I’ve been participating in a few discussions on the topic of sexuality and Christianity, and it is becoming increasingly clear that the message of inclusive Christianity is critical. My passion has been for a complete reconciliation with the GLBT community and the Christian church.
Those of us who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender all deal with incredibly complex issues that must be addressed. We need to look at the Scriptures objectively and then ask ourselves what the Lord is calling us to do.
And we must ask how we’ll respond to that call. Reconciliation is a clear part of that, I believe. The heated discussions in this forum present a clear need for such healing.
The lies, distortions, and outright rejection toward those that are GLBT must come to an end. But what are those lies and distortions? Oh, there are plenty of them. We’re told that gays are abominations, that it’s “clear in Scripture” that homosexuals are damned until they become straight. People still preach that AIDS is God’s punishment for gays, that gay men are “after our children” and of course that “God hates fags.”
Friends, we’ve got to be more objective as a body if we’re going to even being to bring about any reconciliation.
On the flip side, those of us who are GLBT must realize that we have to live up to the call of Christ on our lives, whatever it may be. I’m leaving this statement intentionally open-ended. I’ll move on.
When we approach these issues with a spirit of humility and a teachable spirit, we’ll begin to display the nature of Christ. And I say this to everyone. We can’t expect to go into affirming ministries like www.gaychristians.net or Revolution (the controversial group led by Jay Bakker) as if we’re “police officers for God” and expect a warm welcome.
Let’s say we’re in a church or other group that gets such a visitor? How do we respond to these “holy deputies?” Sure, they’re operating outside their jurisdiction (who are we to judge another man’s servant?), but we need to realize that our Lord is Jesus Christ. Not each other.
So can a person be gay and Christian? Absolutely. Can we as GLBT Christians live holy, Godly lives? You bet. Some of us are celibate. Others have monogamous relationships with their partners.
This is why I wrote my book, The Rainbow Kingdom: Christianity & the Homosexual Reconciled. What’s more, it’s why I’ve posted on my blog an abbreviated eight-part series on this topic. We must learn to walk together as Christians. Okay, so you disagree with my theology or my exegesis on whether or not a gay person can even be Christian. You know, it really doesn’t matter.
Either way, our call is to serve God and each other. But let’s see what Scripture says:
10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. (1 Cor 3:10-15, NIV)
Paul’s message here is very relevant. He wrote about division in the church even in his day. “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” people said. Paul wrote that a foundation was already laid. That foundation is Jesus Christ.
If what we build survives, then there is great reward. Even if it doesn’t, we’re still saved, even if “only as one escaping through the flames.” Whether the one who “escapes through the flames” is you or me, is not for us to decide. That decision resides solely with our Lord, Jesus Christ.
So why don’t we stop criticizing each other and let the Lord minister through us? That, my friends, is where we’ll find GRACE.