How to Love God and Love Gay People
Homosexuality is a hot topic discussion these days, especially when it comes to civil rights and the first amendment in the US. It feels like another “us VS. them” that the media all too often amplifies. But as believers, we ought to know and do better. So, just how do you love God and also love gay people?
I took it to Instagram (stories) to ask people what they thought of the issue, and also what their questions were. You guys have blown my mind with very interesting questions, some of which I will answer in this post. Thank you for sharing your mind and heart!
Obeying God and His Word means that we must recognize sin as it is, and be serious about it. There is no other way to put it. Yet, faithfulness to God also means that we must be the light in our circles, and a public display of loving grace.
For the believer, the challenge is to resist conforming to this age, all the while showing grace and mercy to all. That is the only way to be the salt of the earth. And that can only be accomplished with the help of the Holy Spirit. God calls us to an abundant and empowered life that can navigate through troubled waters and bring peace, reconciliation, and freedom.
God invites us to reject sin not only because it is contrary to who He is, but because it defiles the very image of God that we carry, and the dignity that is inside of us. Whatever could harm us or others in any kind of way is proscribed, no matter how good it feels.
With that in mind, does the way we react to sinners of all kinds, and to homosexuals more specifically, honor the image bearers and their dignity? Or are our exchanges with them solely focused on their sin, with a judgmental, condemning approach?
To quote author and minister Lysa TerKeurst, “We must start where people are, not where we want them to be.”
What Does God Say About Homosexuality?
Is one born gay? Possibly. David, the man after God’s own heart said this, “For I was born a sinner—yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.” (Psalm 51:5, NLT.) While we all carry God’s image, we are all born sinners. Paul spoke of a thorn in his flesh that God did not remove. Rather, God told him, “My grace is sufficient.” (2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV.)
Time and time again, Jesus invites us to die to ourselves because we are, in our flesh, constantly desiring things that are contrary to the will of God. Let’s be honest here. How many believers secretly struggle with homosexual desires?
“Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9–11, NLT, Emphasis added.)
Living out sin without seeking for repentance leads to hell. But there is freedom, holiness, and salvation in calling on the Lord Jesus Christ. It is God’s plan and will. Don’t be the one to stand between the sinner and their salvation. Either we are like Jesus and welcome all, or make our own religion and welcome no one at all. We can’t welcome those we choose only. That is hypocrisy.
So, what kind of sin is homosexuality? What do you compare it with? Certainly not pedophilia, please. Every time I hear this comparison, I cringe. Why? Because it is so offensive! How can we compare abusing an innocent child with consenting adults living their sexual lives? No, pedophilia will never do.
“Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18–20, NLT.)
In the light of this text, all sexual sins can fit the same category. So, homosexuality would be the same as sex before marriage? YES. If we are quick to forgive and forget sex outside of marriage (some even live as if it’s not a sin), why do we go crazy about homosexuality? We like to pick and choose what sin is cute (gluttony, lust, vanity, slandering, gossip) and lose it on some other (homosexuality for instance).
Let’s be honest here, and recognize the bigotry in disguise.
Love Gay People
So, how do you love gay people? Just like you’d love anyone else. We have to stop demonizing people, depersonalizing them, seeing them for only part of what they do or who they are. Anyone is much more than their sexuality. How about learning to know that person, their story, their likes and dislikes, their intricate personalities?
Gays, just like everyone else are humans like you and me. The difference? Their sexual attraction. And just like every human on this planet, they long for love, acceptance, belonging, and living a happy life. You can’t be mad at them for that, and you can’t just go out there telling people to stop being gay because that will only cause harm. If a Christian brother or sister is at fault, there is a way to meet them with the truth. But if the person does not believe in God, what are you going to tell them? “Please deny a part of your life and join my religious club?” That is repulsive at best.
I’ll chance repeating myself here, we can only love people like Jesus loves us, and invite them to follow Christ with us. From there, they can choose to abandon the lifestyle and follow the Lord.
If you read this and belong to the gay community, forgive me for every time I was a part of the problem and not the solution. I love you.
Q & A
- Should gays be allowed to attend church? Absolutely! For the obvious reasons mentioned above. In no way should we restrict anyone from entering God’s House. (Unless, in extreme cases, it threatens the safety of its members.)
- Should people who actively pursue a gay lifestyle be part of the clergy? Let me answer with another question. Should we allow people who actively have sex without being married be a part of the clergy?
- What do you do with people who believe in Jesus Christ with all their hearts, but pursue a homosexual lifestyle? There is nothing stronger I know to break chains than to fast and pray. You will never be able to help on your own. Will you dare to fast and pray out of love for a soul? Then, you can talk to that brother or sister in a loving, interested way. Building bridges has never been a part of the problem.
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Spoken Word artist Jackie Hill Perry has a way with words. And in her own words, she gives us her story from homosexuality to freedom in Jesus Christ. Pre-order Gay Girl Good God to know what it’s like to be gay and pursued by a relentless, loving God. A per her website: the first 5000 to pre-order and redeem their receipt will receive the audiobook for free upon book release.