The article below is from a blog. I could simply have re-blogged it with comments but I have chosen for the time being to post it this way in order to protect the individual who wrote it for various reasons.
I know that the article I am about to write might be taboo, and in some ways, offensive to both sides of this argument, but I do feel that as a pastor I have an obligation to address the issue.
Obviously, the topic of “gay marriage” has been on the forefront of the American social engine for the past couple of years now. I have read every social thread, commentary, article, blog and Bible verse on the issue and can honestly say that it is one of the most difficult issues that I have had to face. I’ve seen many people blast homosexuals; likewise, many homosexuals retaliate with anger and frustration from feeling completely misunderstood.
Here’s where I’m at.
I am a Pastor at . I have homosexuals who come to my youth ministry regularly. Some of them passionately love Jesus. I have seen their lives and their hearts, and I know that they have a real relationships with God.
Do homosexuals who loves God go to heaven? I know it. Do they have real relationships with God? Undeniably.
But how do you deal with this in a blog? In an article? In a Facebook post?
To think that you will deal with the issue in a blog, article or post is asinine. These are peoples lives and because of that, each have an individual story and background. Your first mistake is to post a blanket statement on a social media outlet. You won’t have any success in trying to deal with the issue. Treat people like people, which means taking them out and LISTENING to them.
I recently preached a series called . It was a series on relationships, dating and sex. I knew that at some point in the series, the issue of homosexuality would surface.
My question to myself was, “how can I communicate the love of Jesus and the truth of God’s Word, all at the same time to my students who are living homosexual lifestyles?”
So I sat them down. Individually. I let them know that I would be preaching on relationships and that at some point in the series, homosexuality would come up. I told them that I respected them and loved them dearly and wanted them to be aware before hand so that they wouldn’t feel “pointed out” or “alienated.” I told them that I had to preach what was in the Bible, but that never changed my love or acceptance for them.
If you think that a Facebook post on how homosexuality is wrong is going to fix something, YOU’RE the one who is wrong. And what the Church has done poorly is ministering to homosexuals just like they would any other individual.
I have learned that there is always a story. Everyone has a story. And to say, “you need to get delivered” or “it’s a sin” is the most insensitive response to an individual who has a past and has a story. We hardly ever take the time to listen to the story. We feel like it’s our duty to pull it out of the individual on OUR time, maybe because it’s offensive to US, but never take the time to allow the Holy Spirit to minister to them and build a trust between us so that they actually feel safe and loved when they do tell us what’s really going on.
I will say this: God is the one who defines love, not us, not our culture, not our feelings or even our sexual desires. HOWEVER, to make statements like “I believe homosexuals chose to be that way” is the most ignorant statement and proves that you have no love and care in your heart for the INDIVIDUAL. I KNOW that if that statement has come out of your mouth, then most likely, you have never had a relationship with someone who is gay. Let me as you this, when did YOU choose to be attracted to the opposite sex?
The ‘story’ is the most important thing. And the Church doesn’t only do this with homosexuals, it does with everyone. We are so afraid of sin that we quickly categorize it and deal with the SIN rather than the person.
Now, does this invalidate the scriptures and what they have to say about the issue? Absolutely not. God has an opinion on the matter, and the Word of God is filled with his opinion on homosexuality. But I believe that Jesus cared more for the INDIVIDUAL than worry about the message He was sending by loving and spending time with a homosexual.
You can say you love homosexuals from behind your computer screen, typing out insensitive blogs and posts, but put it to the test. Be a pastor who has homosexuals who genuinely love God in your ministry and make them feel safe, loved and cared for and then come talk to me.
I can honestly say that I don’t have it all figured out. I don’t know how to love perfectly, but I know that my God is perfecting me in love every day. I just want to love people and lead them to the love of God that comes from the infilling of the Holy Spirit.
Can you really trust the Holy Spirit to minister to them and speak to people? Only the Holy Spirit can truly change us and I have to trust that He can minister better than I can. As a minister of the gospel, I DO have an obligation to the truth of the Word of God, but even more-so, I have an obligation to THE GOSPEL: the good news of the love of Jesus Christ. And that love covers a multitude of short-comings, sin, judgments, criticism, bondage, addiction and any other offensive thing that is in our lives.
I choose the gospel of Jesus Christ. I choose the gospel of love.
I want to give an invitation: if you are a homosexual (teen) and have felt judged, criticized and hurt by church, come to . If you’re afraid to step into church because you’ve experienced alienation in the past… come to . I want to hear your story and I want to love you just as Jesus has loved me.