Letter to a Gay Man in the Churches of Christ, Part 6

gay

Yet, I haven’t 100% rejected the idea that being gay is OK with God. You can’t just undo a lifetime of being taught homosexuality is the worst possible sin in a short period of time.

No, it’s not the worst possible sin. Jesus himself said so.

(Mat 10:14-15) If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. 15 I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.

Jesus said that those who reject the gospel will suffer a worse fate than the men of Sodom and Gomorrah. But there’s more.You see, in the N. T. Wright interview quoted in part 1, Wright denies that homosexual conduct is the worst of all sins. He then gives the example of economic oppression by Western nations that is keeping many poorer nations trapped in poverty. He was surely thinking of such passages as —

(Isa 1:10-17) “Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom; listen to the law of our God, you people of Gomorrah!

11 “The multitude of your sacrifices– what are they to me?” says the LORD. “I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. 12 When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts? 13 Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations– I cannot bear your evil assemblies. 14 Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts my soul hates. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. 15 When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; 16 wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, 17 learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.

Why did Isaiah compare the Israelites to Sodom and Gomorrah? Because they didn’t help the widows and orphans. Because they didn’t help the weak and vulnerable of society.

Consider also —

(Ezek 16:49-50) “‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.”

“Detestable things” translates the word the KJV translates “abomination,” the same word used of a man lying with a man as with a woman in the Law of Moses. This is why Ezekiel refers to his listeners as “Sodom.” But the sin was not homosexuality, it was a lack of compassion for the poor.

Now, the Law of Moses refers to several sins as an abomination, including homosexual acts, idolatry, eating unclean foods, and using false weights to defraud a customer. Such sexual, religious, and economic sins are all abominations before God. Are homosexual acts an abomination? Yes, but so are many other things.

Adultery was a capital crime under the Law of Moses.

Which does more harm, consensual sex between two unmarried men? or between a married man and an unmarried woman? I can tell you for a fact that the adultery does far more harm! I’ve seen it. I know.

Now, I don’t want to get into the business of ranking sins! There’d be little point in such an exercise, were it even possible. But there is simply no argument that homosexual sin is the worst of all sins. On the other hand, neither is there any case for trivializing it. It’s just that we have to keep things in proper perspective.

The thought of gay sex is revolting to most straight people, whereas adultery is a temptation that we straights can easily understand. As a result of its foreign-ness, we tend to attach a far greater weight to it than the scriptures actually justify. God, however, does not make homosexual misconduct a worse sin than heterosexual misconduct.

About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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0 Responses to Letter to a Gay Man in the Churches of Christ, Part 6

  1. Reed-em Watch-er says:

    I am a Chistian and I am also a gay man. I have always struggled with being gay. I have always believed in God and somethimes went to church as a child. It wasn’t until, after I became an adult, I read in the Bible that homos will not inheirt the kingdom. I got scared and went to a church of Christ with a friend, who is also gay. Six months later I was baptised. I still had these feelings about other men. I talked with my minister and he told me to deniey that I was gay and just not do anything that gays do. This was good right? Because I was repenting of my sin. Things were fine for a few years. But then things went south really fast after that. I stared hating myself and I became withdrawn from others in the church. I just knew that if they found out that I was gay they would reject me. I had no one to turn to. No where to go. My friend stopped going to church so I didn’t have him to talk to either. I struggled with this for a really long time. I prayed that God would make me straight. I had others pray for me. I would tell them that I had a problem that I couln’t talk about and that I needed prayers. I still didn’t have friends that I could hang out with. I tried dating girls but it felt wrong. I just didn’t know what to do. I even thought about siuicide and almost did a couple of times but I could never do it because I would definately go to hell for that. I felt so out of place and I felt like an alian. I felt I didn’t deserve anything and I felt that it was just wrong to be…me.

    I’m the kind of guy who always plays by the rules, most of the time. If there was a rule book about anything I was following it to the tee. I’ve tried to do what’s right. I want to be acceped by my friends, family, co-workers, church members and most of all God. But how can I be acceped by God when the Bible says that I’m going to hell because I want to be with a man instead of a woman.

