I’d like to talk to you about something—something I’ve been hesitant to discuss, but I also feel needs to be discussed. Only I just couldn’t figure out how. Until now, that is.
Anyways, here you have it:
Project Inspired loves everyone. EVERYONE.
Our site is meant to be a place that all can come to, and that includes people who are homosexual. Yes, the giant elephant in the room—homosexuals.
You see, there is an ongoing discussion that we’ve tuned into via our Facebook page, Girl Talk forum and other online spaces where folks are sounding off their thoughts about homosexuals. And to be honest, the conversation can be rather shocking, because we, as a society, don’t always know to approach it. On the other hand, it’s also not surprising, as Christians tend to be very polarized when it comes to homosexuality. So, how should we respond to our homosexual friends, or let me just say—our fellow sinners?
Well, for starters, we need to acknowledge that the church has not done a very good job providing guidance. For the most part, they have not led. Instead, they’ve chosen to avoid the question altogether.
And that’s not how you handle a situation.
What churches should be doing is:
- Actually talking about it in youth groups, life groups, etc.
- Finding ways to approach the subject with compassion.
- Accepting homosexuals into their church without judgment.
- Striving to really get at the heart of what judgment is.
After all, isn’t building a deeper understanding of ourselves and others an honorable aim, and one of the very reasons we attend church? Furthermore, isn’t it true that we’ve all fallen short of the glory of God and, as sinners, we’re all in need of our Creator’s forgiveness?
We are human, and all humans sin. Homosexuals sin, pastors sin, you sin, I sin. There is no standard that places homosexuality on a higher playing field of sin.
So, how should you handle a friend who is gay?
First and foremost, the worst thing you can do is simply announce that you are “against that.” What good does instantly putting up a guard against someone do? If they sense that you already have a preconceived notion of them, they will be reluctant to communicate openly and honestly with you.
Instead of closing doors, how about LISTENING? So, your friend is gay. Maybe listen to how they came to understand this. Maybe listen to them talk about how they are feeling. Try to avoid creating an air of hostility. They didn’t choose to share this very personal information with you to create a conflict. They have chosen to be communicative with you because they call you a friend, so be a friend. And sometimes, that can simply mean listening more, and talking less.
So what if you, as a Christian, are struggling with these thoughts yourself?
Believe it or not, there are members of our Project Inspired community who identify as homosexual. This is not a call out—just an observation that, given such a large a pool of readers, this is more than likely. Now, if that’s you, then you probably feel out of place. You probably feel very hurt. After all, Jesus calls us to love our neighbors as ourselves, and if you fear that your sexuality will be attacked then, surely, this isn’t a sign that we, as a community, are showing love.
For that, I simply want to say that I’m sorry.
I’m sorry you’ve felt pain. But know this: You are loved—unconditionally. I know that doesn’t rectify the countless negative comments you’ve had to endure, but it’s a start.
As for how you should feel about being gay and a Christian, let me be frank: That’s between you and God. I’m not going to say anything else. I’m am here to pray with you if you need me to. I’m here to pray for you if you need me to. Because I love you as you, and regardless of any preconceived notions, you are always a daughter of the King. I encourage you to find wisdom and comfort in the Word. I encourage you to seek a home at a church that accepts you for who you are. Get involved with mentors you can trust and talk about your feelings. If you’re proud of the way you are, good. And there’s nothing more to be said or done, because I feel that it’s simply not my place to say or do more.
As followers of Christ, we need to look at the big picture.
Is referring to homosexuals as “sinners” that have sinned beyond ourselves helping advance the Gospel? Or is it simply preventing the Gospel from being understood and embraced? Jesus never once said to judge people; in fact, he said quite the opposite. That’s because when we judge, we are devaluing that person and assuming we are superior humans. That’s exactly the message Jesus was trying NOT to convey in the Sermon on the Mount.
This article is really nothing groundbreaking; it’s also not the full picture. But we have to eliminate, bit by bit, this cultural divide we have otherwise avoided to make room for a true culture of acceptance. We need to answer tough questions in a way that Jesus would approve.
Now, I leave you with this point:
As Christians, we should recognize that it’s our mission to approach everyone with the mindset that they too were worth Jesus dying for. If we train ourselves to approach everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, in this way, I do believe our thought process will change. Slowly, perhaps—but it will change.