The Gay Community and That One Time Jesus Called Me the ‘N-word’

WARNING: This post contains language that may be offense to some. If you are easily offended by language you may want to skip this article.

5 days before I preached a sermon on homosexuality, I got this comment on my blog.

“Keep your phony ass biggot bullshit and you pious sense of higher status to yourself you price of trash. You can try to stop me all you want but you are still a nigger and a cult leading fag. No wonder your father didn’t see you for 11 years. Who would be proud of their nigger son starting a cult.” -Jesus.

I tell you what, I’ve never felt so hated. I wish I could say I his words bounced off me like bullets on superman cause I was wearing my spiritual cape but I can’t.

Nope. No super spiritual response here.

Just a discouraged pastor who wanted to crawl up in a hole and not come out. I know I won’t get any “hall of faith” votes for saying this but I honestly wanted to quit ministry, life, Jesus and everything.

All because some Internet troll blasted me on my blog.  And on twitter. Then on my blog again after bypassing my filter. Then on a new twitter account after I blocked the first one. Then back to my blog on a new IP address. One last twitter account. How about more blog comments?

Over and over again Jesus (as he called himself) berated me and called me the ‘n word’ more times than I care to remember. Over 50 comments later, I was sitting in a corner balling my eyes out because I felt so hated by “Jesus”.

In desperation I prayed for Jesus to make “Jesus” go away.

I asked for him to make me feel better, but he didn’t. Jesus didn’t make me feel better, no, he did something better. He said…

“Now you know what it sometimes “feels” like to be gay. Now you know what the gay community has to face from family/neighbors/the church.”

And BOOM, just like that, God blind-sided me with a 100m/hr curve ball that literally left me breathless and in tears.

It’s like God used the words of an ignorant troll to cut open my heart open then he filled it with love for the gay community.

I literally didn’t know what to do but cry and say sorry.

“I’m sorry”

That’s how I started my sermon on homosexuality 5 days after “Jesus” trolled me online.

I’m sorry.

I swear you could hear a pin drop. I guess no one expected me to start a sermon on homosexuality by saying sorry.

_______________________________________________________________________________

I’m so sorry.

I’m so sorry for anyone who has ever felt hated like I did because they are ______ (LGBTQA).

I’m sorry for anyone who’s ever heard a parent say you’re no longer welcome here because you’re ____.
I’m sorry for anyone who’s ever felt unwelcome in the church because they are _______.
I’m sorry for anyone who’s ever felt like “Jesus” hated them.

Jesus doesn’t hate you. He loves you more than you can ever imagine. I don’t know if we’ll ever agree on the the issue of homosexuality, but what I do know is Jesus loves you. I know that he loves you and I also know that I haven’t done a good job of showing you that and for that I’m so sorry.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Something like that.

I said something like that, cried, read from the bible, cried, said sorry a couple more times and talked about how bad I hope our community is someday known for loving the gay community.

Wanna hear something crazy?

I made a bigger difference in the gay community through that one sermon than I have in over 10 years of ministry. Why?

Because it was the first time I really cared about gay people and they could tell.

That night I shook hands, hugged and became friends with several gay people (most of who disagreed with me theologically). I also got emails from others who admitted they’ve always felt hated by Jesus and the church until that night.

But Sammy, (what some of you are thinking right now), how do you love someone whose actions or behaviors you find really unacceptable?  How can I love someone who I believe is living in sin?

Great question. Do your thing Mr. C.S Lewis.

“There is someone that I love even though I don’t approve of what he does. There is someone I accept though some of his thoughts and actions revolt me. There is someone I forgive though he hurts the people I love the most. That person is……me.”

(If you can’t say amen, say ouch).

It’s true isn’t it?

It’s true that you and I have plenty of practice loving, forgiving and taking care of someone who disgusts us at times. And it’s true that there are plenty of things we do that we don’t like but we can love ourselves and accept ourselves without approving of everything we do.

Please don’t miss the point. This post is not about what the bible teaches about homosexuality or excusing your moral standards.

This post is about the hypocrisy in my heart (and maybe yours?). This post is a reminder to extend grace and love to the gay community like we readily extend it to ourselves. Or like they extend it to us.

Guess what the LGBTQA community in Toledo said when we asked them what they thought about Christians.

“We are hesitant to say anything because we are stereotyped a lot and we definitely don’t want to do that to ALL Christians.”

When I read that, I cried. I cried because their response confirmed that I’m such a hypocrite. I cried because when I looked at the gay community, I no longer saw a threat or an “issue” to debate. I saw people who felt hated by Jesus.

I cried because for the first time in my life, I wanted gay people to know Jesus loved them more than I wanted them to know my theological position.

Why do you think so many in the gay community feel so hated by Jesus and the church? Do you think it’s possible for us to disagree and still love people radically?

  • http://twitter.com/citrus_sunshine Andrea Ward

    Beautiful and heart wrenching. Thank you for sharing and for touching my heart.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      You’re so welcome Andrea. Thanks for reading.

  • http://Leeleewrites.com/ Leelee

    Wow. That was so insightful, especially the part about stereotyping.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      I know right? Def rocked me. Thanks for reading. God bless.

  • http://dailygallen.com/ tim gallen

    why do i think so many in the gay community feel so hated by jesus and the church? hmm, well, probably because of so many self-righteous fundamentalist crazies who, instead of embracing their brothers and sisters in love, believe it’s their duty to point out their supposed sins.

    no, i’m not gay, but i don’t believe it’s a sin. you can disagree with me. that’s ok. i know plenty of people do. but i’ll still love you. because that’s what following jesus is all about – loving others despite their shortcomings and in spite of our own. it’s a crazy love, to be sure.

    • http://christymcferren.com/ Christy McFerren

      I love this, Tim. Thank you for being my friend. I have never had any clue we might disagree about this issue because you love first. You’re awesome. :)

      • http://dailygallen.com/ tim gallen

        thx for the kind words, christy. and even though we’ve never met in person, i do love you. just like i love everyone i know. they may think that’s weird, and no i’m not some peace-sign-flashing hippie who walks around and hugs people all the time. i still grumble and get annoyed at things people do – especially things i do myself – but we are all people. beautifully broken and loved people. loving first certainly isn’t easy, but it’s certainly worth it.

        • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

          Tim, I think we could be good friends :-)

          • http://dailygallen.com/ tim gallen

            sammy, amen, brother. you can never have enough friends. :-) as everyone else has been stating all day: your post was truly powerful.

      • http://heytherediana.wordpress.com/ Diana

        That’s so awesome! I am passionate about this issue as well, and I am so blessed to know people who love first and show Jesus that way, no matter what your walk in life is.

        • barnaby

          how in any way does the showing of love require a religous basis? there is no need for a God, in order for you to love. love because it is right. not because laws were written years ago for the purpose of turning morals into stories in order to make them appealing.

          just be nice to each other, God doesn’t exist so don’t live your life for a lie

          • Question

            From an Athiest’s perspective, why exactly is love morally right? Just curious.

            • Ron

              To my Atheist friend*

              If there is no God, then the love you feel is just a chemical reaction based solely on what your bodies perception. Therefore it’s all relative. If there is no Objective Authority, then punching someone in the face is same thing as embracing them with a hug.

              • Wes

                I have a slightly different opinion of the matter. The definitions of love and other emotions as either spiritual or chemical reactions do not have to be mutually exclusive. Can we accept the idea that God plays a role in creating these chemical signals, and is therefore involved—but not directly responsible for—love?

                I’m just wondering why there can’t be common ground here.

          • Tim

            Barnaby, you have it all wrong. The showing of love does not require a religious basis, what he is saying is that its the other way around, if you claim to be a person of faith, that REQUIRES the showing of love. You are right loving is just right, it has nothing to do with laws or religion, but if you are religious you are tasked with showing love as a mission as well.

            • Joseph Braun

              “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27

              Yep, definitely.

          • fishesndishes

            We don’t need ‘religion’ to love, because “the kingdom of God is within you”. where does the love you feel for your fellow man come from? that is the real interesting question, that atheism hasn’t fully answered.

            P.s. Why would you bother trolling a site like this if you don’t even believe in spirituality at all?

            • Kathryn

              Fishes, I am reading this site because I am filled with admiration and hope at Sammy’s story. I do not believe in jesus as a deity, nor a “god” per se – I believe (as Jesus did) that we all have the ability to reach Godness, to become God. My interpretation of “God”, is the ultimate we all can be: in love, in peace, in courage and compassion, in tolerance (the absence of judgement). This striving, this inner compass/morality, has existed since long before Jesus – he was another wonderful teacher trying to reach some of us, to show us the potential we all have and must not be afraid of.

              • Jazzy

                Wow. May I ask how Jesus believed that we “all have the ability to reach Godness, to be come God”? That really blows my mind.

                Oh, and before you respond, you should know that I’m a Reformed Baptist, and odds are, there’s nothing you can say that will change my mind.

    • http://www.allisonjohnston.org/ Allison Johnston

      agreed. love your reaction here.

    • http://www.facebook.com/afreshmind Ryan Brightside Kuramitsu

      beautiful. this is the truth.

      • http://dailygallen.com/ tim gallen

        thanks, ryan. not saying such a crazy love is easy, but if you follow jesus, it’s what you’re called to do. that’s why the gospel is the most revolutionary idea in history. who else but god would come up with it?

      • http://dailygallen.com/ tim gallen
    • ThenTheresMe

      This is my point exactly! I once met a 14-year-old boy who had just been released from the hospital after trying to kill himself. He was deeply religious, and mostly happy with his life. So why did he do it? Because he was gay. He had tried everything he could think of (counseling, prayer, advisement from church elders) and he couldn’t ‘fix’ himself. He said that death was the only way he could stop being an abomination.
      Pretty heavy, coming from a 14-year-old.
      He’s doing much better now, I’m glad to say. Luckily he’s found a peer group that accepts him for who he is. It doesn’t make sense to me that a loving god would allow for this, though. It’s just about as silly as believing left-handedness is evil.

      • WhatDoIBelieve

        A loving God allows all sorts of things… simply because man is fallen. You could equally say how could a loving God allow for the killing of 20 innocent children in a school. Or a more personal example… Why does God allow me to be sexual attracted towards individuals who are not my spouse? I try to look away when I feel that attraction, I try not to think impure thoughts, I have prayed that God lessen the attraction, but it is a constant battle. Why can’t I just give in to my impulses? There are many out there in “open” relationships that will accept me for who I am.

        I think the core issue is that we don’t separate the individual attraction from the actual sinful actions (sex outside of marriage, lust). Which are sins regardless of your orientation but for homosexuals, they get lumped together and the individual feels that their very being is a sin. Which is right where the enemy wants them and we (Christians in general) helped push them there.

        • ThenTheresMe

          This is an unfair comparison to make… And what do you say to homosexual marriage? I know plenty of LGBT Christians who would love to stop ‘sinning’ in respect to sex outside of marriage. The problem is unique to them, as they are not given the option. So they do the next best thing and become life partners… I don’t think this condemns them. I suppose we won’t know until we do.

          • WhatDoIBelieve

            Christian marriage is between a man and a woman. I am sorry, but I think that can be easily backed up Biblically. “Legitimizing” their behavior doesn’t make it not sin.

            The problem is unique to them. Their only option is to stop engaging in sexual activity just like any non-married couple. I am sorry, but life isn’t fair. I don’t think it is fair that men struggle more with sexual thoughts than women, but again, life isn’t fair. I don’t think it is fair that 14 and 15 year old teens have sexual desires and can’t marry, but we expect them to wait till they are older and married to have sex. One could argue that isn’t fair either.

            I am not condemning them, however, I don’t think it is appropriate for the church to condone their behavior either. Just like we don’t condone other “acceptable” sinful behaviors.

            • Gabriel

              Thanks WhatdoIbelieve for your insight! I like the way you put it. FInding the balance to be merciful, loving, and yet fair with your values and faith is not easy. For me it´s not “all about love”. Jesus was “not just love”. Now I´m not the one that will jugde the LGBT. I think we believers offently don´t follow Jesus example with sinners: “I dont condem you either, go and sin no more” Jesus accept the woman, Jesus risk his safety for the woman, Jesus did´nt judge the woman, and actually show mercy for her. But he was clear: what you did was a sin, stop doing it!. So God help us to be gracious, as He has been with us, accept and love gay people, and value them as humans, while we can keep true to our faith, and even be able to call sin, what the Bible shows its a sin.
              Thanks Sammy for another example of showing respect, love and grace, but also keep true to your values and faith

              • Republic1776

                The problem is just saying homosexuality is a sin is considered “hate” by many. Thus, as a Christian, you either have to leave that important part out of your belief system (ignore it), try to explain it away, or tell it like it is if you want to be consistent in your belief system. The other problem is people are throwing the words “love” and “respect” around, but I have a suspicion that if you press on what they mean by that you’ll get answers that starkly oppose each other on what those words “look like” through action.

            • Tree

              It’s not your place to tell them what their options are, that is between them and God.

              The church doesn’t need to condone their “behaviour”. But it doesn’t need to condemn the behaviour either. Let married gay couples come to church. It’s not the churches place to judge them, but God’s alone. It is the church’s role on earth to LOVE. Unconditionally.

              Giving them ultimatums “You can be gay and come to church but you can’t get married/be in a relationship” is a condition of your being willing to love them.

              Love is an all or nothing thing, really. Love all of me or love none of me, we don’t have to agree on what gay people can do in their private lives.

              God doesn’t judge you based on your love. If you’re willing to let go and let God judge the gay folk, and you just do your job of loving them unconditionally, then God won’t judge you as a bad person.

              • WhatDoIBelieve

                Clearly, I am not telling them what their options are. They can do whatever they choose. Especially if they are unbelievers, outside of the church body (the church is not a building). However, if they are professing Christians, it is our responsibility to judge. 1 Corinthians 5:12, Matthew 7:5, Luke 6:42.

                Mind you, I am not judging their salvation, I am simply judging what I see as sin based on what I read in the Bible. I do this out of Love! I am not trying to beat them down, however, if they entering into sin, God commands that we tell them in love.

                The Bible warns against sex outside of marriage. Hebrews 13:4, 1 Corinthians 7:8

                The Bible warns against against homosexual acts. 1 Corinthians 6:9, Romans 1:26-27

                The Bible clearly states marriage is between a man and a woman. 1 Corinthians 7, Genesis 2:24, Ephesians 5:31, Matthew 19:5, Mark 10:7

                I could probably provide more references, but I can’t think of any off the top of my head.

                The Bible also states that it is better (a blessing) to remain single and abstain from sexual relationships.

                I will (and do) love them unconditionally. Again, let me be clear; being gay is not a sin. Sex outside of marriage is a sin (and by my reading of the Bible homosexual acts). Marriage in the Bible is clearly between a man and a woman. Therefore, I cannot see a way to condone homosexual acts. I am also not giving them ultimatums, this is a free country. I personally will never marry a homosexual couple because it becomes my sin if I condone their behavior before God based on my reading of the Bible.

                We will all face God’s judgment someday and if I have sin in my life, I would hope someone would point it out so I could repent. Point people to the Bible and let the Holy Spirit convict each one of us of our sin.

                If you disagree, I am open to your interpretation, but I care first about God’s opinion (and then yours) so back your opinion with the Word of God.

                • Eric Boersma

                  The Bible also clearly states that eating Shrimp, wearing clothes made of polyester, turning on your lights on Saturday, borrowing money to be repaid at interest, not covering your head when you pray and cutting your hair are all sins, too. Much, much, much more clearly than it states that Homosexuality is a sin.

                  The Bible calls whole crap load of absolutely crazy stuff that isn’t at all pertinent to today’s society sin, but as Christians, we’ve been smart enough to get rid of that stuff. Unfortunately, a religious community that feels a need to separate “us” from “them” has latched on to homosexuality as an easy sin to “call out”, because it doesn’t affect them.

                  Calling out sin is stupid. It’s not your job, it does no one any good, and you’re probably completely wrong anyway.

                  • WhatDoIBelieve

                    Eric,

                    You are going back to the Old Testament law which Jesus fulfilled. That is also why all my references are either pre or post fulfillment of the law.

                    We don’t eliminate parts of the Bible because it isn’t pertinent. I believe that the WHOLE Bible is good for teaching, correcting and training (2 Timothy 3:16), however, I think we can make a pretty good Biblical argument that we are no longer under the law and thus our requirements are less. (Acts 15:29)

                    We are supposed to call out sin and it is our responsibility. (1 Corinthians 5:12, Matthew 7:5, Luke 6:42) You may not like that we are supposed to do it, but it is Biblical. I think most people don’t like that we are supposed to call out sin because, quite honestly, we like to stay in our sin. If it is called out, then we have to recognize what we are doing it wrong.

                    Homosexuality has become a “target” sin for a couple of reasons. One, it is a major political topic. Two, it tends to stir up emotions. And three, it is an more clearly visible sin. Let’s face it, most people hide their sin and put up a perfect facade, which is also why those verses say “first remove the plank from your own eye”. Drop the pretenses, start living right, and help others live right is how I read those passages.

                    Again, please back your arguments up with the Bible. I value your opinion but I care more about God’s opinion than yours… and if you can’t back your beliefs with the Bible, maybe you need to consider whom you are following.

                    • Eric Boersma

                      There are thousands of denominations in the world. Each of them has their own different set of sins, built from the entire pantheon of human behavior. From the Unitarian Universalists on one hand to the Independent Fundamentalist Baptists on the other, to the Quakers and the Mennonites and the Amish. To any number of denominations, you and I are sinning simply by having this conversation via the internet. To the IFBs, the fact that the music I’m listening to right now has drums in it is a sin. Never mind the fact that I watch TV and I’ve cussed before.

                      Every single one of those denominations can give you a laundry list of reasons why Their Sins are the One True List of Sins. To presume to say that Homosexuality is a sin when you ignore so many other more clearly delineated sins in the Bible is the height of presumption, bordering on heresy. It presumes that somehow, your list of sins is the Best List, and that God Himself has handed down the secrets of the universe to you and your chosen few, never mind the billion or so devout Christians in the world who would disagree with you on one, two, ten or a thousand “sins” as you’ve named them.

                      I instead propose an entirely different definition of sin: something which pulls us away from God. By moving away from the legalistic and moralistic view of sin — the idea that some things are inherently good and some things are inherently bad, we recognize that God is not a petty tyrant whose entire goal is to punish those who didn’t keep his list of entirely arbitrary (and by your perspective, eternally shifting) list of rules. Instead, we recognize that God desires personal relationships with us, to draw us close (all of us, not just his Chosen People) and love us deeply for who we are. It’s when we pull away from his love in our lives that we sin.

                      In this view, sin is not a “Don’t do” or “Do this” list. It’s different for every person. What might be a sin for a Fundamentalist Baptist (listening to syncopated music) is not to someone else (me, who’s happily jamming out to The Decemberists, right now). What might be a sin for me (having a homosexual relationship, as I’m straight) is not at all a sin for someone else (a gay person). It also recognizes the idea that things which are viewed as Always Good in Christian circles, like Prayer, can also be sins — consider a situation where someone in desperate need, drowning at the end of a dock who cannot lift themselves out of the water, asks for your hand in aid, and you say “I will pray for you, brother”. By not helping that person, you have sinned against him, condemning him to death while you sit idly by, asking God for a miracle — a miracle that God has already given the person you’re praying for: you.

                      The Bible is an important tool in Christian life. It’s critical. It’s God’s word to us, but as Christians, I think we oftentimes put too much emphasis on the Bible. We elevate it to a position of near-worship, believing that there are no spiritual truths that can be found outside the Bible, which is hogwash. Instead, the Bible gives us the tools we need to evaluate the teachings around us, looking to those of our own time, and take its advice to heart: “Test everything; cling fast to what is good”.

                      TLDR; I would never presume to tell someone that they were sinning at any moment. I am not them, they are not me, and I don’t know God’s plan in their life. I’m not all-knowing — far from it — and in making a blanket proclamation that something is or isn’t a sin, I presume to be. That’s the height of arrogance, and it’s the seed of heresy.

                    • WhatDoIBelieve

                      The denominational problem is a whole other issue itself.

                      “To any number of denominations, you and I are sinning simply by having this conversation via the internet.”

                      Absolutely right, but I don’t feel convicted by the Holy Spirit and they are not forcing their beliefs on me similarly to how I am not forcing my beliefs on anyone else. However, if I was in a relationship with someone who thought I was sinning by being on the internet, I would hope that they would tell me out of love.

                      ” To presume to say that Homosexuality is a sin when you ignore so many
                      other more clearly delineated sins in the Bible is the height of
                      presumption, bordering on heresy.”

                      I am not ignoring other sins. I don’t eat food sacrificed to false gods, I don’t eat the meat of strangled animals (as far as I know), and I try to stay away from sexual sin to the best of my understanding based on the Bible (Acts 15:29). There are a lot of other sins that I try to avoid as well such as murder, lying, not honoring my parents, etc.

                      My point is, we are to remove the log from our own eye so we can clearly remove the speck from our friends. (Matthew 7:5 NLT). And if you want to keep the speck in your eye, that is your choice and I will love you regardless.

                      I agree with SO much of what you say. The book of James is an amazing call to action for my and I hope for many others.

                      I caution relying on spiritual truths outside of the Bible. God created the world and said it was good, so you can find God in everything in creation. However, deriving spiritual truths from it can be dangerous because we are a fallen people.

                      Philosophical question for you. If someone said to you, that they were about to commit adultery with a prostitute in Nevada (so their isn’t a legal issue) would you warn them against it? If yes, why?

                    • http://stephenmatlock.com/ BetweenTwoWorlds

                      “Absolutely right, but I don’t feel convicted by the Holy Spirit and they
                      are not forcing their beliefs on me similarly to how I am not forcing
                      my beliefs on anyone else.”

                      This is the whole key. You, perhaps rightly, feel convicted by the Holy Spirit to abstain from certain acts. Others do not feel so convicted. At some point we have to realize we aren’t the ones set up to be judges of mankind.

                      Sammy’s point–which is a good one–is that it is very, very easy to think we are right and others wrong, and then to use vicious, hurtful, destructive words to label those who do not behave according to our standards, or who do not belong to the groups we approve. At one time white Americans felt it proper and good to use awful terms to describe black Americans. Now, it is not as clear that we can label black Americans by a particularly triggering word. Polite, reasonable, charitable people realize how destructive towards love the use of certain words is, and they refrain, by choice, from using them.

                      It is the same with gays in America. Excluding them from participation in our political economy, or within God’s kingdom, is hurtful and wrong. Whether who they are is acceptable to God is God’s business. But while I hear all sorts of words about loving the sinner and hating the sin, what I really see is an inordinate focus on hating the sin and excluding the sinner.

                      I think gays (and gay Christians) are just ordinary people, just like you and me, with all the strengths and foibles of ordinary people. If we are acceptable to God, then they are, too. If they are an abomination just by existing, then so are we.

                      There is simply a lot of hysteria and fear being drummed up about gay people, people who really don’t care all that much about Christians and Christian belief except when it is use to demonize gays. Much better as Christians to express the same feelings and perform the same acts of mercy as Jesus himself did concerning anyone in this world.

                      The only Jesus gays are going to see is the Jesus in you and in me. If they’re seeing hate and exclusion and fear and rejection, then the Jesus they see hates and excludes and fears and rejects them as well. And that can’t possibly be right.

                    • WhatDoIBelieve

                      ” If they are an abomination just by existing, then so are we.”

                      We have all sinned and fallen short of God’s standard and I am definitely not calling anyone an abomination. If we all lived by Ephesians 4:29, I think we would reach a lot more people.

                      “It is the same with gays in America. Excluding them from participation
                      in our political economy, or within God’s kingdom, is hurtful and wrong.”

                      I am not trying to exclude them from within God’s kingdom (and quite frankly I don’t think that is possible depending on how you interpret your statement) and I have no desire to exclude them from anything political (nor any moral right to).

                      Do I believe it is Biblical for them to marry? No. Can I stop them from going to a church that will marry them? No. Do I think that marriage is honoring to God, no, but I am not God so my opinion doesn’t have to matter to them. Just like I am not bothered by how Quaker or Mennonite opinions on my behavior.

                    • Tomme Foster

                      According to the Old Testament, stated quite clearly, for a man to lie with another man as with a woman is an abomination and both should be put to death. Leviticus 20:13 “If
                      a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have
                      committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood
                      shall be upon them.” Do I think homosexuals should be killed? No. I’m just showing you that the Bible is just as clear about homosexuality as it is the other sins you picked.
                      However, you don’t show Jesus to someone by beating them over the head with thirty years of sins. We’re not supposed to clean ourselves up before Jesus will save us. It’s not in our power to make ourselves acceptable. Only Jesus can do that. Did the prodigal son have to get cleaned up before his dad came running to welcome a lost son home? He brought him in and then cleaned him up. That’s what Jesus does.

                      We’re the only Jesus some people ever see. Will you make Jesus look good or will you make Jesus look like a mean, unmerciful jerk?

                    • jennpn

                      You cannot pick and choose sins from the old testament…you have to add shrimp and pants as evil in the same sentence then. What did GOD himself say in the bible? Jesus had a lot to say. It mostly had to do with love. Why can’t we call it out and say…you are gay…you know what the bible says about being gay? “Yup”. K. Do you wanna sit together for the sermon? “Yup”. K. Done. You have fulfilled all of your requirements. The end. Move on. The rest is up to God. You simply love.

                    • Tomme Foster

                      I get the shrimp, but what about pants? Furthermore, I didn’t pick and choose one thing and leave out something else. This discussion was about homosexuality, not seafood and pantaloons. Therefore, I talked about homosexuality. Maybe you should have read my entire post before you jumped all over me. You repeated my last point.

                    • bruhaha

                      Eric,

                      I don’t think anyone is saying that many of the other things not talked about aren’t sins. I think one of the other reasons homosexuality has become a target topic is because the argument that it is NOT a sin has become so loud. The Bible is very clear on homosexuality. Many Christians aren’t saying all the other things aren’t sins as well. They are just refuting the argument that homosexuality is condoned by God. The more people say He’s ok with it, the more people feel the need to point out that Biblically He is very much not.

                    • Fundamentalist Baptist

                      Eric,

                      You mis-characterize independent fundamentalist Baptists. The debate tactic you are employing is called the ‘strawman argument’. The truth is, many fundamentalist Baptist churches rock the house with their popular music instrumentation (everything you hear on secular radio without the secular lyrics)… and they are prone to being just as sinful as any other human. What makes them (us!) fundamentalist is that we believe the Bible is the true, perfect, plenary Word of God. If it isn’t, sinful mankind gets to make up their own Scriptures. God’s Word doesn’t set up a schema that allows humanity to invent its own Bible. To protect the institutions of faith, such as marriage and the church, Christ gives clear instruction.

                      What makes people mad is that they hate being told their favorite flavor of sin is wrong. I’m prideful, and I hate the moral conviction I experience as I read verses such as Philippians 2:3 (NLT) “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.” The right response is form me to work toward redoubling my effort to run to God in prayer and try to be mindful of my proclivity to sin by being prideful… denying God’s Word on this is just creating a false God and a graven image to worship. It is embarrassing to have to admit I am prideful, but I certainly can’t advance God’s plan for me by denying His Word and fighting Him.

                      Homosexual acts are just another sin, and they can be overcome by abstaining from them. Justifying them, or denying their sinfulness just exacerbates the sinfulness. Just because people band together and get loud does not mean they change God’s Word. The act of banding together to protest God’s Word is itself prideful and irreverent. We cannot change the definition of marriage because someone believes they are born inclined to commit homosexual acts. But we are just as sinful if we fail to love someone just because we don’t like their favorite flavor of sin.

                      My question for you, Eric, is “Why is it o.k. to label and stereotype fundamentalist Baptists, but wrong to agree with the Bible that homosexuality is a sin?” What I see in your argument is incongruency, straw men, and a lack of advancing the Greatest Commandment.

                    • Eric Boersma

                      Respectfully, FB, you seemed to have missed the ENTIRE point of my argument. I would suggest you reread my post and perhaps it will become clear to you exactly what you’ve missed, but I’ll give you a hint: your railing about music is exactly the kind of thing I’m talking about.

                    • fishesndishes

                      Amen and well said. But I’m sure this will go over the heads of many people or they won’t bother to read it.

                  • Brett Taylor

                    Actually, I want to address one thing. If we, as a body of believers, created a giant credit union to lend money to the struggling and poor without gouging them with 15+% interest rates, I firmly believe we’d create a massive amount of good.

                • Zara Satchell

                  Makes me laugh when people blurt out all their scriptures about homosexuality, then say, but I love them unconditionally.

                  • WhatDoIBelieve

                    It is a fine line to walk. Obviously, we are having a conversation about what is the appropriate Biblical stance on homosexuality so we have to discuss what the Bible says about it. At the same time, we have to be careful that we don’t single out one type of sin as worse than others or “unforgivable”.

                    Not calling out sinful behavior as sinful is NOT loving. However, calling them an abomination (hating the sinner IMO) isn’t very loving either…

              • WhatDoIBelieve

                ‘”You can be gay and come to church but you can’t get married/be in a
                relationship” is a condition of your being willing to love them.’

                I do want to also respond to that statement specifically. It is absolutely NOT a condition of my being willing to love them completely. In the same way that I love individuals who are living together before marriage, in an adulterous relationship, someone who loves money more than God, etc…

                I think even you understand that because your next statement contradicts it.

                ‘Love is an all or nothing thing, really. Love all of me or love none of
                me, we don’t have to agree on what gay people can do in their private
                lives.’

                I love all of you and we don’t agree. It think it would actually be less loving if I thought you were engaging in a sin behavior and didn’t say anything to you about it! I think Paul is a clear example of this in the Bible in his letters to the church in Corinth.

            • Sara

              I know this isn’t the main topic we’re discussing here, but I’d like to say that I disagree with your statement that men struggle more with sexual thoughts than women. I think more and more we’re seeing women come forward, being honest about their struggles with pornography, erotica, masturbation, etc. It’s just never been something that anyone’s spoken openly about before. Women are not these asexual creatures who rarely have a thought about anything impure. You can’t measure the struggle though because women aren’t 100% honest about it yet.
              It’s time to start getting rid of that stereotype that men almost can’t help thinking sexual thoughts, or watching porn, because they’re designed that way, and that it’s unique to them alone. We’re all sexual beings with desires that we struggle with.
              Just food for thought.

              • WhatDoIBelieve

                I actually agree with you. I was merely using the stereotype (probably inappropriately) to prove a point that life isn’t fair and we all have different sin issues that we struggle with.

            • Nick

              This is where you stray from the real fact. God did not write the Bible, nor Jesus Christ. It was written by men who thought that they had some divine ability to make laws in which all should follow. Jesus Christ never said that homosexuality is sin. It was the men who wrote the Bible who made these laws. One should not blindly accept all they read especially when it is written by ordinary human beings.

              • WhatDoIBelieve

                I believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God. So obviously my views are different from yours. A lot of this discussion is based on that premise. But, if you disagree, that is fine. I actually think that my viewpoint is valid whether the Bible was written by mere men or inspired.

                If you are not a follower of Jesus (in the evangelical sense) then I have no interest nor desire to “make” you follow Biblical law. My reasoning is 1 Corinthians 5-12

                “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?”

                Even if you call yourself a follower of Christ, I believe the Bible is fairly clear that we are to hold each other to higher standards. Because we aren’t supposed to look like the world. We are supposed to look like (and act like) children of God. But that doesn’t mean we are supposed to institute laws prohibiting behavior. It just means we may choose not to associate with one another.

                ” It was written by men who thought that they had some divine ability to make laws in which all should follow. Jesus Christ never said that homosexuality is sin.”

                AFAIK Jesus never said anything about homosexuality. But we don’t have any accounts about many topics that He may or may not have addressed. I don’t think we can conclude that He would condone homosexuality by the lack of a Biblical account.

                “One should not blindly accept all they read”

                Absolutely true. I don’t blindly accept it. I think long and hard about it and try to make sure that my understanding is consistent with my general understanding of the Bible.

                I may be wrong but based on comment and the use of the word “Law”, I think a major concern of yours are the current law prohibiting same sex marriage. I personally think such laws are flawed. Marriage is a religious institution, a covenant between a couple and God. Bringing the State into the mix is just not a good idea. It cheapens marriage and creates confusion between the legal and Biblical definitions of it. I think this position is Biblically sound and defensible.

          • Apachecav

            I would say what God says,

            1 Corinthians 5:11

            But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with
            anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people

            1 Corinthians 6:9

            Or do you not know that the unrighteous
            will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators,
            nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor [a]effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

            The problem you have is you think LGBTG and Christianity can go hand in hand….

        • Kimberly

          Da truth! Christians often time over sensationalize things and in a reverse effect give them more momentum. I can remember the uproar about the show Married with Children. Thanks to Christians the show was a number one hit. I don’t think we keep in mind the scripture that says He who wins souls is wise. We just beat the Bible with our fist instead of using our weapons found in 2 Corinthians 10 and actually become effective, instead of being so heavenly minded we’re no earthly good. Matthew 16:19 is also a gift given to mature Christians to see God’s Kingdom realized on earth.

        • Joseph Braun

          Agreed. These struggles also keep us humble knowing that we are not perfect and must rely on God’s grace daily. It’s also a way of validating our commitment to God in choosing to obey Him instead of yielding to our own selfish desires. It’s definitely hard and sometimes I think it would be so much easier if God just took those away but He knows best for what brings us closest to Him so we will just have to rely on His power and persevere.

    • Timothy

      Tim, thanks for your sharing your thoughts. I’m overjoyed to hear your emphasis on loving others despite their shortcomings. In response, I have a question and a comment.

      Question: how did you arrive at the conclusion that homosexuality isn’t a sin? Do you think that Scripture doesn’t prohibit it? Are you basing this off personal experience?

      Comment: Although I strongly agree with you that following Jesus is about loving others despite their shortcomings, I disagree that following Jesus is “all about” this. I would say that this is only PART of following Jesus. In its entirety, following Jesus means BECOMING LIKE Jesus–thinking about and doing things in ways that resemble His character and holiness. To be sure, a huge aspect of Jesus’ character (and God the Father’s) is to graciously and crazily love sinners. However, an equally huge aspect of Jesus’ character is His holiness and justice. That’s why–shockingly to some–Jesus frequently calls out the sin of others (e.g., the Pharisees, Zacchaeus, the Samaritan woman, etc.). However, he always does so with a focus on their worth as individual beings and with a desire to forgive them and save their eternal souls.

      Therefore, I urge you to consider the fact that Christians should treat people homosexuals (and any other type of sinner) “just like Jesus” treated the Samaritan woman, for example. That is, we should love them, befriend them, converse with them, and treat them with dignity and respect–with an aim toward pointing them to where they can have “living water” (eternal life). However, to do this, we must follow Jesus’ example–He explicitly pointed out that the Samaritan woman was living in sin (with an unmarried man). But, he then offered her love and forgiveness anyway! THAT’S what makes God’s love so CRAZY–He’s willing to forgive something that He hates (sin)! Here’s another C.S. Lewis quote: “To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable (sin) in you.”

      Let us do the same. Someone won’t go to the doctor unless they know they’re sick. In the same way, someone won’t run to Jesus for salvation from sin unless they know they’re sinners. So, in order to loving save people, let’s follow Jesus’ full example–love people and lovingly show them that they are sinners, so that we can lovingly share the gospel, so that they can receive ultimate love–God’s!

      Thanks again for sharing your thoughts, Tim, and if you read this far, thank you for taking the time to consider my thoughts. God bless!

