4 Christian Responses to the LGBT Community

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states this week leading to a mixture of responses and heated discussions – my wife and I included. As missionaries on the other side of the planet we can’t help but think of the missiological implications, “How will this affect the faith and witness of Christians in the U.S.?” Our prayer is that God would be glorified as people respond in healthy ways. Here are 4 responses we can have as followers of Christ:

1. Stop Hating: These are people, not our enemies. They are broken human beings created in the image of God just like you and I. Our hate is not with words, pitchforks or signs (most of us aren’t like that at all), but it’s indifference that leads to unfounded fears, animosities and hidden prejudices. We categorize the LGBT community as if they were the only group in the world who stand in direct opposition to Biblical values – mostly because many of us live in a very small and geocentric world called the United States.

My family and I live in a very big world and it includes murderers and ex-convicts but we don’t hate them. It also includes animists who worship spirits and sacrifice animals but we don’t hate them. It includes communists who put Christians in jail and terrorists who execute entire families but we don’t hate them. More than 3 billion people on this planet are completely lost, separated from God, held captive by sin and considered HIS enemies…but we don’t hate them.

Almighty God is the only one who can deal justly with HIS enemies. One day all of us will have to account for our sin; the sin we blatantly committed, the sin we didn’t recognize as sin and the sins we declared right and approved by Him. God is the only one who can judge and He is the only who can provide grace and forgiveness. God’s response to His enemies was to love them by sending His perfect Son to die for their sins.

2. Stop Crying: Many of us feel betrayed or even personally attacked. Many people who claim to follow Jesus have already responded with disdain, disgust and even depression. We have not taken the time to dig deep and evaluate the motives of our hearts. Have we asked ourselves “Why do we feel the way we do?” If the answer has to do with country, freedom, liberty, personal rights or ethics, then you are probably not a true disciple of Jesus.

The reasons listed above are self-serving and don’t characterize someone who follows Jesus. Jesus did not command us to die for our country, he commanded us to die to our sin, take up our cross and follow him. The disciples did not cry or complain about circumstances outside their control but rejoiced after getting beat down “because they had been counted worthy to suffer for the name of Jesus.” (Acts 5:41) I am not saying we should celebrate evil or difficult circumstances but we should see it as an opportunity to bring God glory by having a counter cultural response – just like the disciples.

In the country we work in, we have local Christian friends who spent over a year in prison for helping a dying woman. Our friends were praying for a new believer who was terminally ill. On the ride home from the hospital she died in their care. District authorities tried to charge the Christians with murder which was dropped. Instead they charged them with “medical malpractice” because their crime was prayer. That is betrayal. That is true injustice. That is something worth rejoicing over.

3. Start Loving: Obama’s hashtag #LoveWins is trending as number one on Twitter this week. The White House is the least qualified in the universe to define love. President Obama’s definition of love is self-serving. It says that we have the right to seek our own happiness. It says that we can marry whomever we want to fulfill our personal desires. It says that we can do whatever we want, sleep with anyone we want and smoke whatever we want to meet our needs for self-worth. The world wants us to believe that love is about us.

God is the only one in the universe qualified to define marriage and love. God’s definition of love is self-sacrifice. He says that we are utterly helpless and can’t find love to fill our brokenness. He says that love can only be found in right relationship with Him. He says that he loved us so much that he sent his only Son to live with us, die for us and rise again from the grave to empower us. He says that through repentance and surrender we can live in freedom from sin and love others. God wants us to know that love is about Him.

Those who gripe the most about social issues are generally the ones who do the least to love their neighbors. God doesn’t care about your blogs, hashtags or rants on Facebook. He wants you to sacrificially give your lives to Him and His agenda. He wants you to sacrificially love people of all walks of life, languages and nations…starting with your neighbors.

4. Start Living: The Gospel is literally “Good News”, and you can’t have good news without bad news. The bad news is that we suck as human beings. The good news is that God has provided a way through Jesus. This message has withstood opposition for 2,000 years and continues to penetrate every corner of the earth – especially in very difficult places outside the US where persecution is an everyday reality.

