“Do not be deceived,” says Saint Paul. “Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10, NIV).”
The only part of that whole thing that you really caught is the part about gay people.
There’s no Biblical reason to address homosexuality separately from other sins. Unfortunately this has been done so much—and the topic has been so theologically butchered—that I can’t just sit back on it. For a while now, I’ve debated whether or not I’m in a position to share the following thoughts. And, for a few reasons, I think I am.
First, my high school crush turned out to be a lesbian and a long-time best friend of mine came out as gay. Yes, believe it or not, homeschool kids interact with homosexuals. Both of these situations have made me deeply question my stance on the whole issue. Second, I attend Patrick Henry College. The school’s stance on homosexuality has been misrepresented by some, exaggerated by others, and reacted against in a plethora of ways. And each new wave of controversy reflects upon the students. The students get kind of screwed over every time.
So whoever reads this—liberal or conservative, gay or straight—I only ask that you believe, for a moment, that two people can look at the same evidence, think just as hard, and draw different conclusions. Those who support homosexuality have thought deeply about their beliefs. I do not believe that they are brainwashed or bigoted. I only ask for the same respect.
In a sense, to write an entire spiel addressing homosexuality goes against the entire point of what I’m about to say. Christians have been asked if they believe that homosexuals deserve to go to Hell. Truth is, Christians believe that everyone deserves to go to Hell—themselves especially. We have all violated the very laws of the universe. I’ve held things in higher esteem than God; I’m an idolater. I’ve lusted after movie-star women who have real-world husbands; by Christ’s standards, I’m an adulterer.
But the simplest form of the question is as follows: do Christians believe that homosexuality is wrong?
The question begs a simple “yes” or “no.” But be honest. If you don’t support homosexuality, you expect a “yes,” and if somebody says “no” you’ll simply clock out and block out whatever follows. Likewise, if you support homosexuality, you expect a “no” and will probably brush off anything else as homophobia. We rarely, if ever, ask this question with an honest motive to hear out the other party. That said, I’ll come back to it later.
Christianity, despite popular belief, is not about wrongs and rights. As a PHC student, I’d be remiss if I didn’t quote C.S. Lewis (and yes, I know I’ve used this quote before):
“Christ says . . . . ‘I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down.’”
Many supporters of homosexuality rally behind the Lady Gaga cry of “born this way.” Homosexuality is natural, they say. The tendency has stuck with them since birth. It’s part of them. Nature displays it. It’s completely normal. If they must lose it to become a Christian—well, that’s both ridiculous and impossible.
And all of the above is true. Sadly, many Christians have argued that homosexuality is a choice. Such a stance only perpetuates and validates accusations of ignorance. I have seen the “homosexuality is a choice” mindset hurt people first-hand.
But thing is, Christ knows how we’re born. And he gives us all the same command: “you must be born again (John 3:7).” We’re literally asked to die to ourselves and our desires (Galatians 5:24). Daily, even (Luke 9:23). Christianity, whether you be gay or straight or anything, has always been about becoming a completely new creation. It’s about giving everything to Christ.
If we needed to be sinless before accepting Christ, we’d all be damned to Hell. We come to Christ because we are broken, and often we don’t even know in what ways we are broken. But we know that something inside us is wrong, and something about Christ is beautiful, and we want that wrongness replaced with that beauty. We want to be new creatures. Our lives change because we are made new. We are not made new because our lives changed.
That’s basic theology. But some—both Christians and others—believe that you can’t come to Christ if you’re homosexual. On the part of Christians, who understand the above theology, this is absolutely moronic. To make such a demand forces homosexuals into a pseudo-Mosaic law. But we know that the Old Testament law only showed us only that we couldn’t live up to it (Galatians 3:19-25). Christianity doesn’t demand that we sort out right and wrong and try our best to live accordingly. That’s exactly what Christ came to end (Romans 8:1-4). He came because we cannot follow the law. It has never been about “curing homosexuality,” and I beg the forgiveness of anyone who has been led to believe so. Christ came to make us entirely new men in every respect, whatever that entails.
He won’t let us put even our own spouses and children above Himself (Luke 14:26). Anything that we would refuse to give up for Christ becomes an idol and, in effect, a sin. If we truly desire to be made new, we may be asked to give up anything. We may be asked to let go of a relationship, a job, a habit, or—yes—even homosexuality. When we hold up anything and say “Christ will never take this from me,” we demand a right that no Christian can demand. Christ asks homosexuals and heterosexuals to give the same thing: that is, everything.
Despite our wishes, God often convicts us through other people. And no matter what we’re convicted of, we must listen. Because when we came to Christ, we embarked on no half-hearted journey. We want to be made new, we told Him, whatever that entails. It will suck sometimes. We knew that. The Israelites spent years in the desert before reaching the promised land. God never promised that the journey would be easy or pleasant.
So the question is not “is homosexuality wrong?” The question is: will you give up anything for Christ? Christ never asked us to make lists of morals and try to follow them. He calls us to Himself, the only one ever born perfect, so that we may be made like Him.
Please hear me: nobody needs to “stop being gay” to come to the Cross. Jesus bled out so that you don’t have to. When you submit to him, you will be convicted. You will be asked to change—but only by His power. And you’ll feel convicted about all sorts of crazy things you never thought you’d feel convicted about. Homosexuality may be one of them. And if it is, then like anything else, Jesus must take it upon Himself and bear it on the cross.
For God’s sake. It’s not about the homosexual movement, or republicans or democrats or “defending marriage” of all things. It’s about you. It’s about the fact that, deep inside, we all feel screwed up. If you don’t, either you’re delusional or you’re a much better man than me. Everyone one of us is born with broken parts. Christ desires to heal us and He died to do so. We may need to die along with him—we may need to be entirely uprooted and planted anew. By no means will it be safe. It may not even be pleasant. But it will be so good.