      • http://dailygallen.com/ tim gallen

        hi tim, always fun meeting another tim. :-)

        as for your first question – i came to the conclusion homosexuality is not a sin through simply meeting and getting to know people who are gay. they are people, just like the rest of us. confused, broken, happy, sad, joy-filled, and mad. they have passions and dreams and innate desires. just about all i’ve met have had similar stories of “just knowing” they were different from an early age. well, i know what it’s like to “just know” some things about myself deep down inside, too. i’m a writer and for some reason that’s who i am what i want to be. god put that desire in my heart and soul, just as i believe he carefully crafted my friends who are gay as they are. why did he do so? i don’t know. but i believe he certainly had a purpose. (he is god, after all.) from my experience in knowing people, i just don’t believe our loving and awesome god believing these people who he loves and adores are sinning because of an innate difference he instilled in them from the very beginning.

        do i think there are people who do choose to be gay? yes, i do. but people so easily overlook the complexities of being human. we also overlook our species’ overarching desire for love, affection, and acceptance. so it’s not unreasonable to think people would choose homosexuality as a way to achieve acceptance or love or affection if they have been unable to find it elsewhere. however, this still does not equate it to being “wrong” to me.
        as far as scripture, up front i admit i am not a biblical scholar nor have i read the thing through and through. but when people point to passages like in 1 corinthians (can’t remember the chapter, sorry) where paul writes about how sinners of varying degrees including (depending on translation) sodomites or homosexuals or men who lay with men, they forget they are reading a translation. and likely an imperfect one at that. we lose so much with our modern translations in terms of cultural mores and significance. i apologize for not having actual citations or sources handy but i do recall reading/hearing/whatever somewhere that the sin of sodomy is more in the heart than the actual act. it is the “dominance” intention of the act rather than the act itself. therefore what is sinful is the “i am making you (feel) inferior to me by performing this act upon you.” why is this sinful? to me, it is because in god’s eyes we are all equal. none is greater than the other, so to perform something that creates a higher and lower status between people goes against what god intends for us. therefore, two men together in a loving manner, to me, would not equate as sinful.

        phew! heavy stuff, i know, and people are sure to disagree with me, i’ve no doubt.

        i agree with your comment about having to live more like jesus. of course he points out sin and hates it and wants people to cease sinning. sin is what inherently separates us from god in the first place. it is only through jesus’ sacrifice on the cross that washes away the stain of sin and thus reconnects us with god the father and assures we can come home once our time on this earth is finished. i agree we should tell people they are committing sins. but i still believe love is the lifeblood (ha!) of everything related to jesus and what he came down to do.

        thanks so much for the questions and comment, tim. i hope i did them justice.

        • WhatDoIBelieve

          Tim, I think you bring up a problem that is inherent in talking about homosexuality. The distinction between “being homosexual” and “engaging in behavior that is not condoned by the Bible.” I believe that one can make that distinction and still be theologically sound, although I am writing it here so I would love to hear others (and your) thoughts.

          From a heterosexuals (mine) point of view, being gay is the same as being straight only with the genders reversed. I haven’t found any references in the Bible that lead me to believe that this is a sin regardless of orientation. I am talking purely about attraction.

          The problem for both orientations is that we take that attraction and turn it into something sinful. We lust, we engage in sex out of marriage, and everything else that our sinful nature leads us too. This too is not orientation specific. It is a sin for both.

          I don’t think it is a translation issue. The New Testament Greek is pretty easy to translate and we have plenty of other references to the individual words to translate them correctly. You mentioned it so I looked up Romans 1 in Greek and it is pretty undeniable what is being said. It not only targets the heart condition of lust but it also specific references in English: “males in males” or in Greek: “arsenes en arsesin”. It appears to me to be very that two separate conditions (heart and phsycial) are being reference otherwise the verse would be redundant.

          The big problem is we don’t treat all sin equally. We condemn those who are attracted to the same sex and overlook the rampant porn problem within the church. We quickly condemn homosexuals living together but give a pass to an engaged couple living together. We judge homosexuals based on appearance because on the outside we have it all together even though we are rotting on the inside. We are quiet about divorce for irreconcilable differences but loudly condemn homosexuals who don’t “stop being gay.”

          We don’t show them God’s love so we force many people to manipulate the Bible into meaning things it might not mean because they can feel God calling them closer but “Christians” are pushing them away. Two men who truly love each other and care for each other is awesome and I believe that both orientations can experience that (with varying levels of attraction), however, when it moves to lust and sinful acts it becomes sin.

          • Liz

            you can say there is no translation issue and that still doesn’t change that you are taking a specific passage from the bible and basing so much off it, the words male on male I really believe in the context to reference the power/rape aspect of it. That being said, if you want to take that passage and say that being a homosexual is a sin off it (which I do know is the popular view, and I appreciate that you spoke of love)- the bible also tells you not to eat pig, go to a fortune teller, get a round haircut, get a tattoo, wear any fabric blend, wear gold or eat shellfish… If you think these rules are crazy and antiquated and don’t apply, than why is the old act of homosexual rape still relevant in terms of two people who love each other? this reference has the passages from the bible if you are interested: http://www.11points.com/Books/11_Things_The_Bible_Bans,_But_You_Do_Anyway

            • Tom

              But there are several relevant passages, and none of them indicate that rape, domination or power imbalance are relevant? In fact the Leviticus references say that a man should not ‘lay’ with a man in the way that a man would ‘lay’ with a woman, which seems to me to portray the problem purely as the gender mix involved. And the Romans reference talks of the men enjoying lusting after each other, ie it’s depicting mutual enjoyment and declaring it sinful.

            • Jonah

              Liz, the things you are comparing are not in the same category. You have to understand the distinction between ceremonial and civil laws (the things you referenced above) and moral laws (homosexuality, adultery, rape, incest, etc.). While the ceremonial and civil laws changed with time, the Bible clearly demonstrates that moral laws did not. You cannot just lump them all together and throw out one simply because we no longer “are under” the other.

            • Ashley Burke

              Jesus is the Jewish messiah, and Jewish people do not condone homosexual acts.

            • WhatDoIBelieve

              Jesus fulfilled the old testament law and the new testament clearly speaks to Christian’s ability to eat anything. The new testament also is clear about homosexual relationships in my opinion (we don’t have to revert back to the old testament law for this) specifically in Romans.

              I disagree with the reference to power/rape, but I have thought about it in those terms so I will have to re-read and consider your argument.

              • Tomme Foster

                Concerning food, Jesus told Peter to rise, kill and eat. Peter argued with Jesus and Jesus told Peter that He made it clean. I like to have a little fun with vegetarians every now and then with Romans 14:2 “…he who is weak eats only vegetables.” Of course, I’m taking the verse out of context for humor’s sake, not to have a theological debate on vegetarianism.

          • Jeremy Adkison

            I really disagree with the idea that there’s a translation issue. I would argue that the scribes behind the clobber verses were not understanding or responding to homosexuality as we think of it, as Tim described it.

            It was a Bronze Age society, they didn’t have the same ideas. Can’t we critically think about this issue the same way we think about women’s rights, and slavery? Why can we exercise critical thinking for that, two issues the Bible flat got WRONG, and not this one?

            • WhatDoIBelieve

              Clearly, I come from the stance that the Bible is God breathed and infallible so we will never agree on the premise that the Bible is wrong.

              I don’t think it is sinful to be attracted to the same sex (as long as it isn’t lustful) in the same way that I don’t think it is sinful to be attracted to the opposite sex. I don’t think teens and singles are sinning by being attracted and desiring relationships.

              The problem is I think the Bible is clear about forbidding the actions of sexual relationship outside of marriage and the Bible clearly displays marriage between a man and a woman. Thus all sex outside of marriage is sin.

              • Jeremy Adkison

                Yeah, and that’s really sad. Imagine never being able to have a family, or a spouse, or a relationship unless you have to force it with someone of the same gender?

                That’s how we feel when we read what you guys profess we do. Suffer.

                Thanks, but no thanks. That couldn’t have less to do with God.

                • Sanders

                  Life is suffering man, that’s Biblical as well. It’s written that those who follow after Christ will at times suffer for it. Having a family, spouse, or relationship are not required for God to fulfill His purpose for you in life. He is bigger than that. He continually calls us to follow Him, to TRUST Him. If you decide your own desires, interpretations, and feelings about right and wrong supersede His Word, you are placing your trust in yourself instead. We place our trust in the Bible because it doesn’t change. It is a solid, working foundation for faith. Cultural standards are a moving target created by fallible, fallen mankind.

                  • Jeremy Adkison

                    I’m not going to mangle my life, and rob myself of intimacy and actual happiness, based off a book that got the simple issue of slavery wrong.

                    For 1800 years.

                    Thanks, but no thanks. I’ll take my Bhagavad Gita over your Old Testament.

                  • Jeremy Adkison

                    Sanders, this is one of those moments where you tell the straight person “You don’t get it.”

                    What you just did was very dehumanizing. Not because you presented a religious view I don’t like, but because the actual thing I was talking about that you responded to was completely neglected and ignored in your post.

                    No family. No love. No intimacy. No one to come home to but a dog.

                    That’s harsh, that hurts, that’s very abnormal for people in the human condition. And not acknowledging the heinous burdens you ask LGBT people to clothe themselves in is just… Well, rude and trivializing.

              • Eric Boersma

                The Bible cannot be infallible — it is self-contradictory. Belief in an infallible Bible is an admission that you haven’t studied the Bible, but instead have drawn conclusions outside the Bible and are then using “God breathed” as some kind of trump card that excuses you from critical thought.

                • WhatDoIBelieve

                  I disagree and I can tell you that I have spent a lot of time studying the Bible. Here is the problem with your beliefs about the Bible. If the Bible isn’t infallible, then it allows us the opportunity to choose to follow the parts that we like and dismiss the parts that we don’t. Then we end up with basically the religion of Eric and the religion of Ryan.

                  I choose to study the Bible, understand it as best as I can with the power of the Holy Spirit, and then apply it to my life as best as possible. And that works pretty well.

                  I do choose critical thought, which is why I back my opinions with Scripture references. Otherwise, it isn’t critical though, it is just about a bunch of opinions. And lets face it, my opinion, your opinion, and even Sammy’s opinion really doesn’t matter. Only God’s opinion matters.

                • WhatDoIBelieve

                  Eric,

                  I just want to clarify something about my beliefs. They are my beliefs based on what I read in the Bible. I am not trying to force them on anyone else. If I am in a relationship with someone and I see them doing something that I believe is sin, I will point it out to them. If they feel convicted by the Holy Spirit (I can’t convict anyone) and they change their behavior, great. If they don’t, I am not the one who will answer for that sin. However, they are my friend so from a heart of love I point it out to them. Likewise, if I don’t have a relationship with them, my words will have very little influence and can be more detrimental than helpful. In the end, it is all about showing people Jesus and letting the Holy Spirit do the rest.

                  I honestly believe that all “state” relationship should be civil unions (including traditional marriage) because I don’t think it is our role to dictate behavior on others on a government level. I don’t choose to partake in relationships that I believe are sin, nor will I condone them, but I also cannot condemn them (that is left for God).

                  • Eric Boersma

                    This is a well-reasoned response. It’s clear that you’ve thought about this, but let me flip the script on you: if you’re not gay, why even bring up whether or not homosexuality, or homosexual acts, or however you’d like to categorize it?

                    Functionally, I don’t believe that I can effectively answer the question of whether or not being gay is a sin, any more than I can say that being a woman, or being left handed or being black is a sin. Those are all things that someone is born as, spends their whole life as, and I am not. I don’t understand the experiences of black people, left handed people, or women. To condemn a central part of their genetic identity is a privilege that you or I might be able to have because we are not those things, we fundamentally cannot understand those feelings or urgings.

                    You’re big on biblical study: I’d urge you to reexamine the stories from the Book of Acts — specifically, Peter’s dream of the animals on the sheets (hint: God wasn’t just talking about food there, read what happens in the following passages and study the history about how that dream dramatically transformed who was allowed into the Church and what the requirements are) and Phillip’s interaction with the Ethiopian Eunuch (with the explicit understanding that Eunuch in the Greek is a catch-all word for “Someone who does not desire woman” — it’s very possible that instead of being castrated, he was simply gay). Reinterpreting the Bible through a lens of Acts that doesn’t dismiss God’s commandment to “Not call unclean what I have made clean” has a huge fundamental impact on the exegesis that you draw from literally the entire New Testament.

                    • WhatDoIBelieve

                      “This is a well-reasoned response. It’s clear that you’ve thought about
                      this, but let me flip the script on you: if you’re not gay, why even
                      bring up whether or not homosexuality, or homosexual acts, or however
                      you’d like to categorize it?”

                      I want a clear understand of What Do I (actually) Believe. I find that posting on forums like this help me understand my own beliefs better as they are often challenged. Generally, I never bring up the topic other than to say the government needs to get out of marriage. Like I said, I would bring it up if I was a close friend with someone who was considering engaging in premarital sex (regardless of gender).

                      I believe you are correct with the case of the Eunuch. Philip showed him Jesus, baptized him, and moved on. He didn’t care about his sexuality and neither do I. I draw the line at sex outside of marriage because I think it is Biblical. However, I don’t use that belief to beat anyone down (God, I pray I don’t).

                      Same with Peter. I am not calling them unclean and I am not condemning them. I would just like to hear how they define marriage Biblically and whether or not the Bible allows sexual relationships outside of marriage. If they can’t back their belief with the Bible, maybe they need to re-examine their beliefs. Again, that is up to the Holy Spirit.

                    • Eric Boersma

                      I’ll apologize — I misjudged you originally, and I’m sorry for that. Many of the things that you said upthread sounded very much like every other person I’ve met who uses the Bible as a means to cover thinly veiled bigotry that I’ve met, but it’s clear that you didn’t just make up your mind and then tried to find a justification after the fact. I treated you inappropriately, and I’m sorry for that.

                      I would also challenge you again — Why do you believe that a “Biblical definition” of marriage is required or even still appropriate? The Bible historically defined marriage a number of different ways (this picture is apropos: http://thumbnails.visually.netdna-cdn.com/marriage-according-to-the-bible_502913cd3d101.jpg), nearly none of which are still in practice today. I shudder when I hear the “Biblical marriage” card played, because sixty years ago, that card was being used to justify the idea that a black person couldn’t marry a white person, and that’s something that I and the majority of Christians (and I would imagine you, but I don’t presume to put words in your mouth) would balk at calling a sin today.

                      There is nearly two thousand years of well-document Church history showing how believers got it wrong all the time. Simply by being protestant, we’re rejecting over a thousand years of Church history as entirely wrong. We’ve already decided to pick and choose which parts of the Bible to believe or not believe, that’s a bridge that was crossed nearly five hundred years before you or I were born. To assume that somehow, after two thousand years of getting it wrong, that Christians are just now getting everything right is seriously presumptuous. I’m not suggesting that you’re doing this exclusively or even in the majority, I’m simply explaining why I believe the way that I do.

                    • WhatDoIBelieve

                      Eric,

                      I had a long(er) reply and accidentally clicked away. Apology accepted, it is often hard to judge intent on the internet. I am sure I have done the same. Forgive me if I come across as overbearing.

                      Shorter version of my reply. I think 1 Corinthians 7 is the most instructional on marriage and the definition. I think it is appropriate because actually doing it (which is hard) can result in a great marriage. I think it is hard to inject race into those verses too.

                      I think the Bible is applicable (correctly done so) regardless of the century we are in. Again, if we pick and choose from the Bible what we believe is valid (or applicable) then it all becomes invalid (or inapplicable) based on our own personal desires.

                      The Church has gotten it wrong. Absolutely. Generally because it tries to force Christian beliefs on others instead of just showing them the Love of Jesus and letting the Holy Spirit work. I struggle to look at Jesus life and see where he forces anyone to do anything. Often it is quite the opposite (Luke 9, John 6). Jesus tells us the truth in love and gives us the choice. He doesn’t force them or us to do anything. But as we make our will more like his will, he does amazing things with our lives.

                      Basically, if we first show love, that gives us the opportunity to begin to disciple others (great commission). Doing so gives us the rapport necessary to speak into their lives. They don’t have to agree with us and we have no right to force them to agree. Then we let the Holy Spirit do what it does best (which is really just about everything John 15:5.)

                  • Eric Boersma

                    A double post here, as a follow up: if you’re truly interested in alternative points of view on this topic, Justin Lee at http://gcnjustin.tumblr.com/ has written a great deal from the perspective of a conservative, evangelical gay Christian. His book Torn is well worth the read.

                    • WhatDoIBelieve

                      I will check it out. I am interested or I wouldn’t spend this much time on a comment thread… :)

        • famousartguy

          Tim G, I say this in love…you are wrong to say homosexuality is not a sin. Yes, gay, non-gay, everyone on earth, we are all the same. We relate to someone or another, we all sin. God is pretty clear that homosexuality is a sin. Relating homosexuality sin with whom God made us to be is a not the same. God did not make us for sin. None of us will ever know whom we really are. Jesus was the only real person that ever walked the earth. Having no sin he was the purest human. He knew who he was. Some deeper thoughts to talk about here, but we don’t need to grey up black and white issues to make others feel better about their choices.

        • Tim Davis

          I agree whole heartedly in what you have said about how wrong it is to
          be cruel in our treatment of homosexuals. But your conclusion that homosexuality is not a sin is based on the same atrocious view of the Bible and Bible
          study that has lead to so many of the problems of the Christian
          subculture?

          After stating “up
          front i admit i am not a biblical scholar nor have i read the thing
          through and through” you should say, “So I won’t say anything else until
          I do” instead of going on and making a declaration about anyone reading
          “a translation. and likely an imperfect one at that.”
          That’s like me saying to someone, “I’m not a doctor and
          don’t know everything about heart disease, but your doctor’s advice is
          probably flawed.”

          One does not have to be a Biblical “scholar” to be a student of the
          Bible and what it teaches. Thankfully godly and gifted people have done
          the heavy work of translating the Bible from the manuscripts. They
          have considered the culture of the original writers and the original
          hearers, the use of the original words in their original time and have
          delivered to us all of the broad brush strokes and specific points of
          truth God breathed upon and into the writings of the authors of the
          Bible so we can read it for ourselves and share it with others in love.

          Even when shared in love, the Bible will not be popular or received well
          by our culture, but at that point we need to leave it with God to
          supernaturally reach those who have heard the truth – not recuse
          ourselves from speaking authoritatively because doing so prevents us
          from moving forward with our plan b of reaching them with love only. By
          being all cosy and adopting their unholy world-view in the hopes that we
          can eventually subvert them into believing the Gospel we are only
          fooling ourselves because why would they bother to believe us after we
          have been subverted to their side first.

          Turning wine into water wins nobody.

          • http://dailygallen.com/ tim gallen

            i don’t really care whether people believe me, honestly. that’s not my job to convince folks to convert. rather, i do my best to show love to people in my life.

            and for the record, turning wine into water wouldn’t be a bad thing for folks who need water. :-)

          • Stephen Goodson

            It has come into my mind that the thoughts of homosexuality is not a sin; it is when you act on those thoughts that are the sin, when you lust/sleep with someone. It would be the same if a hetrosexual male/female lusted or had sex out of marriage, they are both sin. I think that is where I have not yet completely cemented my thought pattern.

            • Jeremy Adkison

              No, I’m not meant to be forced celibate, lonely my whole life, with no family, or fake married.

              Take that version of ‘god’ and choke on it, lol.

              • Stephen Goodson

                It wouldn’t be as fake if you actually liked or loved the woman you were with. I know of some people who have gotten married (to the opposite sex) after they have come out and said they were LGBT. I am 28 years old, still not married. It’s because I haven’t met my best friend yet, I have to trust God is going to provide. I am trying to be happy with wherever God puts me. I have to trust God knows what He is doing. Because I am not Him. I don’t like where I am.

                I wish I had some answers for celibacy, being lonely with no family, or fake married. I think personality wise there is someone is close whether it be a woman or man. I don’t think there is anything wrong with being EXTREMELY close to someone of the same sex. I believe David and Jonathan where closer than brothers, their relationship was tight. I am sure they considered each other family. David took care of one of his sons later as his own son, after Jonathan’s death. I think adopting a child means there is a family. It is something I have considered, if I continue to remain celibate, lol. I wish you luck, and I know God us all no matter. :)

            • Jeremy Adkison

              No. I’m not required to be forced celibate(castrated) or fake married.

              I am not called by ‘God’ to be lonely and miserable my whole life. You take that suffering servant religion and enjoy it on your own time. Leave us alone.

              • http://stephenmatlock.com/ BetweenTwoWorlds

                Kinda weird, isn’t it?

                “I get to be rich and pampered, and you get to be poor. We are equally free.”

                • Jeremy Adkison

                  Also, the correct answer was Hinduism, folks. Turns out Hinduism is the right path.

                  /O/

                • Jeremy Adkison

                  ^ That. Times a thousand.

              • Joyce

                There are some people who actually prefer to be single for the rest of their life. Just because you don’t like the idea of being single for the rest of your life does not mean that those who enjoy the idea of companionship of friends or Christianity and not from a significant other is lonely or miserable – that’s a rather negative and frankly condescending way to view their lives.

                Our Christian ‘God’, as you so put it, did not call anyone to be single. We believe that He created Eve for Adam – so really, he didn’t intend loneliness for anybody. If you are feeling patronizing for some reason, please don’t let it out on Christians. No one is perfect, including some Christians, including me. I just want you to know that homosexuality is a difficult issue to talk about and I don’t believe there will really be a right answer until we see ‘God’ Himself, which may be quite hilarious for you.

                • Jeremy Adkison

                  I didn’t say, or impart, that anyone without romance in their life was wasting themselves, or throwing their life away, etc. What I mean to point out is that it is not celibacy when your world view forces you, no matter what you would prefer, into being forsaking that entire part of your life. That’s not celibacy, it’s a forced castration. There are plenty of people who have no desire or need to be in a romantic relationship, their gay and straight, and that’s fine. That’s okay.

                  I’m not talking about those people though, I’m talking about person’s who are agonized their whole life for something they can’t control, not because their sexuality is harmful but because they have been brainwashed to believe it is.

                  • Jen

                    I HATE the argument you can be gay, just don’t act on it. Who are they to decide who can or should do what? Or comment on it? It’s ridiculous. I’m a straight, married, SDA Christian mother of 2 who is struggling with my decision to raise my children Seventh-Day Adventist because of the “church’s” stand on gay marriage and rights. Luckily, my children are being raised to hopefully choose to leave the SDA church on their own and find a different church that will fit their views of loving and accepting others… if the church doesn’t change by then, but I’m hoping it will..

                    • FreeToLove

                      Jen, I hear you…was in the exact same situation you describe: married SDA mother of two, really troubled by the church’s horribly unChristlike take on this issue. My family has been gently led away from that church, and into something much wilder and freer than I ever imagined. I highly recommend the book The Mystery of Christ and Why We Don’t Get It by Robert Farrar Capon. Anyway, I wanted to wish you well, and assure you that it is OK not to be an Adventist, and that Jesus is alive and well EVERYWHERE! :)

      • http://www.facebook.com/dawn.morris.568 Dawn Morris

        That was an awesome response to an issue that too many go to one extreme or the other on, Timothy! I once had a “cultural Christian” friend ask me how I could let a gay man in my home during a Thanksgiving’s day meal. I pointed out that sitting at the table were several adulterers, an alcoholic, a thief, and when we look at the very heart of our hearts, murderers, haters, gossips…Jesus was explicit about sin. He spoke plainly about it and our need for the forgiveness He purchased for us. We are all greatly in need of grace.

      • Doug

        Amen! i have been reading through these comments and was so glad when I read your response. – Thank you. Jesus’ love is so amazing that He paid the price for all of our sins on the cross and gave us that victory when He rose again. Sin is serious and to say otherwise or minimize it in the name of “love” is to lose the power of the Gospel all together. God IS love but He is also just, and the two cannot be separated. He loved us so much that He satisfied the righteous judgement of a Holy God so that we can be redeemed (bought back) to Him.– True love speaks the truth, even the parts that may hurt, and just like Jesus loves people, because they are people, people made in the image of God, made to live in fellowship with God but sin broke it. To accept and love all people while learning to hate what the Bible calls sin and being uncompromising in our pursuit of holiness is to be like Jesus. To do anything less may make us feel good in the moment but is of no eternal value. It is like getting baptized without repentance, it may be moving and emotional but in the end all you get is wet.

        We are not just temporal beings, we are all eternal and will spend eternity somewhere and that is the truth. To keep the C. S. Lewis theme going: “you do not have a soul, you are a soul. You have a body”.

      • lewr2

        Tim, I believe you missed the end of the verse though. He explicitly told the woman to go and sin no more. No just that she was sinning and living in sin, but not to sin. We like to miss that part of the verse.

        • Jonah

          Thank you! As I scrolled through the comments, I have been waiting for someone to point that out.
          And the fact of the matter is, “now go and sin no more” is a pretty common theme in Jesus’ work.

          • lewr2

            yes sir Jonah! We don’t like it because ‘we’re judging’ others supposedly. No different than NOT telling the alchy or druggie not to go and sin no more. Yes, Jesus does love you, but… go ahead and keep doing your drugs or drinking.
            No… go and sin no more!

      • ByFaith

        Wow. This is what I have been waiting to hear someone say instead of justifying or being defensive. Sin I sin and daily we must pray that Jesus will cleanse us from our sins. We must die daily to self.
        Thanks for sharing

      • Eric Boersma

        “Do not call unclean that which I have been made clean”.

        That’s the command from God that convinced the apostles that it was OK for Gentiles to become Christians without becoming Jewish. It’s the only reason you, or I, or just about anyone at this blog, is a Christian. God was super clear about breaking down the “sin” barriers that were keeping people apart. Homosexuality is no less a part of that than keeping kosher.

    • Ashley Burke

      You don’t think homosexuality is a sin?

      • http://dailygallen.com/ tim gallen

        nope. i’ll admit, i could be wrong. but i’m not too concerned about it.

        • Robby

          Tim, it sounds like you value your own agenda more than what Scripture says.

          • http://dailygallen.com/ tim gallen

            and what might my agenda be, robby?

          • Jen

            Love that response, Tim- if you agenda is to love and accept others without a “BUT” then I’ll have what you are having!
            From: A 30-year-old heterosexual, SDA Christian mother of 2

    • anonymous

      see the problem with that statement is you call being gay a shortcoming… for homosexuals that is who they are, and calling their very nature a shortcoming is hurtful.

      • t

        All of humanity’s nature is sinful without Jesus therefore we are all made out of shortcomings, being gay does not exclude you from this cloak that covers humanity.

    • http://brightenphotography.tumblr.com benharms

      Tim, though I greatly appreciate and share in your sentiment/heart/passion to love the gay community–there is this trend that I keep finding that is growing quite unsettling. I’m troubled by the perceived judgment I hear in the tone of your statement “self-righteous fundamentalist crazies”. Call me crazy, but the irony is not lost here.

      What does it look like for us to love people (and not judge) on both sides of the issue? I want to welcome as many gay people into my life as I can and have a beautiful, mutual and reciprocal relationship with them. And I hope that I can be just as open with anyone else–no matter where they fall on the spectrum–fundamentalist or not.

      We all deserve grace. We all deserve love.

      I pray that I can do my best to embrace all brothers and sisters in love–no matter where they fall on this issue. And as I invite others to not judge–we must be very careful in the language that we use–for it is very easy to judge in the process.

      • Eljay2

        If you look at what Scripture says about sin and grace, I heartily disagree with your statement that we all deserve grace. If we deserve it, it is not grace, it is something we have earned. We all deserve God’s wrath, because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Jesus didn’t come to save the (self)righteous, he came to save sinners. The only righteousness that Christians have is an alien righteousness, that of Christ himself.

        • http://brightenphotography.tumblr.com benharms

          Good feedback, and correct. What I intended in meaning and did not appropriately state, is that we all deserve to be shown grace by one another– as is it is our collective calling as the church to do so, just as much as we all deserve to be loved by one another as Christ first loved us–(self)righteous and sinners, as they are one in the same.

    • powhaha

      Could you please explain why you don’t believe it’s a sin? I’m open-minded and willing to discuss the issue, but I’m just not seeing how you can come to that conclusion after reading the passages concerning homosexuality. I hope that we can have a good, healthy discussion on this matter.

    • tim gaylen

      good post, but it blatantly contradicted itself, so I dont know if you really believe in what you’re writing, or if you’re writing it to deceieve the lgbtq community

      “i don’t believe it’s a sin.. but i’ll still love you” followed by “that’s what following jesus is all about – loving others despite their shortcomings” so you agreed in the latter statement that homosexuality IS a shortcoming despite what you wrote before that..

      • http://dailygallen.com/ tim gallen

        ha! well, touche. so you point out that i stated my response rather poorly, which i can see since you pointed it to me. so, thanks for that.

        to clarify, i do not think homosexuality is a sin, therefore not a shortcoming. but i do believe in loving people regardless of who they are, do, etc.

        also, i’ve often had people mispronounce my last name the way yours is spelled my entire life. that’s pretty funny that there’s someone with such a similar-sounding and looking name as mine. crazy, small world.

    • Sascha

      I feel the same Tim. I dont feel its a sin at all. and every time we show Love instead of judgemental interpretation, we get that much closer to a time in which religion doesnt separate us from others.

      God is good, Love is good.

      We are in this together, brother.

    • WALLY

      GOD SAID LOVE ALL SINNERS NOT THE SINS

    • Alia Matala

      I think a truth in what Pastor Adebiyi is communicating in this article is that it’s not just “self-righteous fundamentalist crazies.” It’s all of mankind. Self-righteousness doesn’t only associated with fundamentalists. It associates with me and you every day. Adam and Eve fell into a lie that they knew better then God! Forgetting this is just trading one sin for another. Sin is natural for us, don’t be shocked when you find it. That’s why we need the Gospel daily and why we must point one another to it daily. Don’t be so quick to think it’s just “those people” with a problem. Let’s be more like John the Baptist in our lives… He must become greater, I must become lesser.

    • Apachecav

      Tim I do not have to disagree with you, God does try re-reading 1st Cor. 6-9…. Your argument is with Him…

    • Hope Bauer

      Tim, I agree with your statement wholly. I think it is important to embrace everyone in love no matter what!

    • Gabriel Florez

      Beware of the wolfs who dressed as sheep that come deceive and only let the sinners hear what they want and not show them the true honest way for there freedom and salvation. Yes god loves the gays and he truly does, but he doesn’t want them to stay that way. Just think of Sodom and Gomorrah and if that not enough:

      9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed,you were sanctified,you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
      —1 Corinthians 6:9-11

  • http://www.facebook.com/alexander.harding.1232 Alexander Harding

    I agree with you Sammy. If we as followers of Christ are to live a life after His example, then we should be living and showing love to everyone. We should not have a list of “favorite” sins to hate on (so often LGBT, drugs and alcohol) . It’s 2013 but there are a great many Christians who love to hate. Lets agree that ONLY Christ was blameless. We are all sinners and equally all offered forgiveness. Lets get past the attitude of believing “the Bible says that I’m allowed to hate ______ people”. It does not.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      “We should not have a list of “favorite” sins to hate on”. Isn’t it weird how that works? I suppose it’s an attempt to cover up our insecurity and shortcomings. I know at least for me it is. I mean, if I can tell myself that your junk is way worse to Jesus than my junk, then I feel better.

      • Ashley Burke

        I think what puts the focus so much on this topic is the fact that those who are gay and pro gay make their full time job to put this issue in people’s faces and to influence the youngest generation without parents consent. It’s easy to have compassion on someone who’s sin neither directly nor indirectly affects you, but the whole pro gay thing is getting more and more in our faces and our families without our consent.

        • Kristin Cox

          I have skimmed this topic and have greatly enjoyed most of the discussion as a total outsider. I appreciate Sammy’s willingness as a sanctioned leader to speak out to his church and it’s followers. His words moved me even though I am not a follower of his religion nor the beliefs of his religion. The simple fact that he is human and willing to admit that he is not perfect and can make mistakes makes me overly happy.

          But to my point. Blaming the Gay community (or any other community, really) for being ‘in your face’ is, to me, the true test of character. These people are fighting for rights just as I’m sure you have done by placing voting stickers on your car or signs in your yard. At this point, it is not a religious issue. It is a political issue. And that is a whole other ball park. Even if you disagree with them, they have every right to protest and proclaim themselves. It is a personal freedom allotted to each and every one of us. There are different consequences for different actions in different countries but they are willing to stand up and fight for their rights, regardless. You shouldn’t be sitting on the side-lines shaking your head at how ‘in my face’ they are. Instead, put yourself in their shoes and imagine that there is a right that your neighbors has but you are not allowed because you are a woman or of a different race or from a different country. They obey the law just as you do. I don’t see why they cannot get ‘in your face’ about the lack of equality based solely on an opinion that what they are doing is immoral. They are not endangering lives nor are they halting our every day lives. The only reason it has become such an issue now is because people like you refused to acknowledge them and their ‘sin’ as a political and not religious issue. If you can’t separate the two from each other, then you are not being fair to you, your children or anyone else you come across. Of course, life isn’t fair but there are consequences for that, too; like ‘in your face’ publicity.

        • Eric Boersma

          If you think it’s bad having the pro-gay agenda in your face is bad, and done without your consent, how do you think gay people feel about being told that they are monsters and abominations who are going to suffer an eternity of conscious torment literally every single day of their lives feel?

          Do you think they signed up for that? Do you think they said “Oh, I’m going to be gay today because I really want to be spit on, stepped on, yelled at and cursed out every day from now until the day I die?”

          You get a privileged life. You get to stand up and say “I really don’t have a problem with those people, as long as they’re not in my face about it”. You get to dismiss them. Jesus came, and died for us, so that none would have to be dismissed. He came not for the rich and powerful but for the meek and powerless. You may want to evaluate which column you fall into, and what you’re doing about it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=510485234 Chris Skinner

    Great post! Love that C.S. Lewis quote. Holy moly. I’m with you man.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Thanks my brother!

  • Cara_L_M

    I struggled with this for a long time, until one day my best friend in the world, and also one of the most faithful people I know (to God), told me she was gay. After that I just couldn’t fathom the idea that being gay was a bad thing. Still the debate went on around me, and I would get all defensive, and I would begin to wonder and all that. Then one day I came across this lecture. Talk about eye-opening! If you truly believe the Bible condemns homosexuality, then you NEED to watch this video. It’s about an hour long, and WELL worth your time, because everything you think you know… well, let’s just say you only know the tip of the iceberg. :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezQjNJUSraY

    • Cara_L_M

      Just to put it out there, this isn’t some guy spouting off, it’s a student who has studied this topic for 2 years straight, and is very respectful of all listeners.

      • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

        Hey I know you :-) .

    • Ahollo00

      It took me years to reconcile my faith and who I am as a lesbian. One day, I realized that it was about my relationship with Jesus that truly mattered. I watched this guy speak about a month ago on youtube, and he said exactly what I had been feeling. I was kicked out of church at 17 for coming out. At this time, I was still a virgin, and had not even kissed a girl, but I knew all my life that I was a lesbian. I fasted and prayed for an entire week before I came out, and I heard the voice of God, as clear as I hear my mom calling my name… He told me “life is too short to limit love. I created you exactly as you are.” I have held on to that for all of my days, and it gave me the strength to come out, only to be rejected by the church for being true to myself, even though I had done nothing with anyone. I was told I was sinful and evil and going to hell simply for knowing I liked girls and did not like boys. I turned my back on God, as I felt He had turned His back on me. It took me until very recently, 18 years later, to realize it wasn’t God who had turned on me, but man… people who claimed to show the love of Christ… I have since found once again my place in His kingdom, and have a close personal relationship with the Father, the Son, and yes, even the Holy Spirit… since that time, God has really moved in my life. as far as the people who bring up the sex before marriage thing, I shall say two things to them… first, we are truly given no choice… and marriage is ordained by God, not the government… and Jesus said “let he who is without sin cast the first stone”… and those who say marriage was created for one man and one woman, I would like to bring up Solomon, who had a total of 1000 wives and concubines… also, concubines were not married to solomon, so I guess one of God’s wisest and most favored kings was also guilty of a lot of sex outside of marriage… and yet, he was continually blessed by God, and wrote a book of the Bible…

      • Cara_L_M

        Thank you for sharing your story! I am so sorry you had to go through that experience of being turned out by your peers, but I am just jubilant that you’ve come to realize that it was indeed man who turned against you, not God. :) I’ve been through a trial or two where I thought it was God, too, but always ended with the same conclusion that He will never turn His love away from us, no matter what man says. We can never truly know His thoughts, but on occasion, we can definitely get a glimpse, as you did. *hugs* It’s truly a blessing to hear your story!