    I stared praying for friends, and praying for friends, and praying for friends. I prayed for Christian friends to help me with my struggles. My prayers were answered in a different way than what I was praying for. I met a gay man and we became the best of friends. We moved in together and have been roommates for the past six years. I have charised this friendship and love the relationship that we have. We are not lovers but bff’s. Last year he meat someone and they have been together ever since. After they stared going out I felt lonely again. So I prayed and prayed and prayed for friends. I ask God to give me a real Christian friend this time. I begged and begged and begged. Guess what? I met someone at Gay Pride that my roomate’s partner took me to. They wanted me to get out of the house and do more things. I agreed to go, keeping in mind that I wasn’t going to enjoy myself because what we were going to is wrong according to the church of Christ. I went anyway just to do something beside sit at home and do nothing because there was no one to do anything with. I met a man named Middle. We stared going on hikes and going to places. He introduced me to worlds that I didn’t even know existed. I make lots of friends from the Sister of Perpetual Inventory of Indulgence to the Fairries. I have so many friends now that I don’t know what to do. I have never felt happier in my life. So I ask, is this God answering my prayers or the work of the devil? When I prayed for Christian friends I got gay men instead. Why? The Bible says that God will take care of us by giving us what we need not what we want. When a child of God prays for bread He doesn’t give them a stone. So why do I have more gay friends instead of Christian friends? I don’t understand why God would give me this when all I want is to be happy and be his Child. Believe me I want to do what’s right in the eyes of God. I want to do His will. I would give all this up to have a home in heaven, but the truth is I will hate myself and be negative about everything again. I will want to crawl under a rock and die.

    What am I suppost to do?

  2. Todd Collier says:

    Brother I wish I had easy answers for you but I don’t. All I can say is “I love you” and I will be praying for you that God will help you. Members of my family struggle with these issues and I struggled for a long time with how to balance what I knew the Bible says with what I also felt Jesus would do. What I pray is that God will put thoughtful and loving Christians in your life to help you and that He will close off paths that lead you in the opposite direction. This is the same thing I pray for anyone who struggles with any kind of sexual sin – which is most of us. If you wish to discuss these matters privately please feel free to ask Mr. Jay for my e-mail address.

  3. JMF says:

    I think it is awesome that you’ve made a great group of friends and are enjoying life! That is certainly a blessing!

  4. “But how can I be accepted by God when the Bible says that I’m going to hell because I want to be with a man instead of a woman. ”
    >>>
    This is a misunderstanding. We all have “wants” which are not in line with what God wants. The desires you have are no more damning than a man’s desire for another man’s wife, or a crack addict’s desire for the pipe. It is our submission to those desires rather than submission to God that is where the real first battle line is. We cannot regenerate ourselves, we cannot make ourselves into different people than we are; this is the work of the Holy Spirit in the one who believes. We can decide to submit to God, and to cry out to Him for the capacity to walk out that decision.

    Please understand that you will not receive the counsel of the Lord from people who have not undertaken this path of submission. You have conflated the people whom God would send you with the people introduced to you by others. I asked God for money, then my friend asked me to help him knock off a liquor store. Answer to my prayer? No.

    The only way any of us are accepted by God is through Jesus, not by “straightening out”. And the only true identity a wise man recognizes is in the One who made him. Reconsider that you have identified yourself by your feelings. This is unwise. It reduces us to identifying ourselves as “a straight man” or “an angry man” or “a greedy man” or “a happy man” or any number of other emotional states which tell us how we feel but not who we are.

  5. Jay Guin says:

    Reed-em Watch-er,

    Thanks so much for posting your comment. You’ve posted at Part 6 of a series I wrote some time ago about Christianity and homosexuality. Links to the rest of the series are at http://oneinjesus.info/index-under-construction/theology-church-of-christ-issues/letter-to-a-gay-man-in-the-churches-of-christ/.

    Those who’ve commented in response to you make some good points. It makes perfect sense to me that God would send you gay friends in response to your prayer for friends. After all, they need friends, too — and who better to be a friend to them than a gay Christian? I suspect God has big plans for you.

    I agree with Charles that the desire is not a sin. There is no sin in being homosexual. The sin is in engaging in homosexual sexual conduct — whether you are straight or gay. And that’s a critically important distinction that many Christians miss.

    The church should welcome, accept, and love gay men and women, just as we accept everyone who struggles with temptation — that is, everyone. Indeed, I have trouble seeing how the temptation to homosexual sin is somehow worse than the temptation to heterosexual sin. The fact that most church leaders are straight — and therefore understand the temptation to heterosexual sin very well — causes many to get confused and brand the temptation to homosexual sin as somehow worse, because it’s a sin that seems very foreign to a straight man. But God sees things very differently.

    In nearly every church there are gay men and women who choose celibacy for the sake of the cross, just as there are single straight men and women who do the same. And they all wrestle with sexual temptation every day. But this does not keep them from being great servants of Jesus and powerful witnesses to the gospel.

    Indeed, in 1 Cor 7, Paul recommends the single life as allowing the single man or woman to live a life of greater commitment to Jesus. Jesus does the same in Matthew 19.

    We live in a society where choosing Jesus over sex is considered strange and unhealthy. But Jesus and Paul saw things very differently — and they made the choice to live as single, celibate men for the sake of the Kingdom — and they changed the world.

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