God uses his people to live out this message. We don’t need policy changes in our government. We don’t need to vote for more Christians in office. We don’t need to fight for our individual rights and liberties. We need to die to our own individual rights and liberties for the sake of Christ. We need to rejoice in opposition, pray for those in government and have compassion for the lost. We need people to start living out the Gospel both in word and in deed. The Supreme Court ruling is just another opportunity to live out our faith in love and truth. It is an opportunity to step outside our comfort zones and talk about sexuality, confess sin, show grace and share the transforming message of the Gospel.

20 thoughts on “4 Christian Responses to the LGBT Community

        • Thank you for your honest thoughts and concern for Biblical consistency.

          But the link you posted leads to a blog with some dudes opinions taking single Bible verses completely out of context. If you want Biblical consistency, you should read the actual Bible as one story and not a blog (and when you read the Bible passages don’t forget to take in the plain meaning, historical background, literary scope, target audience and original language).

          You’ll find that Jesus’ situation has no comparison to the LGBT narrative. Jesus did not fight for political influence or for the right to live the way he wanted but sacrificed his individual rights to set all humanity free from spiritual bondage (sin).

          This article describes how “real persecution” happens outside the U.S. to many Gays, Christians and minorities all around the world. We actually have it really freakin easy to live the way we want – which is detrimental to our society but good for our Gospel witness.

    • And why, because the author is not going out with guns blazing, destroying all the sinners. While this is a blow to the country’s morality, the stratification of this one particular sin is over-exaggerated and the hatred funneled towards the LGBTQ community is anything but helpful.

  1. Thank you for this article I think it was written with love just as Jesus would want! I myself try to love all however when the decision happened I feared what it would mean to my beloved pastors and brothers and sisters out there tryin to share His love I went on some of the Pride sites to “step into their shoes” and hear their love stories etc.I was saddened by the fact that instead of celebrating their”victory” about 90% of the posts were hateful towards us Christians who ironically understand we sin too but we repent and try to do better.We just want to share His love and let them know that Jesus loves them too and they hate us so I just pray that hearts soften and that He equips us with protection,wisdom, love and double portions of everything thing else we’re going to need for a time such as these in Jesus name Amen!!!! Much love and blessings!!!

    • Thank you Nicole for sharing your experiences and words of encouragement. There is nothing we can do to control the actions of others but their is a lot we can do to control our own – like pray for others as you mentioned. Stay up!! Much peace to you.

  2. You are my hero, AsianRoughRider! 🙂 You also got a signal boost re-repost from none other than Phil Yu (aka AngryAsianMan blog).
    Just to give you a head’s up, you may get a lot of static or pushback for putting the word “sin” anywhere in the vicinity of sexuality issues and the marriage decision. It’s the biggest non-starter, the worst stumbling block, in current dialogues. (Hard to address mutual difficulties caused by sin if one’s interlocutor takes offense if one claims sin exists, especially with regard to the specific topic in question.) I admire your efforts to find a way out of this “no way.”

    Another blog column reposted close to same time as yours separates concerns about our mutual sinfulness from what the blogger (Ed Cyzewski: Freelance Writer) deemed our only real concern: caring for the needy. He indicates that if one has concerns about one area of neediness, then one does not put out much effort on the other perceived area of neediness.

    Your blog post was what I was looking for–the collapse of the artificial categories.
    My own response was the following, which I hope you find an encouragement:
    “Hi (addressed to Ed), I’m an aid volunteer/social justice Christian who _does_ feel overlooked by your article. I’m a “none-of-the-above” type regarding the binary fight between pro-gay theology and anti-gay believers. I survived the same types of physical, sexual, and extreme emotional abuse as many of the LGBTQA friends and associates in my life. On top of that, I had to stand up against pressures at my progressive church to _not_ have sex outside of marriage. (I’m not Ace, a.k.a., asexual; I just wanted to follow the type of model that appears most frequently in the New Testament. Speaking for myself, my life has been blessed by that choice on how to channel my urges for physical closeness.)