  • Provmomof5

    Great post. When we truly see ourselves for what we are, it doesn’t leave us room to stand in judgment of others. Scripture is clear on the issue of homosexuality, but it is also clear that in the eyes of God, my sin of gossip is just as sinful! I think we like to have a pet list of sins that we consider in their own special class, because they fly in the face of “christian family values”. Yet, scripture teaches that all sin is equal in the sight of God (James 2:10). Jesus commanded us to go and preach to the world and make disciples of all men………we weren’t commanded to change the world’s mind about issues………we were commanded to introduce individuals to Jesus……..and then Jesus will convict them of the sin in their lives…….just like He convicts me of the sin in mine. Thanks so much for a great post!

    • http://www.facebook.com/existential.punk Adele Sakler

      Um, scripture is NOT clear om homosexuality. You have to look at the historical and cultural contexts of those times. Why not check out the book “What The Bible Really Says About Homosexuality’ by Helminiak. It just might open your eyes if you are open-minded!

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Thanks for reading. Good to see you on here.

  • Opewalker

    I think it is possible to love people and still disagree radically, if we see them as God sees them. I am reminded of the song ‘Give me your eyes’ by Chris Tomlin. Loving shouldn’t not be based on what people do or do not do. If that was it, no one would be loved. If we asked God to help us love, He will.
    The gay community may feel hated by Jesus and the church, because we (the church) misrepresent Jesus whom they cannot see. If we let them see Jesus in us, they will feel loved by Jesus. And this may spur a change.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Like I always tell our young adult community, if Jesus were physically here today, so many people who don’t like him now would REALLy love to be around him. They might not agree with me but they’d love to hang with him cause they’d know he cares for them.

      • http://twitter.com/KellyW2010 KellyW2010

        And if Jesus were physically here today, so many people who say they love him now would REALLY hate to be around him. They might find out that hanging with him wasn’t anything like they thought it would be, because he would care for everyone… and them too.

  • http://twitter.com/Douglas_AmongUs Douglas H.

    “Do your thing Mr. C.S Lewis.” Best line. Great and honest post. Thank you.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Haha. Thanks Douglas.

  • jlyn_aka_Jennifer

    I think the gay community feels hated by Jesus and the church because we don’t spend enough time clarifying that Jesus hates the sin, not the sinner. I have had gay friends since my high school days, I was always clear with them that homosexuality made me uncomfortable, that I thought it was a sin, but that it did not define them to me as someone who was so horrible they could not be my friend. Gays and straights can be friends, good friends, it is possible to disagree and love radically.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Hey Jennifer, maybe someday we could see if one of the friends you talked about wants to do a guest post from their perspective? Could be a great learning opportunity. Good to see you over here. Thanks for the support.

  • http://twitter.com/mattschaar m@

    Sammy: incredible words. Thank you.

    I really appreciate all the comments below, and what seems to be the sticking point for many Christians is that they’re trying to resolve their own desire to love the gay community with the centuries of doctrine suggesting that they are to be treated with contempt and exclusion.

    My hypothesis is that has happened is that the Church (with a capital C) has defined an entire group of people solely by their sexual lifestyle; however, for non-gays, we seem to be completely comfortable with evaluating a person by their faithfulness, kindness, perseverance, etc.

    So, what’s different about the gay community, then? Is it because there’s a stereotype floating around that gays are more “out” with their sexuality than anything else? Or is it that non-gays have also been taught, either through doctrine or others or some other medium, that sexuality is a taboo item that has served as the proverbial “forbidden fruit”?

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Good questions Matt…. do you have some/any answers to them? :-)

      • http://twitter.com/mattschaar m@

        I do…and I think the answer to all of them is “yes.” ;)

        I’ve been on my own journey in understanding my sexuality more and more this year; it stemmed from moments in which my romantic partner’s experiences and my own’s didn’t align…and I was shamed and judged for such experiences. It was incredibly painful, but I resolved to ensure that a woman never, EVER would need to question where I stood in that regard. I’ve been richly blessed to be in a relationship with a woman, now, that fully accepts my journey, mainly because she’s been on and processed her own through the lens of a forgiving and loving Christ.

        The more I’ve been open about this, particularly in the church community, the more awkward subject changes I’ve encountered. There have been a few incredibly refreshing conversations sprinkled in, but I’ve come to a further understanding that many of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ simply haven’t been taught to view sexuality in a healthy, mature way. Combine that with the high prevalence of abuse that left many scarred or judged…and you have a perfect storm of diverting, shifting, projection, and a whole slew of other psychological terms that describe a merely semi-functional situation. The church in particular harbors a large proportion of people that are desperately seeking Jesus to rescue them from such a painful past…and He most certainly can and will.

        But when the topic of sexuality comes about – not just hetero-, but homo- too – it’s like teaching a class full of third graders multi-variable calculus: it’s a far more complex investigation of the mind and soul than we’re willing to admit at times…and we would probably expect those third graders to lash out in frustration, anger, anxiety, etc. They just want multiplication tables and an afternoon snack. That childlike tantrum reflex doesn’t entirely go away when we become adults, but contempt and pouting is replaced by rage and anger.

        So, in no short words: sexuality is complex, messy, and incredibly misunderstood by many in the church…and the best defense is to react violently. It’s this backlash that you, and others that are advocates for serving the LGB(T) community from a faith-based perspective, experience when you light a fire under the powder keg.

  • http://twitter.com/IsraelM70878433 izzyphotography

    As a man who is free from years in homosexuality, this article presents many problems. I do agree that the church needs to approach people in homosexuality with Love. However there is a tone in this article that is very similar to the tone of many in the gay community. The message that “gay is the new black” This compassion is simply not true. Believers cannot identity and simply just settle loving someone even though they disagree theologically with people who choose to be LGBT. Because they are caught in bondage. Now I’m taking about the LGBT who call themselves Christians and desire to fellowship with Christians. There will not be pure fellowship. Because of this bondage and blockage really. I have found this to be true in my life. Before I received knowledge and counseling on my roots and causes of homosexual desires, I did receive a ton of Love from people in the church. And this did certainly help me! But it is the beginning. Not the end! It did NOT and should Not stop there. The bible instructs us to Speak the Truth in Love. Ephesians 4:15. The church as a whole right now are exercising two extremes. Either we send the homosexual straight to Hell without offering Love, Hope and Salvation. Or all we show is Love and offer no way out. The Truth that sets free. John 8:32. May the Truth still be with us in Love. And may the church seek knowledge on how to deal with homosexuality. Hosea 4:6. “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge” Israel

    • http://twitter.com/mattschaar m@

      “But if there is a call for growth in the body of Christ, there will not be pure fellowship if someone is caught in homosexuality”

      There was a This American Life episode about Reverend Carlton Pearson a few years ago; you may remember him as the former Oral Roberts protege that began preaching a gospel of inclusion, lost his entire congregation, etc.

      During the podcast, he mentions the visit he paid to a church in San Francisco, one in which most (if not all) the members were gay, transgender, etc. His experience there, to put it mildly, completely changed his perspective on what it meant to live in intentional, Christian community; in fact, it blew his experiences as a pastor completely out of the water. Humbled, encouraged, whatever you want to call it — THIS, to him, felt like community.

      I understand where you’re positioning yourself, Izzy, and I appreciate the journey you’ve been on. You clearly want to see others freed from something that caused you to feel bound and helpless. But one man’s bondage may be another man’s freedom, and I hope you can empathize with the fact that just as much as your homosexuality felt like chains to you, it may be exactly where your neighbor is right now, and will continue to be.

      Our role as the body of Christ is not to tell someone what we think they should be or what they should do, but to understand that the loving, all-encompassing nature of Jesus is our salvation now and forever REGARDLESS of who we are at this very moment.

      • http://twitter.com/IsraelM70878433 izzyphotography

        m, I appreciate your comment. However my comment is for people seeking out and wanting to hear. Offering Hope from chains. It is Not for someone who does not want out. Simply loving as Jesus would does not cut it. As we see all over the New Testament As Paul made clear to the Corinthians. “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11 ESV) So as we can see, freedom is possible and according to Gods will.

    • http://www.facebook.com/existential.punk Adele Sakler

      Izzy you are SO full of BS!! me and other queer people are not caught in bondage. It’s people like you who perpetuate lies and cause people to stay in the closet, hating themselves, and even leading to suicide. i did it for many years. Tried to pray away the gay, spent copious amounts of money on ex-gay conferences and programs to de-gay myself. i prayed everyday for years for g-d to take away the desires. NEVER happened and this is who i am and i am happy and proud! There are gay Christians and i know many. i am NOT one anymore.

      • http://twitter.com/IsraelM70878433 izzyphotography

        Adele, I as well for years tried to pray the gay away. Read Christian books on roots of homosexuality, etc. And God didn’t just take it away. So I gave up pleading and just gave into my desires for 7 years. But I never fully gave myself over. Because I knew from a very young age that something was wrong with me. The church didn’t talk about it. Neither at home. I was not condemned or judged or told to stop my feelings. I just had this secret and all I could tell myself was these feelings are real. But I didn’t like it. The holy spirit in me didn’t either. You cannot pray the gay away. Homosexuality is a choice. The problem is emotional and spiritual. To be free from it requires the individual to work out the freedom as well. Our relationship with God is a two party agreement. God cannot simply do everything for us. And take desires away. We have to choice to agree with God and act on it. To stand against lies. And that is what homosexuality is. A lie. A deception that is rooted in pain from childhood. The ungodly reaction to pain in childhood. That connects to the sex drive at an early age most of the time. And this makes the child confused. Emotionally and Sexually. Unmet needs we want the individual to fill us instead of God. Why are all the stories of abuse, name calling, trauma in the home and school so similar between people who identify with homosexuality? Because all have experienced pain. And its usually the sensitive child. Sensitivity is a gift from God. But it can be used by satan to try and destroy the individual. Ultimately like the bible says. It is idolatry. “Worshiping the creature rather than the creator” (Romans 1:25). Male homosexuality is all sex addiction. And lesbianism is mostly co-dependency. And both share many roots. Relationships are based on compromise and are mostly open. In order to accept and get all of this in me, I needed to be at a place where God showed me and I realized that homosexuality did not satisfy me. And so this is the place I needed to be. And to be free since I exchanged the truth for a lie, I needed to begin to exchange the lies for the truth. In every desire and area in my life. I believed that I would never be attracted to women sexually. (Lie) Today I am married to a beautiful godly woman and I desire her completely. Intimately and sexually. I pray that God will reveal the truth to you and be blessed. In Love

        • BisexualChristian

          I have to agree with Adele here, though I might have chosen slightly different words to say so. My parents, I think perhaps in the same vein as you, Izzy, believe that any gender or sexual “deviance” is caused by some sort of neglect, abuse, or trauma from childhood. As a well-adjusted bisexual woman, I have to dispel that idea. My parents were fantastic, and I was raised in a more loving environment that I could ever have asked for. For my entire childhood, I went to a private Christian school which grounded me in faith and taught me a great deal about the Bible. I’m now attending college where I am a Biblical studies major and I hope to pursue my Master’s in Divinity after I graduate. I was not bullied, I was not abused in any way, I have plenty of friends, I have no history of substance or alcohol abuse, and — though it’s none of anyone’s business — have abstained from sex until I decide to get married.

          I find it offensive and belittling when my Christian brothers and sisters perpetuate the idea that sexual minorities choose their orientation, or that it is somehow their job to guide someone out of their chains. I can certainly appreciate long journeys of sexual confusion and my heart goes out to anyone who has suffered abuse. But these should not be confused with anyone who is comfortable with their sexual orientation and still pursues Christ wholeheartedly. As a student of the Bible, and an avid one at that, I would feel very disrespected if someone from the Church attempted to convince me — no matter how “in love” this was attempted — that I was not allowed to be who I am because “the Bible says it’s wrong”.

          Personally, I believe that God doesn’t condemn homosexuality and embraces any sexual minorities as they are (a belief I did not form haphazardly or without intense study of the Text). But even if that’s not where you fall theologically (as I’m sure many people here do), I still believe it is no human’s place to make others feel like less of a human being or less of a Christian because of their sexual orientation. Plank in your own eye and all that.

          • http://twitter.com/mattschaar m@

            Excellent response.

            I should also note that, if izzy’s words rings true across the entire spectrum – that being, sexual deviance is caused by broken homes and families, etc. – then that means we have an entire army of individuals that are disrespectful toward one another, curt, distant, and unempathetic because of the pain and trauma experienced in the home as a youth.

            My previous relationship was with someone that has carried the shame of a broken home as a child to this day; I still see her fortified walls praised and honored as a sign of resilience, which brings about plenty of frustration on my part…but if we were following some of the patterns of judgment we see in the church, she would have been “gently corrected” and/or excommunicated if we applied a similar assessment of behavior and its roots that we do to sexual orientation. And while my frustration lingers, I would be crushed if someone decided to alienate her because of that past over which she has absolutely zero control.

          • http://twitter.com/IsraelM70878433 izzyphotography

            BisexualChristian,

            I have fantastic parents as well who loved me and still do. But no parents are perfect and they make mistakes. But the point is not so much to blame others, it is how we respond to trauma and pain. But I’m glad to hear you had a good life. I did as well. But not when I was in homosexuality. It is simply a choice. So if gays don’t want to change, gays cannot get angry or feel uncomfortable if someone wants to change right? If God embraces ALL sexual minorities then someone can fall in Love and have a sexual relationship, even get married with their sibling or whomever they choose. Then no lines should be drawn. God certainly puts a standard. If not, then we would do whatever we want. Not even relating this to scripture, but it is so clear and obvious how the sex organs do not fit. The gay theology would say that this is God’s way to control population. And there is nothing to prove or back that. We were created to produce offspring and multiply. Not all, but most of humanity. Bless you.

            • BisexualChristian

              I’m going to have to directly disagree with you here. Homosexuality, or any sexual orientation, is hardly simple and definitely not a choice. I can understand that some behavior is a choice — ie premarital sex, multiple partners, adultery, the like — but the predisposition to prefer one sex over another is not. I imagine that living as a gay person when one is actually straight would be very damaging, or that experiencing a lot of confusion regarding one’s sexuality could certainly feel like chains. I’m not saying that either of those necessarily describe your situation, but I think it’s important to draw distinctions between those situations and people who were born with a certain orientation and are encouraged, by whatever means, to change it (something discouraged by the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and many, many others).

              Scripture is less clear on sexual relationships than one might think. According to a literal interpretation of Scripture, women must marry their rapists, women cannot have sex while on their period, men are not supposed to pull out before ejaculation, men are allowed multiple wives, adultery is only sleeping with the spouse of another person, and remarriage is forbidden. So it seems like there are lots of rules to make up a standard that God keeps, but what on earth is it?

              You seem to make the assumption that sex is expressly for procreation. That’s interesting to me, because the last time I heard anyone say their favorite part about sex was that ‘it makes babies’ was… never. Procreation, while perhaps a beautiful part about sex, is not its only aim. Sex can also create emotional and physical bonding within a couple, can express love in an entirely new way, and let’s be honest here, it’s fun! If your assumption is that sex is for procreation, no one had better be having sex then if they are infertile, have had a hysterectomy or vasectomy, or too old to have children. And just so we’re clear, there is no “gay theology” and I would not argue that homosexuality is God’s way of controlling the population.

              To say that homosexuality is unnatural is also false. It’s found in nearly every animal species. Romeo and Juliet, the famous mated-for-life swans of the Boston zoo, are actually both females. But my point here is not the validity of gay sex. As unclear as sex ethics are in the Bible, ethics about love, and love for everyone, are much more clear. Perpetuating fallacies about homosexuality and people who are LGBT, or implying that certain orientations are to be fought against or changed, is not a shining example of Christ’s love.

              • Tom

                Yep, it’s a difficult topic. But it’s a fallacy to imply that Christ supports homosexual relationships. Yes, he loves everybody, but in Scriptures such as Matthew 19 he portrays Christian relationships as only being heterosexual.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Hey first, thanks for reading and commenting. Also thanks for being honest. Since this post for me is about what’s going on in my heart, I’m gonna let your words do just that.

      Speak the truth in love? I agree completely. 100% biblical. Been saying that for years, only problem is I don’t know that I was doing it.

      One thought to consider. If we allow scripture to interpret scripture, I think many of us will realize realize how much we fall short of the “in love” part of “speak the truth in love”. You know what Paul says love is?

      Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self seeking. It is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (I Corinthians 13:4-8)

      Translation? (and again this isn’t Sammy’s opinion, this is bible interpreting bible) In other to “speak the truth in love”. You must speak the truth with patience and kindness. Without envy. No need to boast. No pride. Don’t be rude or self seeking. Don’t be easily angered. etc etc. You get the point.

      That for me is why I wrote this post. It wasn’t about arguing my theological position not was it about asking anyone to not speak truth and I think I said that in the post. It was about looking in my heart and asking if I’m really loving the gay community the way the bible commands. I can’t speak for everyone else but until the incident in this story, if I’m being honest, my answer would be a big fat no.

      • http://twitter.com/Kingizzy11 Israel Martinez

        Sammy, thanks for clarifying. I absolutely of course agree with offering Kind and Patient Love towards everyone as the word says. I was just going deeper that the church as a whole needs to gain knowledge on Freedom from homosexuality for those who desire it. Not just stay in offering Love. As you know the working out of salvation. But my main point was to make clear that there really is not similarity between Racism on the black community and the homosexual community. Gay is not the new black is what my point is. The gay activists community makes these comparisons to further their need for acceptance and victim mentality. I am not saying that gays have not been treated badly in the church or outside the church. But the pain and trauma homosexuals feel stem from childhood. And it is carried over into adulthood. There needs to be teaching that only God can heal, restore, and set free the lies of homosexuality. But good for you, for God changing your heart. Bless you.

      • http://twitter.com/IsraelM70878433 izzyphotography

        Sammy, thanks for clarifying. I absolutely of course agree with offering Kind and Patient Love towards everyone as the word says. I was just going deeper that the church as a whole needs to gain knowledge on Freedom from homosexuality for those who desire it. Not just stay in offering Love. As you know the working out of salvation. But my main point was to make clear that there really is not similarity between Racism on the black community and the homosexual community. Gay is not the new black is what my point is. The gay activists community makes these comparisons to further their need for acceptance and victim mentality. I am not saying that gays have not been treated badly in the church or outside the church. But the pain and trauma homosexuals feel stem from childhood. And it is carried over into adulthood. There needs to be teaching that only God can heal, restore, and set free the lies of homosexuality. But good for you, for God changing your heart. Bless you.

  • Anonymous

    Wow!!! First, thank you, thank you, thank you! I’m chosing to stay anonymous today as I’m what I’m about to share is very, very difficult for me. I was a lesbian. I think I choose that lifestyle for a long time because people assumed that was me because my best friend was. Before I choose this way of life, my church family pretty much accused me of such because of rumors and treated me horribly. I was no longer welcomed, allowed to teach, or sing with the praise and worship team all because of rumors and showing love/kindness to someone who lived differently. It was then that I walked away from church and the so called “Christians”. I was increadibly hurt and harbored anger. No one showed love, including many in my family. My thought was, if this is what everyone believes about me then let’s try it out. It wasn’t until years later that God convicted my heart and really within the past year that I started making changes. I hated myself, my actions, and the fact that I hurt others close to me.
    I think my story answers your question as to why people in the gay community feel hated by Jesus and the church. I believe it is possible for us to disagree with people yet love them radically. Afterall, Jesus did that for us. I am far from perfect and do things to disappoint my savior daily yet he never stops loving me so why should I not love those who I don’t agree with. What would it say about my faith if I treated them like I was treated? Love gets us much further than hate just like our actions get us much further than our words!

    • http://christymcferren.com/ Christy McFerren

      Beautiful. Your story and stories like yours is so much of why I write and tell my own story. thank you for sharing this today.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Wow anonymous. Thanks so much for sharing your story. If you don’t mind, shoot me an email on my blog linked below. I’d love to feature your story sometime on my blog. Either way, thanks for your honesty.

  • David

    Thank you sir. Often we Chrisitans blame other Christians for biggotry and exclusion and don’t take the time to reach out in love to the people we’ve marginalized. Keep on loving sinners radically. Thank you.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      I have a REALLY long way to go with this David but thanks a ton for your kind words.

  • Jennifer Johnson

    I sometimes am so conflicted about whether being kind, and being friends with, someone who practices a lifestyle different than me is not standing up for what I believe. Thank you for giving words to my struggle.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      You’re welcome Jennifer. I encourage you to really read and watch how Jesus interacted with people who were ‘nothing like him’. Pretty incredible.

  • Sammy James

    That ‘hate the sin but love the sinner’ phrase is complete BS. On top of HORRIBLE theology. You can’t have hate towards something about someone and still love the person whole-heartedly. Disagree. That’s fine. But any form of hate is an automatic relationship killer. Funny how the people who use that phrase or who really hate homosexuality normally don’t have those relationships where they actually act on this. Or if they do I question if both sides feel that same love they think they’re giving.

    • Penny

      I disagree. You can love a family member but hate their addiction to drugs, or love a spouse but hate the fact that they cheated on you or love a child but hate the fact that they murdered. Çhrist loves us but hates the things we do. It’s not impossible, it’s the foundation of Christianity.

      • http://www.facebook.com/existential.punk Adele Sakler

        i disagree Penny and agree with Sammy! Those of us who are queer ate so at our core and it is our orientation, just like you being straight is part of your core and your orientation! So, to hate something about us is NOT loving at ALL!

        • http://www.facebook.com/jasonwert Jason Wert

          Adele, an action you take (engaging in homosexual behavior) is not who you are. It’s something you do. Melding the two in an attempt to try and prohibit people from disagreeing with your actions does little to actually bring people together. You may feel those temptations and that in itself isn’t sinful and that is part of you; the action you take that someone may “hate” is an action and not you.

          • http://twitter.com/mattschaar m@

            Jason, just so I understand: are you implying that homosexual thoughts and feelings are not bad, but playing those feelings out in a homosexual relationship is?

            I just want to make sure I understand the point before I start dissecting it, if needed. :)

            • WhatDoIBelieve

              I don’t know if Jason implied it, but I would like to imply it and see if you believe differently. I am not trying to pick a fight or battle but reading people’s responses generally allows me to more thoroughly research a topic.

              I believe it is NOT a sin to be attracted to someone regardless of their gender. I do believe that it IS a sin if attraction turns to lust or sexual outside of marriage regardless of gender. Now we could debate the “definition of marriage” but would you agree with that interpretation?

              • http://twitter.com/mattschaar m@

                I think that’s a fair summary.

                I also have been trying to resolve my own thoughts on the expression of sexuality in a non-marital context, the main reason being is that our bodies are physiologically not really designed to stay completely celibate. Jesus had to make it very explicit that “not everyone will receive” the gift of celibacy (Matthew 19:12), yet many of us that are completely called to a life of marriage, raising a family, etc. while also trying our hardest to remain celibate.

                I’m committed to abstaining from sex prior to marriage (although I can admit to my past sexual relationships and not be ashamed, praise God :) ), yet I cannot assume that the primitive parts of my brain just shut down as a result. Each of us needs to be prayerfully asking why we have certain feelings and urges — and to create an open space for dialogue about them. My girlfriend and I have made a commitment to abstain from a whole ton of things prior to marriage, but we are able to still maintain some degree of intimacy because we talk about what we want to do while not actually….ya know, doing it.

                Sexuality is an incredibly taboo subject in the church – I’ve encountered multiple situations in which discussion around the topic has been shifted because it makes someone uncomfortable. I believe that the desire to remain celibate can only be truly and completely fulfilled if someone is neither ashamed nor afraid of their sexuality – otherwise, they’ll turn to other methods of expressing it (violence, pornography, etc.)

                —-

                I’m all over the page with this, but does that make sense?

        • WhatDoIBelieve

          I have a question that I think you can probably shed more light on. First, let me setup my question by explaining a bit about me.

          I am straight. My spouse and myself lived together before we were married. I am attracted to many individuals who are not my spouse. Sometimes it turns to lustful thoughts. I do not believe that the attraction is sinful. I do believe that when my spouse and I lived together outside of marriage we were engaging in sin. I also believe that when I have lustful thoughts about others who are not my spouse it is also sin.

          Now here is my question.

          Is it possible that we could be the same at our core? That we both are loving people who want to do what is right and good? That we are attracted to others and that is ok but it is possible for us to engage in *behaviors* that fall outside of what God wants for us? Would it be possible for a homosexual to love me but hate the sin of premarital sex (or lustful thoughts)?

          Or am I missing something?

        • http://stephenmatlock.com/ BetweenTwoWorlds

          “Those of us who are queer ate so at our core and it is our orientation,
          just like you being straight is part of your core and your orientation!”

          I think this is the utter core of the problem of Christians understanding gay people. Christians see homosexuality as a practice, chosen freely as a way to experience something. But my (growing) understanding is that homosexuality is something which defines us as much as straightness or left-handedness or an inability to curl one’s tongue.

          Christians often think homosexuality is a “choice,” as if you wake up some day and say, “You know, the whole time I’ve been straight? What’s that all about? I’m gonna try me some homosexuality.”

          From what I read and hear, most people who are now declared homosexuals had, at some point in their life, discovered their sexual orientation, and it wasn’t a matter of choice. It was about discovering who they are.

          I might choose to follow the Ravens over the 49ers–that’s a choice. But I cannot choose my sexual orientation. That’s built into me as much as my musical talents or my ability to taste and enjoy asparagus.

      • http://twitter.com/mattschaar m@

        I don’t know if hatred describes the emotion that Jesus expresses regarding our behavior. If anything, he hates the presence of sin in the world — if anything, He’s incredibly sad when we become the vehicle through which sin is perpetuated.

        When He says “Forgive them, for they know not what they do”….that sounds like a man that is saddened by the condition of our behavior, not angered.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Hey Sammy, thanks for your honesty. I know I’ve said this a bunch on here already but I REALLY appreciate honesty so thanks. Question for you and please know I’m not trying to get into any kind of argument. I know it’s hard to tell tone on the internet, which is why I’m trying to be super clear on this. I don’t have any secret counter response and I’m not baiting you. I just really honestly want to know what you think…

      is it more the word “hate” that bothers you? Like if someone said, I love this person but don’t agree with their lifestyle, would that change anything?

      Also, do you think it’s possible for two people who disagree on an issue like this to have a genuine healthy friendship?

      Not sure if you’ll even see this bro but again thanks for sharing.

      • PrincessJones

        I don’t know if you’ll see this at this point and I know you weren’t ask me these questions, but I’m answering them anyway. :)

        I’m straight, but I think just saying you “don’t agree with their lifestyle” is not very tolerant either. Much better than hate, but then you get into the whole “lifestyle vs. born this way” argument. Ugh. Do you have to say anything at all about their “lifestyle”? Can you not just talk about other things?

        As to your second question – yes. Some of my best friends are evangelicals (I’m an atheist). Some are even *gasp*!…Republicans! ;) And sometimes we do discuss these differences, but they are differences of opinion and beliefs, and while my friends undoubtedly think my opinions and beliefs are crazy, and vice versa, we don’t say, or even think, that being a Republican or a Democrat is equivalent to adultery, gambling, or drug abuse (no matter how many times the phrase “You must be smoking crack to believe that!” comes up in the conversation.)

  • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

    Powerful post, Sammy. Thank you for your boldness to write it. I’m writing a book on the Church’s response to homosexuality right now. My point is to let people know that people don’t go to hell because they are gay; they go to hell because they don’t know Jesus. It’s time to put the picket signs down and share Jesus’ love over a cup of coffee.

    • http://christymcferren.com/ Christy McFerren

      Sundi Jo! I had no idea you were writing a book on this, too. Love that. We need a chorus!

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      “…people don’t go to hell because they are gay; they go to hell because they don’t know Jesus.”

      Wow. When is this book coming out?

      • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

        Well – I’m working on the proposal and the first few chapters, so I don’t know yet. Praying about making it happen.

    • WhatDoIBelieve

      ” people don’t go to hell because they are gay; they go to hell because they don’t know Jesus.”

      That is a powerful statement right there.

      • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

        Thanks.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=573505544 Christine Hadley

      See, and this is where I, an agnostic spiritualist (I have beliefs in a higher power, just not specifically in the Christian God) have difficulties understanding and relating to those holding a Christian belief; if “we” (that is, people like myself identifying as other than Christian) don’t BELIEVE in the Christian version of hell, or a hell at all, how is it that “we” will end up in this place? It is not a part of our core faith -whatever that faith may be. I fail to understand how YOUR hell is more powerful than whatever afterlife or god my belief may carry.

      • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

        Christine, it’s not my hell. I wish hell didn’t exist. I wish everyone could go to Heaven. Hell is not mine – it’s God’s creation. Unfortunately, it’s very real and many people go there, even people I love.

        The truth is, I should be destined for hell too. I’ve committed sins and my rebellious ways have been outside of God’s will. The only thing that saves me from going there is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, for which I am forever grateful. His grace is amazing!

        I pray you come to know Him. I pray for understanding in your life.

        There is not a Christian God. There is only ONE God, and He desires a relationship with you.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=573505544 Christine Hadley

          On the contrary, I was raised Catholic. I’ve been baptised, I’ve had communion, I’ve even been confirmed within the Catholic church. I have also studied some baptist beliefs, very convinced at one time that it was my path. And yet, in the end, I have turned to what I currently hold, that of a higher power that is NOT and has nothing to do with Christianity or the bible. And yet, all I ever receive is that there is only one true god, but, hey, it’s not MY god, it’s someone else’s god, because, well, there is only one and mine can’t be it. Do you see where I am coming from? There may be only one god, but there is NOTHING to say that it is the god you believe in, or the god I believe in. So telling me I don’t know god and that I have no relationship with god is extremely offensive to me. You don’t know me, and the one thing you failed to ask of me was what my beliefs were before you accused me of not having a relationship with god.

          • Jami

            I think Christine is pointing out an extremely important challenge to the church that continues to convict me personally. I am a Christian. Is this due to family influence? manipulative church experiences? sincere education? personal testimony? cultural significance? existential conclusion? supernatural guidance? location on the planet?time and place? Probably all of the above. I am not a Christian because I am better than anyone else. I am not a Christian because I have a claim or anymore rights to God than anyone else. I am a Christian because I happen to believe that Jesus overthrew the power structures of the earth in favour of radical love and peacebuilding. This is a big deal for me. It calls for a kind of radical listening towards my neighbour that forbids me from telling someone that they don’t know God. I only know my own story and can only work to love from the context that I know. I may disagree with someone. I may even be offended or hurt by someone different from me. Its okay that diversity is hard. But I cannot limit God because God is mysterious, wonderful, and huge, and if I truly believe that I didn’t invent Him/Her, than I can’t decide who gets to be part of the mystery.

            • http://www.facebook.com/brendancw Brendan Watkins

              Christine, I understand where you are coming from. What you need to understand is that belief does not dictate truth. Your (or my, or anyone else’s) belief or disbelief in a Heaven or a Hell does not dictate whether they actually exist or not because our beliefs do not dictate reality. People who do not believe in a GOD at all do not cause Him to not exist. People who believe the world is flat do not cause it to be flat. It is reality that should dictate belief. It does not work the other way around, unless (and yes, I have experience to back this up) it is through faith in GOD, believing that He wants to do something for you that is contrary to what reality says should happen.

    • Tom

      But doesnt 1 Corinthians 6:9 teach that people who engage in gay sex dont make it to heaven, whether they are Christians or not?

      • http://twitter.com/DeceptiSean7 Sean Martin

        Good question! This is actually a common misconception. While this passage seems to convey that these sins are unforgivable, it is actually referring to those who spend their lives practicing these sins without seeking salvation, and therefore enter into judgement defined by these sinful lifestyles. Salvation through Jesus Christ cancels out our sin nature and causes us to be defined as redeemed sons and daughters of God rather than sinners.

        “You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.” -Colossians 2:13-14 (NLT)

        Before salvation, one is bound by his or her sin; whether that sin be homosexuality, fornication, adultery, idolatry, or any other sin, it enslaves the person to the point that their identity is essentially found in that sin in a spiritual sense. But when Christ enters our lives and frees us from our sin, we are no longer bound by that sin, and our new identity is found in Christ.

        Moreover, after coming to salvation, our sinful nature is completely gone and, while we are still tempted and can still fall short, it is POSSIBLE to lead a sinless life from this point on. While this sounds contrary to what many churches believe and teach, it is supported by many biblical AND logical facts:

        1. “When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the CUTTING AWAY of your sinful nature.” -Colossians 2:11 (NLT)

        This verse blatantly states that the salvation brought to us by Christ takes our sinful nature away.

        2. If it were still in our nature to sin, we would not feel the temptation of the devil to give in to sin and the spiritual battle of our redeemed soul; there would be no need for Satan to tempt us to do something which was already in our nature to do. Furthermore, we would feel no conviction of our mistakes after sinning; it would simply be an acceptable normality in our minds.

        3. While the bible does state in Jeremiah 17:9 that the human heart is deceitful and wicked, Ezekiel 36:26 remedies this when God says: “And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.” Though the human heart is sinful, it is replaced with a righteous heart which is conscientious and aware of sin upon salvation.

        4. Jesus told the adulterous woman, “Go and sin no more”. He does not command things of us that we cannot accomplish. This is supported by 1 Corinthians 10:13, where we are told that we are never tempted beyond what we can stand. So while some temptation may seem unbearable, no temptation is totally impossible for us to overcome.

        Like I said, this DOES NOT mean that we as Christians never sin. It simply means we are capable of leaving our sin behind and never returning to it. And if we do fall into temptation and sin again, Christ’s salvation covers those sins, just as it covered the sins of our former selves (which, regardless of whether we sin again after receiving salvation or not, we would still need salvation to redeem us for). Either way, a new life in Christ means freedom from the bondage of sin, and a new identity in our Savior rather than our sins.

        I apologize for the rabbit trail; I hope this answered your question, albeit in a digressive fashion :)

        • http://www.facebook.com/tom.kent.9619 Tom Kent

          I dont buy the idea that “after coming to salvation, our sinful nature is completely gone”. I dont buy that when I feel like doing something that is sin, that it’s due to the devil and not due to my flesh. The natural inclination to sin was apparently shared by St Paul, as he details in Romans 7.

          Your point #2, seems to conflict with common understandings of duality in a Christian, ie a flesh side, and a spiritual side. It is probably the spirit inside that that feels conviction, despite the flesh.

        • Tom

          Thanks Sean. I dont interpret 1 Corinthians 6:9 to refer to unforgivable sins. Rather I assume it means sins that are not forgiven unless the sinner repents of those sins. IE the passage seems to me to state that people who are thieves or are greedy or have gay sex etc etc will not make it to heaven unless they stop doing those things. This seems to include Christians too – the context of that verse talks of the wrong-doings of the Christians to whom the epistle is addressed.

  • http://gracefulword.com/ Jim Hamlett

    Brave post, Sammy. I do think it’s possible to “disagree and still love people radically.” In our disagreement, we must speak the truth in love. In our “radical” love, we must not condone their sin (assuming they are living in sin and not just showing a preference for the company of the same sex).

