laws of God. This cultural “Blackmail”(we’ll call you a bigot if you denounce our homosexuality)is now leading to curtailment of free speech,discrimination lawsuits,etc..Yes,” redefining marriage is a far bigger issue than some may realize “and unfortunately it’s getting bigger,much bigger. This will be one of the “doors” that your predicted persecution of the church will come through. Although all sin emanates from the same “tap” root, sodomy is a horse of a different color. More than any other of your listed sins(Pride,selfishness,greed,etc.)this is the most insidious and blatant attack on God’s core plan for man and woman.It is also one of the most militaristic and arrogant sin to be found(although there are some close seconds). When was the last time you attended a “greed” parade or an “anger” parade? Come up to Seattle sometime and you can see their Gay Pride Parade complete with the first gay Mayor of Seattle leading the festivities! I doubt they want “unconditional”love as much as they want “unconditional” surrender.

  13. When a country has given itself over to immorality and all pleasures of the flesh, and abominations of the flesh, then that country will fall! The heart of the issue is not homosexuality at all… it’s about whether or not you put your own desires over the nature of God. Anyone can do this… but it doesn’t mean it’s correct in the eyes of God. God is love, but He judges us because He values us. We can try to justify our own desires until the end of time and we can try to twist scriptures to fit our own agenda… but in the end… it will be wrong. It’s not about what we feel is right or wrong… it is ultimately about what the Word of God says is right and wrong. Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin. (Leviticus 18:22) And don’t forget Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns, which were filled with immorality and every kind of sexual perversion. Those cities were destroyed by fire and serve as a warning of the eternal fire of God’s judgment. (Jude1:7)

  14. Thank you for telling us what the Bible says about certain things but always with love and compassion. Unfortunately homosexuals have been treated very cruelly by, not only Christians, but by some of the general public. In Proverbs 6:16, the Bible clearly states what God hates and homosexuality is not one of those things but, we seem to look past those sins because it doesn’t seem as bad as homosexuality. And that’s sad.

    • Homosexuality is often stigmatized because of the unnaturalness of it. Pride, selfishness, greed, lust, anger, and many other sins are natural tendencies taken too far. Homosexuality lies at the other end of the spectrum which are, as Paul described it, “degrading passions” and “trading the natural function for that which is unnatural.”

  15. Mark 10:6
    But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’

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