The QuestionsHas your child started asking questions about what they see around them? If not, they will soon. Are you prepared to answer questions and situations like these?
- My child's friend has two moms. How do I/we respond to that?
- My child wants to bring a LGBT friend to church. How do I/we respond to that?
- My child is asking questions about sexual orientation and/or same-sex attraction. How do I/we respond to that?
- My child isn't interested in the opposite sex. How do I/we respond to that?
- What does the Bible say about homosexuality?
- Are the passages forbidding homosexuality still true or is there reason to believe they no longer apply today?
- Can a godly Christian be gay or lesbian (or bisexual or transgender)?
- If a person is not attracted to the opposite sex, it the biblical answer to remain single or a committed gay marriage?
The Sin-O-MeterAll sin is equal in God's eyes, but we try to make it a scale. This sin rates low on the Sin-O-Meter, but that one pushes the needle way into the "red zone." God's Word doesn't work that way. Sex outside marriage, looking lustfully on someone who is not your spouse (Matthew 5:27-28), lying (Proverbs 12:22), cheating, disobeying your parents (Exodus 20:21; Romans 1:29-30), misusing God's name (Exodus 20:7)... all of these are sins deserving punishment and separation from God. (For example, does God rank the sins listed in Romans 1:26-2:1 in some kind of "relative severity" list?) Can we really say something like this? "Yes, I've sinned, but you've really sinned. I'm ok here, but you've gone too far. You have to leave now."
And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. Mark 7:20-22 (ERV)What about hurting drug addicts, hidden abuse in relationships, pornography, or those with a lying habit? Aren't we called to welcome the broken? Aren't we all broken in one way or another? Is it right to say, "This sin is too much to be worthy of God's love and forgiveness"? Isn't church supposed to be a place for the broken to come for healing, encouragement, and support as we all seek to live more like Christ each day?
The Dirty Dinner PartyJesus ate with the outcast of society, those considered rejects and unclean. He welcomed them and even asked one to join the inner circle of twelve disciples to follow Him, learn, grow in faith, and eventually teach others.
As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him. And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Matthew 9:9-12 (ESV)
The Limits of LoveIf you've been to church for any length of time, you've probably heard this verse at least once:
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40 (ESV)Who would you define as your neighbor? Don't give the "church answer." Think about it and answer the question truthfully. Where do you draw the line in loving people? Who is worthy of love? Who is not? Jesus' original audience asked the same question: "Who is my neighbor?" Christ took the person this audience hated the most and used him as the example of how to love your neighbor. Read it yourself.
Does reading that change how you think about loving your neighbor?
Just then a religion scholar stood up with a question to test Jesus. “Teacher, what do I need to do to get eternal life?”He answered, “What’s written in God’s Law? How do you interpret it?” He said, “That you love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and muscle and intelligence—and that you love your neighbor as well as you do yourself.” “Good answer!” said Jesus. “Do it and you’ll live.” Looking for a loophole, he asked, “And just how would you define ‘neighbor’?” Jesus answered by telling a story. “There was once a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. On the way he was attacked by robbers. They took his clothes, beat him up, and went off leaving him half-dead. Luckily, a priest was on his way down the same road, but when he saw him he angled across to the other side. Then a Levite religious man showed up; he also avoided the injured man. “A Samaritan traveling the road came on him. When he saw the man’s condition, his heart went out to him. He gave him first aid, disinfecting and bandaging his wounds. Then he lifted him onto his donkey, led him to an inn, and made him comfortable. In the morning he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take good care of him. If it costs any more, put it on my bill—I’ll pay you on my way back.’ “What do you think? Which of the three became a neighbor to the man attacked by robbers?” “The one who treated him kindly,” the religion scholar responded. Jesus said, “Go and do the same.” Luke 10:25-37 (MSG)
A Game-Changing ChoiceOur neighbors include people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender. If you don't already know someone who falls into one of those (or similar) categories, you wither will later in life or know someone who knows someone who does. Here's the game-changing question: How will you respond when you meet these neighbors? How will you teach your kids to relate to them? You really have three choices:
- Be a person who shows the love of Christ.
- Be a person who quotes confronting Scriptures at strangers like a "truth bomb" and leaves.
- Be a person who cold-shoulders and ignores everything and everyone close to the LGBT camp.
The DiscussionI welcome comments on all sides of this issue, but please think through the following questions before you post a response:
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