    An area of sexual sin that seems to be overlooked (or we “look the other way”) is the prevalence of sex outside of marriage. The church needs to spend as much time on this as they seem to be spending on the LGBT issues.

    • http://www.facebook.com/existential.punk Adele Sakler

      Jim, i am a queer woman and not a Christian. Queer people are not allowed to marry in MOST states, so according to you, we are not to embrace our partners fully? That is such BS!

      • Kelly E.

        Adele – I understand where your frustration is. I am a straight, Christian woman but love and accept all people because that’s what I believe Jesus wants me (and all people of the world, regardless of religion) to do. Personally, I don’t think that the government has the right to restrict marriage rights based on their sexual preference, but that is just my personal opinion.

        I think what Jim may be referencing is that there seems to be two distinct branches of thinking about homosexuality for both homosexual and heterosexual Christians. Both branches believe that God loves everyone, regardless of sexual preference. However, while one branch believes that it is not un-biblical to “embrace their partners fully”, that is, they believe that it is okay to actually have relations with their partners, the other branch of thinking believes that although they might be sexually attracted to the same-sex, it is not biblical to act on these feelings or tendencies, referencing several Bible passages that many Christians hatefully spout whenever this debate arises. I’m not saying that either branch is right or wrong, but I think (and hope) that this might clarify a little.

        I learned all of this information through searching through Google more about the subject after my cousin came out to me. He is a Christian and gay and was lost about where he fit. I’m not sure which branch he agrees with, but I think it helped him to realize that there were others like him and that he definitely fit somewhere. Anyway, I hope this helped.

        • http://gracefulword.com/ Jim Hamlett

          You misunderstand me, too, Kelly. What I really meant is that the church seems to be quick to pass judgment on homosexual sin (and I’m talking about the actual sexual act, not just the “attraction” for the same sex), but slow to deal with the proliferation of sexual intercourse among heterosexual singles. Sex outside of marriage is wrong. Period. That is abundantly clear in the Scripture. But it seems that many are willing to throw out the pages of Scripture with which they don’t agree so they can have a Bible that suits them.

          • Mrs. WS

            Great point. I know of a woman in my community (through mutual friends) who, at 19, had a baby out of wedlock with a man she hardly knows. She faithfully attends church and is actively involved in anti-gay discrimination (protests, sit-ins, etc.) I once posed this question: “How is your pre-marital sex better than a gay person’s? At least you had the legal option to marry the deadbeat you procreated with before screwing him.” She had no answer for me.

        • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.hoock.7 Daniel Hoock

          You “accept all people because that’s what I believe Jesus wants [you] to do”? First of all why does anyone need YOUR acceptance? And furthermore, why would you do that because of someone else. Just accept people for yourself because maybe it’s the right thing to do. I am a straight and an atheist. I don’t need beliefs to know that being a bigot is the wrong thing to do. You seem like a nice person, but your motives aren’t coming from the right place.

          • Trevor Leong

            Well, we’re not FORCING our acceptance upon anyone, but it’s generally necessary for any sort of positive interaction between two people. The right thing to do can’t come from nowhere. It’s got to come from some sort of standard; whether it’s another earthly person or a supernatural being, we all derive our sense of right and wrong from someone else. We all have beliefs, whether or not they include the supernatural, and we all do something because of someone else.

          • John Koogler

            Interesting that you state that you’re an atheist, yet you read an article in a Christian publication. I will pray that you are at least curious about a new direction. God is at your door….and will be there if and when you are ready. I’ll pray for when!

      • http://gracefulword.com/ Jim Hamlett

        You misunderstand me, Adele. But it is not the first time I’ve been misunderstood, nor will it be the last.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Jim, I completely echo your thoughts on our inconsistent the church (at least I know I have) has been with moral issues. It’s hard to really engage and love people when we believe deep down we are better than them because we don’t ______ or they are worse because they do ______.

      • Joe

        I spent 15 minutes reading all these posts and appreciate this discussion. Most have well-thought-out reasonable oppinions, whether I agree with them or not.. Pondering my own thoughts, I am brought back to the two greatest commanments: “Love God with all your heart” and “love your neighbor as yourself.” That seems to teach us to walk in the lord and let Him worry about judgement. However, I think lovingly discussing with a gay person their spiritual walk is ok. There’s a difference between understaning / encouraging and preaching “at” someone.

      • http://gracefulword.com/ Jim Hamlett

        Sammy, I’m at a loss to know how to respond to many of the comments here without being misunderstood. Has the Christian community finally reached the low point of humanism: there is no right or wrong? Are we just one big happy family who is to “look the other way” when another family member engages in activity that is clearly contrary to Scripture? Or do we rip those pages of Scripture out because they “cause trouble”?

        I’m not talking about becoming what Tim Gallen calls “fundamentalist crazies.” God save us from that. But there is a difference between gently urging someone to repent from sin, and just being a self-righteous critic. We don’t need the latter, but the church is desperate for the former. In our efforts to love as Christ loved (I’m definitely for that!), we are falling down on some of our other responsibilities to the body of Christ as a whole. When it comes to confronting sin, we’ve lost our backbone.

        • http://twitter.com/mattschaar m@

          Jim, I think you’re addressing the point here: this here forum is NOT the place to address sin. The only avenue in which that must occur is in the heart, and I don’t really trust anyone to convict me of my sin if they don’t know me – and love me.

          The redemptive greatness of Christ is that He DOES know us in supernaturally, overwhelmingly deep and thorough ways, and we have to be far more cautious than I think we’ve been, as a church, to quickly heap conviction and judgment on others.

          I’ll give you a good example: my friend right now is struggling through a breakup, and over the course of the past few months he’s been doing things that has caused his ex to feel intimated, manipulated, and afraid. As I’ve observed this, I’ve asked him what his feelings are about the situation, and ultimately how he thinks SHE feels about the situation. And slowly, as he’s discovered his efforts have been hurtful (in a gracious, yet painful, way). his heart has become convicted.

          There’s nothing in that script that has me telling him that he’s “wrong”, Jim. That discovery comes from the understanding that his actions are causing someone he loves enduring pain, and the wrongness is revealed.

          ——-

          Let’s dig further into this: why is sex outside of marriage, or gay sex, “wrong”? ‘Because the Bible says so’ is a common response. For centuries, this response has been the lynchpin of a church with an incredibly scary amount of power and control over its constituents. It’s caused the proliferation of AIDS. It’s caused millions to feel alienated. It’s justified slavery. You could even say it was a causation of Nazi Germany’s Endloesung. There is JUST as much wrongness that has been caused by ‘Christians’ using “The Bible says so” as an excuse for horrifying behaviors than those undertaking activities that the Bible says is wrong.

          So, yes. Confront sin. But do it individually and lovingly, with gentleness and the self-control that characterizes true discipleship. NOT corporately.

        • Jenn

          I completely agree with you, Jim. “Loving people” does not mean turning the other way when you see them living in a sin. However, there is a huge difference between correcting them in love, and just acting in a self-righteous way. It’s also irrelevant to correct people of a single sin if they don’t already have a relationship with Jesus, since at that point, all of their sin needs to be cleansed.

          One of my facebook statuses a while ago said this: “Yes, it’s true: Jesus loves everyone. However, He does NOT tolerate or accept everything that people do. He HATES sin. So this idea that Jesus is a passive lover is a LIE. He is a beautiful lover of His people, yes, but He hates sin and wants to ruthlessly cut it out of our lives so that we can glorify Him more and experience the love and joy that He offers us to an even greater extent. I’m so sick of the lie that is so strongly believed in our culture that loving people means fully accepting everything that they do without any form of disagreement. If that’s true, then we better stop looking to Jesus as the example of true love.
          {{Jesus ACCEPTS US as we are, but He loves us too much to LEAVE US THERE. And when He enters our lives, He RADICALLY CHANGES THEM}}”

          I also think your point about sex outside of marriage being ignored in comparison to homosexuality in the church is very interesting, and very true. We tend to go right toward homosexuality, making it seem like the “worst sin ever”, when that is not true. Sin is sin, and those that are practicing homosexuality are no worse than those who are sinning in a different way.

          It is unfortunate that us, as Christians, have shown so much hate to different communities, including this one. Lord, help us truly LOVE people, and in that, be bold enough to correct those that are in You in a loving way, as you would.

          Jesus loves you, whoever is reading this! =) Blessings on your day.

          • http://twitter.com/jimhamlett Jim Hamlett

            Thanks, Jenn, for your remarks. I agree with you that if someone is not a Christian, his/her greatest need is to know Jesus (which does involve repentance). Then we can deal with the sin.

            • Denise

              Jim and Jenn, I couldn’t agree with you more and I couldn’t have said it better myself. Loving someone doesn’t mean we love them (in silence) to death (literally). Thank you for speaking up–even though it’s not popular to feel this way. I truly appreciate it.

            • Christine

              My problem with this is, perhaps someone doesn’t WANT to be a Christian. What if they like being spiritual, wiccan, buddhist, or something else. What if they have found their path in one of those or another, instead of Christianity. Just because someone is NOT a Christian does not automatically mean they cannot be a good person. They can still be approached as a person, just leave RELIGION (not necessarily FAITH, but the organized concept called religion) out of it.

        • Sgaile-beairt

          bible is okay with rape, its not a sin per the bible so i dont really think you have any MORAL highground at all!!

          • http://twitter.com/jimhamlett Jim Hamlett

            You’re undoubtedly referring to some Old Testament passages dealing with Israel (some of which, I confess, leave me scratching my head). However, as Christians, we’re under the new covenant as represented in the New Testament, which condemns sexual immorality of all kinds, including rape.

            • PrincessJones

              What did Jesus say about homosexuality?

              • Allison D

                What did Jesus say about embezzlement? About kicking puppies? This is a terrible argument.

                • http://stephenmatlock.com/ BetweenTwoWorlds

                  Well, nothing. We don’t kick people out of church for kicking puppies or embezzlement. We don’t call them harlots hated by God. We don’t keep them from gainful employment or separate them from their loved ones. We generally see these as something we don’t like but we don’t declare them as the one sin that is forever a cause of exclusion from the family of God.

                • PrincessJones

                  Hmmm….reading this over again I see that I simply asked a question. You, however, equated homosexuality with puppy abuse. Way to take the higher ground in a non-existent argument.

              • Tom
        • EdinburghEye

          I think the idea that God made some people gay as an obscene kind of practical joke, giving people sexual desires so that if they act on those desires – no matter if they do so in a loving, committed relationship, or if it’s a casual down-low encounter – it’s all just sin for which they need to be “gently urged to repent” – is one of the nastier modern Christian ideas: it’s essentially the argument that God hates gay people, just dicked up a little as God playing a mean kind of practical joke. I don’t get why anyone would want to belong to a church where they teach that God hates you.

        • Alex K.

          We throw out pages of scripture all the time Jim. If we are honest, with each other there are some scriptures we just plan ignore. Especially in the law area. Do you wear all one material? We all fall short every single day with sin. There are something’s in our life that will never be perfected til glory. Do you treat people that are in chronic sin the same?

    • EdinburghEye

      So do you campaign for lifting the ban on same-sex marriage? Because if you argue that your beef is with people having sex outside marriage, fairly obviously couples who are not legally allowed to marry (and would if they could) shouldn’t be condemned for behaving as if they *were* married.

  • Jjones

    Phenomenal post! Really gets my attention. Thanks for sharing what Jesus puts in your heart!

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Thanks!

  • Katherine

    I am touched and inspired by this article. I needed to hear these words. I had already come to the conclusion that I needed to find a way to be the love of Christ to people who had chosen homosexuality, but I was still battling my need to argue with them. I think of my transgender friend, whom I did not recognize as transgender until other people told me. I love her. I want the best for her. I want her to know Christ so richly that she is led to amendment of life and a deep relationship with him, and I know well that no matter how Christ leads her, reverse surgery is not likely to be the consequence. I need to understand and love homosexuals the same way. This article will give me food for prayer for a long time.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Thanks for sharing your story Katherine. If you haven’t yet, I hope you let your friend know just how you love her. Everybody needs to hear that. You sound like a great friend.

  • http://christymcferren.com/ Christy McFerren

    “I cried because for the first time in my life, I wanted gay people to
    know Jesus loved them more than I wanted them to know my theological
    position.” Yes. This. If only the church could get this deep, deep down in their spirits and never put theology before love again. Thank you for this, Sammy.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      You’re welcome Christy. I have a long way to go with really living this out but it’s a start. Great to see you on here. It’s been a while. Hope you’re well.

  • BrinaHarwood

    My biggest issue with this issue is that it’s an issue at all. That we see them as a “community” at all, though I know technically they see themselves that way.

    I don’t think Jesus sees a community, I think He sees individuals. Is there any other group of people with a sin in common that we just lump together? Does the church take such a specific stance for or against the gambling community? The adulterers community? The fornicaters community? The substance abuse community? The gluttons community? The liars community? I think you get my point.

    Why do we need to debate or clarify whether Jesus would love the sinner and not the sin? He died on the cross for ALL. He loves ALL. He would that ALL men (insert people if you are gender sensitive) be saved.

    I’m really glad that you took the public stance you did Sammy. I think more people with public platforms should do what you did. I think all Christians should make that heart adjustment about people in general. I think above all, I need to make that heart adjustment toward anyone that I somehow feel superior to for any reason. That’s the real issue right? The age old “hey, I’m not as bad as THAT guy” mentality. God doesn’t grade on a righteousness curve using the guy next to us, He uses His own righteousness alone and that is a standard we can never meet without the blood of Jesus.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Brina, you were on fire with this post. I could copy and repost the whole thing. ha ha. So good. This >>>> The age old “hey, I’m not as bad as THAT guy” mentality. God doesn’t grade on a righteousness curve using the guy next to us, He uses His own righteousness alone and that is a standard we can never meet without the blood of Jesus.

      Whoa. (good to see you on here friend).

      • Donna

        Awesome words from the two of you!

    • http://www.facebook.com/rob.fry.908 Rob Fry

      i agree with you about the fact that its not about “community and its ashame that in 2013 we are still discussing how to handle this issue. I dont even go to church anymore because of the stereotyping, hatred, greed, hypocrisy, gossip, and so on, but i still believe Jesus’ teachings. But the church should look at this issue and learn from it. Look at the acceptance that the lbgtqa community shows…they accept everyone and everything, people and persecution. If the church cared about the message of love, true love, the way these “lost and evil sinners” do…imagine the impact it would have on the world.

      • Tom Dennison

        Hey Rob. I liked Sammy’s article too but it doesn’t work to just turn the whole thing upside down and think that’s OK. Rob aren’t you being a big hypocrite because you stopped going to church. Because the churchgoers (oops, maybe that’s a “community stereotype) behave poorly you don’t want to be around them. Stereotyping? Rob you’re the champion. You just stereotyped church people as hateful, greedy, gossiping hypocrites. That’s funny; I go to an evangelical church and my church friends don’t hate people (including gays), are generous, are paranoid about gossiping and really seek to live by the standards they preach. They are not perfect, but nor are they the straw man that you set up. Then you stereotype the gays as being loving accepting martyrs. Why is it then, that I am labeled as a “gay bashing homophobe” because I recognize that the Bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin. Rob, judging by your comments (though you are probably actually a nice guy) you may be in danger of becoming a “christian bashing churchphobe”. We are all sinners in need of forgiveness; the churchy people and the gays. You said you believed in Jesus’ teachings. What about, “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” Are you really on board with Jesus or do you want to sit on the sidelines and take potshots.

        • Christine

          I’ve just always been very curious about where EXACTLY (that is, give me book and chapter and verse, please) where the bible says homosexuality is a sin. I’m not disparaging anyone, I just really want to know where it says that. Not necessarily in those three words, but with that precise meaning.

          • http://www.facebook.com/mateotrono Mateo Trono

            It doesn’t.

          • Anonymous

            leviticus 18:22 and 20:13. for the later, it obviously doesnt apply today as we dont do that sort of thing now adays as its not socially acceptable, and is against the laws of the land. Both state that it is detestable. i dont actually know what hebrew word is used for that, and i would very much like to know.

            • http://twitter.com/LRothCulli Lindsey Roth Culli

              In Leviticus the translated word in 18:22 “abomination” (or “detestable”) is actually the Hebrew word “toevah.” It doesn’t mean “inherently evil,” it means ritually unclean or taboo. It’s applied with equal weight to eating shellfish or pork, and trimming ones facial hair.

              A stock phrase that occurs often in the OT is “toevah ha-goyim” which concerns things that call to mind “Gentile uncleanliness” and not, as people who often cite this passage would have, immorality.

              The Hebrew word “zimah” could have been used in any of these places (but was not). It means something “inherently wrong” or “a sin” not just a cultural faux pas.

              • Mrs. WS

                Lindsey, that is quite possibly the most astute reply I’ve read here. Thank you for including the prior knowledge of the word’s origins. As the resident Jew (for Jesus) here, I’ll be the first one to stand up and scream, “I LOVE LOBSTER! I LOVE BACON!” in spite of my un-kosher (or toevah) diet.

              • Dianne

                I looked up the two Leviticus references in the Orthodox Jewish Bible and found the following:

                Leviticus 18:22 reads “Thou shalt not lie with zachar, as with isha: it is to’evah (abomination, detestable)”

                Leviticus 20:13 reads “If an ish also lie with
                zachar, as he lieth with an isha, both of them have committed to’evah; they shall surely be put to death; their dahm shall be upon them.”

                To me that wording looks a lot more harsh than you presented and most definitely that that homosexuality in not merely a cultural faux pas…

                If it were merely a cultural faux pas, why the death penalty is even mentioned?

          • Matt

            First hint of it in Genesis 19:5, then explicitly in Leviticus 18:22, and then just in case you were tempted to think that the law was old news, reconfirmed in Romans 1:27.

            • Mrs. WS

              There’s a historical context regarding sexual slavery and dominance. Please do your research before you blindly follow an American translation of an ancient Aramaic/Hebrew/Greek document.

              • Landon Zohn

                Not only that, but as has been pointed out in various internet memes almost exhaustively for the last 10 years, there are plenty of “sins” in the old testament that most Christians conveniently ignore. Eating shellfish, wearing mixed fibers, yada yada blah blah.

                This is why I have very little if any respect for Christians who call homosexuality sin and treat gays as if they’re anathema. You pick out a couple of verses to condemn a group of people because you see their “lifestyle” as icky but you ignore a tsunami’s worth of other verses that could just as easily be used to condemn *you*. How convenient.

          • Tom

            Christine, it’s easy to get confused on this topic, depending on what you mean by ‘homosexuality’. I dont believe there is anywhere in the Bible where it states that it is a sin to be attracted to members of your own gender. IE it’s not a sin to be a “celibate homosexual”. But as Matt has pointed out in his reply, there are various passages that indicate that homosexual sex is sinful, including 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10.

          • http://www.facebook.com/beth.wells.7503 Beth Wells

            Also in 2 Corinthians 6:9 to add to Matt’s references. There are many more references to sexual immmorality that include homosexuality.

            • http://twitter.com/LRothCulli Lindsey Roth Culli

              Many… or, you know, five (or eight, depending on how/what you count and translation). Seriously. That’s it. You know how many times the bible mentions love? (~550) Pride? (~100). Heck, Barley (as in, the grain) gets 37 mentions.

        • http://twitter.com/LRothCulli Lindsey Roth Culli

          This feels a bit like pointing out a speck in another’s eye when we’ve got logs in our own. The thing is, the gay community (or whatever you want to call it– the collective assemblage of individuals who identify as gay) doesn’t have a directive to reach the nations. We do. Jesus didn’t say “Go love on those people who look and talk and think like you.” He said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” It matters not what the gays (or any other people group) stereotype us. In fact, Jesus assured us the world will hate us. And He said love it anyway.

          • http://www.facebook.com/brendancw Brendan Watkins

            Why does it feel as though I am the only one who realizes that there are 2 laws in the Old Testament, the ritual laws (not eating shellfish, not mixing fabrics, not eating pork, etc.), and the moral laws. The moral laws (Jesus and the New Testament writers constantly reaffirmed them) were most definitely carried through to the New Testament, but the ritual laws were not (Jesus and the New Testament writers constantly ignored them). The moral law is there for our protection. It is permanent and quite frankly, for good reason. Look what happens when we do not obey it. I do not know if any of you know this, but in 2010, homosexuals made up less than 5% of the US population, and yet not only were they the only group to have an increase in new HIV infection, homosexuals made up about 70% of all new infections. Total, homosexuals make up over half of all HIV/AIDS infection worldwide. Having same-sex relations is actually considered a high-risk behavior for contracting not only HIV, but also anal cancer (homosexuals are at 3-5 times the risk as heterosexuals). GOD put that law there for a reason. People have a flawed view of why the law was there. Yes, it was to show us how incapable we are of achieving our own salvation. But it is also there to protect us. However, I do agree that this issue should not be an issue. No sin is greater than any other sin. Sin is just that, sin. However, when we stop calling sin what it is, we run into an issue. Where does it stop? In 20 years, is fornication going to not be a sin anymore? I have met people who believe that (most of the laws concerning fornication are, like the ones concerning homosexuality, in the Old Testament, so people argue that it is no longer relevant). What about adultery? Stealing? Bestiality (that one is in the Bible even less than homosexuality, and again, only in the Old Testament. Does that make it not a sin anymore?)? When we start compromising and stop calling sin what it is, taking GOD at His Word, where does the compromise stop?

            I think that the thing that is needed here is simply put in 1 Corinthians 13: Love. Paul said, in a nutshell, that no matter what we do, no matter how great we are in the world’s view, it does not mean anything at all if we are not loving. There is a distinct difference between speaking what is true and speaking the truth in love. Speaking what is true is something along the lines of “You are a sinner. You need to work on that and do this and that.” Speaking the truth in love is this: “GOD loves you. He does not want anything bad in your life, He wants you to be happy and healthy. This behavior could be destructive, He does not want anything destructive for you. Seek Him on this, and He will heal you in His way.” One way is saying that you know it all. The other way is saying that GOD knows it all and He will take care of them how they need to be taken care of. It is taking the focus off of the sin and putting it on loving the person and strengthening their relationship with GOD.

      • Tom

        Rob, it’s not true that the lbgtqa community are more accepting of diversity than most people. Logically it makes sense that they would be, but it’s not the case. Gays tend to socialise separately to lesbians, non-white members complain of unspoken racism, older gays complain that younger gays undervalue them, bisexuals complain that gays and lesbians treat them with suspicion and those that are politically conservative complain that they are treated with derision. The term “lbgtqa community” can be misleading, because it suggests a social cohesiveness that actually is usually not present. They are often nice people, but I doubt they are less discriminatory or more loving, than anyone else.

      • disgusted

        I don’t believe they do care about all people. Why do they walk around the street having parades in front of children in their underwear and nighties like a bunch of hookers? Is that caring that there are children seeing this kind of public craziness? I don’t care what they do in their own bedrooms or backyards, whatever, but what they do in public when it is so blatantly in our faces does concern me. I don’t think little kids need to be subjected to it.

        • http://stephenmatlock.com/ BetweenTwoWorlds

          Is this Mardi Gras you’re speaking of?

          People do stupid, offensive things. That’s been true of public behavior for quite a while.

          I wish people acted better in public. They are broken.

          So are we.

          Christ’s love and compassion are simply bigger–much bigger–than the frankly offensive behavior of some people.

          All I can do is shake my head, wish they’d do better, pray for them, and move on.

          But mostly if someone’s doing something in public, I move around to avoid it.

          It’s the common tension between different cultures and mores. It’s OK that it’s there. It’s OK to feel bad. It’s even OK to keep your kids away from it.

        • Jami

          whoops. didn’t mean to up vote your post because i do have problems with it. sorry. although I sympathize with your desire to give children better context for exploring something as complicated as sexuality. I hope that if parades are too promiscuous kids will find alternate outlets to explore the ‘craziness’ of our repressive society within safe and dialoguing communities (wow! What if the church could be this?!!!)

    • http://jewelfox.dreamwidth.org/ Taryn Fox

      We form communities because we need to support each other, against people who attack us and call us names and compare us to betrayers and addicts and violent criminals just for being who we are in a way that hurts no one.

      • John

        It seems evident that those who are active in “gay communities” believe homosexuality is not a sin, and are being wronged when people try to highlight that sin in their life. In fact, they care enough about that person to say “hey, that’s not right there, you should look into that”. Perhaps insensitively but good advice is good advice, irregardless on whether it hurts your feelings or not. Most “gays” are in open rebellion and take that rebellion against “the man” as a badge of honor. This is wrong.

        • iowawaltz

          Ack. I accidentally up-voted this. I’m not ok with this statement.

          • http://www.facebook.com/don.markle.7 Don Markle

            have sex is not essential in a loving relationship just saying

            • Emilio

              I usually just lurk on articles like this, but I feel pretty strongly about the Tourette’s analogy. I have been diagnosed with Tourette’s. I twitch and jerk and spasm. It doesn’t define me. That’s not even a label I carry around, even though I struggle with the condition and the compulsive behaviors it brings.

              I am sad that one pastor’s apology has quickly turned to a “it’s not a choice” argument and FUs. It doesn’t matter if it’s a choice or not, because the real choice here is putting one’s identity in Christ. And that comes with losing out on other choices. It’s a narrow road where, yes, some of us have to live an “unfulfilled” life. But envying someone who can get married and have sex is about this world. We are called to build treasures in heaven, which is what I strive towards despite my OCD- Tourette’s-ADD heart.

              One last note: Whenever I hear that it’s not a choice, I think about my very gay friend, David, who also suffered from Multiple Personality Disorder. One of his personalities was attracted to women. Go figure. I think it’s a little more complicated than a bumper sticker. But then that’s why the road narrows.

              • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joseph-Coyle/167700658 Joseph Coyle

                I never considered the implication that my analogy made as far as Tourettes defining someone. Not my intention and I’m sorry it hit you that way in particular. Analogies always fall apart at some point. No analogy is perfect.

                On the flip, this idea of “of this world” is not the best one. Judaism saw the wholeness of God as a wholeness that involved the body as well as the soul. That was true shalom and that’s what Jesus came to bring. To suggest that the desire for companionship is a worldly thing strikes me as incredibly false.

                Christianity loves to compartmentalize worldly vs. unworldly to help blacken the black and whiten the white and remove all the gray. It’s bullshit. I apologize for stating it so strongly but it;s just downright bullshit. “Be an acetic or be against God” is what “that’s a worldly concern” really translates to and it’s a bloody insult to the nature of God’s character and to who God made us to be.

                • Richard

                  The Christian life doesn’t necessarily consist of being an ascetic, but a worshipper. If we are called by Jesus to give up everything including our lives what we think will fulfill us, it is not only our obligation, but our greatest fulfillment in giving them up. As I write, I recall the death of Polycarp, singing praises to God as his flesh was torn apart by lions, or the devotion of the apostle John, exiled from humanity with no spiritual intimacy except that he had with Christ.

                  Is our fulfillment in God really fulfillment in anything but God? Or, rather, everything along with God? Because idolatry was the very thing God was insulted by most. He was so jealous, he did not even tolerate worship of gods alongside him. If our fulfillment is found in the appeasement of our sexual desires, are we but idolaters?

                  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joseph-Coyle/167700658 Joseph Coyle

                    I would suggest that we take this idea that “the heart is deceitful above all things and then we absolutely abuse it. God gave us emotions. God gave us a sex drive. In my very very long experience I’ve watched Christians have X desire and then question to the nth degree if that desire was sinful because they were terrified it *might* be a sin against God. It’s garbage. it’s self sabotage. It’s creating a war against yourself instead of believing that if Jesus actually redeemed your heart then you can move forward knowing that your decisions are bringing life and peace. The gospel is simple. Is this a life giving decision? It’s gospel. It’s the will of God. It’s bringing heaven to earth. Is this a destructive decision? It’s gospel. It’s not the will of God. It’s bringing hell on earth. Not that the decision making process is always simple, but I’m telling you that life giving was Jesus big thrust: life and more abundantly. it is for freedom He set us free. Justice, fairness, mercy. All other things are subject to interpretation based on THAT. Every time homosexuality is decried in the Bible it’s because it was being used in a destructive context. The Bible never deals with what it looks like in a healthy context. It’s absent. Does that mean it’s wrong? No.

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joseph-Coyle/167700658 Joseph Coyle

              To deny sex is to deny how we are wired.

              Spice is not essential to keep us from being hungry, but it sure as hell makes for boring food.

        • Liz

          You can’t tell someone who doesn’t believe in the Bible or Jesus that they should change because the Bible says they are doing something wrong. First teach them about Christ’s love and forgiveness. Then let him speak to them about their lifestyle.

          • Mrs. WS

            It is not a lifestyle – is being short a lifestyle? Is being double-jointed a lifestyle? Your ignorance astounds me.

            • http://www.facebook.com/nursetheworld Lynn Simpson

              Most of the sins the Bible describe ARE lifestyle or behavioural choices…adultery, gluttony, pride, murder. Liz didn’t specify that homosexuality is a lifestyle as she didn’t specify only convicting homosexuals of their alleged sin. Her comments were general, but very astute. You, on the other hand, were highly judgmental and not even polite about it. What about taking the plank out of your own eye before you deal with the sliver in anyone else’s? Namaste.

            • ken

              i think there’s a bit of confusion/mislabeling. Having same sex desires (i.e being Gay) is NOT a lifestyle like you suggested. However, choosing to act on your same sex desires IS a lifestyle. For comparison’s sake, choosing to have multiple sexual partners IS a lifestyle, however, having that desire is not.

              • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joseph-Coyle/167700658 Joseph Coyle

                So then it’s just a “struggle God gave us” and we have to either be single or carry out a sexually unfulfilled marriage with someone of the opposite sex?

        • erika

          Maybe you should ask why God made them that way .I feel sorry that you have to live in ignorance and believe in a god that hates .That is so sad for you

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joseph-Coyle/167700658 Joseph Coyle

          Might I suggest an analogy here?

          It’s like if you had, say, a nervous tic. Maybe some form of Tourret’s that causes you to phystically act out in ways that your body can’t control. You’ve seen every doctor you can. Tried a hundred medications. You even went to prayer meetings and healing rooms to seek some kind of restoration from God Himself. You’ve locked yourself into closets in hope that your faith was strong enough to heal you of the problem when you prayed and read your Bible in there. It’s been years of this and, quite frankly, you’re sick of it.

          Then this one dude comes up to you. “Hey, you know that’s not healthy right? You need to get that fixed. Why are you letting yourself be sick? You know that’s bad for you right? If you don’t take care of it you’re setting a bad precendent for other people.”

          Very few people are this ignorant, but I think in this instance the person with Tourret’s would be, quite frankly, stressed out. Angry at the person’s assumption that he hasn’t done everything in his power, hurt that someone would simply decide that he was being lazy and didn’t care about his own health.

          Minus the fact that what I am (gay) is not a disease and it is most certainly not a choice. And I can tell you this because in your post here you are the guy telling us we’re sick when we have already bleed and sweat in order to make it go away because of church pressure. In my case it was 10+ painful, long, humiliating, lonely years of being single and watching my sisters have normal relationships with men and are now getting married or are married while I was going to accountability groups, prayer meeting, healing services, reading books, seeing pastors, locking myself into closets to pray, fasting, and applying any other formula I could to fix this. And I was a ZEALOT. I wanted Jesus more than anything. I went to ministry school so I could share God’s grace.

          So I implore you, right here, right now, to take a good hard look at what you just said. Next time you have this urge to call someone out on their “open rebellion,” (which i would suggest the absolutely self righteous degree of your statement is pretty rebellious in the Pharisaical sense) please consider the sheer volume of pain and the years of utter torment they may have gone through before you open your mouth and rub salt in a wound that is wide wide open.

          P.S.

          I am not the exception to the rule. A huge number of us have gone through this. Exodus ministries has been a part of trying to change people’s orientation for 40 years and even they have finally come out and said that reparative therapy (sexual reorientation counseling) is hurting people, not healing them.

          • Mrs. WS

            Beautifully said. I think the real issue regarding the Pro/Anti Gay Rights Movement is that the Anti- side refuses to see homosexuality as a biological component of a person. Once that “side” realizes that being gay is as controllable as being black or being Asian, the discrimination will subside. We are a 21st century filled with citizens who (mostly – I hope) know better than to hold people accountable for their physical/biological differences. The problem is perception. As long as homosexuality is perceived as a “choice” and not a physiological component of the whole person, it will continue to be the brunt of misguided discrimination.

            • DYLAN

              “…the Anti- side refuses to see homosexuality as a biological component of
              a person. Once that “side” realizes that being gay is as controllable
              as being black or being Asian, the discrimination will subside.”

              There may be a biological component to homosexuality, but certainly not in the way that you are perceiving it. At best, it would be like the biological component of addictions resulting from prolonged exposure to something. In many cases, certain environmental conditions during childhood can set in motion an abnormal psychology which leads to a series of choices towards a new set of personal preferences and behaviors. By the time the person is aware of what they are doing, it is very difficult to perceive the behavior or orientation as something they can control. But it certainly is controllable, as we have seen in examples of adults achieving an orientation shift. You are correct that a black or Asian person cannot cease to be such, for racial identity is both genetic and undeniably visible. Sexual disorientation is neither.

              • Landon Zohn

                And you base this on what non-subjective, non-circumstantial, non-biased evidence gathered from what?

                This is exactly the problem. You have people who cast judgments based on “facts” that are baseless. You have no real information to back up your claim that being gay is a choice so you automatically default to “must be sin”, which is ridiculous.

                • DYLAN

                  I never said that “being gay is a choice”. What I did say is that it has been shown to be a reversible orientation, thus clearly showing orientation to not be on the same playing field as race. And I never said that homosexual orientation “must be sin”. However, it’s important to acknowledge that we are, all of us, constantly making decisions to do things we feel like doing or want to do. Also, our environment is constantly applying unseen pressure to condition us a certain way as well. These are pretty much self-evident truths, and are especially applicable to us during our formative years as children before we are fully self-aware and capable of practical rationality. It’s therefore important for parents early on to temper their child’s wants and appetites with wisdom and self-control. Even Scripture points to the reality that homosexual behavior does not just happen, rather it can be the result (along with a myriad of other behavioral abnormalities) of something else not being right for a very long time.

                  Now, as to your suggestions of biased subjectivity: I actually just got done reading an article from a Harvard school journal on LGBTQ legal policy. The article’s conclusion concerning the biological component (or immutability) of homosexuality echoes what I have stated. The often used phrase “I was born this way” appears to be slowly on its way out, as it is becoming more and more apparent from a scientific standpoint that it was an emotional appeal resulting from ignorance. Unfortunately, well-meaning (and maybe not so well-meaning) people of equal ignorance are partly to blame for backing the LGBTQ community into a corner and forcing them to make such an appeal. Mass media can take the rest of the blame.

                  In any case, its clear that the LGBTQ community is largely done with the debate about biological origins or conditions and is instead shifting its focus onto trying to prove that homosexual orientation should be a protected status regardless of how it originates. This is perhaps a more practical approach to the issue, but is certainly not without its own problems and vagueness.

                  • Trevor

                    Alright, Dylan, when did you choose to be straight?? You’re saying it isn’t a choice but it is reversible. If you tried to love another person of the same sex romantically, it wouldn’t work. You aren’t wired that way. And there’s no sermon or procedure or psychological training you can undergo to change that. Your “straightness” is irreversible. Same thing goes for homosexuality. LGBT people experience the same HUMAN emotions as you do, like love, lust, and betrayl. Just like you loving someone of the same gender wouldn’t work, it would be impossible for a homosexual to love someone of a different gender. It’s biology, not theology.

