Friday, May 11, 2012

Yep...I'm going there: Homosexuality

A letter to my cousin's girlfriend (in response to some posts on Facebook...because I want the world to know what I believe...or at least my friends and family and others who may come across this):

 Oh how I wish we could go out for coffee for this conversation. Normally, I like to keep my mouth shut when it comes to disagreeing with something someone has said or linked to on FB. For obvious reasons, it's just not a convenient place to "discuss" things, especially something as serious as Christianity/gay rights, etc. I want to say right up front that the main reason I am even writing this to you is because I have a desire to say something this time. I want to follow my heart on that, and if you want to delete this and not say anything more...I'm fine with that :)

First, to be fair, I wanted to throw this out there in response to your post, "Why is it that those who preach "the word of god" the loudest and most in your face are the most closed minded, judgmental, and least like the embodiment of christ they try to shove down your throat?" Not all Christians are that way, not every person who claims to be a Christian truly is, and EVERY person is just that...human. We all make many of the same mistakes (not listening to someone else, taking our beliefs and thinking that every person is going to agree with us or else they are wrong in their thinking, etc.) These mistakes play out in different ways, but for the most part, we all dabble in many of the same wrongs...Agree??
As far as gay rights go, here's my thinking on the general controversy. If those who are so PRO gay rights/marriage, etc. are fighting for their right to speak up and make sure those rights are recognized and that they are accepted for being who they want to be, why in the world are those who are opposed not equally as free to express their opinions?
I think the reason everyone sees the church as focusing on this one issue and hitting it so hard lately is simply because it IS a big issue in general right now. With this issue being in the news so much, a lot of focus is being laid out there on all sides of the issue, from every angle. People focus on the church's outcry because it seems like we are so outraged and hold this issue as higher than any other.
Sometimes, people accuse the church as saying, "homosexuality is a sin...and this sin is worse than all the others." I have a couple thoughts on that. First of all, please don't fault us for holding fast to our beliefs in the Word we base our lives on. Isn't it a commonly held opinion that WHATEVER someone chooses to believe, they had better KNOW that belief/stance in and out, and they had better be ready to defend it come crunch time? If someone were on the fence about any issue, they wouldn't be accused of being close-minded, but they most certainly would be accused of being flaky and unsure of themselves. At least we know what we believe and are ready to hold fast to that no matter the opposition we face, right?
SO, the Bible says homosexuality is a sin, and since I believe that every word in Scripture is God-breathed, inerrant, and never-changing, I believe that. Now, I also believe that stealing is a sin, that gossipping, and coveting are sins...and I am certainly guilty of some of those!! I can only speak for myself, but I would say that holding homosexuality as a "worse" sin than any of the others is simply not the way most Christians view all of this. I do not believe that the act of homosexuality is  bigger sin than any of the sins I struggle with. Here's the difference, though: homosexuality is a way of life.  As far as even the hot-topic abortion goes, even that is typically not a lifestyle choice. Sure, some women abort more than one baby, but it's not usually a constant pattern they have chosen to live out. Someone living in homosexuality is choosing to say that it is right and good and okay with God. If that person doesn't claim to be a believer in Christ, then it's a whole different story. If that person says they are a Christian and still walks that lifestyle out, denying that it blatantly goes against God's best and His original design for us, they are just wrong and need to read the Bible in context and in full. The catch is that people are living this way and NOT claiming to be Christians, and then of course, they are going to hate the church for fighting them on their "rights."


Let me throw this out there: we are all born into sin (or if you would rather, born being selfish, egotistical, always fighting the fight between doing right or wrong.) If you disagree with that, then we can have another discussion :) At some point, we have to decide whether something that goes against the "natural" is something we need to fight FOR or against. A homosexual who truly feels good about living that life has obviously reached the point of fighting against the norm...as has been clear in the news in the past few months. A lot of people out there still wholeheartedly believe that homosexuality is wrong.

There is close-mindedness, and then there is standing up for something you believe in. Allowing homosexual marriages will drastically change our world. When we, as Christians, are raising our kids in what we believe to be the Truth (as is also just as much our right as it is the right of a parent who doesn't believe Jesus is the only way to God to speak that into their children), then having something the Bible speaks against be legalized and accepted and encouraged would absolutely rock our boats. It's the same idea as kids from Christian homes being taught evolution in public schools. It's something we will have to constantly turn on its head...we will have to remind our kids that, "NO!! God's Word says that homosexuality is absolutely wrong!!" If the world accepts homosexuality and gay marriage as right and good, it sure will throw a new fire ball into our battle. Of course we are upset about that and fighting against it.