    What I’ve learned after 30 years of dealing with sexuality and Christianity is that it’s a much bigger landscape than straight allies have been able to acknowledge, mostly due to lack of information or alternate frameworks for comprehension. Sexual expression has been being relied upon as emotional spackle. Sexual identity gets used, for its part, as the crayon that helps define those of who had our identities as beloved children of God stripped from us when we were younger. Every one of us who have been affected, and I’ve known a lot of people in my life, were prompted to look into non-heteronormative identities as a result of adults who _used_ us to fulfill (a.) their emotional and identity needs; (b.) their perceived physical needs; (c.) or all of the above.

    I have the sometimes questionable “gift” of having been able to remember very early events in infanthood that later affected what I thought of as my “real” self. Because infants are in the process of developing their cognitive abilities, our early memories are usually unreliable or difficult to access. This complicates the phenomenon of people citing their earliest memories of being non-heteronormative as appearing during toddlerhood or later, i.e., when people say, “I was always this way.” I am one of the few people I’ve known who possesses accurate memories from year one/year two. (Numerous memories were later verified.) The “love is love” argument is too simplistic to someone whose stepfather still believes that what he did and still feels is “love.” His rock-solid belief that he should have received cooperation in getting his version of love has never seemed all that different–to my ears–from the tone of voice of various other types of people who demand satisfaction for their desires.

    I am not comparing or evaluating the contents of those other claims themselves, mind you: I am speaking of _tone of voice_ and about when we put ourselves in the position of demanding that our needs be met. Society sorts out what demands are treated as valid. (God does, too. We just tend to ignore Him or gerrymander pertinent verses when what He says doesn’t match our findings.) No one needs sexual expression to stay alive. It just feels like that sometimes because sexual expression is the mold into which Western culture has poured our reasonable need for caritas. Here’s a scarier idea to consider: Maybe no one has a “right*” to sexual expression. Maybe that right only exists by artificial fiat of human beings. (*I can think of one exception, Paul in I Corinth7:3 saying, “The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise…” NRSV.)

    Sexual need/identity is a substitute to fill in for gaping, human-caused, catastrophic emotional lack. But almost no one believes me, not on either side. So I just keep my mouth shut, and I care for the people in my life in all the ways that went missing in my and their lives, as much as I am capable and as much as it is healthy. I can’t undo what happened to my friends. I can’t change their ideas about what will undo the damage. I can help them feel happier and more whole _for_that_moment_.

    Even if my expression of love has been enthusiastically received, even if my expression of love for my fellow human beings has tended, at times, toward sacrifices that were not always the best choices for my life, I cannot unsee what I have seen. I refuse to agree with the half-truths that are just the latest in a lifelong string of half-truths that have harmed me and the people I love as brothers and sisters. Almost no one knows about this thought process, as I keep it hidden–if no one will “get it,” and they will just reject me, why bother? But I am tired of staying silent when armies of half-truths keep fighting, over the bodies and spirits of those who have endured the unseen abuses condoned by our crazy culture. And I’m tired of hearing that people like me don’t exist.”

    • Emmy,

      Thank you for your honest thoughts and more importantly your honest lifestyle.

      I’ve always enjoyed the Angry Asian Man’s humor (maybe not his opinions). Also appreciate the heads up on using the word “sin”. I work in a dangerous country where everyday followers of Christ get real “backlash” all the time…social media backlash is the least of my concerns.

      Enjoyed Ed Cyzewski’s blog as well which echoed my own feelings. We need more rough riders like him and YOU.

      I don’t hand out that compliment lightly. Your “expression of love” IS being enthusiastically received by the only ONE that really matters. As you love others you love HIM, and that makes you a rough rida!

      “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as unto the Lord and not unto men” Col. 3:23

      Thanks for not being afraid to speak out in humility and live it out with boldness.

      -Tobias

    • Emmy, thank you for this. It resonates with my thoughts.

      To theasianroughrider – are you pulling punches (in love that might be a good thing!)? I came looking for a healthy “response” to the issue, but the article left me feeling a little lacking in practical ways to respond outwardly, though the inward advice is certainly welcome.