                    • http://www.facebook.com/megleewebb Megan Lee Webb

                      It’s apparent from my point of view that Dylan isn’t attacking, nor is he making blanket statements about anything. In fact, he is providing some pretty objective, science-based conversation. To simply build off of what he has said in a more simple example (from my experience-which I realize is limited)… I know a lot of gay people, but am particularly close with 4 (two friends, two family members). All 4 of them were molested and/or raped at a young age. They can all point to a time after these experiences where they felt different, and started having an attraction to the same sex. They can also recall never having those feelings prior to those terrible experiences. Thats 4 out of 4. One friend explained to me that although what was happening to him was atrocious, it was still a sexual stimulation happening by the same sex, which he felt changed his sexual orientation, feeling his choice was completely out of his control. A female family member of mine, who had an attraction to boys exclusively before being molested by a man, felt destroyed and empty after, and pursued females after that. She continues to struggle with knowing exactly what her sexual orientation is to this day.

                      Hear me out: Can people be born with a pre-disposition for homosexuality? Probably. Just like I was pre-dispositioned to be incredibly fearful, and others come out lying through their teeth. We are all born with something. We are all fallen.

                      But I think “being born this way” is the exception, and not the rule. I think shitty things happen to children, which creates in them a world of hurt, confusion, and a warped sense of reality. Not just in the realm of homosexuality, but in all facets of life. I don’t know your story, so I don’t dare speak for you or everyone else, but this is what I see in the people I know personally.

                      Please know I say all that with humility, compassion and understanding. I don’t hold fast and hard to what I say, because I know there’s a chance I am completely wrong. But here’s what I do hold tight to: I believe there is nothing on this planet that God cannot redeem. It is our hope that He does that for us, either here on this earth or when we meet him.

                    • DYLAN

                      Trevor,

                      What evidence do you have that my “straightness” is irreversible? Some same-sex oriented individuals have self-reported having a heterosexual orientation to begin with. There is an entire sub-field of psychological therapy dealing with homosexual orientation. It has been reported on more than a few occasions that some individuals who self-reported an exclusively homosexual orientation prior to psychoanalysis therapy have experienced orientation shift toward heterosexual orientation during the course of their therapy. The strange thing was that these were not “conversion therapy” sessions, nor did the individuals express the desire to change their orientation prior to beginning therapy.

                      I assure you that I feel a significant amount of empathy for the LGBTQ community, knowing that they often feel rejected, hated, and greatly misunderstood. I know that some of them acknowledge that they can’t even understand themselves. I realize that it is often very difficult for my empathy to clearly come through many of my words on here. I’m sure I come across as cold-hearted by trying to relay information from professional sources to address misconceptions. But I consider it a much more appropriate thing to do than to repeat what others are saying from their lack of
                      self-control and/or religious self-righteousness.

                      There’s a significant difference between “a choice” and “a series of choices”. As I
                      suggested, there’s a long series of events during pre-adolescent and adolescent childhood that exert influence upon sexual orientation. During these events, there is no one single “choice” that matters all that much. Rather, our “choices” to do this or do that build upon each other, and the choices of others also have incredible sway on our minds and resultant behaviours.

                      I never said it was theology. However, I would question how you came to the conclusion that it is “biology”. What evidence can you present that shows that?

                    • Landon Zohn

                      I hardly see where it matters anyway, even if it were a choice or a series of choices (and I don’t see it as either). The church simply needs to pull the giant redwood out of its eye and stop being hypocritical on these issues. In the last half century, things like divorce are now mostly overlooked, women speak freely in the churches and don’t wear head coverings, and I’ve even seen laws broken routinely. I guess when you’re struggling to be relevant you have to have *someone* or *something* to pick on.

                    • Colin Wills

                      I can tell that you have a lot of confidence in this mindset but you really come off as pretentious and condescending because it’s quite a pile of biased crap. Sorry but I’ve better things to do than explain this to you.

              • Colin Wills

                If you honestly believe that being gay is an addiction you are incredible delusional and will probably never realize it. ” At best, it would be like the biological component of addictions resulting from prolonged exposure to something. In many cases, certain environmental conditions during childhood can set in motion an abnormal psychology which leads to a series of choices towards a new set of personal preferences and behaviors.” So you’re implying gay people had some sort of psycological trauma or that they saw something in early childhood to causes them to be gay? Think about that. That is fucking stupid. Simply asinine. Then explain why homosexuality as always existed everywhere in society; even in places where it is punishable by death. I’ll tell you no one’s being “exposed to homosexuality” in places like that; try again moron.

                • Gary in RVA

                  Very simply God has said that sexual sin is sin. Homosexuality is simply the practice of sexual sin in a particular way. If one is not attracted to the opposite sex than they should stay celibate and not marry. If they engage in any sexual practice while unmarried they are guilty of sin. But the bible also clearly states that men should not lie with men. Men in this case meaning human beings as in mankind not a particular gender.
                  Sin is not measured in degrees. Sin is sin and forgivable by God through Jesus Christ. If you are a believer and have studied the bible then you know what happens if you continue in any sin. You know what the remedies are and the consequences.
                  The problem is that sexual sin is addicting as are many other so called pleasures. The more you partake of a sin the more you want. It becomes like god to you. Like idolatry. You begin to worship the sin. Replacing God with your idol. Again if you have read about idols in the bible you know the result.
                  The point is that you begin to think of yourself and your right to pleasure as more important than your relationship with God. You think you deserve it because God loves you. You begin to equate a physical sensation with love and to think that if God loves you than he would want to deny you this feeling.
                  There is much much more to say but there is a reason God planned life the way he did. The more you read the bible with an open heart and the more you seek out God over pleasure the more you will learn about what life is about.
                  if you are a Christian you have made a start. If you are not the point is moot.

                  • Gary in RVA

                    Forgive me but there are a few mistakes in my previous statement or at least some points I would like to state more clearly.

                    One is here:
                    “But the bible also clearly states that men should not lie with men. Men in this case meaning human beings as in mankind not a particular gender.”
                    But the meaning really applies to both men and women and I think clearly means that men should not have sex with men nor women with women.
                    Another is here:

                    “to think that if God loves you than he wouldn’t want to deny you this feeling”

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joseph-Coyle/167700658 Joseph Coyle

              Thanks.

              And the physiological thing:

              If someone is truly committed to their ideals that same sex relationships are not of God they will continue to see it as “that struggle that God gave you.” It’s not about physiology, it’s about a rigid and unmoving interpretation of the Bible.

          • http://www.facebook.com/krtansey Kevin Tansey

            I too have been through the same thing. Society made 8 yrs of my life miserable because they could realize that I can’t change my biology. I gave my heart to God and He told me I’m ok just the way I am . People speak of this supposed speck im my eye, whilst they have a plank in there own.

            PS. I have finally found the love of my life, whom is also Christian, and he and I have a wonderful life together.

            • http://www.facebook.com/prion.indigo Prion Indigo

              How did you you meet? Sounds like a good story and I’m all for good love stories.

          • mduncan

            I greatly appreciate this article and the authors points. The above analogy is problematic. Tourret’s is not a moral issue addressed by scripture, but a disorder of the nervous system. I have spoken with people afflicted by Tourret’s who say, I may have this disease, but it doesn’t define me. Similarly, you may be afflicted with same sex attractions, but it doesn’t have to define you. I have been married for 17 years. I see other women I find attractive, intriguing and desirable. It is a temptation, but, by God’s grace, I have refused. I understand there is nothing easy for one facing a same sex attraction, but neither are things easy for one who faces an addiction to alcohol. No one welcomes suffering, but it is often in and through our suffering God works most deeply to perfect us.

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joseph-Coyle/167700658 Joseph Coyle

              All analogies fall apart.

              And the point isn’t about scipture addressing it as a moral issue. The point is the way it feels for someone to feel the need to “point it out” after we’ve spent a lifetime trying to fix it.

              You cannot compare this to alcohol. This DOES define me. You obviously have never felt it. It’s like if someone comes up to you and says “you’re attraction to women is sinful and not really part of you.” Of course you’ll tell me “no it’s different” but try being a gay man who has tried being with women for the sake of the Lord and for the sake of not being lonely.

              The comparison you make to alcohol? It’s like trying to compare sex and pizza or diamonds to leather. The comparison cannot be made, If you haven’t been down this road then you haven’t the slightest INKLING what it is you just tried to tell me.

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joseph-Coyle/167700658 Joseph Coyle

              I must confess that “it doesn’t define you” is one of the worst platitudes I’ve ever been fed. The experience isn’t like trying to deal with impatience or anger. It’s like being told that your arm doesn’t belong. They are two entirely different categories.

          • ken

            dasdfasdf

          • ken

            First off, I want to say I’m sorry for what you have endured. I’d also like to present an opposing viewpoint. My analogy to homosexuality (as yours was to tourret’s) is my OWN sexual desires. I am in a committed married relationship and I absolutely love my wife, however, like billions of other people out there, I feel urges for other women. Whether it’s pornography or just passing an attractive woman, these urges feel natural for me. Often, I feel helpless, like there’s nothing I can do about it and that it’s a part of me and who I am. I’m often reminded of what I once heard: “humans aren’t meant for a single partner”… I can’t tell you true this “feels” to me. I feel like I will deal with this for the rest of my life, but I will never accept that it’s not a sin.

            • http://stephenmatlock.com/ BetweenTwoWorlds

              But–the desire for intimacy and sex is a core feature of us as humans. When we block same-sex marriage, we are blocking a core feature of being human from a class of people who have done nothing wrong but simply be.

              Acting out your sexual desires when married means you are being literally unfaithful to your spouse. Acting out your sexual desires with your lawfully wedded spouse is simply being intimate. It is licit.

              For those of you who are straight and in a committed relationship with someone with intimate relations–can you imagine having those same desires and being told that for your entire life you cannot express them, not at all, because someone else thinks you shouldn’t? That you go through your entire life with no connection to another human you desire. Not by your choice–not like a man serving God who goes without human intimacy. But by force or law. That at every point in your communion with God your community expresses how you are shameful and disliked and different, opposed to God and unloved by his people. That you hear sermons and see movies and listen to speeches by your co-religionists who constantly tell you that you are peculiar and perverted and separated from good, normal people? And by the way, if you could just stop loving and wanting love, you’d be accepted. If you could just cut off the part of you that is most human and transcendent and human, you’d be able to join them?

              That is something along the lines of what our gay brothers and sisters experience, day after day. “You are not loved. You are not loveable. You are separate.” and “Come join our church where you will never find a home.”

              I’d rather tell my friends and family and co-workers and co-religionists “It’s a strange and wonderful God we know, and there is a wideness in God’s mercy.”

              • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joseph-Coyle/167700658 Joseph Coyle

                I cannot up vote this enough.

              • Nathan Beecher

                Pedophiles are told all the time that they cannot express those desires. You suggest we change that?

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joseph-Coyle/167700658 Joseph Coyle

              You made a commitment to your wife. I would counter that those desires are natural because, plainly and scoentifiCally, they are. But you committed to curb them for one person. That’s marriage.

              You’re asking me to curb them for everyone always or to take on a wife by whom I will never be fulfilled and very likely will never fulfill. Ask this to any man who is gay and married because it was the “holy” thing to do.

            • http://twitter.com/shandy706 Sabre20000

              I’m not homosexual, but this is extremely flawed thinking my friend. The person you responded to CANNOT act on his love for his partner or love of his life AT ALL in your scenario. You still get to make love to, hold, kiss, and enjoy the woman/sex you are attracted to. You’re telling him “Hey, I get to be with the sex I am attracted too…but not others of that sex. Therefore, you should be able to not act on being with ANYONE you’re attracted to.”

              That makes no sense, when using common sense. Not even a little bit.

          • http://twitter.com/DarciMonet Darci Monet

            Joseph, a brillilant, brilliant analogy. Blessings to you and I hope your heart is finally healing. You are perfect as you are. ♥

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joseph-Coyle/167700658 Joseph Coyle

              Thank you :)

          • Hayden

            Finally, someone has said essentially the same thing I have always said regarding my homosexuality and its relationship with my religion. I grew up in a Southern and VERY devoutly Christian family. I knew I was always different and came to realize that difference was that I’m gay, and that was about age 13 that I fully realized I was attracted to other men.

            Immediately upon that realization I began praying non-stop day and night, and like you said, I tried everything I could think of to find God’s healing of it: I fasted, attended all church events possible, changed everything I could. I thought perhaps I wasn’t praying the right way or enough(even though I was praying almost every waking hour).

            Within time, this made me so miserable that I wanted to be free of the pain so badly I wanted to die. I tried killing myself twice, and the third time I was going to shoot myself, and in that moment I had this thought that God wouldn’t want me to go through non-stop misery as I had done in the previous three years. It was almost as if someone turned a switch and peace entered my life. I’ve never quite figured out if God is accepting of my sexuality, but I have accepted myself because it is something I cannot change. And with all the work I did in those years seeking God’s help and deliverance through whatever work he needed me to do, I know that if I could be changed, he would have done it.

            So that is what bothers me with people saying that it is a choice, an act for shock value, a confusion, a straight up rebellion against God, because as someone who has lived through it and live through it in a personal relationship with God, I know it isn’t. These people are just ignorant and themselves are confused, because I feel like they should be focusing mostly on their own personal relationship with Christ and when trying to win people over for God should go about it in a completely different way, instead of all the wrong people are doing and how “sickening” it is to them they should be telling of how much love God has and the great things he has done in their lives and the peace he has brought.

            I wish I could say what I just said so much better, but I hope this expressed my experience and hope for how things should be.

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joseph-Coyle/167700658 Joseph Coyle

              It’s freeing when you finally come to accept yourself.

        • codywarlock

          Fu*k you. Being gay isnt a sin. God made gay people for a reason. They are part of his plan and are sick of being told that their very existance is a sin. Idiot!!

        • Jen

          i was going to write a long and thought out response, but the commenters below did a much better job than i could have. also i really doubt you have any critical thinking or reasoning skills, so it would be no use. so ill leave it at this: its *regardless.

      • ROJO

        Most of them just don’t get it! We are a strong community that they can’t break or change!!

    • Richard

      great blob Sammy and great reply Brina – Jesus never said love the sinner: hate the sin. The errant church says that. Jesus said love the sinner and deal with the log in your own eye. Tony Campola once pointed that out to me … he seems to reverb Mr. Lewis ~

      • Tom

        The notion of hating sin, is Biblical (Romans 12:9, Hebrews 1:9, Revelation 2:6). “Love the sinner, hate the sin” is not a quote from the Bible, but it is reflective of the New Testament. We tend to be way too superficial about the ‘love’ part though.

      • GumSandal

        Richard, I think you will be interested in the next step Jesus refers to after taking the log out of our own eye (in fact this step facilitates the next step).

    • myGospelLife

      Just wow! You are like Sammy’s article sidekick. This lumping together is the real problem, gay is NOT a race and sin is not a lifestyle, it is a daily battle waged again ALL human life. Overall, the more we can move social categories to census only use the better. Daily life doesn’t require being labeled anything beyond, human or non human.

      What the church needs is the humility Sammy just expressed. 1Peter 5:8 reminds us to be sober minded and not give Satan a foothold into our lives. Political debate has a tendency to stir up wild rhetoric, violence and distain and coupled with theological discourse, Satan is very, very pleased indeed. It’s time we get back to the Lord’s calling of peacemakers as the body of Christ.

    • http://www.facebook.com/megan.stine.5 Megan Stine

      Wow , very good response!

    • Dave

      Oh yes. Like, Like. Like your comment. At first when reading this article I was like “oh great more stuff on how Christians need to love gays and hate homophobes.” (Which it wasn’t, I’ve just sensed so much of that sentiment.) I really started to resent it if I am honest. All I started to see where a bunch of self-righteous people who loved gay people and yet hated the Church. The funny thing is is that I am doing that exact same thing. I am shifting my hate from one group of individuals to another so I can always have a group of people to look down upon. Truly loving my neighbor as myself and loving God with all my heart soul and mind are the two most impossible commands ever given… Still I think my concern, regardless of my reaction, might be valid. Jesus said that when an evil spirit leaves someone it goes and wanders in the wilderness trying to find rest when it finds none it resolves to return to the house it left. When it arrives it finds the house swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes seven more spirits more wicked than itself and they enter the man and that person is worse than before. My concern is that the church may turn from hating homosexuals to hating one another. Which, as you put it, we need to “make that heart adjustment about people in general.”

      • http://stephenmatlock.com/ BetweenTwoWorlds

        This is a great comment.

        I get this kind of response a lot: “You hate Christians. You hate the church and want to destroy it.”

        And I respond. “How can I hate Christians? I myself am one. Christ loves me, died for me, and lives today for me and in me. How can I hate the church or want to destroy it? The church is my home. The church is the body of Christ my savior. The church is the collection of God’s people called to be his salt and light. The church is the beginning of life for the people of this world. I love the church. I love my savior. I just don’t love judgment and fear and hate.”

        People get wrapped in fear and (I think) need things to stay exactly the same so they aren’t shaken by change.

        It is a change to think that God’s love is so overwhelmingly powerful and good that we can let go of our sacred prejudices. It is a change to embrace people we think we should hate on principle. It is a change to attempt to be something we haven’t yet become.

        I have had, quite frankly, many more opportunities to share the gospel/be Jesus to people in the last nine months than I have ever had in the last 40 years of my life since I simply started saying that God’s love is overwhelming, that this is not the make-or-break issue, that gay men and women have the simple right to live their own lives in peace and safety and love and honor. I have had spontaneous chats with friends and strangers, co-workers and family members, people who look to me with tears in their eyes who say “I want to know a savior who loves like that.”

        All my years of tracts and Bible verses and righteousness and exclusion never led to fruitful discussions. Abandoning my prejudice and being a loving guy has opened so many more doors.

        Be Jesus to them. That’s all they want. That’s all they need.

        • Dave

          Yeah. I thought about what I was feeling last night. The funny thing is is that I honestly didn’t look down upon gay people, that is not my issue. (I have enough sexual issues of my own that looking down upon gay people would be way to evidently hypocritical for me.) The issue I deal with is looking down upon people in general in order to feel righteous. So I said that gays are not the problem. But for some reason I didn’t want to look down on homophobic people. Maybe it was because I was once homophobic and I knew way too many homophobic people whom I respected. Then I started hating people who hated homophobes. Not because I hated gay people, but because I could easily see the logical error in doing such, and I needed someone to look down upon. But what the gospel says is that I am made righteous not by a superior act of my will, but that I am made righteous by the superior act of God’s will. I was tired of seeing people esteem themselves better than others because they acted more righteously. This righteousness can take the form of: “well I am not gay.” Or, “at least I am not homophobic.” Or, “at least I am not a homophobe-a-phobe.” True righteousness comes from saying “God has redeemed me not because of who I am but because of who He is.” Because the truth is that without God I am as guilty as both the homosexual and the homophobic person. Even the people who will find themselves in hell I am not morally superior than. My act of accepting God’s grace is perhaps the smallest act of my will.

          • http://stephenmatlock.com/ BetweenTwoWorlds

            This righteousness can take the form of: “well I am not gay.” Or, “at least I am not homophobic.” Or, “at least I am not a homophobe-a-phobe.” True righteousness comes from saying “God has redeemed me not because of who I am but because of who He is.”

            This is a very good response, and I thank you for posting this.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Larry-Branch/753631310 Larry Branch

      Yes I think we need to purpose to only build communties around Christ. after all that is the only job of the Royal Preisthood or ambassadors of the kingdom.

    • JoeNobody

      I think a lot of the negative view of Christians from the LGBQT community comes from the fact that they are so often lumped in with gamblers, adulterers, fornicators, liars, etc..

      When homosexuality is seen as merely a sexual activity, then it’s easy to write them off as people who “do” bad things. The problem is that for LGBQT people, it’s more than just *sex.* It’s about love, companionship, intimacy…to borrow a common phrase used by Christians: “it’s not a lifestyle, it’s a relationship”

      When I realized that, that was when I understood LGBQT people.

      • http://stephenmatlock.com/ BetweenTwoWorlds

        This is very good.

        I can only share my own experience of being socialized to think of LGBQTAI as “other.” Probationary people. Not like real people because something set them apart from us. Beyond the pale, outside the wall. Stubborn in refusing to change.

        Then it was a moment when realize that Christ Jesus died for sinners. Me.

        What was I doing thinking “they” were beyond God’s love and redemption? What made me think I had to somehow specialize the faith in Christ into two kinds: one for us, where we can believe in Jesus and go to church, maybe change our vocabulary a bit, maybe read a holy book more, and then the other for the gay community, where they must utterly reject who they are in order to be accepted, where all the changes must occur first before they will be allowed to participate. Hid

        What was I doing setting up a standard more difficult for these people–part of the human community just like me?

        And then, frankly, a large part of the reason for the change was getting to know people in this community, listening to them, discovering just how very ordinary they were. Some were flawed more than others. All wanted what I wanted–love, acceptance, forgiveness, community, connection.

        I take responsibility for my thoughts and actions. I was wrong to think the way I had thought, wrong to say the things I had said.

        I’m thinking more now, saying a bit less now. Trying to reach the people around me not because they need to be converted or become a conquest, but because they are men and women for whom Christ died, people who are loved and accepted by our common Savior and Lord.

        Who am I to say more than Christ said about sinners and the lost?

    • codywarlock

      Yet here you are lumping gays in with gamblers,adulters, fornicaters. liars etc. Being gay isnt a ‘sin’. God made gay people and they are here for a reason.

    • http://www.facebook.com/megleewebb Megan Lee Webb

      I guess the way I read it, using the word “community” isn’t classifying them by their “sin.” I read it more as a “group of people with a common interest,” much like we call the people active in local economy in our town the “Lake City Community”, or when we refer to our church body as the “Church on the Way Community.”

      It’s neither here nor there for me really, just a thought and a different perspective on the terminology.

    • Robert

      PREACH!

    • Meleah Bishop Allard

      Really like your response here. You should make this into a blog and share it with me so I can share it with people:)

  • http://twitter.com/bwitt722 Brianna DeWitt

    Thank you for these honest, heartfelt words. I definitely think it’s possible to disagree with people and still love them, but it is not definitely not easy–particularly when it comes to an area that the Church has traditionally done a pretty miserable job of showing grace and love. Again, wonderful post, and thank you.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      For sure Brianna, it’s def not easy. On the flip side, it’s really not hard to just ignore people you disagree with. Thanks for reading Brianna.

  • Jeffskat

    This subject calls to my mind a song by Casting Crowns called “Jesus Friend of Sinners”…. It talks about opening our eyes to world at the end of our pointed fingers, and how no one knows what we’re for, only what we’re against when we judge the wounded….. It is heavy on my heart to love without judging and try to find some way to uphold God’s word as a nation…. Hard to do without coming off as a hater, which makes me really sad because in my eyes, I have as much dire need for forgiveness and am no better than anyone else….. I do pray that Christians learn to LOVE first, because that is the greatest commandment… May we ALL learn to walk that walk!

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Hey Jeff, I know it’s hard but for what it’s worth, I can tell through your words that you really do care. I hope my heart looks more like yours Jeff. Thanks.

  • d

    It’s VERY difficult because the LGBTQI (they just keep adding letters) :) community at its core wants to be regarded by mankind as….here comes another “N” word….NORMAL. Since most Christians will never concede that LGBTQI sex/lifestyle is normal, the LGBTQI will always feel hated….I mean who wants to be abnormal? By the way the Bible only says that homosexual SEX is a sin…not the temptation!

    • http://www.facebook.com/existential.punk Adele Sakler

      Um, the scriptures MUST be taken in their historical and cultural contexts. Being queer is NOT a choice/lifestyle just like being straight isn’t! We are NORMAL. Check out the book, “What The Bible Really Says About Homosexuality” by Helminiak if you have an open mind!

      • http://www.facebook.com/jasonwert Jason Wert

        Many of us have read that. And many of us know that Helminiak is completely wrong.

  • http://twitter.com/bitterbloom Rose- Marie

    Thank you for sharing this with me. I keep wondering about where to draw a line between real love; love for all people and being a true follower of Christ. I don’t have to draw a line, I can choose to just love (right?). This post also helps me with questions I have about one relationship in my life. God bless you pastor Sam, I reeeeaaaly hope that one day, the whole world will know our Father by the love we show to all people.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      hey friend. Thanks for coming over :-) . God bless you too!

  • Tyshan Broden

    This is an amazing article. You know Jesus was so true when he said, “they will know them by their love.” I think so many people in the gay community feel hated by Jesus bc he doesnt approve of their lifestyle..I think anyone who has ever sinned has felt hated by Jesus bc we sinned until we started to understand the gospel and see that Jesus came to die for the sin so He loves us despite our sinful nature and desires for us to repent and trust the Holy Spirit to get us out of the sin. I think the gay community feels hated by the church bc the church is full of hurting, broken and sinful people who have sinned against those who are in sin or struggling in sin (this is from the prostitute, the dude with tattoos, and the drug dealer). For whatever reason we become self-righteous and quick to point out another sin and pretend like me aint or arent doing anything wrong. Im so guilty of that. Lord help! I think by the power of the Holy Spirit it is possible to love people and disagree. Without the Holy Spirit I think it will be many fail attempts.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      LOVE LOVE LOVE how you brought up the Holy Spirit. It’s crazy how we can talk so much about loving anyone without the power of the HOly Spirit. Such a great reminder Tyshan.

  • Ruthie Dean

    Unbelievable, Sammy. Thank you for your courage in sharing this story. How terrible racism, bigotism, etc. are in our society! I didn’t even know racism like this man’s still existed. Thank you for your incredible words.

    • http://twitter.com/mattschaar m@

      Ruthie, all it takes is a drive around the suburbs of Detroit to see that it does, both verbally and institutionally.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      It’s crazy isn’t it Ruthie? I think in my head I knew it existed but it was a whole different story when it came full blast at me. Just unbelievable.

  • Anonymous

    I am going to start my comment off with this: I am not part of the gay community, but the trans community. They are very different, though often lumped together. Some trans people like being part of the LGBT acronym, others don’t. I am one who doesn’t because it leads to many misconceptions about transsexuality. There are gay trans people and straight ones. I could go into more details on how the T is unlike anything else in the acronym, but I will spare you the lengthy explanation. In short, if you’re speaking on how to interact with homosexuality in regards to the church, please leave the T out of the acronym. Gender identity and sexuality are completely different.

    Being trans I have experienced the hate that they gay community faces (as many don’t understand what transsexuality is and just call me a fag), as well as the special hate that seems to be reserved for trans people. I was pushed out of my church, lost many of my friends, reputation tarnished, and as a result, am afraid to meet new people and to leave my house. After the emotional and psychological damage that has been done to me I struggle to forgive because in my mind, forgiving is opening myself up to be hurt and abused again. I’m not saying that I am right in this regard, in fact quite the opposite. But I want to show you all why it is so hard for gay and trans individuals to trust and forgive those in the Christian community. I was told by my closest friend that God hated me and was angry with me for the way that I was. I was assaulted physically and abused verbally by people who I called my friends, my brothers and sisters in Christ. Now all of a sudden they have turned into advocates, without so much of an apology for the hell they put me through, but instead say they that everything they did was not as bad as I make it seem since they love trans and gay people and post links to things on Facebook about loving them. I think you can begin to understand why I am a bit skeptical when anyone talks about being Christian and outreaching to me or those like me.

    In regards to gender identity, disagreeing with it is a form of bigotry. You can argue it all you want but it won’t change the fact that you are invalidating me as a person if you choose to refer to me by my birth name and sex. The fact of the matter is transsexual individuals have the brain matter distribution more congruent of their identified sex. (See “A sex difference in the human brain and its relation to transsexuality”, “White matter microstructure in female to male transsexuals before cross-sex hormonal treatment.”) What the church really needs is education. Educating oneself on things such as homosexuality and transsexuality will bring about understanding and compassion, which isn’t that what Jesus teaches? I’m not saying that if you educate yourself on homosexuality you will come to agree with it, I know I personally don’t. Science is a gift from God, we should use it.

    • Emily_Maynard

      Thank you for sharing here. I’m so sorry for what you’ve experienced and I thank you for patience as many of us are learning, but still talking about our relationships with each other poorly. Your perspective is invaluable. I’m praying that you find forgiveness on your own terms, whenever you are ready, and I trust that you will. Peace to you!

    • http://twitter.com/mattschaar m@

      I love that you’ve compiled an incorporation of the spiritual, emotional, AND physiological journey you’ve been on here, Anon. Unfortunately, the oft-simplistic nature of Church teachings on matters of the body, particularly sexuality, ignores that last component more than it should.

      Thank you — and know that this here Prodigal site is one of the more inclusive, open, and respectful communities I’ve observed when it comes to discussing issues that many Christian institutions dare not touch. I hope to hear more about you and your journey!

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Hey anonymous, I couldn’t echo what Emily said any more. Thanks for sharing your story. I’ll be honest, I did know much about gender identity and it’s relationship to sexuality. Your comment was a great reminder of why we all need more healthy conversations regardless of what ‘camp’ we are in.

      But more importantly, I just wanted to say I’m so so sorry for all the hate and abuse you’ve had to endure. I can’t even imagine what you’ve been through. If I could, I would give you a hug right now. I’m so sorry. I know it’s hard to believe but please know that you matter to Jesus so much.

    • Cara_L_M

      Regardless of a person’s position on doctrine and what’s right and wrong, there is never, NEVER, an excuse for saying that Jesus hates you, because that simply is the polar opposite of the truth, no matter the situation. Jesus loves every fiber of your being, every hair on your head, and every little thing that makes you, you. He made you who you are for a reason, never forget that. Thank you so much for your story, and my prayers go with you for forgiveness and guidance, wherever that guidance might lead. *HUGS!*

      • Cara_L_M

        note I said “who” you are, and not “what”. As far as I’m concerned, this should be no different than someone who wants to cover their body in tattoos. Obviously it isn’t, but it should be. It’s a physiological change, and a huge decision to make with tons of thought put into it. It’s not like you rolled out of bed and just changed. I can’t believe the bigotry of some people. Ok, off my soapbox. ;)

  • Anonymous

    I think this is a very good post. For awhile now, I have been turned off from Christianity. Wait. Let me rephrase that. I still agree with Christianity. I am a Christian. I am struggling with my love for Christians. I see a lot of hate these days. A lot. And I wonder where it’s coming from. Have we lost our way so much that we don’t know how to share love with others? I think Jesus would welcome the gay community. I know He would. We’re so into “bashing” and “judging” gay people today that we forget to look at ourselves. And I wonder… is that because our own sins disgust us so much that we feel the need to judge others? That we feel the need to tell others the way they HAVE to live and show them that in such a way that turns them a way from Christianity? A few comments down someone mentioned the casting crowns song “Jesus Friend of Sinners” and I think that song is perfect for this situation. We don’t all have to agree. We shouldn’t look down at someone because they have different beliefs. (regardless of whether thats religious, political, or even moral beliefs) We should learn to love each other, because thats what Jesus would do.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Hey anonymous, thanks for being honest. Loved that you pointed out your struggle with loving Christians because of their hate. Blows my mind how easy it is for our hearts (regardless of what side we are on) to swing to opposites of love. God, change us.

  • Jen

    It’s so crazy simple, to do as commanded. But like you say, our positions become higher than the people in our loves. I’m glad God spoke those words to you.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Thanks Jen. I’m thankful (and humbled) too. Appreciate you reading and commenting.

  • Pingback: The Gay Community and That One Time Jesus Called Me the ‘N-word’ | The Importance of Being Persistent

  • http://www.gabbingwithgrace.com/ Grace at {Gabbing with Grace}

    wow. Completely gasped out loud after that first comment. ay ay ay. I am so so so so sorry that happened to you….it’s amazing & a testament to God’s grace for how He used that in your life to administer so much grace and love. Thank you for being willing to push through and find the redemption in this story. big, giant internet hug.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Haha. Thanks friend. I appreciate that. really means a lot. No exaggeration, I literally wanted to crawl in a hole. I felt SO hated. It was awful but thankful for a God who redeems things like that.

  • http://www.allisonjohnston.org/ Allison Johnston

    Love this message and how you revealed the Father has been speaking to you regarding something very relevant in today’s Church. It is unfortunate to scroll thru the comments and see so many agreeing with you in theory, but very quick to jump to “but we must correct their error” as is the Christian reaction most of the time.

    I wonder, as a body, if we could simply LOVE people. No strings, no theology, no needing to point out sin. Just love. I think this is the revelation you were writing about and whole-heartedly agree.

    • http://dailygallen.com/ tim gallen

      allison, i agree 100 percent! jesus loves every single one of us, foibles, fumbles, and all. our call is to love like crazy, not to bring people to god, convert them or whatever. we are called to love – ruthless, reckless, remarkable, revolutionary love!

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Thanks for the kind words Allison. Here’s the crazy part about your observation. Isn’t it odd how we only feel the pressure to “correct the error” with certain sins?

      Like I said in my post, this was not about what the bible teaches or even policing anyone’s moral conclusions. I just think it’s interesting how so many of us Christians feel such a great pressure to point out our theology on just a few issues.

      Our young adult community at our church has been ‘lucky’ to have guests who don’t believe in God. It’s crazy how we don’t feel any pressure to go into an immediate theological discuss on what the bible says about drunkenness with students who openly get drunk and abuses drugs as a lifestyle. But the moment a gay person comes in the room, we start freaking out. We might not say anything out loud but in our hearts, we are all thinking the same thing… (the bible says __).

      Before someone tries to argue with me (haha), again, I’m just pointing out the hypocrisy in my heart. Change me God. Change me.

      • http://stephenmatlock.com/ BetweenTwoWorlds

        “Our young adult community at our church has been ‘lucky’ to have guests who don’t believe in God”

        This is a great line. We build these enormous houses of worship of the God who calls all men to repentance but no one comes but the repented. It is a wonderful sign of the healthiness of the community when non-believers are encouraged and welcomed.

        I daresay it isn’t luck, though. I think there’s been some careful thought and earnest work being done to make this possible.

    • http://dailygallen.com/ tim gallen
    • Jonah

      Allison,
      And I would say that this idea (no strings/disagreement/theology type of love) is where people fundamentally miss the entire point of the Gospel and our purpose here on earth (to know God and realize that we are, to quote C.S. Lewis, “made for another world”).
      Christians possess the greatest truth—the greatest gift—known to man…that God sent Jesus to be the saviour of mankind and He has provided a way for us to enter into an eternal relationship with our Creator through our repentance and faith in the work of Christ. So I would say that NOT sharing this gift with others is the absolute opposite of love…it is instead the most incredibly hateful and selfish thing we could do to someone. As it says in Ephesians 4:15, we are to speak the truth in love. To use either one without the other has damning consequences.

  • Jen

    I loved your story. I have always felt that people in the church fear looking past the gays and loving them where there at because of feeling like there compromising there beliefs.but in reality were called to love all.and were not to be the Holy spirit police.Thank you for sharing.I hope that God uses this BIG for his glory and that the gay community will see that JESUS loves them all.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      I pray God uses it for his glory too Jen. Thanks for your prayers!

  • Ami

    I couldn’t be more in love with this post. You are blessed with a beautiful heart. Bless you, dear one.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      God bless you Ami. Thanks!

  • http://www.emergingmummy.com/ Sarah Bessey

    Absolutely fantastic essay, Sammy. Thank you for this.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      You’re so welcome Sarah. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • lorisprayercloset

    wow, this left me breathless, truly…..one of the best posts I have read in quite a while. Lori

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Thanks Lori. That means a lot. All glory to Jesus. Not being cliche at all. Really, he rocked me. Honored to share.

  • http://sandraheskaking.com/ Sandra Heska King

    No words. None. Wow.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Thanks so much for reading Sandra. THANKS!

  • Anonymous

    As a lesbian who grew up in the church, I really appreciate this post. I think this is exactly what the LGBT community is looking for from the church, just love and compassion. The line “I wanted gay people to know Jesus loved them more than I wanted them to know my theological position.” is so important. Trust me, your loving response to gay people will be a far stronger witness than any theological position. Almost every LGBT person has heard christian theology that condemns homosexuality, but far to few in the LGBT community have heard a whole-heartedly loving witness from a christian.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      So I had to re-read your last sentence a couple times. Just wow >>>

      “Almost every LGBT person has heard christian theology that condemns homosexuality, but far to few in the LGBT community have heard a whole-heartedly loving witness from a christian.”

