Name Withheld

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. 

 

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Author: Scott

Follower of Jesus, husband, father, pastor, writer, mentor

9 thoughts on “Name Withheld”

  1. This is such a refreshment to my soul to read. Thank you anonymous 😉 May God bless your journey.
    My favorite part was when you said ” 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”
    There was so much love and understanding in that statement that it almost brought tears to my eyes.
    I feel this is the biggest downfall on our part. We must start allowing the Holy Spirit to do HIS job. We love playing God and think that we have all the answers but we just don’t.
    I’d like to see a pastor hand out answers to a man that was born with both genitalia and had one removed by his parents but feels like he’s a woman inside and wants to love men because she’s heterosexual! ;-/ She/he is just as much God’s creation as any of us!
    I loved a while back when Christians finally caught on that God is a “colorful creative artist,” and loves all kinds and created us all so different.
    I feel that this now needs to be extended even farther.

    “Lord, let us please stop throwing around personal thoughts on if it’s a sin or not and teach us how focus on love. PERIOD”
    It’s what Jesus said.

    Concerning the Word, the Holy Sprit is above the Word, with out Him we cannot rightly divide the Word of Truth 😉 Hear that? It’s a beautiful joint relationship. We cannot have one without the other.

    When I was seeking God on this issue for myself years ago, I had to really look to HIM fully and then to the Word to find the Holy Spirit’s answers. No matter what you believe about the verses that, at face value, condemn homosexual acts(not homosexuals), you have to know that these verses did not speak about ME. I knew it in my spirit! They talked about sick people worshiping idols with nasty sexual orgies and things I rather not go into any further. I looked at it and all of a sudden no longer felt condemnation because this wasn’t talking to me. I had never “turned away from God” I had never given into “lustful passions” at least no more than my heterosexual Christian counterparts.

    Let us grow in love together. Thank you so much for listening and praying about this topic.

    -Anthony

    1. Hi Anthony, thanks for replying. You know of course that I don’t agree with your theology here, and the extreme example you gave of what I assume is the description of a person born as an intersexed individual is not at all what is in view when we talk about typical same-sex issues, etc. I do appreciate your compassion nonetheless. You are right that we should love. However, the assumption that everyone who does not agree with your position is void of love and compassion exibits precisely the same kind of blindness you are accusing others of. But love does not undo the truth of God’s word, and the Romans 1 passage that you are referring to has to be twisted to reflect the context of the pagan prostitutional temple worship you describe. By the way, someone who says he or she loves you but does not hold you to truth does not love you. Jesus said if you love me keep my commandments.

      Thanks again for commenting

      1. We need to love enough to tell the “TRUTH” even if it hurts. Jesus forgave the woman caught in adultery. His forgiveness did not condone her actions. Forgiveness does not equal acceptance. Jesus called sin as it is sin. He told her “go and sin no more”.
        We all struggle with sin in our lives (we are all human), and there is only one way to defeat our lusts and that is through the power of the Holy Spirit. We must first be honest with ourselves so that we can turn.
        If we say I am helpless, it’s how I was born we are correct, because without Jesus we are helpless and hopeless. The GOOD NEWS of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that there is a way out. Confess our sins, Turn from our sins, and put our hope and trust in Jesus, the one who gave himself so that we could be free from the chains of sin and spend eternity with Him.
        I know this because Jesus set me free from my sin and shame. I am a child of the living GOD.

      2. Thanks for the input Tony. I agree. There is no doubt that some very sincere people are in the midst of something very complex and hard to understand unless we have walked the same path. But we have to hold on to the truth of God’s Word! He does deliver and He does save! What you said is true. It’s like a doctor who doesn’t want to hurt the patient’s feelings so he doesn’t tell them of a potentially fatal condition. Mkes no sense. Thanks!

  2. The un-named pastor keeps using the word Gospel. I’m not sure it means what he thinks it means. My question to him would be: Why did Jesus die? If he honestly answers then he can’t share the gospel with a gay teen without talking about sin.

    My answer to his accusation about choosing to be a homosexual would be; I didn’t choose to be heterosexual, but I chose not to be a lustful lying adulterous forunucating alcoholic the moment I confessed my sins to Christ and accepted his sacrifice and forgiveness and set me free from those sins. And anyone who suffers from sins can have that freedom too. Does that sound familiar? Sounds like a love God gives which grants an eternal life. Not the worldly you’re okay I’m okay love that ends in death.

    1. Yeah! Name withheld was frustrating for me! He creates a dichotomy between God’s opinion that homosexuality is wrong and the “gospel of love,” and seems to think he can choose between the two. Really glad to have you contribute Brian!

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