Homosexuality is one of those things I just can't understand, and really? I think that's one reason the church is so uncomfortable discussing our reasons behind our stance beyond just saying, "it's wrong." Murder someone? I don't think I could ever pull it off, but I certainly understand anger and bitterness and hurt that could cause someone to have that desire to do so. Steal something I really want but can't afford? Sure, that makes logical sense in my head. Even abusing my own children...I have to practice self-control of my tongue and my hand on an almost daily basis with 4 boys 6 and under running around here. But homosexuality? Being attracted to the same sex?? I can't even fathom it. And I think that's one commonly held thought process in the church. "WHAT?! I can't even imagine feeling that way!!" That's not to say that just because we don't feel something the way someone else does makes that other person wrong. I can't imagine leaving my kids and going to do service work in another country, but I certainly don't think those who do so are wrong. Anyway, that's just my opinion on why it seems like the church is so uncomfortable with this issue in particular and also why some might come across as close-minded.
I need to close, I know....I feel like I could write a book. How do I sum all of this up? Do I believe homosexuality is wrong? Yes. The Bible I base my life on says it is, and if you call that close-mindedness, well then maybe you should open your mind to hearing more about why I believe and DO base my life on it. Do I believe homosexuality is worse than any other sin? No...but it IS a lifestyle, not just a one time thing, or even something a person is trying to break themselves from the bondage of (like maybe a habit of stealing, etc.) Do I think God is a republican?? (per the article you linked to) Does anyone actually claim that God chooses a political side? Maybe people joke (and maybe they shouldn't)...but in the end, what He has said in His Word probably doesn't ever line up perfectly with one side or another, whatever they might be. (and I think if you ask most true Christians which "side" they're on, if they are honest, will say neither...or none of them, because when we vote, we just have to pick the person who lines up the best with what we believe in...and often, we don't have very many good choices, if any.) As far as the government and church being involved together in any of this, I absolutely appreciate our nation for times such as these. Like I keep saying, as Christians, we base our lives on the truth of the Bible. We believe that what we believe is truth, and if we can involve governmental systems and voting opportunities to speak and live that out, then by all means...It certainly isn't a perfect system, but how could it possibly be separate if these decisions determine our ways of life?
Why am I writing all of this? Why, when I am such a non--confrontational person in general, but especially on FB/my blog, am I choosing to voice a very unpopular opinion? Honestly...I'm a little unsure of myself right now. I don't think it's always pleasing to God to "stir the pot" so to speak. Jesus spoke the truth when He was on the earth, but He held fast to His stance on things and rarely had arguments in the way this all might end up turning into. (I'm also a little nervous about what might be said by so-called Christians...I don't want us to land right back where this all started!!) As I said before, if you want to completely ignore this letter, my opinion, and my views, you have every RIGHT to!! :) But when so many people are discussing these things, and the name of God is being disrespected, as well as Christians...I feel like the only thing I CAN do is speak up for those of us who simply want to do this in love. No shoving things down your throat, no hate or judgment against you.
I'll say it one more time: we are all human. I don't claim to be any better than anyone else on this earth. In fact, it is because of my faults and downfalls that I can have joy and certainty and peace in my beliefs. I AM a sinner. I DO need help in this life, and I will continue to fail miserably. The difference is that I have hope in my salvation. I have peace in knowing that the things I can't do, I am not expected to do on my own. The sins I struggle with have been paid for, and with His help and guidance, He can overcome for me and give me victory in those things. I need to align my views and my life with His will, and if that means being hated for this opinion, then I'm willing!! Whatever it takes, because I don't think that means I'm close-minded. I just think that means I don't have any doubts that what I am basing my life on is the truth...and I think that's a good place to be.
ONE more thought :) If I adamently believed that Mickey Mouse was real, that he had walked on this earth as a human and was coming again one day to take us all to live in a perfect Disney World for the rest of eternity, what would your thoughts and opinions of me be? You would laugh and think I was a nut job, right? And then you would leave it at that. Any time I brought it up, you could easily brush me off with a "Yeah, whatever, Anna," and walk away feeling completely confident that I was the crazy one, and you knew the truth. (not to mention the fact that I would probably be alone in my thinking, with no fellow followers of my Mickey Mouse religion.) Doesn't the fact that so many believe, that so many strongly (and with much emotion involved) oppose  Christianity almost speak volumes to the truth of what we believe? Maybe the reality is that the people who have so much hate for the church are the unsure ones. Maybe that's one of those things people are constantly fighting against because it's "unnatural" or unpopular that they SHOULD fight FOR!! Stop and think about it for a few minutes. Does it sound crazy? YES! Of course it does! It's like the biggest fairy tale ever...with a history book full of ridiculously hard to believe stories! But then why do so many people fall for it? Why has it stuck around this long? Why are we willing to be hated for issues like this, and in some countries, killed when forced to deny it or die?
Maybe it's true. (Not just some of it, but ALL of it.) And maybe, we ARE showing love when we stand so firmly against certain issues. Maybe, even when people call us crazy and close-minded, we can rest in knowing the only reason we say what we say and do what we do is because we know it to be the truth. We know what the end looks like, and we want to get the truth in our hearts out into the world before it's too late. Because there will come a time when it's too late. And maybe it's cliche, but if someone you loved were in a burning building, wouldn't you risk everything to rescue them from it? That's how much I believe in this, and maybe it's high time I started speaking out more often.

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