      • Barby

        But Anonymous says she wants JUST love and compassion–and no one to say that homosexuality is not God’s best for her. If we love homosexuals and children and youth, we must keep teaching the church and the culture and the youth that there is a better way than homosexuality –a godly way according to his design plan for our bodies.

        • Hannah

          So are we to not extend love,grace, compassion and mercy to Anon? Should we berate her over and over with passages of Scripture she has heard her whole life? Don’t you think that love and compassion are an effective way of being a light and spreading the truth? As Christians, I do not believe that we are always required to take a staunch verbal stance against sin. Yes, it is necessary to know what we believe and adhere to it strongly, but it is often our actions more than our words which reveal Who we stand for.

      • WhatDoIBelieve

        1 Corinthians 13:2 is my immediate thought to that quote.

        “If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.” NLT

        We can have all the theology correct but if we do not love, we are nothing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/afreshmind Ryan Brightside Kuramitsu

    thank you for this post. it is so encouraging to see my Xtian brothers and sisters begin to come to terms with our mistreatment of the gay community. praise the Lord!

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Hey Ryan! Thanks.

  • http://tomjamieson.wordpress.com Tom Jamieson

    Very powerful post. Thanks for sharing your heart.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Thanks Tom. I appreciate you reading and commenting.

  • Kristi

    I have to be honest, Sammy, I saw the word “gay” in the title of your post and wasn’t going to read. I was afraid my feelings about the gay community would be questioned, and subsequently my Christianity. I already feel like an outcast for my beliefs about being gay. Because I can’t bring myself to judge. “There, but for the grace of God, go I” and all that. But Sammy, you floored me! What a beautiful, heartfelt post. You really put everything out there and I’m once again impressed by your real-ness. That’s what makes me read every time.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Alright Kristi, my heart’s gonna explode because of your kind words. I’d be lying if I said I saw this coming. I honestly did want to just quit everything when that guy kept emailing me. Crazy how God used it to teach me about my heart.

      Thanks reading and encouraging me Kristi. I appreciate it.

  • Anonymous

    It is easy to love all people. What is difficult is when sin is shoved in our faces and affects us negatively and personally and then is supposed to be validated. Drug addiction, adultery, lying, greed, cowardice, and all the rest are unacceptable behaviors in the lives of Christians. I read from Matthew Kelley that becoming the best versions of ourselves involves dealing with our weaknesses, not our strengths. We all have them. If we seek truth, we know what sin is. If we are honest with those demons, then we mind our own business and deal with our own sin. I believe we address them through Confession. If a brother is self-desctructive and therefore hurts others with his sinful behavior, we’re supposed to call him on it, in love. The key question is, is it my business? Is it my friend, sister, brother, wife, husband, cousin, son or daughter, etc? The operative word here is LOVE.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Thanks for sharing anonymous. For some reason, your comment reminded me of how much both ‘sides’ need to have more healthy conversations about all this. Far often we want to just “fix it” or “raise our flags higher than theirs” with a smart Facebook status or a one sided tweet. If only it were that easy…

      Here’s hoping for more Jesus centered conversations where we listen, learn, love and speak truth and grace as friends.

  • susierachael

    Very difficult subject. I have a gay nephew. I changed his diaper when he was a baby. I don’t approve that he is gay, but I don’t hate him. If he came to my house to say “Hi” I wouldn’t be able to shut the door on him. I would let him in and invite him for pizza. He is a kind, fun,and gentle person. I don’t know why he made this choice. In fact when he was a teengager, he dated girls. When my husband and I think about him, we don’t feel hate in our hearts. We feel sad and pray for him. I think one of the reasons this is such a difficult issue is because it would be like supporting abortion, alcholism, being mean, pornography, laziness, lusting, greed, envy…..any sin… and saying it’s okay to do it. I have lazy problems. For me to defend laziness and say it is okay would be wrong. If someone hated me because I’m not incredibly ambitious that would just be mean. I don’t believe it is okay to defend sinful behavior. According to my understanding of the Bible, it would be the same as having porn problems and doing it in front of your kids and defending it, saying it’s okay and acceptable. Pornography is wrong. And to defend sin and excuse it as okay when you have a problem with it isn’t okay. But if statistics are correct, more men have porn problems than not. For all I know, some of my friends have problems with it and I’m totally unaware of it. Hating is just wrong though and Christians shouldn’t hate. Life, growth, and love never come out of hating someone.

    • http://www.facebook.com/existential.punk Adele Sakler

      Being gay is NOT a choice! Did you choose to be a heterosexual??? Maybe he dated girls as a teen because of societal pressures. That’s why i dated guys. It was very awkward for me but it’s what society and religion speaks.

      • susierachael

        I still believe it is a choice. Many behaviors we do that God doesn’t approve of come natural. It says homosexuality is a sin in the Bible. It can be backed up with scripture. And I believe everything in the Bible. I could say I was born with OCD or depression which I stuggle with. It comes very, very naturally to do those behaviors. I fight depression on almost a daily basis. Is it fair? No! It totally sucks!!! Could I say I was born that way to defend it? You bet! I am prone to mood swings that are really difficult to control. Is it okay for me to have a fit and fly off the handle?No. It is wrong and I have to repent of it every time I yell at people. Losing my temper is wrong and it is sin. I fight depression every day of my life but it is not right to act upon. I’m sure this won’t make you agree with me and that is when we need to agree to disagree and just love each other inspite of our differences and give it to God.

        • susierachael

          I prayed about this and talked to my husband….I was convicted by what he said. wow. He said, “Read Genesis when Adam and Eve ate the fruit.” They ate it because they wanted to know good from evil and be like God. They wanted to be able to judge like God. Before they ate it, they didn’t even know right from wrong. They were like little children and only saw with eyes of innocence. He(hubby) said it is only God’s duty to judge. Ours is to be a beacon of light to others….this is something I’m really going to think on.

          • Barby

            Yes, susie, but while you are not to judge, you are to stand for righteousness –as you have here in your writing. Yes, Adam and Eve became aware that they were naked when they ate of the tree –and became ashamed of it. Does that mean that real Christianity would have us return to the innocent state of parading in the nude! God forbid! I’m sure not! We have a salt and light function in culture and that includes teaching, participating in the marketplace of ideas where everyone wants us to say that gay marriage and polygamy don’t really matter –just personal choices we should be free to make. But we have had a nation that desires to “restrain evil” (just like they are discussing guns, now) and that’s why gay marriage was never considered and polygamy was outlawed. There are inherent downsides to polygamy, especially for women and daughters –and inherent risks to homosexual behaviors –especially for boys –and the gay couples give the world no children. Polygamy would appeal to the lustful weaknesses of men –such that they would have way more women and kids than they could afford. Homosexuals bring others into their lifestyle who might not have gone that way if they weren’t seduced into the activities which can be addictive. Addictions alter brain structure –and the pleasure neurons and pathways become incapable of responding to normal pleasures –so the only thing that satisfies is another hit with the addictive activity. I believe homosexuality is a pathway that most of us never thought of in childhood –but the culture is promoting the idea of homosexuality to children. Our culture is pushing the thought and temptation of indulging in same-sex acts –even though most of us probably still wouldn’t be tempted that way–more will consider it if society is promoting it. The gay unions (like divorce) disadvantage children who deserve both mother and father –who fare best on average –on every social indicator– with both biological parents. A recent u. of Texas study of young adults found that the most dysfunctional and depressed young adults were those who had a homosexual parent.

            • http://twitter.com/mattschaar m@

              Quoth Dr. Regnerus, the author of the study you cite:

              “And when pushed, a lot of people who were critics of mine will say: “Yeah, we know that, obviously, family structure matters,” and then they’ll complain, “Why didn’t you find many stably coupled lesbians?” Well, they just were not that common in the nationally representative population. There were two cases where they said the mom and her partner lived together for 18 years. There was another several who lived together for 15 or 13 years. So, stability in the sense of long-term was not common. And frankly, it’s not all that common among heterosexual population. I take pains in the study to say this is not about saying gay or lesbian parents are inherently bad.

              Summary: data isn’t conclusive.

              • Barby

                So we should experiment with children -to see if maybe mothers or fathers really are expendable? I say elsewhere here that Regnerus likened the homosexual parent to the single parent in outcomes of the kids. Both are disadvantaged. And I say somewhere that there weren’t many gay marrieds who had raised kids to adulthood for his study –but we are still depriving kids of either father or mother –and that isn’t good in single parenting –why would it be good in gay parenting. 2 mothers –and 2 fathers –cannot replace the missing gender parent. Or model normal hetero marital relationships to their children. Did God know best when He created male and female in His image –to be one flesh and multiply and replenish the earth? Do we know better than God today that we can say fathers aren’t needed –or mothers aren’t needed? We sure can’t procreate without each other.

                • http://twitter.com/mattschaar m@

                  I’m not advocating experimentation – where do I even suggest that as an option in my previous comments?

                  The core premise behind Regnerus’ study is comparison of gay and single parents to stable families, and this is what troubles me: the Church does a fantastic job of upholding this premise that man + woman = stable family structure while TOTALLY ignoring the high prevalence of emotional and physical abuse, divorce, and fractured parenting existent in the community. In other words, families in the Church are just as dysfunctional as those outside of it, and if we choose accuse other family structures that seem to go against “God’s Will” as fundamentally destructive rather than spend our time cultivating a healthy understanding of own relationships…where does that leave us?

                  I offer up the contention that a healthy same-sex couple can be just as effective at parenting as, if not more than, a status quo opposite-sex couple. And given that some degree of stability is required to allow for a couple to engage in non-natural parenting (either as a foster or adoptive couple), I have absolutely no concerns about placing a child in the care of a same-sex couple.

        • http://www.facebook.com/cole.mickens Cole Mickens

          >I believe everything in the Bible

          Are you prepared to be accountable for all edicts of the Old Testament? *Everything?* Are you sure you understand what you’re claiming there?

          • susierachael

            I don’t understand why people don’t believe the whole Bible. It’s the word of God. I don’t think He would allow His word to be messed with. It’s not my job to pick and chose what I want out of it. I believe if something did happen to be in the Bible that God didn’t want in there that He would convict me through His Holy Spirit. None of this changes the fact that I think homomsexuality is immoral. And if I had a homsexual friend that I thought was a bad influence on my children it would be my duty as a mother to keep them away from my children. But hating people is also immoral. Causing people to feel guilty, being condescending toward them and lashing out at them is not behaving with love. We are commanded to react to people with love.

            • http://twitter.com/mattschaar m@

              I, for one, am not one to tempt God by claiming something written is wrong – I want to understand WHY it’s wrong, though…just as much why I want to understand it’s right.

              But a hypothetical question, susie: would you be just as quick to pull your child away from a heterosexual friend that was a bad influence on your child?

              • susierachael

                Yes, I would. And I have. I have had to keep my own family member away and they are far from being a homosexual.

                I think it is wrong because God says in the Bible it is wrong. I can find the scriptures to back it up if you want me to. Also, venereal disease goes along with every immoral sexual act expect for being monogomous. Also,I believe God created men and women to be attracted to each other. Not women to women and men to men. I think it almost insults the original creation of the union between a man and woman by doing otherwise.

                • http://twitter.com/mattschaar m@

                  Hmm, well…let me rephrase the question: would you be willing to allow your child to befriend someone that was gay if they were kind, compassionate, and showed no inclination of homosexual feelings toward your child?

                  Let’s unpack your response: “I think it is wrong because God says in the Bible it is wrong.” I again ask: why does God believe it’s wrong? You know full well why your spouse/SO, your child, and your best friend supports or doesn’t support certain things; I think we also have the right to ask why God has outlined opposition to homosexual acts. If it’s because it’s contrary to the original purposes of creation, then I think that’s a perfectly rational basis upon which to base your perspective.

                  What that does is bring the discussion to a reasonable plane of discussion: “because God says so” is so heavy-laden with suppositions and speculation that it doesn’t allow for any sort of discourse; you’re positioning yourself as a friend of God, and your opponent as the enemy. If we start centering the discussion on God’s true purpose for creating all that surrounds us, then we’re not judging each other’s “standing” with Him, rather our cerebral understanding of Him.

                  • susierachael

                    Leviticus 18:22 “Do not practice homosexuality;it is a detestable sin.”
                    Romans 1:26,27 “That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relationships with women burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men and, as a result, suffered within themselves the penalty they so richly deserved.”

                    Don’t get mad at me. This is quoted from the Bible. Yes, it’s harsh. And yes it’s truth according to my understanding. Apparantly God thinks it’s detestable and not natural. Other than those two reasons, you will have to go before God and ask Him to show you why. Ask Him to show you what he really thinks about it. Seek God for your answers and ask Him to show you the truths. Seek Him with all your heart. I am just a person saying what I believe. But know that whoever you are, whatever you are doing, have done, and will do God will never,ever,ever reject you if you go before Him.

                    And my daughter has some gay friends. So that answers that question.

                    • http://twitter.com/mattschaar m@

                      I’m not mad susie – far from it, actually. Naturally, I’m frustrated that I made someone else feel like I was angry with them, so I apologize if I came across that way.

                      Thank you for your perspective. I don’t think we really disagree too much on what’s written in Scripture, nor do I think we’re that far apart on how it applies to our lives on an individual basis. Corporately is probably where our perspectives differ.

                    • susierachael

                      Good, glad you aren’t mad. Because that is by no means where I was headed. Love covers a multitude of sins. And that, from my experience, is the best way people can learn together inspite of their differences. Obviously my highschool advanced vocab class went in one ear and out the other inspite of the fact I got an A. You keep using words I have to look up ;)

                    • susierachael

                      What does corporately mean? Like according to polital rights? I don’t quite understand the meaning of this word. Politics is another complicated subject. People want freedom, but when different beliefs get involved it becomes really complicated. We have to have laws to some degree or the world would turn to chaos. Finding a balance though is really tough and I don’t think anyone has all the right answers, except God. Can’t wait til He is King. No more voting. Yay!!

                    • http://twitter.com/mattschaar m@

                      Yes, I was referring to how we apply our beliefs in the context of a secular society. In other words, do we apply our own perspectives toward how we think the country should adopt certain laws?

                      Short answer for me is…mostly no. Marriage is a civil right by how we’ve defined it here in the US of A, and I believe that restricting a same-sex couple from partaking in it infringes upon their rights. Now, the church has a right not to recognize it if they so choose – that’s the beauty of keeping the institutions separate.

                    • susierachael

                      And that is when it gets complicated. We all want freedom. Personally, I think each state ought to be able to make there own laws. And I think anything having to do with religion of any kind should having nothing to do with taxes and be charity. Actually any belief… abortion, gay marriage, and religion should have nothing to do with taxes. Then you could live in the state that supported what you believe in. But I bet there is something I’m failing to see in that, which would make a disaster of everything. And our country would certainly be divided….Yah…that would be a disaster. No more strong military or 1st world country. Just a chaotic mess. What in the world would we be defending in the event of a war if nobody believed in the same stuff as a whole? Scrap that idea. Good thing I’m not the president. What a stressful job! I don’t think people should be controlled, but we need laws to protect people. I am concerned that slowly and gradually Satan is decieving people into excepting every behavior under the sun as acceptable and will eventually leave our country defenseless against immorality. He is more deceitful and hateful than any man and has been making a plan to screw us up ever since the fall of Adam. I don’t think a lot of people are aware of how sneaky and smart he is. Even some of the very elect of God will be deceived in the end times, which I think aren’t too far away. I don’t want to be one of them.

        • WhatDoIBelieve

          I have a question about the way your statements are made.

          Are you saying that “being Gay” is the sin AND/OR that engaging in sexual behaviors with the same sex is sin? From your comments I can’t discern what you believe and I wonder if that is why your comments are taken negatively as personal attacks.

          I ask because you say your are OCD and suffer from depression. However, you don’t condemn yourself for just being depressed, you condemn the inappropriate actions that are a sin nature response to who you are.

          I would suggest that “being gay” is not a choice just like being straight is not a choice (nor is OCD but I don’t like to compare homosexuality to mental disorders because that is not a tactful comparison), but engaging in inappropriate behaviors is a sin (eg. sex outside of marriage, lustful thought) but that is true regardless of sexual orientation.

          Taken a step further, I can be attracted to an individual who is not my spouse but I don’t believe I am sinning every time I see an attractive person (otherwise I would be better off clawing my eyes out.) If it turns to lust then I would be sinning.

          Your thoughts?

          • susierachael

            Wow. That is a tough question….The behavior being sin. Yes. Because it is Biblically backed up. But the thoughts and feelings is a tough one. Where do they come from? Is it us? Is it bad spirits whispering in our ears? Does it come from our heart? I don’t know. Actually, I have condemned myself for the thoughts I have thought as far as OCD goes. They are so incredibly stupid, yet I believe them. An example is like if I don’t check that the back door is locked three times than something really bad like someone in my family dying will happen. Sounds so ridiculously insanely stupid and irrational, yet it takes all the self-control I have to say, “No! You are believing stupidity!!” I have heard stories of people going as far as thinking they run over invisible bodies on the road. That is really, really weird and fortuneatly I haven’t gotton that nuts. Would I be thinking stuff like that if I didn’t fight it? I don’t know. They say mental disorders are completely physical, but I wonder if it is a physical condition that was the result of something spiritual. Condemnation isn’t from God. So am I listening to bad spirits? I hope not, but I might be. Scary thought. I bet if the spiritual realm was opened to us physically and we saw the war that is going on with our physical eyes, that we would get scared and be on our knees praying more. I hear you being attracted to the opposite sex and having to blind yourself. Lol but really, not lol. There is a line I believe we cross with our thoughts that it turns into lust and lust is sin. I’m not totally sure where that line is. I would be inclined to think having gay thoughts would not be a sin. If all the thoughts of mankind were displayed for the world to see it would look horrible. That is a battle I would love to master. The battle of our thoughts. I am far from it though. I have learned one thing though. Condemning yourself for your thoughts is not the answer. It will thoroughly trash you and leave you feeling hopeless. Accepting God’s forgiveness and grace has helped me in my struggles more than anything. It seems when you finally get to that point, when you tell God, “I am a mess and cannot control my life.This is beyond what I can fix” then God actually starts working and you have hope…The reason I was convicted by what my husband said about not judging people is because I think we do stuff like what we are doing now. Try to figure it all out. Figure out what is acceptable and what is not. God just says to love and be a beacon of light. We are put here to love and not judge others. Maybe us trying to figure everything out is just us trying to do God’s job for Him and way overcomplicating everything. Trying to be “like God”. That isn’t the way it was originally intended to be in the garden. Maybe we need to spend more time trusting Him, worshiping Him and focusing on Him and less time trying to figure everything out.

            • susierachael

              Sorry for offending whoever put comments on here that had to be deleted. I never saw them. Sammy must have gotton to them first. My goal is not to offend you, but that God would open your eyes to the truth. And if I am the one at fault, that He would convict me, change me, open my eyes to the truth and show me what I need to learn.

      • Barby

        I think I was conditioned by culture to believe that I was a princess who should marry a prince –a handsome prince at that. My Daddy treated me like a princess –my parents were married to each other though not my romantic ideal as a couple –I just assumed boys were for me to like –and I liked my girlfriends, too. Having a niche with admired girls was important to me growing up. but I always had a crush on some boy or another, as well. Because that’s life –little girls grow up to be mommies married to the daddies. I think self-image is part of it –if you (a girl) think you aren’t “girly”, you might think boys weren’t for you.

        • Ecossaise

          Barby, I disagree with your last statement. Not feeling “girly” does not a lesbian make. I am a straight woman, but was not in the least bit “girly” growing up. I was the only girl in my kindergarten class with jeans, I was mostly friends with guys, I wanted to climb trees and play football instead of dress up and dolls. Conversely, I know “girly” girls who are gay.

          I also have a real issue with the notion that just because someone is gay, they aren’t a good parent. My mum once made a comment that she worried about a young girl’s future because she was being raised by a gay dad. If that same father had been a widower, that same worry wouldn’t have been there. I have the privilege of knowing a wonderful young woman who was raised by two moms. And I know married, straight couples who are horrific parents. Sexual orientation doesn’t solely determine the ability of a person to parent.

          • barby

            I know many tomboys who grew up to live heterosexually –happily married. I’m just saying that occasionally one does meet a girl who is feeling very ungirly –dressing that way –and walking like the guys and enjoying all they enjoy–and she may or may not end up with a lesbian self-image. Today, more than ever, kids like her are made to wonder if they are normal –if they might just be homosexual –and kids do bully them about it –and counselors and parents want to label them these days –because of their unstereotypically feminine or masculine interests and mannerisms –sometimes caused by lack of influence from a respected same-sex parent.

            I remember reading on the Oprah website how some mothers thought their toddlers might be gay or transgender candidates –in the wrong bodies –why? Because they would get into mom’s heels and carry her purse as toddlers–or prefer the pink crayon. I thought, “Good grief, MOMS, Teach the boys that they are boys like their fathers or some respected male in their lives. Don’t indulge their interest in your jewelry, make-up and nail polish, etc.” “Don’t point out that their interests are those of the opposite sex–just re-direct them.” Tell them they are boys and lead them to boy interests and help them get excited about guy stuff. Surrounded only by women, how can they form a normal gender -identity and masculine self-image without mom at least trying to steer them there? I know a young girl who wanted to paint her brother’s nails –I said –NO, do not do anything like that to him.

            I believe homosexual parents can parent well as far as keeping kids clean, entertained, dressed well, mannerly, financially supported -and helping them with talent development and schoolwork. But when they become teens, they will have no moral authority as to what a girl does with girlfriend on sleep-overs –no teaching against homosexual activity–or even premarital activity most likely. They will be more sexually experimental and active at earlier ages. It is the U. of Texas Regnerus study that interviewed thousands of young adults and found that the ones who had a homosexual parent were very messed up and unhappy as adults, more likely to have been incarcerated, addicted, sexually promiscuous, suicidal , etc. this was true of single parented kids, too. Kids with both bio-parents fared best on all measures.

            There aren’t many kids yet who have been raised to adulthood by married homosexual couples to see if the marriage makes for a better outcome –but we are experimenting with kids to see if either a father or mother is unnecessary to the optimal development of kids. Of course, death of a parent and divorce do not have to damage the children’s futures –but single parenting always leaves the kids without one role model, and on average, they have more troubles than those with 2 married bio-parents.

            Rosie O Donnel’s son said to her, “Why can’t I have a father? I want a father!” Now he has been through “divorce” of his mothers. I bet he’s headed for issues. One MD wrote in a magazine 20-30 years ago, Human Sexuality mag., that both boys and girls raised without fathers were more likely than the average to be promiscuous with MEN. He called it “male hunger.” They are missing something crucial without the affectionate love of a father –or mother.

            http://thebarbwire.blogspot.com/2011/02/andrew-solomons-modern-family.html –this describes the state of family experimentation today. It will be sad to see how the kids turn out, I fear.

    • http://www.facebook.com/cole.mickens Cole Mickens

      The way you pity your nephew, he and I pity you. Why would someone “choose” to be a social outcast? Why would someone “choose” to be pitied by their friends and family and treated as broken? There is nothing wrong with your nephew and nothing that needs fixing.

      • Barby

        Why would a person do things that land him in jail? Why do people cheat on their school work? Why do people start doing drugs? Why does a prostitute do that? Sin abounds –sin tempts –sin deceives –sin sometimes makes us social outcasts. We DO choose things that make us broken and pitied. Sometimes our choices are influenced by other bad things in our history.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Hey Susie, good to see you on here. Just wanted you to know that I’m about to pray for you, your nephew and your family.

      • susierachael

        Thanks friend :)

  • Marie

    I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I have a deep, intimate personal relationship with the Lord. I am blood purchased, redeemed, not of this world and unashamed. I am a child of the Most High and I am gay.

    This post may be jumbled, kinda all over the place. I’ve never put this down in words before, so a warning beforehand.

    If a straight person decides to be single and celibate the rest of their lives… are they still straight? I, as a gay woman, if I choose to be single and not to act on these thoughts, am I not still gay? I was gay even when I was trying not to be all those years. Being attracted to the same sex is what comes natural to me. NATURAL. The way you feel towards your husband/wife is how I feel towards mine. It’s love. The attraction has never been there for males, it’s just not present, never has been. And it’s not just about the PHYSICAL.

    I can look back now and tell you that I knew I was gay since about the age of 5, of course I didn’t know what gay was, nor was there anything sexual about it. It grew and grew as I got older. When at 10 all my friends were crushing on Tommy, I didn’t get it, I couldn’t get it. I knew that was “normal”, but why wasn’t it normal for me? Why did I like Sarah? And at that age I still didn’t know what “gay” was. There was no one around me who was gay. No one even spoke it. I didn’t know what gay was until I was in high school.

    I kept it to myself, hated myself, and faked “liking” boys. Despite pretending to crush along with my friends and even having boyfriends – it didn’t make me any less gay. It didn’t make me straight. I was a gay girl, dating boys. I was gay when I had sex with men and I was gay when I got into my straight relationship, I was gay when I became pregnant and I was gay when I had my son.

    I grew up knowing OF Jesus. Grew up going to church, my mother started taking me when I was 8. Both sets of grandparents had a deep relationship with the Lord, it was very apparent. I even gave my life to the lord several times through the years.

    I struggled a lot. At times I believed, at times I ignored, just pushed God out of my mind and other times I out right didn’t believe in God.

    I was miserable. I was scared when at church they would ask “if in the next 60 seconds your heart stopped beating, are you positive, without a doubt, where you would spend eternity?” That question gave me nightmares, because, no, no I didn’t know. I thought I was a good person, but apparently the way the Christians I came across made it seem, it all came down to being straight or gay. That was what was really going to get you in or out of heaven.

    Well, my straight relationship failed, it was bound to. And after that I found myself wanting to hop into the next straight relationship I could find. But that’s not what happened.

    I said EFF IT!!

    At 24 (2008), I said it out loud, I’m gay. I accepted it. For the first time, I felt alive. I felt free. I felt relief. I felt happy. I pushed God out of my mind, I figured He wasn’t for me.

    I met a girl, she was gay and we were friends that began to dating. I have to say this first… you could not hide the light that was shining and radiating from her. There was something about her (little did I know it was Jesus). From the beginning, I knew she was in love with Jesus. We didn’t have to directly talk about it (something we rarely did, she was not pushy/preachy) but the words that would come out of her mouth… it was apparent, His word flowed out of her. In every day conversation, it would just come out here and there as we were speaking.

    It didn’t make me uncomfortable, but I did find it odd. I had never met a young person that I thought genuinely was cool with the Lord. Not a “I go to church on Sunday” kinda person. But wait, that’s not it… she’s also gay. Gay and raving about the Lord. I found it hard to relate. My mind was trying to figure out, what was she feeling? Why was she like that? Did she know something I didn’t?

    I cared so much for her and saw how much God meant to her, that I didn’t blow off the things she was saying. I know now that seeds were being planted in my heart, even though I wasn’t aware of it.

    I saw God as something I was trying to figure out. Something to learn, like a school subject. She gave me a bible one year for my birthday, and although I was still unsure about how I felt about the Lord, I accepted it joyfully because I knew what this meant to her. I even read it! I wanted to be able to understand what she was talking about, have an open mind. But I read it as something to figure out. The words meant nothing to me and it pained me!

    I would go to church from time to time… I loved what I was hearing, the message was love, but something didn’t click. I felt like we’re just people, gathered in a place, listening to words… but why? How do you live this Jesus life? You follow a list of rules? You make yourself do this? You go through the motions? What were all these people here at church doing? I would see some crying, some lifting their hands, some dancing… what were they feeling? Why were they doing that? Were they making themselves? Why was the pastor a pastor? Because he chose to be and so he’s making himself do what he does? Were they in on something I wasn’t? I would break my head over it for a while and then just let it go.

    Two years into meeting this girl (I use her as my timeline because it was a pivotal moment in my life. He lead her to me and she introduced me to Him.) my life began to feel out of my control. I always felt like I had a handle on things. Life throws crap my way, no worries, I’ll take care of it, sort it out, bring on the next! My son has several health issues and it was all coming to light during this time, things were happening so fast, so much, all at once and there was nothing I could do to “fix” it, “control” it. I felt like I was drowning. This was my life and I was drowning in it. I looked to the future and saw nothing good. This was my life? What was the purpose? Why live for this?

    And it was then, in my brokenness that I did something I had never done before and it was out of desperation, an act of desperation. I literally got on my knees (not even thinking, just did it)… put my arms into the air… this, coming from someone who went 26 years without caring for the Lord, not even sure if I believed… and I said something to the effect of, “I can’t do this. This is out of my control. I’ve heard lots of things about you. I’ll give you a try.” I told the Lord I’d give Him a try. Haha. Makes me laugh now. I mean, why not? What else did I have to lose?

    - I should note that I had given my life to the Lord several times as a teenager, nothing ever changing. – BUT THIS TIME IT TOOK!! =D

    At that moment I remember giving myself a set of rules. What I was going to refrain from and habits I was going to pick up. I didn’t really know how to go about this… but that’s what I thought I should do. I was going to go through the “Christian motions”.

    Sunday rolled around and I went to church eagerly awaiting the end of the sermon, you know the part, where they ask if anyone wants to let Jesus into their hearts, or just to rededicate their lives… I shot my hand up so fast and I stood up, no restraints, I didn’t care, there was no embarrassment being surrounded by hundreds of people… I NEEDED THIS. I said the prayer, was given a booklet and I went home. I felt good. This was the first step into my new life.

    Well… let me tell you what happened and I know this sounds crazy, but it is what it is.

    I went to bed that night and the girl that woke up the next morning was not the same girl. I died that night and was born again in the morning and I mean it when I say that. It makes sense now. You hear born again, but you never really know what it means until it happens to you. I once was blind, but now I see? Oh how many times I had heard those words and not until now did they actually have meaning.

    I opened my eyes that morning and I immediately remember blinking several times, trying to focus my vision in a way. Something was different. I felt like someone who hadn’t had their eyes opened in a very very long time, someone seeing for the first time? This was my room, the same room I’d woken up in for years, but everything EVERYTHING looked different. It’s like I had new eyes. I got up and looked out the window. The trees, the grass, the cars, the houses…. there was something different. It was eerie. The sounds I was hearing were different, my ears perked up… like a heightened sense. My ears were new! And during all this something was surrounding me, covering me, completely. It had depth! The feeling that I felt over my entire body had a depth to it! A weight! And it felt good, and warm and loving. I couldn’t shake it off and I didn’t want to. I remember being so taken aback that I
    kept it to myself. I didn’t tell anyone.

    Following that I had a thirst that could not be quenched by any drink. What I wanted was the Word. WANTED. Not making myself, I WANTED, NEEDED Him and I wanted all of it. That bible my girl gave me? I picked it up again, only to read it much differently now. You can basically say the first time didn’t count. It was beautiful, it was everything. It drew me near to Him. I loved every written word.

    I didn’t have to FORCE myself to stop listening to worldly music (which was on my “list of rules”). I didn’t WANT to. My ears wanted to hear the Word! So bring on the Jesus music! There was no pain, no withdrawal, no feeling out of the loop. You can’t miss something you don’t want. And I didn’t want it anymore. Another instant change was you couldn’t pay me to worry! I had been anxiety ridden for 26 years, over the smallest of daily activities, they were debilitating… and now you couldn’t pay me to worry. I mean, all the problems were still there, but Jesus comes with a peace that surpasses all understanding!

    [Now this is another topic we could discuss about is it wrong to listen/watch worldly things. I just know that for me, at the time, I had the world up HIGH and the Lord down low and He helped me to reverse that. He took those desires from me, because it sure wasn't by my own doing. Check my ipod, I still rock the latest hits, but my Lord is up HIGH and the world is down low now.]

    Things I once loved, I now hated and things that I once hated, I now loved and there was no making myself, no living a miserable life FORCING myself. I was a NEW person with NEW desires.

    All of a sudden it made sense. I knew what those people were feeling. It was REAL. I found myself wanting to worship (my absolute favorite thing!!, I used to avoid it before, I would allow myself to get to church late to pass that up). I wanted to pray, dance, raise my arms and found myself crying my eyes out – in a good way! His unmerited love overwhelms me!

    Now when they ask, “If in the next 60 seconds your heart stopped beating, are you positive, without a doubt, where you would spend eternity?” Without hesitation, I know the answer.

    Here I am gay, loving Jesus, Him loving me. I have never been so blessed and been a blessing than I am now. The Lord is using me to plant seeds in anyone/everyone around me and I will continue to until the day Jesus comes back or He calls me home.

    I see Him every day, no one or nothing can shake or take that from me.

    I have a partner who loves the Lord first, before me, something I would not have any other way and loving Him first is how we are able to love each other right.

    If you’re not gay, then you’ll never know what it’s like to be gay. Same with if you’re not a follower of Christ AND gay, you won’t know what that’s like either.

    I know Jesus loves me. Do some of his followers? That’s another story. But I can tell you this. I love them. I love everyone, follower or not. I love Him because He first loved me and I love YOU, not having met you, not because of something you did but because of my love for Jesus and all that He did.

    First and foremost, I am a follower of Jesus Christ.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Hey Marie, just wanted to say thanks for sharing your story. Also wanted you to know I plan on reading the whole thing when my brain is not fried from a long day (it’s 12;55am right now. Phew). I know it took a lot to say all this so I didn’t want to just skim it.

      But yea, thanks Marie for reading and sharing.

    • barby

      Marie –I read it all –I believe your conversion is real –as I’ve known the experience you described. I also believe that as you hunger for and study the Word, you will see that God made you female for His purposes and not merely for sexual pleasure or “attraction.” I think it’s arrested development when we prefer our own sex for intimacy–and carry the natural childhood preference for same -sex bonding with a best friend into adolescence and adulthood. I think there is a gender identity problem for some homosexuals –where they identify with the opposite sex and therefore orient toward the same sex. It’s a developmental disorder at least –because our bodies are not designed for intimacy with our own sex. We have spiritual power as Christians over our lusts, temptations , actions –over our thoughts. I think that includes our attractions and orientations. The Bible warns us that our hearts are deceitful–desperately wicked. We need to beware of rationalizing our sin, justifying it, and calling good evil, and evil, good. I would hope not to anger you in this writing –but to provoke thought and more study and prayer. Yes, you can find all kinds of writings by homosexuals reconciling the Bible with their orientation and activities. They have to do a lot of interpretive gymnastics in the process. They have to ignore a lot of clear scriptural prohibition of sex outside hetero-marriage.

      I wonder when your first homosexual experience was –and if you had a good relationship with your parents. I think there are factors that predispose us to abnormalcy in our sexual thoughts and feelings. I would hope you would keep growing in Christ –but beware of celebrating about being gay –the Bible is clear about the purpose for our bodies –the one-flesh union of husband and wife for God’s purposes –not merely for sexual attraction and enjoyment.

    • BisexualChristian

      Testify! Thank you for sharing that beautiful story. I love your quote: “If you’re not gay, then you’ll never know what it’s like to be gay. Same with if you’re not a follower of Christ AND gay, you won’t know what that’s like either;” both statements are so true. I think there is something special that we queers can understand about God having worked through so much adversity within the church. I have hope in a better future for LGBT Christians. Keep sharing your story; I’m certain it will continue to change lives. May the Lord continue to bless you with joy and peace.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=573505544 Christine Hadley

      I just gotta say thanks, also. I am neither gay nor Christian nor a follower of Jesus, but I can still understand what you were saying. I can’t take your story and relate it in it’s context to my life, but I can read it, absorb it, understand it. I, personally, have always scratched my head over everyone elses obsession with other people’s sexual orientation and sexual choices. I scratch my head over many heterosexual choices, too. Why is Janey dating Johnny if he is such a boor? Why does Ashley say she loves Jim when they always fight? I am of the mind live and let live.

