If the Church is going to be a safe place for those in the LGBT Community to come and for those in their congregation to reach out for support with their same-sex attractions, we need to be more aware of what we are saying. I wanted to share just a few things that I thought might help better communicate the intent and truth circling this issue.
- Homosexuality is a choice
If this is something that you say, then I’d have to conclude that you don’t have any close friends with Same-Sex Attraction. If you’ve discipled or walked with anyone in this matter, then you would be well acquainted with the grief and condemnation this statement endorses. Any sinful sexual act is a choice but this statement isn’t applicable concerning homosexual orientation or attractions. If homosexuality came down to just a simple choice, I would have chosen a very long time ago to not be attracted to my own gender in order to bypass the shame, rejection, loneliness, and loss I’ve experienced because of it. No one in this world wakes up one day and simply decides to be attracted to someone else or gender, so you can’t reduce homosexual attraction to a choice.
2. If you repent, God will take your homosexual desires away
This is a very dangerous thing to state in a matter-of-fact way to another. Why? Because it promises an instant “fix” which normally isn’t the case. Yes, its possible for God to do this. But most who repent from the temptation/desire for pornography, gossip, or addiction also after one time don’t experience a complete shift. For many, the attractions and desires may have to consistently be resisted, long-term. So this is just something to be aware of in order to continually be a support for those that are in this struggle instead of giving a false sense of hope. It’s very easy to do our “christian duty” by speaking this statement and then walk away. But it takes true biblical love to be steadfast in building friendship and support for others in need.
3. Love the sinner, hate the sin
To those in the LGBT Community, you must remember that homosexuality isn’t a sin or a lifestyle. Their perceive their attractions as part of who they are(identity). So they will hear “I hate YOU” if you say this statement. It would be better to broaden the perspective that God loves all, no matter who you are but be clear that that doesn’t mean He supports or approves of every act that we commit.
If we are going to say anything Church, let’s talk about who Jesus is and the gospel. Let’s be a voice that leads those in darkness to light by words full of grace and truth. May compassion be our first response rather than condemnation, unless we forget the mercy we’ve been given undeservingly.