Can a Christian be a homosexual?
Years ago I would have likely answered that question quite differently.
But that was long before one of my close Christian friends told me he was gay.
Honestly, I had no idea, and in hindsight, there really weren’t even any clues I should have picked up on. My friend went to great lengths to ensure that.
In fact, for years he went to great lengths to make sure not a soul could catch even a scent of homosexual on him.
Why? Because he was scared to death of the fallout from the community of people sworn to love him.
He was scared because he felt there was no way the church would look at him the same way if they knew his struggle, and believe me, it was a struggle.
You see, he’d tried to talk himself out of it. He’d tried to ignore it. Heck, he’d even tried dating a handful of girls in hopes of working the gay out of himself. I dare say, he put far more effort into turning away from this sin than the majority of Christians have ever put up fighting any of their struggles.
But he took on this massive challenge alone, and failed.
He ended up living a double life, which caused him massive amounts of stress and led to a deep depression.
When he told me this, it broke me, and typing it out, I feel broken again.
I feel broken because I feel partly responsible for this. Even though I don’t think I ever communicated that I wouldn’t accept a person in his shoes, I darn sure didn’t communicated that I would accept one either.
I wonder how we, as the church, as the body of the guy who loved sinners so much he washed their feet, got to this point.
How did we take one sin and elevate it to the point people would sooner spend countless dollars covering their tracks and living in the shadows than simply speak up and say, “hey, this is who I am?”
I’m not saying there aren’t other sins people struggle with quietly and are scared to talk about, but think about it for second. What happens when a preacher gets up in front of his congregation and admits he struggles with porn?
Does he lose his job? Rarely. Is he cast out from the body of believers? Never.
Most often, that person is looked at sympathetically, promises of prayers are given, along with the message of, “hey, man, it’s OK. We’re all sinners.”
And of course that’s a sin most people would encourage a person to give up. How many other sins could linger around without really raising any eyebrows?
Gluttony, lust, greed, slothfulness, vanity, envy, pride.
These are just a handful of the sins Christians maintain and still gather together without hesitation. There’s no real fear of judgement, or often of even being encouraged to change.
I mean, when’s the last time you heard of a person too ashamed to go to church because he looks in the mirror too much? And that’s considered one of the seven “deadly” sins.
Perhaps it’s not that the church is too uncomfortable with homosexuality, but that it’s simply far too comfortable with all the other sins.
My friend has come to the point at which he is done fighting. The pendulum has swung and now he has decided the Bible’s irrelevant on this topic and homosexuality isn’t a sin at all. He’s aligned himself with like-minded and well-intentioned Christians who seek to make same-sex couples acceptable.
I don’t agree with him, but I find it hard to blame him.
If the message he’s received from the church is that his sin must be corrected this instant while the rest of us lay around in a pool of our own problems, I can’t blame him for seeking a group more tolerant.
If the message he’s received from the church is that his most intimate desires are to be completely shutout in order to be accepted while the rest of us constantly toy with our own problems, I can’t blame him for attempting to justify what he wants, the same way I too often attempt to justify my desires that aren’t consistent with the Bible.
It seems nature he would gravitate towards people willing to embrace him, regardless his lifestyle, and nature to decide homosexuality isn’t a sin if he feels that’s the only way he can also be accepted as a Christian.
In a way I feel the misguided and overused hardline many of us tried to draw in the sand on this issue is responsible for swinging that pendulum.
In a way I feel that’s on us.
To be honest, I’m not sure what will happen with my friend. He loves Jesus as much as anyone I know, but remains constantly under the burden of attempting to coexist in the community of believers, while also being gay.
That burden shouldn’t be on him alone.
That burden should be on me.
That burden should be on the church.
We Christians should be working to tear down the walls and make this thing, no longer a thing.
We should be working to accept homosexuals the same way we accept gluttons, liars, cheats, the prideful, lustful, and lazy.
Not in some celebratory parade or with a stamp of approval, but in the quiet, soft, loving and encouraging manner we all desire to be embraced with.
We all have issues.We all have work left to be done. But we all also need to be loved where we are and for who we are.
So, can a Christian be a homosexual?
I don’t know.
Can a Christian be a liar? A cheat? A glutton? Full of lust, greed, or pride?
Honestly, that’s probably the dumbest question I’ve ever asked.