  • Katie

    I have read many great comments, but also some that are hateful. It breaks my heart to read of the struggles that many have faced regarding the church, and self proclaimed Christians, but also to see adults posting hurtful remarks on this site when they don’t agree with some one else’s beliefs. Adults, as a teenager I challenge you to not lose sight of what matters most, the love of Christ. Please remember that even though we may not seem like we care, or pay attention, my generation is watching and waiting for examples to follow in Christ.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Katie, so proud of you for this comment. I know I don’t know you but for what it’s worth, I believe so much in your generation. Excited to see God use you in greater ways than he used us.

  • Jerrilyn

    Good job Sammy… can’t begin to tell you how much it broke my heart to read comments like that to you. Jesus doesn’t hate anyone. For me to cast the first stone at anyone, even the haters would be to sink myself in the sludge.
    Love the C.S. Lewis quote… gonna have to steal.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      You’re such a trooper J. I know the guy came at you too. Thanks for defending me and our community. You have no idea how much that meant. Our community would def not be the same without you.

  • http://twitter.com/kikimojo kirsten oliphant

    This made me tear up.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Thankful to be a small part of this journey Kirsten. I don’t take that lightly. Thanks for engaging a difficult content.

  • pjz

    Love this Blog message, THANK YOU, Sammy. God bless you.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      God bless you too! Thanks for reading.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jasonwert Jason Wert

    I’d like to say I’m surprised by many of the comments I’m reading here but I’m not. It’s the typical comment threads we see when an issue like this is discussed.

    However, there’s a factor here not being brought into it. (Well, several actually.)

    The biggest is that many in the gay community feel “hated” by the church because they want to do whatever they want to do an don’t want anyone to disagree with them. It’s the inherent selfishness that runs through all of us and all of society. When someone tells them they disagree with their choices to engage in homosexual activity with another person the immediate response is to claim you hate the person and are some bigot. There’s no truth to it in most cases, and there’s no actual basis for them to claim hatred or bigotry, but it sounds good in sound bytes and in today’s American environment just making that accusation forces the accused to defend themselves rather than making the accuser set up and prove hatred.

    Now, it’s the same kind of selfishness that many of us struggle with in daily life…we usually just call it “pride”…and I’m not in any way saying that only those who want to engage in homosexual activity are the ones who give into that selfishness. You can look at people who are caught in adultery or embezzling money from their employers or abuse/using people for whatever purpose and see the same kind of thing.

    No matter how much they want to take offense and blame Christians for “hating” them, the bottom line is that many just don’t like someone telling them that they believe them to be wrong. And if you really look at the definition of hate and bigotry…well…let’s just say the people coming after Christians fit the dictionary definitions more than many of the Christians they scream about…

    Now, should we still love them? Absolutely. But we need to destroy the illusion that somehow we as Christians need to change the gospel, water it down or deny it just so that people who are in the gay community (and I hate that term because each person is an individual but since Sammy used it I’ll use it) suddenly don’t feel “hate.” Speaking the truth is not hate. No matter how much someone wants to claim that it is. And Christians need to stop retreating when someone claims the Word of God is hate because they disagree with it.

    I love that C.S. Lewis quote because it so eloquently points out the truth of the situation…we show grace to ourselves even though we know we sin. We also don’t pretend we don’t sin because by doing so we “hate” ourselves.

    Now, let me add one aside…the Fred Phelps folks (who I honestly don’t believe are Christians) and others who openly assault people are perceived as “gay” or who are (gasp) nice to them are people spewing actual hate. Those using derogatory slang terms and other words designed only to degrade someone are spreading hate. So it’s not that the hate isn’t out there…it’s just not out there on the level that some people want to pretend that it is…

    • rjb127

      My thoughts exactly as I was reading through these comments…thank you for being brave enough to post them. Braver than me. :-)

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Jason, thanks for your honesty. I always appreciate honesty. Thanks for reading too man. Couple thoughts..

      * Pretty sure I never said anywhere in the post that we should change, water down or deny the gospel in other to love people. Just wanted to point that out. Like I said in the post, this was about the hypocrisy in my heart. I know you were probably referring to comments though. Also..

      * Question, obviously no one spoke and lived truth more than Jesus. Obviously Jesus never watered down the gospel or changed it (as silly as that sounds) so why do you think so many unchurched, “sinners and tax collectors” (as the bible referred to them) LOVED to be around Jesus?

      In other words, why did people who were nothing like Jesus and selfish people who lived lifestyles that were opposite of his and his teaching, enjoy being around him? Why were they drawn to him? Why was the author of truth nicknamed “friend of sinners”?. I know people hated Jesus too but isn’t it crazy how many “sinners” LOVED to hang with him?

      See where I’m going with this?

      • http://www.facebook.com/jasonwert Jason Wert

        Oh, I know where you’re going with it and I don’t disagree. My comments were mainly in response to the comments I saw reading through the thread.

        Why did so many of the “sinners” love to be around Jesus? I know I can’t prove it but it’s because they saw the depth of their sin through His teachings and truth and realized their repentance. Jesus was there for those who came to Him and He made Himself available to all but he didn’t force Himself on anyone nor did He change who he was so that they would like Him.

        I see comments in this thread…and have attended many churches…where the gospel is watered down or parts ignored so that they’re “fun to hang with” like Jesus without realizing that Jesus didn’t change the core of who he was or the message he had or ignored sin just to be the guy they hung around and loved.

        Hypocrisy is rampant in the church just as in real life. We’re all hypocrites on some level. Heck, I sin all the time. I’m sinning right now in that I should be sleeping and resting my body for what God has in store tomorrow but I wanted to respond to your excellent comment and thoughts.

        We just need to love people and as much as this is contrary what sounds loving just not worry about those who see our positions as “hate” without getting to know us. Show love, no matter the person (because a person is not sins they commit) but don’t accept the premise that to “not hate” is to approve and that to “love” is to never tell someone you disagree with a choice they may be making.

        • Barby

          Again –you are speaking truth, Jason.

        • Neo

          It’s often true that people just don’t want to be told that what they’re doing is wrong, but as I’m sure you’re aware, there’s more to it than just that. I’m a Christian man who finds myself attracted to both sexes. I do believe that it would be sinful for me to get into a sexual relationship with another man, I’ve pretty much always believed that, and I’ve never been in a homosexual relationship, but I’ve still dealt with some hurt and shame. Christians often preach against homosexuality without any awareness that there are Christians around them who find themselves attracted to their own sex. Some of them follow the pattern of everyone else in referring to something they don’t like as “gay.” Some assume that our sexual feelings are chosen, or that it’s sinful even to feel attracted to others of the same sex, despite how badly we often want not to feel that way and regardless of how we steward our feelings.

          I don’t think “hate” is the right word for what I’ve faced. Most Christians I know, even the ones who have made hurtful comments about homosexuality-related topics, are far from being hateful people. In my experience, it’s been a whole lot more ignorance, and people’s attitudes usually seem to improve when I tell them about my own story. That’s why I’ve recently become much more open about my sexuality within Christian communities (such as my church) that I’m part of.

          Many celibate Christians who agree that homosexual practice is wrong have had it a lot worse than I have, though. Some have been kicked out of their churches or denied contact with children. A lot of Christians pressure people not to be too honest about the reality of same-sex attraction, especially if they’re in opposite-sex marriages. I also know of at least three recent cases where Christians have been fired from or denied employment by Christian institutions on account of their sexual attractions, despite being completely in line with both the statement of faith and the code of conduct at each respective institution. (In all three cases, the individuals were directly told that their sexuality was the problem.)

          When this sort of thing still happens to celibate Christians, there’s a whole lot more going on with people in gay relationships. It grieves me that conservative Christians often do so much to push people away from the gospel. So while I don’t believe our sexual ethics should change, there are some sinful attitudes we need to repent of, and it’s not just a matter of people accusing us of “hate” resulting from moral precepts.

          I’m not really disagreeing with anything you posted, but I thought this needed to be said.

    • Barby

      Right on.

  • Brooklyn Mulisano

    Oh. My. Goodness. Thank you. This is something I have felt about the church for a while now. We are not commanded to love those who agree with us theologically – we are commanded to love those who are human Aka: everyone. Gay, straight, pro choice or pro life, liberal or conservative. We can all still be loving brothers and sisters in Christ.
    Thank you.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Very well said Brooklyn: “We are not commanded to love those who agree with us theologically – we are commanded to love those who are human”

  • Kelly E.

    Thank you so much for this post, Sammy. I am fairly new to your blog but it’s so well written and thought out! My cousin came out to me a little less than a year ago and recently to the rest of my very conservative Christian family and some of them (including my well-intentioned, but close-minded dad) are not receiving the news very well. My cousin and I are only 5 months apart and have been best friends since childhood and I have been trying my hardest to act as his advocate and help him in any way that I can, including trying to open the hearts and minds of people who grew up in a very different culture than we did. But sometimes it’s hard and very frustrating, as I am only a 21 year old who was taught to respect my elders and is still trying to figure out all this theology stuff out anyway, but I feel compelled to show the love that Jesus brought to the world. Posts like this one give me hope and encouragement and I plan on passing this along to my dad in an attempt to widen his perspective a little.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Kelly, I can’t imagine how hard situations like this must be for everyone involved. So many emotions and so much pain. I’m praying for your cousin and family right now. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://twitter.com/KellyW2010 KellyW2010

    We have logs in our eyes… I wonder sometimes how slave owners would have blogged about the civil war. After all, slaves are told to obey their earthly masters – therefore we know the bible APPROVES of slavery. (This is one thing I have never heard an ultra-conservative fundamentalist put forward – that slavery should be reinstated.) What the bible says about a great many things (in the case of this conversation, homosexuality) is perhaps filtered by culture and our own experiences, wishes and hopes.

    Grace and love are what Jesus offered, without condition, even when his offer was turned down. This love extends to us all. Every one of us. My insides are full of ugly moments and thoughts, yet Jesus loves me completely. Does he want me to get better at love? Certainly (so do I). Does he want you to get better at love? You bet he does. And he continues to love us through all our struggles: completely, gracefully, and wholeheartedly.

    Some worry if we “only” love, that others will remain comfortable in “sin” (however we define that). There seem to be more than enough volunteers to judge others for [fill in the blank]. Because He loves me unreservedly I choose to [try] not to judge (failing daily). It’s not about balancing the scale, it’s about following the example of loving, even to death on a cross. Jesus loved the Roman soldiers even as He suffered. Even as He died.

    Thank you Sammy for being brave and speaking loudly with love.

    • Barby

      Your implication seems to be that if slavery didn’t get bashed in the Bible, the Bible must be wrong about homosexuality. No, the Bible doesn’t “approve” slavery, per se, except it does take it for granted in the O.T. And the N.T. does tell masters and slaves to treat each other in a Christian manner. God delivered the Egyptians from it –and also allowed them to be punished by it. Slavery was world-wide –instead of hiring a lawn service and a cleaning lady, you went down to the auction block or wherever and bought a slave –or perhaps you just took someone in and they worked in exchange for sustenance, room and board. In any case, it was Christianity, the Golden Rule, the equality of people as recipients of salvation and the Holy Spirit –the verse that there is “no slave nor free, male nor female, Jew nor Gentile –but all are one in Christ Jesus” that led to abolition. The N.T. mentions the homosexual also –as the past state of some of the Christian church members –”some of you –once you were homosexuals…” indicating that they gave up this lifestyle to be church members –along with other sins listed.

  • corny

    Just today my daughter and her partner of 13 years flew in for a late Christmas. When my daughter told me at age 19 that she was bisexual, I replied that if she could be bi then she could also choose to live a straight lifestyle and that was what I preferred for her. She responded that it was her decision. Fast-forward 14 years and what I can tell you with certainty is that if my husband and I had spewed judgment and hatred on her and her partner, we would not be a part of their lives and could not represent our loving God to them. It boiled down to this: this particular sin is very visible but I usually can hide my sins from most people. What’s the difference? None really, but God loves all of us ole sinners.

    • Barby

      So, will they be saved if they don’t recognize homosexuality as sin? You recognize your sins and bring them in repentance to God. Is there grace for homosexuality that is chosen and not repented? Can you biblically promise that to your daughter and her partner? I have a homosexual relative with a partner, too –and I am kind, pleasant, uncritical in my social dealings with them. I am afraid she is dying now of a terrible cancer, and I’ve sent love and prayers their way –but I can’t promise she will be saved if she continues to say “I did it my way–and that’s OK –I’m OK –My partner’s OK –the Bible’s plan was irrelevant to us.” I won’t even say anything to her about it at this point, because I know it won’t be received well. It will grieve her on her way out and not change her mind. She is determined that homosexuality is OK –and if not OK with God, then God is irrelevant and unreal to her. I know she knows what the Bible says because of a long ago conversation. She was mad at me for years; I wasn’t hateful to her or mad at her.

      • http://christymcferren.com/ Christy McFerren

        Barby,

        Some questions for you:

        Do you think gluttons will go to heaven if they choose to keep eating and do not repent, but also have an ongoing relationship with God? Did you know that the Bible calls haughtiness an abomination using the same Hebrew word for abomination referencing homosexuality? Do we preach to the arrogant on their death beds the same way we do the gays?

        This mother you’re talking to is following the command given to humans which is to love, and refusing to sit in the judgment seat which is God’s alone. When someone we care about is going the wrong direction, we get to make a choice between relationship or being right, and relationship is a far better choice. The Bible says that if we lift up the name of Jesus, all men will be drawn to him. You can’t lift up the name of Jesus and also lift up the names of people’s sins. You have to choose which one you’re going to focus on, and this mother is choosing to exalt Christ through the unconditional love of her daughter. I am a former homosexual and my parents made the same decision she is making, and it gave me time to make a choice out of my own will for God. It wasn’t me following orders from someone demanding my repentance, it was a soft, slow, nurturing process that took me out of the place I was in. It was when people gave me room to wait with God for my healing that I was drawn out of that. It definitely was not by people incessantly speaking the truth “in love” when I already knew where they stood anyway.

        Thanks for listening.

        • barby

          My concern is that the church must not remain silent as the media, politicians, judges and liberal churches re-shape the culture so it is approving of sodomy. That first act between men –and between boys –is one that is especially repugnant, dangerous, and to be avoided. Approving gay marriage –calling it an equal right, a civil right — is approving that form of sexual intimacy along with oral sex to orgasm. Whenever do we want our sons and grandsons to experience those things with other guys?? Never! We are unrealistic if we think this would be OK for the little boys we raised whom we love still as young men.

          It has even entered our culture that WOMEN should receive anal sex as a normal activity. One gyn. has a sign in his bathroom warning women to be sure their partners use condoms for this activity –as though this activity were something a woman should be willing to receive –when most of my friends would call it abuse if a man tries that on us. We are ALL being asked to approve homosexuality and called bigots if we don’t –many churches have caved and put the desires of homosexuals above the prohibitions in Scripture –and even ordain people who are living the homosexual lifestyle.

          If no one teaches or preaches the Bible on this topic–nor does so with youth –if our hetero marriages are so fractured (and they are) –such that children in some communities rarely see a couple married for a lifetime –and rarely have parents who are married to each other. (84% of the black kids in Chicago are raised by singles.) A black scholar has written a book recently about the fact that the Afr.-Am. are not marrying –and he recommended as a solution that the educated black females marry whites. The young black males are the leading group for new HIV cases. Living “on the down low” by men who claim to be straight but seek recreational sex with men is a phenomenon of the black culture –written about by a concerned black man featured on Oprah a few years back.

          It’s time once again that kids get good spiritual and sex ed about the reasons why they are male or female –for God’s purposes –and that any ideas about marrying and playing around with your own sex –is sin to be avoided at the first thought. Most of us would slam the mind’s door shut on a pedophilic thought –or an incestuous one. Or even an adulterous one. Thoughts arise; we can say no. We must do that with thoughts regarding our own sex, also. Instead, we are doing the opposite –condoning, encouraging –and teaching a false premise –that homosexual orientation is inborn, inevitable, immutable, genetic and GOOD –equal to being heterosexual in orientation, activities and marriage. This is a huge lie –and it is not loving to ignore the issue and pretend otherwise.

          However, I would agree that there is no point in “badgering” or “bible bashing” individual gay acquaintances and friends and relatives. I agree that the love of God must be pre-eminent in personal witness. The time to direct people toward normal sexuality is in child-hood (and in culture generally) –with the idea that girls are girls and boys are boys –so they can maybe grow up to marry each other (not their siblings of course) and be moms and dads some day. A prince for every princess.

          If the parents’ relationship is fractured –and they speak ill of each other and of marriage — if they fail to teach their children what is normal by example and precept and Biblical knowledge –youngsters can get mixed up –gender confused and orientation-sex-perimental. Turned off to the opposite sex. My one relative identified with her father and he always coddled her and ridiculed her mother. She embraced a masculine identity as an adult –even though she was raised to be feminine and was feminine as a child. If I were her, I would have also not wanted to live with a man like him–chronically irritable and temperamental. So there were reasons why she got into this identity –also her college was big on gay rights. And as she said, she just never had a boyfriend though she was willing. One relative speculated that she may have been seduced as a teen by her public school lady art teacher in her home –where she did spend time.

          • http://christymcferren.com/ Christy McFerren

            Wow.

  • Barby

    FACT that gets lost in the shuffle –the gays don’t believe Jesus or Christians love them –unless they agree with them. IN their minds, to love them, we must not care whether or not they continue in homosexual activity and pursue gay marriage. To love them, they feel you should AGREE that Homosexual behaviors are legit –OK –just as good as –and worth promoting to others. I don’t feel any hatred or animosity toward homosexuals –but I will staunchly advocate the fact that God said we are made “male and female in the image of God.” There is something sacred about sexuality and God’s creation purpose. Jesus said the man is to leave parents and cleave to his wife, not his good guy buddy. So if you really teach that and preach the Bible on the topic, you will be hated by the GLBT community. Some blasphemer called himself Jesus and you let his hatred get you down and change your message? Yes, we are to love and offer kindness and friendship –but it’s not loving to let them continue in their delusion that our sexual behaviors make no difference to God.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Barby, like I said in my post, this (at least for me) was not a post about theology of homosexuality but about what God is doing in my heart. So I don’t really wanna argue that but I do want to point out that I have experienced opposite of what you just said.

      I personally know gay people who have welcomed and engaged Christians who completely disagree with their lifestyle. There’s a girl in my young adult community who has had lunch and hung out several times with the gay community. Even though they know she doesn’t agree with their lifestyle, they’ve laughed and cried together as they shared their stories. And no she did not hide or water down anything. In fact the reason they got together in the first place was because they wanted to just listen and talk about their differences in a healthy way.

      So no I don’t agree that “gays don’t or can’t believe Jesus love them unless we agree with them”. To be blunt, I think that’s a card we Christians pull to justify our hypocrisy from a far distance. Isn’t it in the least curious that people who were nothing like Jesus and people who disagreed with what Jesus taught, LOVED to be around Jesus?

      I’m not saying everyone is going to love us or feel love. And yes there are some people who do believe that you don’t love them unless you agree with them. But lets not make that into a generalized statement that is true across the board at all times.

      One last thing, I bet the gay people around you already know you don’t agree with them. What they don’t know is that they are truly loved by Jesus. My post was to encourage us to do something about that.

  • Amy Koenig

    My argument as a Christian has always been this – the Bible does, in my opinion, say that these things are sins. It also says things like lying, lust, stealing, adultery and envy are sins, and you KNOW that all Christians out there have committed at least one of these sins. I was always taught that God can not be in the presence of ANY sin, and that different sins do not bear different weights to him. Here on earth that is kind of hard for us to wrap our brains around. I mean, we weigh everything. Someone breaks into a store and steals things and they get 5 years in prison. Someone murders a person and they go away for life. But to God He can’t be in the presence of any of it. Sin is sin to Him. So, who I am to pass judgement on anyone and what they do? I’ve done wrong too. That doesn’t mean that we should all throw our hands up in the air and say, “Hey, what’s the point?! Let’s all just sin!” It just means that we should all, like you said, love and accept each other, and help each other grow in the Word. And just as sin is sin, forgiveness is also forgiveness. All can be forgiven if one accepts and loves the Lord – not matter what sin it is they have committed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=627935522 Katie Hunt Sturm

    Go Sammy. Blessed to see it today. Let’s continue to press in for more love from our amazing Savior as we pour out more and more to those who are most desperately in need of our compassion. Well done!

  • http://www.facebook.com/snmccoy1 Sheila Nicholson McCoy

    “I cried because for the first time in my life, I wanted gay people to know Jesus loved them more than I wanted them to know my theological position.”

    That we would all reach this same conclusion. Thanks, Sammy. You did it again, Brother!

  • http://www.facebook.com/andy.dawson.988 Andy Dawson

    mr adebiyi,

    i read this post from a friend who shared it through facebook. your heart has arrived in a place that most never find in this life. how easy it is to speak about love and make yourself believe that you are right! why do we hide behind doors when we meet and speak of the world as a poisonous snake that we should fear to approach? why do we place ourselves above our neighbors as if we have been chosen to receive a gift that they cannot? we make fools of ourselves and let pride take the place of love, as if we expect the world to somehow become jealous of what we have and believe that through this, they will come to know Christ and we can pat ourselves in the back because of how great our witness is without having to say anything directly to those sinners. we care not for others, because we believe that our fate is sealed in Heaven and if the world wants to join us, then they should conform first, although for many “Christians”, they could never be good enough to join us in the afterlife.
    this raises a few questions, though; “why aren’t we following what our Savior told us to do?”, and “why are we not going to where these people are in stead of expecting them to know what they have to do to get right?” please note- this isn’t an attack from me saying that homosexuals are terrible people, because i too had learn the hard way a few years back. it wasn’t as if i hated anyone, but it took God showing me that i wasn’t being what i claimed to be. since then, it has been my duty to help instruct and counsel Christians regarding our duties in love and forgiveness to the world as well as ourselves. i fail daily. i’ve sinned even while writing this, but we can never give up; we must pray for forgiveness and press on to be what God would have us to be so that others can learn from our mistakes and grow love and fellowship within the Church daily. i am not stronger than anyone else, but together with God, nothing can stand against us and love will never fail.
    you have my prayers in all that you do and i wish you Godspeed in all of your endeavors. you have a heart for the lost that shows no boundaries. keep pressing on my friend, and know that you are never alone in this world, as we are all growing together and work as one body to spread the love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. if you are ever in need, do not hesitate to contact me; i may not have much in this world, but i will go wherever God calls. God bless. -peace.

  • Pingback: spoiler alert. | the WayWard follower

  • http://twitter.com/Ajwilson412 Alexandrea J.

    Wow. This post really touched my heart for so many reasons.
    It hurts me to know that someone harrassed you like that…and it scares me that people like that exist. I am sorry that someone did that to you and made you feel anything less than loved by Christ.
    But I am glad that you heard God’s voice and He used this as an opportunity to help you grow in character.
    I also loved your apology to the gay community, I feel like we should do that more often because people have really made them feel so unloved and unwelcome and sometimes it’s intentional and other times it’s by omission. I don’t like that, so those of us who can be realistic and more loving towards that community should really step up. They need us. Anyway, loved this post. Continue to write encouraging things like this! :)

  • BillVriesema

    The post and comments are truly humbling and powerful. This is one of the first posts on this topic with comments that are thoughtful and kind rather than arrogant and hurtful (for the most part).

    I have to say that I really struggle with “how I am to be” as a Christian in relation to my LGBT brothers and sisters. I understand the comments on both sides of the issue. There is no question in my mind that I am to love everyone–not just those who agree with the theology I follow.

    But, what comes next? I truly believe that marriage is to be between one man and one woman…period. It would be so much easier for me to say “let us as a nation allow same sex marriage.” To the LGBT community this would be perceived as me loving them. But if I hold to my core belief, I am told that I am a hater of the LGB

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Hey Bill, thanks so much for reading and responding and you’re right. I am also encouraged by the general tone of the comments so far on all sides.

      To be honest, I don’t have all the answers or even most of the answers. And this post, yea, this post was just the beginning of the conversation. I think part of the problem is we just want a quick 2 punch approach to fixing it all. But any time people are involved, things are so much messier.

      What I’m learning is that we need to cultivate relationships that allow us to have continued dialogue with people on both sides. Right now everyone is so tense, threatened and defensive that no one is really hearing anyone else. Contrary to what some conclude, I wasn’t asking anyone to change or water down their biblical convictions.

      My point (and I didn’t get to say it like this in my post) is that if we really want to make a difference then we’re all going to have to do more than yell our positions from our side of the fence. If we really want to make a difference, if our hope is that what we believe to be truth will make a difference in the lives of others, then we will have to do what Jesus did. We will have to go and have dinner with “the others”. We will initiate friendship. We will risk association with those nothing like us. Again, not asking anyone to water down what they believe or not even communicate it.

      I’m just saying rather than do what the Pharisees did (which was alienate the “outsiders” in the name of truth), lets do what Jesus did. Let’s communicate truth in the context of love and grace. Lets be friends with ‘the others’. Lets grab coffee with people we don’t agree. Let’s cultivate a healthy context for us to have productive dialogue.

      I could go on and on but does this make any sense at all? Like I said, I don’t have a lot of answers but just thinking out loud.

      • http://stephenmatlock.com/ BetweenTwoWorlds

        Love this response.

        Keep thinking out loud. People are listening.

    • WhatDoIBelieve

      Hi Bill, I want to suggest a third option to you.

      The government should get out of marriage.

      The government even being involved in marriage has diluted the Biblical meaning behind it. We basically already have civil unions when a man and a women, who are atheist, get married. If you only allow people to get married based on the covenant made with God, we would also have to deny atheists from being married. Which is why marriage should be left to various religions as a religious sacrament like communion or baptism. My church doesn’t really get any complaints because we don’t marry same sex couples or atheists because our refusal has no impact on their lives. But we also refuse to marry couples who continue to live together before they are married. We lovingly tell them they are engaging in a sinful behavior and if they choose to move into separate housing we will marry them. That actually gets more complaints and push-back than any other reason for refusal!

      That would eliminate the problem. Legally, we also already have civil unions for the most part. My spouse and I have an estate plan that covers everything our legal marriage covers (eg, hospital visits, survivor rights, etc) as a back-up if (for some unknown reason) their is any question about our marriage.

      The biggest problem is we have allowed a secular government to get so entangled with a spiritual covenant (and our lives in general) that it will be difficult to untangle.

  • laurie

    1 Corinthians 6:9-10 “….Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral nor idolators 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 6:11 “And this is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God”

    ok, so I understand what you are saying and I agree that we are called to love … but what do we do with these verses… they are straight from the Bible and cannot just be ignored?

    • BillVriesema

      The answer to this question would be quite revealing, What do we do with this? We can certainly apply it personally in the way we choose to live. But do we use it to condemn others? Does God want us to point this out to others that we believe are making wrong choices? Do we dismiss it as cultural to that time period? Do we base our national and state laws on this? Do we de-emphasize the part that says drunkards, greedy, slanderers, etc as being lesser sins–or at least ones we know what to do with?
      When I get to heaven’s gates, will God say He is pleased with how I followed the Biblical verses and laws (important), or will he say He is pleased with how I accepted all of His children without condemnation or prejudice? (I ask myself this a lot by the way…)
      The Bible gives examples of both. On the one hand he turns over the tables of the money-changers in the temple in anger at their disrespect for law —on the other he defends an adulteress from being stoned by asking anyone who is without sin to cast the first stone.
      I know this goes farther than what Sammy’s beautiful post intended. Sammy brings home the hurt that LGBT people live with–and how we all are sinful and in need of God’s grace. We need to know this, and know it deeply, and change our hurtful tendencies towards one another.
      But Gods grace is not cheap. It is not to be taken lightly. It demands a response from each of us.
      In Christian community, we need to learn (I need to learn) how to accept that grace and how we are to extend that grace to others. And because I am me, I need to learn more of the details of how that should be played out in the way I respond to issues such as this.

  • KATE

    This was a very big thing of you to say. Few come to this realization so quickly as you did, and many never do. This really gave me hope.

  • Tabitha

    I am in love with this. Love thy neighboor. I will never agree that homosexuality is right, but I will never agree that lying is right (even if I do it) or stealing (even if I have donde) it, or any type of sin (many of which I have done). Sin is wrong and that’s it. No gray areas. Thankfully, we are loved so much by a graceful God, a God that would spend time with all of us sinners, despite being disgusting. A God that see us as awesome people worth of sacrifice. As a christian, this is a stand I can accept, a stand of loving God’s creature.

  • ThenTheresMe

    Not good enough.

    I’m sorry, but it was not okay when one of my closest friends commented on a longtime mutual friend of ours saying “I love him, but that doesn’t mean he’s not going to hell for being gay.” Just like that. What I would like to hear is “I don’t know.” Honestly, we don’t. Everyone has their faith and their beliefs, and that’s great. They should be personal decisions, not judgement. As in; I live my life the way I do because that is what I believe is best for me. If you are offering your services as a spiritual guide (for those seeking your guidance, that is), more power to you. You shouldn’t ever expect people to accept condemnation, though. This very issue is the reason I don’t go to church anymore. It makes me sick to my stomach.

    • BisexualChristian

      All I can say is yes.

  • Chioma

    Oooh I just love God, he has a way of showing us things. Love this!!! The main thing about Christianity love God completely love all man unconditionally.

  • http://www.facebook.com/douglasjcole Douglas Cole

    Im confused if i understand what you are saying you say that the christian community needs to love the gay community, even though what they do is sinful? But if you are doing that i don’t think you are loving the gay community at all. If you view homosexuality as a evil its impossible to love homosexuals. Homosexuality is not some kind of sexual deviancy Homosexuals love and care for people of the same gender, that is all, even if you say you love the gay community if you comndemn their love as evil you cannot say you love them.

    • http://www.facebook.com/douglasjcole Douglas Cole

      I mean to clarify im not sure whether or not you think homosexuality is evil(as you stated that wasn’t the purpose of the post.) but i think this addresses the idea of loving people radically despite disagreements

    • http://stephenmatlock.com/ BetweenTwoWorlds

      “If you view homosexuality as a evil its impossible to love homosexuals.”

      I think I understand what you’re trying to say, even though I don’t agree with it (that homosexuals/gays are evil and ispo facto incapable of being loved by the righteous), and I think you do not, either.

      The thing is, love, especially the love of God, isn’t conditional upon the loveliness of the object. Love is.

      “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us…” We all, saved and unsaved, are loved by God who does great works to bring us back into relationship with him, all the while we are rebellious and hateful and sinners.

      The great sin isn’t homosexuality. The great sin is Pride, which caused the fall of Lucifer.

  • skat

    Brinna…really appreciate your comments. Tim, how can you say, it’s not a sin, if you believe the bible?

    • http://dailygallen.com/ tim gallen

      believe the bible in what way? as the unquestionable word of god? as an historical document? as a guide to living? I’m not trying to be snarky here but the bible is written by man despite its divine inspiration.
      but I readily and openly admit I’ve never read the good book all the way through. would you mind sharing the verses you cite as proof of homosexuality being a sin? I’ve heard some cited over the years but don’t know them well enough off hand. I would like to read them myself and think on them. thank you.
      sent from tim’s iPhone

  • Craig French

    Pastor Sammy, you missed the point. The “Jesus” harassing you and calling you the N word was hating you for naming the name of Jesus. You took the easy way out apologizing for everyone else…I’m listening to your sermon right now. You apologized for everyone else. It’s really easy to repent for everyone else. It’s even easier to portray everyone else as flying flags and having hate parades.

    I know pastors who actually shepherd men struggling against same-sex attraction, and messages like yours make it harder for men doing the hard work of calling out sin, actively shepherding in the midst of this sin, and for those men actively fighting against the temptation. You’re just staying clean with your message. Your message can’t get you ridiculed or killed because you just validated many people’s impression of Christ’s bride while distancing yourself from her.

    You’re now “in” with the homosexual community…but not the way Jesus was “in” with sinners. They loved Him because he cleaned out the messy, pussy, sickening sores of besetting sins. Not because He built superficial street cred by fist-bumping so-called outcasts. That’s why I love Jesus. He didn’t fist bump me in my sins chillin’ and apologizing for the ministry of Moses that the Pharisees pretended to be following.

    It’s telling that in this blog entry you identified your being ridiculed with the homosexual community and not the God-Man for who’s name you were actually ridiculed. You caved, brother. You did. You’re not special though…we’ve all caved numerous times and in numerous ways avoiding the difficulty of loving with hard words that connect with men in their sins. But lets not make it worse by pretending our failure is actually faithfulness and harden others in their sins.

    Sincerely,
    Craig

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Hey Craig, first, thanks for reading. I can sense a lot of passion and honesty in your comment and I appreciate that. Thanks for also taking time to respond. I’ll try my best to address some of your concerns.

      * The point of my story in this post was not the reason behind the hate I was receiving but rather that I felt hated. I could def write another post about being hated for the name of Jesus (and I believe I have on my blog) but as I stated, that was not my point here. This was simply me saying I felt super hated and was able to for the first time, identify with people who felt hated.

      * Did you actually listen to the entire sermon? Honestly, Craig, did you listen to the ENTIRE sermon? Cause if you did, I don’t think you’d have left this comment.

      * When you say “they loved Jesus because he cleaned out the messy, sickening sores of sin”, could you please show me biblically how that was clearly the ONLY reason they loved Jesus? Because from what I could tell, he went to have meals with them and he spent time with them. Yes he spoke truth but he was a friend hence the name “friend of sinners”. Take Zacchaeus for instance, was it not the offer of friendship that drove him to repentance? Jesus asked to go to his house and everybody freaked. Zacchaeus could not believe it and what happened next? You know the story bro.

      But yea, I’d love some biblical references to your statement.

      * You say I took the easy way out. If you don’t mind me asking, what exactly is the “hard way”. If you felt convicted over your hypocrisy and your felt broken that people were hated by Jesus. How would you have preached the message? I’d really like to know what you would have done.

      * This is ONE blog post. I’m impressed at how much you can conclude about me from one post and part of one sermon. Haha. I suppose we could come to any conclusion on anybody based on one post and one sermon. Maybe even one chapter from the bible.

      * The irony in your comment (and I’m not sure you realize this) is that you are chastising me for being “in” with sinners instead of taking the hate for the sake of Jesus who just so happened to have been chastised by the religious leaders of his days for being “in” with the sinners.

      * You do have one thing right. I’m not special. That we can agree on.

      Much love,

      Sammy

      P:S- I know it’s hard to tell tone on the internet. For all it’s worth, I wasn’t offended by your comment and I’m not freaking out. Just some dialogue.

      P:S:S- If after reading all this, you still contend I’m missing the point, then please pray for me. I mean that. Thanks man.

      • Craig French

        Pastor Sammy, it is difficult to read the intention behind a comment online.I’m afraid you misunderstood me at several key points and may have attributed motives to me that weren’t there. Of course, that could be partly a failure on my part to communicate clearly. For that, I apologize.

        First off, to clarify: when I said “you aren’t special”, I meant that your failure didn’t make you particularly special…that you aren’t a particularly spectacular failure. As Christians sensitive to the reality of sin, sometimes we feel like our sin is so extraordinary that no other Christian has failed as miserably as we have…it’s just not true, and I was hoping to make it clear that I don’t think you are the worst of the worst. I don’t know you, and like you said…I only have a blog post and a sermon to build from.

