Prejudice 2


Brain things, Walking with Jesus / Sunday, September 9th, 2012

Confession: I think we are prejudiced against homosexuals in the Christian community.

I don’t intend to preach to the choir, delving into the ethics of this lifestyle. I and at least 99.999% of my readers will agree that Jesus designed a woman for a man, a man for a woman. Homosexuality cuts across his design, and is forbidden in Scripture (see here and here). I believe it to be sin.

I’m not arguing for accepting the lifestyle, for granting marriage rights. I’m not arguing for silence, for winking at wrongdoing. Jesus was a master of scathing words when he needed to be–but most toward religious bigots.

I am arguing for compassion, for charity, for humility. Jesus was a master of these as well.

I’m troubled by our attitude, the way we shudder and mock, the special, snide scorn we reserve for this sin. If I treated Chinese with an equal amount of disgust, or the elderly, or thieves, or fornicators, you’d take me to task. Yet Ryan is the first person who told me that oh sick is not an appropriate initial response to homosexuality.

Since when is it acceptable to treat sinners like the scum of the earth? Am I free of sin, that I may throw stones?

*****

I posted these thoughts this afternoon, then went to church and sang this song with my community–blessed words, capturing so well what I feel. I decided to add them here.

There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins

And sinners, washing in that flood lose all their guilty stains

The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day

And there may I, though vile as he, wash all my sins away

E’re since by faith I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply

Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die

And when this feeble faltering tongue lies silent in the grave

Then in a nobler, sweeter song I’ll sing thy power to save.

William Cowper, 1731-1800

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Audrey
10 years ago

I blogged about our experience and reaction to homosexuals a couple months ago. I didn’t comprehensively cover my thoughts on the subject, but I found out how prejudiced I was in my heart of hearts. I was forced to examine my attitudes and also dig into scripture to find out what God really says about it. I actually think “oh sick” might be an appropriate response to the sin, but it’s not an okay reaction to the person, if that makes any sense. But to not be hypocritical, there are a lot of other sins we need to be saying “oh sick” about as well. And we don’t think some of them are such a big deal, and some of them, we even try to justify.

On the other hand the Big Gay Agenda that some are pushing is alarming. But not all homosexuals are like that. Anyway, just a few thoughts on the subject. I find myself feeling confused exactly how to view this subject the way Christ would.

10 years ago

After your post yesterday, I was really curious what you were going to say about this. As I’ve found all your posts to be (since I’ve started reading them), this, to me, is right on point. I really struggle because there’s an extended family member who is homosexual and I know my job is to love him. It’s not hard to love him because he’s a wonderful person, but I don’t want to give the impression that I agree with how he lives.

When we sit in judgment, I feel like it tells them that their sin is so much worse than my sin and we start categorizing and put sins in a hierarchy. Is the fat man guilty of gluttony? Yet we don’t have riots and turn away from them and take the donuts out of their hands. You’re right, we’re all sinners and we need to put our stones down and be thankful that we don’t have to make the ultimate judgment.

I believe in prayer and I just pray that the Lord will put the words in my mouth and the actions in my mind of what I should say or do that will show the other person love and yet honor my duty to God. Great post and great food for thought (I can’t believe I referred to food and was just talking about a donut). 😉

Alisa
10 years ago

First of all, I want to say I’ve really enjoyed reading on your blog since I found you a couple months ago! And thanks for this thought provoking post. I don’t feel that calling sin sick is necessarily casting stones, and wouldn’t we tremble to NOT feel a certain sickness and horror? To me it would turn into an “unGodly prejudice” when I forget the continual cleansing I need as well, and that, but for the grace of God, I could be there. I appreciate the reminder that “redeeming love” is His theme (and must be ours).

10 years ago

Hi Shari,
My brother and my childhood best friend is gay.
When this was disclosed to my family, you can only imagine the myriad of feelings
and emotions that we all grappled with and walked through. It has not been an easy
journey, but I can honestly say it has been good.
Two years ago, my brother and his partner were going to be in Youngstown, Ohio and “they” wanted to meet up with my husband and I. I called my mom, desperate for wisdom. How on EARTH would I relate and interact in this kind of setting?
The Lord has done so much transformation in my wise mama’s heart over the years. I will never forget what she said. “Love him, Renee. Love THEM. He is your brother, your friend. His partner is someone’s brother and friend and son. Love him too. They both need the true love of Jesus. That speaks more.”
Like I said, I will NEVER forget my mother’s words. I feel like homosexuality hits close to home for me. It is SIN. No doubt about that. BUT, is it really a WORSE sin…than pride, say?
At any rate, like my mom said. They are PEOPLE. Who CRAVE selfless love. The love of Jesus…even if they don’t know it. They are someone’s daughter or son. Brother or sister. They have souls.
I enjoyed your post.

10 years ago

Only when we are willing to be Jesus’ hands and feet and to love as nearly as we can how He loved will those who are in a homosexual life-style even be willing to consider listening to anything we might have to say to them on the matter. We can not show light when the darkness of hatred and fear blots out our candle.

GrandmaKitty Brown
10 years ago

My sister is gay. She’s still my sister… always will be. And i’ll always love her.

I just read the following quote on a friend’s FB wall, and thought it might be appropriate here:

“Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear them or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.” -Rick Warren

Christy
10 years ago

Since moving to the city, I have seen waaaay more of this than I wish. I will say that my response to two young men strolling the sidewalks hand in hand or kissing in the park IS, “So gross!” I don’t actually think that is a wrong response because it is completely unnatural. However, I feel okay saying that because I don’t actually have any disdane in my heart toward the people. I feel a lot of sorrow for them. I wish they could know my God, the goodness of His heart, and His righteousness.

My chiropractor is lesbian. I love her a lot; she’s the kind of woman I wish could be a friend of mine outside of business relationship. The last time I saw her she told me that her partner is pregnant. She’s so excited. This is where I get stuck. How do I respond to that?! In my small sphere I haven’t dealt as much with the judgmental Christians as the ones who want to offer so much grace and acceptance that it turns to approval–passive or active. I completely agree with the Rick Warren quote in the comment above. I wish, though, that I’d know more about how to love without agreeing. How to speak truth in love. I’m praying about how to relate…I [need] the Spirit to speak through me because I can’t think of the right thing to say off the cuff when she brings up things.

Christy
10 years ago

Oh, one other thing…along with wanting to speak truth, I also believe I need to be patient on the Lord’s timing. Sometimes I so want to be bold and speak truth that it could be ill-timed and come across as judgement. (or have I become too adjusted to our culture?)

LaDonna Nice
10 years ago

so true Shari!