      My own opinion is that the society I live in has confused “Love” and sex. The Bible teaches that we are to “Love” everyone, man, woman, black, white, child, elderly and any other way you can categorize communities, including LGBTQ. What it does not say is that it is OK to have sex with any of them (except between one man and one woman – though the OT does seem to indicate multiple conjugal relationships within a “marriage” would also be OK).

      So if we can agree that a man can “love” a man and a woman can “love” a woman, let’s leave that part out of the conversation for a moment. What about sex? The real question is, is it OK (not sinful) for a man to have sex with another man, or a woman to have sex with another woman? From what I understand, the Christian context would seem to indicate that this is not OK. Never mind that it is technically physically impossible unless there is some drastic creative surgery involved and even then it is only a reasonable facsimile and not the real thing. As Emmy has indicated, perhaps there is a confusion to sexual gratification from unhealthy history – I have certainly seen this myself, though I cannot quantify it as clearly.

      Is it time to call out the whole “Love Wins” thing as a diversion from the real truth? Love definitely wins, but is the problem we are discussing really about love? Or is it about sex and personal gratification?

  3. I agree with you.. But to your second point, I was depressed and crying – not over any of the reasons you listed, though. I don’t believe Jesus intended for us to share His message by forcing society to conform to bible standards. That said, I do believe God’s ways are the best ways and for the good of everyone, even those who disagree.
    My problem, however, and the reason for my depressed reaction had nothing to do with the ruling, but rather with professed Christians rejoicing over #lovewins and jumping on the bandwagon to wave the rainbow flag. I don’t hate homosexuals, even though they view me as hating then because I cannot wholeheartedly endorse their lifestyle (that’s the definition of love these days). And I agree with you that we should not lament suffering and persecution, or the fact that it is inevitably going to get harder to live out our faith.
    I find it despairing how many Christians have decided to through out the Word and embrace new values and become indistinguishable from the world – not the “set apart” people that God has prepared for himself. That is what became exceedingly apparent to me and that is what I found to be very depressing. Not Christians calling us to love homosexuals – I agree with that. We must if we are going to be true followers if Jesus (and honestly, the vast majority of us are not the hate-spewing people we are portrayed as being). But Christians celebrating this new equality, embracing SSM as legitimate in the eyes of God, and disregarding what He has to say on the matter – creating truth for themselves and/or excepting whatever truth of the day the world is serving. Do you not find this troubling?

    • Hi Vanessa,

      I sympathize with you and your heartfelt concern for other “Christians”. There are many troubling things people of faith do all around the world – and I have been to many places.

      I’ve also met many “Christians” in the states who have never shared their faith with a lost person, to me, that is the most troubling. It doesn’t bother me that self-proclaimed “Christians” gamble, have sex like crazy, do drugs, watch porn, wave rainbow colored flags or have prejudices (because I have done or have struggled with all that)…

      The basic characteristic of a Jesus follower is intentionally sharing our stories and God story.

      Living on mission with God requires that we make disciples. The fact that many “Christians” are nominal troubles me the most…

      But my response is cry to the Lord on my knees, share my faith and make disciples. No depression here.

      • At this point I cannot agree. What kind of disciples can you make as a gambling, sex-addicted, porn-watching, gay marriage supporter? True Christians have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. There is forgiveness for every sin, but there is tolerance for none. If the God you serve doesn’t require holiness, I’m not sure who you’re serving. Of course we can never be holy in and of ourselves, but true Christians hate their sin and fight constantly against it. The HS within us works to produce good fruit. If your fruit is rotten, that’s a pretty good indication of the condition of your heart. I live in Asia as well and I share my faith on a daily basis. The gospel is life-changing. If there is no change, I highly doubt there is an understanding of the gospel or a faith that actually saves.

        • Sorry I wasn’t clear. The “Christians” in the response above was in QUOTATION MARKS, meaning, they only call themselves Christians. But when compared with the biblical definition they are not true followers of Jesus. There is a big difference between those who call themselves Christians (cultural thing) and those who actually follow Christ (real life thing).

          I agree with everything you said. You said it well.

          If you read more of my blog, you will see that we are very much aligned theologically. Peace.

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