        Jesus’ ministry did not end when He sat down with sinners like you and me. That’s where it continued. He brought His ministry to the home where the mess is. Sinners, like us, didn’t just hang with Him, but bathed His feet with expensive perfume tears. Jesus used the occasion where an unnamed woman bathing His feet in tears as a contrast to how the Pharisee, named Simon, treated Him. Apparently Simon just wanted to hang with Jesus…you know, just break bread, nothing special. But this woman, she knew how to receive Him. With tears. With repentance. Jesus didn’t point her out because she was so extraordinarily different from everyone else, rather, because she received Him differently than the man who just wanted to break bread with Jesus like it was nothing. Further, when Christ was accused of being a sinner because He spent time intimately with sinners, He claimed to be a physician to the sick (Matt 9:12). Do you think that meant He just kicked it with them? Obviously not. Sinners knew Jesus could save them. They would cut holes in roofs so their friend could be healed…but not just healed…forgiven.

        How would I have preached the message? I live in Toledo, but I don’t know the dynamics of your church or her struggles. Preaching should always be pastoral. Your sermon didn’t seem to try to connect with where your hearers were except very loosely when you talked about those listening who may agree/disagree. I think I would have assumed that a fair number of your church members have/do struggle with same-sex attraction and have sinned with those of the same sex rather than assume they may or may not “agree” with you….and preach from 1 Cor 6:9-11a stopping at “Such were some of you”. I don’t want to dog on you…pastors get that a lot. Anyone who’s ever taught or preached can look back and say “man, I really should have said this”, or “I shouldn’t have said that!”

        * This is ONE blog post. I’m impressed at how much you can conclude about me from one post and part of one sermon. Haha. I suppose we could come to any conclusion on anybody based on one post and one sermon. Maybe even one chapter from the bible.

        Well, you seem to have misunderstood me and inferred at least as much about me than I have you, except with far fewer words.

        * The irony in your comment (and I’m not sure you realize this) is that you are chastising me for being “in” with sinners instead of taking the hate for the sake of Jesus who just so happened to have been chastised by the religious leaders of his days for being “in” with the sinners.

        This is actually surprising to me. I tried writing clearly so that you wouldn’t misunderstand me. I said you aren’t “in” with sinners in the same way Jesus was. I am not critical of you reaching out to sinners, but for commiserating with them over how right they are about evangelical Christians. In fact, you seem to think the alternative to your message is one of hate and that this is the message I wanted you to bring.

        I’m telling you you failed to minister to anyone trapped in sin…unless you happen to minister in a church filled with professing Christians that hate homosexuals and make them feel like God hates them. Or do you live in a city where filled with Christians that hate homosexuals and make them feel like God hates them? I’m in Toledo, too, my friend.

        I will pray for you. Not that you’ll simply agree with me, but that God can use a fool like me to help you in any way and that God will increase and bless your ministry…that you would be helpful to sinners in the midst of their messy homes with embarrassing and scandalous sins. Such a pastor will be LOVED by sinners.

        • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

          Hey Craig, thanks for the thoughtful response. Seems like we’ve reached the point where the internet severely limits further dialogue.

          Couple things and I should probably go to bed too :-) .

          * My bad for reading into some of the stuff you said. I honestly wasn’t offended. I just responded based on what I thought you were saying which now doesn’t seem like what you were saying? Phew. But yea I apologize for my assumptions.

          * I think we agree way more than we realize. Not completely but mostly. For the record, I completely agree that Jesus’s ministry didn’t end when he sat with people no one wanted to interact with. The point I’m trying to make is that he actually “SAT” with those people and ate with them. I’m not saying we should stop there or compromise what we believe. I just don’t see any “sitting” that’s really happening in my immediate context.

          I know we live in the same city and if you have different stories PLEASE let me know cause that would give me tremendous hope cause from where I have a little bit of influence, I don’t know very many Christians who are doing much “sitting” or “eating” with the gay community. I personally only know a handful of people who would be considered true friends.

          I honestly get what you’re saying. What I don’t understand is why you think I’m encouraging us to just “kick it” or just “hang out” and leave it at that. I guess I’m not sure where that came from cause I never said that. I never said leave it at that.

          In fact in my sermon I’m pretty sure I said STAND for what you believe but don’t just stop at posting some witty comment on Facebook about homosexuality. If you want to make a difference, go get coffee. Listen to a story. Do what Jesus did.

          * One thing I do think we disagree about without any miscommunication was my felt need to apologize. Sorry man but that’s just something I won’t take back. In other for me to truly with all integrity share a genuine friendship with anyone who I had been so hypocritical towards, I had to start there. It wasn’t the end of the conversation but it sure was the only way I could begin.

          * Last thought… it’s interesting you say I didn’t minister to anyone “trapped in sin”.

          What if I told you that some of my new gay friends came back the next week to hear me teach a very “offensive” message about hell and sin even though they knew that was the message coming?

          What if I told you that I got more email responses from that one sermon than from any other sermon I’ve preached in years?

          And what if I also told you that most of those emails were from the very people you don’t think I spoke to? And what if I told you that sermon was the start of many painful conversations of truth, grace and freedom from people who felt trapped?

          What if I told you someone hugged me and balled uncontrollable cause it was the first time they felt free to say I need help?

          It’s crazy how we can see 2 different conclusions from the same thing. You say ‘you didn’t really minister to people or communicate truth”. I’m saying, I couldn’t keep up with the ministering that happened or the many healthy opportunities we now have to communicate the truth you’re so passionate about with people who wanted nothing to do with us weeks before.

          I know it’s easy to exaggerate stuff in church world but trust me, I’m not making all this up. The response was incredible.

          I don’t say that to pat myself on the back but to say, it’s amazing what God will do when we communicate truth in humility and gentleness. And it’s amazing how much ministry can happen when we “sit” with people and when people know you genuinely care about them.

          Thanks for the prayers. I don’t say that lightly. By the way, are you a pastor? :)

      • Craig French

        Pastor Sammy, if you can’t restore the surrounding context of my initial comment, follow up comment along with your additional response, then please muster up the integrity to delete your response above as well. As my follow up comment pointed out, you misunderstood me at key points are were just plain wrong elsewhere.

        Sincerely,
        Craig

        • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

          Hey @craigfrench:disqus ,
          I understand your frustration. I personally didn’t moderate or delete your comments. I don’t even have the ability to delete my response above. I’ll see if I can through my disqus account. Should be able to.

          If you have any more concerns, feel free to shoot an email to Prodigal through the contact page. Great people. I know they’ll listen.

          Thanks for your patience.

          -Sammy

          • Craig French

            No worries, brother. I didn’t realize you weren’t moderating. My apologies.

  • Susie

    One problem is that society, Christian and non-Christian alike, have a sin-o-meter scale that determines which sins are worse than others. God said sin is sin, no one sin is worse than another except for the sin of unbelief in His Son. But another problem is, unfortunately, many homosexuals relate their identity in their sin. I have a lesbian friend who when she first met me said, “Hi! My name is __________ and I’m lesbian.” She told me later she did that so as to weed out the people who would dump her as a friend when they later found out she was gay. It saved her a lot of pain. But typically, most other people don’t divulge information about their bad habits. I have a problem with lying. I don’t introduce myself, “Hi! I’m ___________ and I’m a liar.” I don’t want people to know I’m a liar! I want them to know the good in me, not the just the evil! It makes me sad that they are so judged for sin. In thought, word or deed, I have broken every commandment, yet God chose me to be a pastor’s wife. He obviously sees something good in me. Christian homosexuals are forgiven of their sin just as I am forgiven for mine. Their identity is not in being a homosexual, it is in being a child of God. Their identity is in Christ, just like mine. I shouldn’t judge them just because they sin differently than me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joel.berry2 Joel Berry

    Thanks for the great exhortation Sammy. I’m praising God for the way he has used you! I have one thought- something that has been bugging me for a while. Is it really our fault that the gay community thinks we hate them? I daresay it is our culture that tells gays repeatedly that we despise them. Watch TV for an hour and you would be hard pressed not to find a Christian portrayed as a right wing, gay hating nut job. Its everywhere. I also think that no matter how loving or understanding you are, there will always be a crowd slandering you as a bigoted, hateful, individual. Christ promised in the sermon on the mount that those who follow Christ will be slandered and falsely accused as evildoers by the world. I guess it just slightly bothers me when this slander makes Christians assume that the slander is valid and is a result of our mistakes. That being said, thank you for your Godly example and Christlike response to such hate. Love you, my brother!

    • Neo

      I’m not Sammy, but I do have a thought on what you said. The situation is complicated. There are certainly a lot of false stereotypes about Christians, and a lot of exaggeration in the media. (Actually, a lot of it isn’t so much “exaggeration” per se as a focus on the extreme gay-hating folks rather than the typical Christian.) I know myself and too many other Christians too well to assume that the media portrayal is entirely accurate.

      At the same time, Christians often do have self-righteous assumptions about LGBT people. We are not merely being persecuted for sharing truth. We don’t often take the time to sit down with LGBT people and really listen to their stories. We often don’t deal with serious problems like anti-gay bullying that even lead to suicide, preferring instead to focus only on the sinfulness of homosexual practice. As a celibate but bisexually attracted Christian, I’ve dealt with a lot of shame in the past as a result of the attitudes the Christians in my life had towards LGBT people. A lot of people have it a lot worse.

  • BillVriesema

    I just want to say thank you for diving into a very difficult topic. And I know how draining it can be to read through comments on the internet, post and repost your own comments. It takes a toll. It is emotionally and mentally draining. Please take a deep breath, take heart, and know that you are loved–by your readers–and by Jesus. May God provide the strength you need to do His work today, tomorrow and beyond.

  • dave

    Is it a sin? yes, go to step 2.
    no? we’re done, have a good day.

  • dave

    Step 2,If your preaching to a christian, some sins are worse than others,Don’t cry over preaching God’s whole word, It’s wrong to stop giving the truth because you don’t want to offend. His word is an offence.if we pick and choose what to preach based on our feelings we have changed His word for our purpose.

  • dave

    We do have a basis to tell non-christians to quit sinning. Jesus told the woman caught in adultery to sin no more. Used to be no one would believe gay marriage would happen. Now they are saying pedophelia is just a normal life style.

  • Josh

    I try to think how God would judge – and He will. Will he judge people for being black or white? Male or Female? American or Australian? No to all of the above. God judges on 1 identity. The identity in Christ. The person either does have a relationship with the Lord or they do not. I don’t know who is who. Only the Lord knows that.
    So, with that in mind I can state with certainty that the Holy Spirit will not be doing works in people God has not chosen His Spirit to do works in.
    I can with certainty state that everything a person does is influenced by the Holy Spirit or something else (call if the devil or satan or a demon or whatever you want).
    While the human has free will, the INFLUENCE is there.
    The Holy Spirit will NEVER influence a person to sin, so if a person is sinning, the influence is coming from somewhere else.
    Now, look at the scriptures and see if the actions and desires match up with what God says is good or bad.
    These are the set of morals that are absolute and timeless. They are the morals of the creator.
    If God said that it was good to rape and murder people, then a follower of God would adopt those morals.
    I am happy that God has not said those are good, and in fact has shown he does not favor those acts.

    You can probably guess my stance on this issue, but read the bible and see for yourself what God says. Don’t try to justify human desires by saying God loves everyone. God loves murderers, rapists, pastors, children, blacks, whites, muslims, homosexuals, heterosexuals, cats, dogs, trees, plants. So tedious to even say that. God does not care how you identify yourself other than your identity in Christ.

    I will clearly state what is not popular in the church. If a person does not have a relationship with Jesus, the Messiah, the God of the Bible, the God of Abraham, then they will not have eternal life. The end.

    Jesus tells us what to do. Several times. He tells us that if we love him, we will keep his commandments. He also tells us that those who keep His commandments love him.

    He also tells us that when the day comes and people cry to him Lord, Lord, that he will tell many people to turn from him, as He never knew him.

    The bible is really not such a mystery. It is all very clearly outlined for us.

    I have to laugh at the people who call themselves “former Christians” – that’s impossible.
    The reality is that the person never was a Christian, they were living a lie. None can be taken from the Lord’s grasp.
    The only option is that the person was living a lie, or they will return to the Lord in repentance. I don’t know which, I just read the scriptures.

    The Bible was not written to make sinners feel good about themselves.
    Jesus didn’t come to Earth to make bad people good.
    He came to make dead people live.

    I wish this eternal life for everyone, but know that God has not planned this for many, according to Him. Those whom the Holy Spirit has never convicted of their sin – well… Let me tell you about my God, the one who is merciful and died for your sins and mine. His name is Jesus, and in Him you may have eternal life. This is the Gospel of my Savior.

  • http://www.facebook.com/elisa.stuart Elisa Stuart-Harvey

    Such a great word! Jesus said only 2 things, love God and love everyone else :) Holy Spirit is the one who brings conviction to us of our sins, and while as Christians we are filled with Holy Spirit, we are NOT Holy Spirit :) We are called to be lovers :) Thank you for sharing your journey of being called into a deeper level of love, I see Jesus in you Sammy! Thank you for being so transparent.

  • susan

    Sexuality is a human condition and has nothing to do with God, Jesus, or spirituality. As a minister I don’t understand why you feel sexuality is a theological issue of right or wrong. I am not homosexual so feel no reason to be fighting for “gay” rights…….its called human rights. Jesus loved the down trodden, prostitutes, sinners……why in the world would he care one bit about sexuality? God is love……love is God…….everything in the bible cannot be taken literally, so why do we pick and choose certain passages and consider them gospel truth? We were created in God’s image, but the only image that we as humans can be like God is through our love…..and sex has nothing to do with it. The more you love your neighbor, the more like God (Jesus) we are. I do not know what faith you practice so I am not trying to offend your beliefs….just wanted to share what God shares with me. God Bless you and your congregation. I am an open minded loving Christian.

  • Daniel J Zemek

    Thanks for your brave and loving heart Sammy! How far we have come (in a bad way) from Jesus’ message of peace and the powerful example of his life of love! Love is truly the greatest, but we, in our passionate and self-righteous zeal to include ourselves, and to exclude others, ignore the very basis of what the gospel of Jesus is all about. As Mother Teresa said about the Mahatma: “Gandhi felt fascinated at knowing Christ. He met Christians and felt let down.” Many blessings to you Sammy!

  • http://thomasmarkzuniga.com/ TMZ

    Can’t appreciate this post enough. Will be sharing it. Thank you for sharing your vulnerability and revelations!

  • Pingback: Friday Favorites: 1/11/2013 | Jenny Rae Armstrong

  • Frito

    I am a straight woman. Discrimination is treating someone differently than they treat the whole based on race, religion, color, creed, national origin, AND sexual preference. So it always baffles me especially when people of a race other than white discriminate. Because they, or their ancestors, know what its like to be discriminated against. Treating homosexuals differently, and not allowing them equal rights, or condemning their lifestyle is discrimination and I want no part of it. Also, the argument that the bible says homosexuality is a sin in outdated. The bible also states that a woman should marry her husbands brother should her husband die. Are we enforcing that. There is too much hate in this world, lets just accept people for who there are and love one another!

  • Pingback: In which I link you up (vol 1.8) | Sarah Bessey

  • Christina

    It seems to me that you haven’t changed your mind but only rephrased an opinion that is homophobic and therefore excluding and hurtfull to others. I do wonder who gives you the right to not only judge people but also make them feel bad about themselves and the lives they are leading. This is a crime. And even though it is a nice progression, I’m not sure if the gay community benefits from someone loving them who is closed minded and excluding and after all pushing them to the edges of society. You are Christians, you are supposedly forgiving and kind and loving, but you are still, by choice, hurting people with your perception of right and wrong, based on the old testament. How does that fit together? I don’t understand. You are not almighty, you don’t have the right to hurt people and yet you do, day by day, not only by not loving them, but by dismissing the lives they are living.

  • Ryan Nolan

    i think thats a step in the right direction and progress from YEARS of unjust and hateful purgatory. i think its a step towards a better and more understanding christian community who arent ignorant to the genetic make-up of others. i think its a beautiful revelation to have, to not hate someone who makes no effort to deliberately or intentionally insult through their lifestyle or biological choice.

    but i also think that this is just the surface. allowing yourself to feel christian love for the LGBTQA society (i have no idea what the Q and A are btw) is not accepting them. nor is it understanding that what we do is not always by choice. i speak for the section of the gay community who were, quite literally, born gay. i was not corrupted, i was not abused, i was not condemned by the devil, i do not CHOOSE to commit the “sin” of homosexuality (pfft). i still feel intensely hated, even by that revelatory post.

    to quote “There is someone that I love even though I don’t approve of what he does. There is someone I accept though some of his thoughts and actions revolt me. There is someone I forgive though he hurts the people I love the most. That person is……me.” is disgusting and degrading. saying that someones actions “revolt” you is extremely derogatory, especially when it as a natural and animalistic urge. homosexuality exists everywhere in nature. EVERYWHERE. i do not tell straight people that the act they undertake of making love to women “revolts” me. because that is extremely offensive. you cannot say you love with one breath but then condemn the actions with another. THAT is hypocritical. my actions are NOT unacceptable. they are misunderstood and many are ignorant and blind to the completely natural emotions behind them. for this reason, christianity is still preaching to be “holier than thou” and for this reason, LGBTQA’s will continue to feel hated by the church and god and jesus and the holy spirit. we are patronised at every turn as you say “yes your going to hell, but we love and forgive you for your revolting actions”.

    “This post is not about what the bible teaches about homosexuality or excusing your moral standards.” – shouldnt it be? it is a LONG since overlooked issue. it bellows from the rooftops of archaic times and moral standards. it denies basic human rights that god himself would advocate. if god were walking among us, truly, he would despair, he would weep, and then he would condemn us all. the corruption of christianity on the issue of homosexuality is deep rooted and heavily ingrained. all you are doing by “allowing” yourselves to “love” us, is making yourselves feel a bit better about something you KNOW is wrong to condemn.

    sorry i have ranted hear a little i didn’t mean to. perhaps it was god speaking through me about the injustice he observes (no sarcasm, genuine suggestion). This article is a step in the direction the world should never have turned away from.

  • http://twitter.com/sarah_tun Sarah Tun

    Truth is: if we look in the mirror and see ourselves in your post, we learn; if we don’t see ourselves we’ve already learned. If we get hostile: we’ve yet to learn. God bless

  • http://tellmewhytheworldisweird.blogspot.com/ perfectnumber628

    Wow. This is really powerful- I’m going to put a link to it on my blog.

  • Randi S.

    This was a beautiful post, Sammy. It’s the truth. God loves each and every single one of us no matter who we are, or what we have done, and as He loves us, so should we love one another.

  • slvr

    I’m proud of you Sammy! Great post and thanks for your heart and insight! I really loved this and it’s an honor to have a brother in Christ like you.

    -Mark (Your former staff discipler on the WWSP 2003)

  • Julie

    I used to be that person in the Christian community … who condemned.. I picketed outside movies and abortion clinics so sad when I think of those days. But God who is rich in mercy began to open my eyes to grace and the love that passes all understanding. I work in a doctor’s office. Two men came in monthly to see the doctor until one of them died. They were/are gay. As I watched them come and go God softened my heart towards them. He opened my eyes to see something profound. These men, who live a very different lifestyle than I would ever choose, displayed a greater evidence of love towards each other than people sitting next to me in the pew. I wrote something about it a few months ago on my blog as they had touched me so profoundly. It is titled “The Ways of Love”, http://mylongandwindingroad.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/the-path-of-love/

    Here is a excerpt:

    “It’s interesting for me to think about it all sometimes. These two men who have loved each other well are often condemned by the very people who are inhabited by the God who is love. Something must be amiss in this theology. Somehow Jesus looked beyond the sin and saw us as we were… It wasn’t about the sin, it was about the one created in His image. Jesus had an uncanny way of looking past the sin to see me, and you.”

    Jesus always saw beyond the actions to the one created in His image.. I’m beginning to get that now. This piece you wrote was beautiful. So glad I came across it!

  • Melissa C.

    Just a thought. The story of Jesus and the adulterous woman comes to mind. Jesus addressed her as sister and extended love when everyone else was hating on her. He didn’t call her out, berate her, judge her. He loved her. If you are going to call out people for “the actual act” of same sex, then call yourself out for those impure thoughts, for the little white lie, for judging the person you know nothing of. Pull the log out of your own eye before you start picking at someone’s splinter.

  • Cindi Knox

    We disagree on how and when to baptize, but we don’t talk about how evil each other is.
    We disagree on what communion means, but we don’t tell each other “you’re going to Hell.”
    We disagree on how, exactly, salvation works, where Jesus was those three days, whether Mary was born without sin, and a lot of other things, but we don’t tell each other “You can’t be Christian if you…”

    So why homosexuality?

  • sharla musabih

    this is amazing & courageous.. We are not judges on this earth. our test is how we treat each other.. love & leave the rest to God…

  • גם זה יעבור

    Unfortunately, I find that the Christian community knows little or nothing about the book they preach from. I also find that little or none of them know about the desert tribe/culture that these words came from. I would remind the Christian community that you are fishers of men and not judges of sin. Your job is to spread the good word. It seems that a lot of you need to be put in your place. Luckily, Sammy Adebiyi has been given a chance to be a true Christian. I hope this spreads (though I doubt highly it will).
    This I can tell you: If you think that you are safe just because you “know Jesus”, you are horribly mistaken. Everything you do in life will follow you into the afterlife. The pain you cause and the hate you spread will echo in God’s ears. You are not absolved of this because you believe in Christ. Every inhuman thing you do will be paid for in full. If you hate, the afterlife will be a lonely and desolate existence for you. If you love, though… if you love, it will be filled with that love.

  • Elisabeth Klein

    Excellent.

  • http://www.facebook.com/amanda.schopmeyer Amanda Schopmeyer

    It makes me incredibly happy to read this. All this says to me after it has been broken down and digested is that the bible teaches LOVE. And during this time we are so lacking in love… how can we expect to lead others to Jesus when we forget that he told us to love one another? Disagreement should not lead to losing love. Thank you so much for being brave enough to share this, even if it may not be entirely popular.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=530457335 Daniel Eldred

    This article made me cry, I thank you so much Sammy for writing this. I myself am a Gay christian. I believe that God makes man in his own image. I never made a personal choice to love my same sex, or choose to make my life harder, or “defy God’s lifestyle.” I truly believe I was made into who I am. I love God, I don’t believe he judges race, gender, or sexual orientation. I feel like something as amazing as God couldn’t have messed up on making me. I truly do believe there is hope for the gay Christian community, and that more LGBTQA population will find the light like I and many others did.

    Thank you again Sammy for writing this article and I’m glad to be able to spread it around to all of my friends and family.

  • wrshpr4lf

    Thank you to my friend who forwarded this blog to me on a Sunday morning before church. I am a young widow with two adopted daughters. I lay in bed this morning asking the Holy Spirit to fall freshly on me and empower me for a new day to please Him whether I am talking to a stranger or loving on my kids. Of course I did not know I would be confronted with this within my first hour awake during my first cup of coffee (okay, my second!) Thank you Sammy for allowing me a look into your world, your journey, your ministry. I bless you with countless more vulnerable moments for the Kingdom’s sake. I bless the readers of this blog, straight or gay, to understand the Man Jesus, His ways, His love and His purpose for you, this day, this hour in which we live in. May He himself reveal what really matters and keep “undoing” what we, the church have done. Humbled over a cup of coffee, many thanks.

  • Michael

    Sammy, God bless you deeply for your repentance and your heart! We found out that my stepson was gay about 4 years ago. My wife was totally blindsided but I wasn’t surprised. I had suspected for years. We talked with him about what the Bible said and told him that even if we don’t approve of his lifestyle, that we would still love him no matter what. He didnt want to tell us for fear of rejection. He thought that we would shun him. He now lives with his boyfriend and we spend time with them –loving them; showing them a tangible Jesus love. My Christian friends have embraced them as family. They even help out in our recovery ministry at times. (I know pastors would freak on that one!) His boyfriend has told us that he considers us real Christians. You see, some folks see this as compromise, we see it as Jesus love.

  • Guest

    Ok here is some logic for you. Christian “A” believe in accepting (loving) everyone because that is what they believe “God” wants them to do. However, God has shown that he is not accepting and, in fact, homosexuals are sinning and will go to hell (according to the bible). If Christian “A” loves God more than a gay person. No matter what, one would have to assume that deep down Christian “A” thinks that homosexuals are going to hell. Therefore, Christian “A” believing this cannot truly accept (or love) the homosexual, no matter how good he wants to make himself feel.

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.hoock.7 Daniel Hoock

    Ok here is some logic for you. Christian “A” believes in accepting (loving) everyone because that is what they believe “God” wants them to do. However, God has shown that he is not accepting and, in fact, homosexuals are sinning and will go to hell (according to the bible). If Christian “A” loves God more than a gay person. No matter what, one would have to assume that deep down Christian “A” thinks that homosexuals are going to hell. Therefore, Christian “A” believing this cannot truly accept (or love) the homosexual, no matter how good he wants to make himself feel.

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.hoock.7 Daniel Hoock

    Also, has anyone claiming to be a Christian literally read the bible? There are so many inconsistencies it is impossible to take it seriously. How about just be kind to people for the heck of it!

  • Denise

    I would say that the problem isn’t “loving” the LGBTQA community…the problem is doing so while NOT sending the message that it’s okay. How do you do that exactly?? I have friends that are gay and I don’t hate them for that, I love them just the same. But our relationships have become “surfacy” because I can’t condone their lifestyle and they can’t pretend to agree with mine, and so we love each other from afar. How do we fix that?? I’d love to know…

    • http://theupsidedownworld.com/ Rebecca Trotter

      What difference does it make if their behavior is OK or not? Why is it so gosh-blessed important that they be told over and over that you or I or the bible or whatever disagree with their orientation/behavior/beliefs? It may sound like a cop-out, but really – there’s a reason you think it’s really important.

      No one has ever been told, “you’re homosexual behavior is sinful” and been convicted by that message. Well, maybe someone somewhere has – I mean some people are born with tails. Strange things happen all the time. But clearly it happens next to never so repeating it over and over isn’t going to change anything. It doesn’t help anyone. It doesn’t do a single thing good. I know you and others want to think it does, but look at reality – it doesn’t.

      Is it important that you mark yourself out as on the side of truth? That you identify as someone who is a real believer? Jesus said his believers would be known by their love for one another, not their theology. So if that’s your point, you’re trying to accomplish your task in a way other than how Jesus said to do it.

      Really, what do you think would happen if you never, ever, ever mentioned or referenced the morality of homosexuality again? Would bad things happen? Do you think God needs your help working out another person’s salvation with them? Do you not think that he can be trusted with GLBT people without your help?

      At the end of the day the real question isn’t how we love GLBT people without sending the message that it’s “OK”. It’s why you think that your message of “it’s not OK” is so vital.

      • Denise

        It’s not that I think that God can’t do a good job all by himself, or that it is my responsibility to point out everyone’s sin. In fact, I don’t do that. But sitting by with a smile on my face “loving” people while they go about doing something that IS sinful and WILL cost them their salvation, isn’t loving. Do you get that? To love someone to death (literally)…isn’t loving someone. To have “good news” to share, but not share it because it offends people, is NOT loving. That’s where I don’t see how this message that this pastor delivered makes any sense.

        I get the fact that we don’t want homosexuals to feel hated; it is not them, but the sin, that’s the problem. What I struggle with is that the people I know that are homosexual tend to not feel loved unless they feel supported– and for obvious reasons, I cannot support them. No, I will not sign their petition. No, I will not vote to change a law to make sure that they feel like they’re doing the right thing by standing up for their sin. No, I will not walk with them in a pride parade. But yes, I will love them nonetheless. I don’t know how that doesn’t make sense. And, I don’t know why I have to feel bad for that either.

        • http://theupsidedownworld.com/ Rebecca Trotter

          There is not one single verse which says homosexuals are going to hell anymore than you or I. If Jesus’ death doesn’t cover all of our sins – the confessed and unconfessed, the repented and unrepented, the known and the unknown then the power of sin is greater than the power of God. And THAT is a lie from the pit of hell. If you really think these folks are headed for hell, and clearly telling them over and over again hasn’t changed anything and won’t, what’s the harm of just walking and loving them along the way?

          • Denise

            Rebecca, I can tell that no matter what I say or how much Scripture I quote, you and I are going to disagree on the issue of homosexuality and what the Bible truly says about it. And that’s fine. We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

            I happen to know that it is important to God that we speak Truth over each other and we be light to our brothers and sisters, and to leave them to walk in sin- unrepentant- is NOT loving them. I’m sorry to tell you that; I can tell you don’t want to hear it. And just to clarify, I’m not here to argue whether that is true or not, I KNOW it’s true. All I wanted to was for someone to enlighten me and help me understand how to bridge the subject of Truth and still love those that struggle with this particular sin, that is all. It’s clear that you’re not the person to help me with that– you don’t want to help me with that, you want to change my mind and that’s simply not happening…

            Thanks for your words and candid interaction; although this hasn’t helped in getting me the answers I was searching for, this has truly helped strengthen me in my position.

            • Brent

              Denise, I know I’m late to this party and you will likely never see this question, but I still want to ask. Do you have any relationships that are not surfacy? We are all imperfect creatures who sin. Following your logic the only person you can have a deep relationship with would be Jesus. No one else is without sin.

    • http://stephenmatlock.com/ BetweenTwoWorlds

      A) Maybe it isn’t so un-OK as we make it out to be. It’s a modern Western thing, and it’s grown more virulent as the Western world has become more technologically sophisticated, spreading this message of intolerance. Maybe the problem isn’t with them; maybe the problem is with US.
      B) “How do we fix that?” Well, suppose it was a problem (not loving the unlovely). We’re on the right track when we ask that, but I have to say, we already have the answer: we do what Jesus himself did, which was to love the unlovely and the unlovable. He loves us. We forget, maybe, that “us” includes “all of us”–God so loved the world, not just the lovely Christians. If we are going to have to make people lovable before we can love them we’re never going to love them.
      C) What does love look like, really? How many people in your life besides gays do you say “Well, brother, I love you but hate your sin?” I’d venture the answer is: none. Somehow we love people around us who fall short of God’s standards and even who fall short of our standards, yet we love them, tolerate them, listen to them, and don’t share with them that they’re going to hell just like us except for the mercy of God who wants them (but not us) to abandon everything about themselves–their identities, their loves, their desires, their very lives–in order to live as eunuchs in a kingdom of happy married people.

      I don’t know all the answers, really. I expect, however, that a generation of Christians that isn’t so scared of gays will eventually take over and this will sort itself out.

      We white Christians haven’t done such a good job handling the emancipation of black Christians in America–we’re still awfully separated, nearly speaking two different languages. We male Christians haven’t done too well with the freedom of female Christians, limiting their role in the functioning of the church, giving them parallel structures and power but not access to the real power–the pulpit and the checkbook. And we straight Christians aren’t doing so well with gays, but maybe, just maybe, we’ll look at how badly we handled the incorporation of the marginalized and the unwanted, and we’ll resolve to do it better this time.

      Maybe we can learn from our mistakes. Maybe we can represent Jesus’ wish: that we are known by our love, not our bumper stickers or our Sunday School vans or our necklaces or our vocabulary.

      No slam intended, of course. I’m as much a part of the white American church establishment as most everyone else. I am just trying to get out of that straightjacket. No pun intended.

      Well, maybe just a little pun.

  • http://profiles.google.com/mondojohnson Christopher Johnson

    Beneath the thin veneer of this weepy self-congratulation, the fundamental bigotry remains (in the guise of that old “love the sinner, hate the sin” chestnut — a kinder, gentler hatred, albeit one that switches the “CapsLock” key off).

  • BrinaHarwood

    Hey guys! If there was something about this post that really resonated with you, then please check out my idea: Apology 6/25/13. After reading this, it occurred to me, “Why can’t Christians apologize to the LGBT community as a community, on a single day?” I’m not suggesting we apologize for our beliefs, but rather that we apologize for our behavior. Here’s a link to my plan, if you’d like to read more:
    http://brina-harwood.blogspot.com/2013/01/apologetics-all-around.html

  • Densetsu

    Radical love does not require you to approve of someone’s activities. Do you think Jesus approved of the Roman soldiers who flogged him? Or of Judas for handing him over to the religious authorities? They did things that were morally wrong, *to Jesus* and he loved them anyway.

    How much easier it should be for us to care for those who do things we disapprove of in their personal lives? I find the arguments often made for applying the Leviticus Code to committed gay relationships specious at best, and often outright hypocritical, but even if your faith leads you to that conclusion, to restate it seems to me to be utterly uneccesary. There’s not a gay person in the United States that doesn’t know the traditional position of Christians on homosexual relations. Our responsibility is to love others as Christ did; if their sexuality dishonors God, then God will convict them of it on God’s schedule, not ours.

  • http://jewelfox.dreamwidth.org/ Taryn Fox

    No, because then you’re only loving the person you want them to be. That’s selfish.

    I think your realization was profound because you began to care about the actual people involved, instead of seeing them as irrelevant obstacles in between you and the Ideal Christianified Ex-Gay. You began to realize that trying to make these people into that is hurting them, and that it’s wrong for them to be hurt.

    If you continue, you’re going to realize what’s actually helping them, and try to offer them that instead. Even if it means changing your beliefs and “standards,” away from worldly prejudice and towards the kindness that Jesus taught.

  • Kat Weakley

    God created us, knowing who we were going to be…He isn’t surprised. I have many gay Christian friends, I can’t imagine the struggle they experience every day….the questions that they have….”does God love me?”, when many say I am a sinner….my answer is yes, He loves you…there is not one perfect person on this earth, we are all sinners..and those that judging you are sinning as they speak!

  • PrincessJones

    Sammy, first I’d like to apologize on behalf of all white people for what “Jesus” the troll did to you. Stories like this always make me feel bad for the people who know these trolls in real life because someone who spews that kind of hate, even under the cloak of internet anonymity, cannot be happy and they are surely not a pleasant person to deal with.

    I also applaud you for for a well written and touching post and taking your first steps toward understanding this issue which seems to be causing internal conflict with more and more Christians every day (and I think that’s a good thing, btw).

    The reason why I say you’ve only made the first steps is that surely you must see that you are not exactly welcoming the “Community” with open arms when you compare their sexual identity over which they have no control, any more than you had control over your race, to things on which we can all agree (even us atheists) are bad/immoral/unhealthy or even illegal – theft, adultery, lying, etc.

    Yes, I understand the Bible says homosexuality is a sin and that for some reason “you people” (Christians) will discount the entire OT whenever anyone brings up the fact that it had quite a lot of “sins” which modern Christians consider obsolete. Obviously many of the OT sins were more rules for making sure people lived and were productive members of society. Eating pork in pre-USDA, pre-Frigidaire times was a risky activity. I think a good argument can be made that the OT ban on homosexuality was for a similar reason. They were trying to populate the world and until recent times, being gay didn’t really help with that all too much.

    Yet even in the NT, Paul had more than a few things to say about what women should and shouldn’t do (more “shouldn’ts” than “shoulds”) and while there are obviously sexists out there, whether or not women can speak in church or braid their hair isn’t a debate for most Christians. And to my laywoman’s eyes, those passages are much less ambiguous than the NT passages that are used to support homophobia.

    Bottom line, don’t you think homosexuality as sin should join the ranks of not eating pork, not wearing clothing made of separate materials, and a woman not being able to talk to a man other than her husband?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=573505544 Christine Hadley

      Problem is, how can you apologise on behalf of all white people? How do you know the troll was white? He could have been Hispanic. Asian. Could have been a black person being really stupid. Not to mention, by apologising on behalf of all whites, you are apologising for me, when I have done nothing wrong to Sammy. I will not apologise for someone else’s idiocy and rudeness. That is THEIR place to do so, not mine. I will say, I feel sad that someone made Sammy feel inadequate and unloved by their words, but I will not apologise for their actions because it was not I who did it nor forced another to do it.

      Other than that, I agree with your post. I personally think Paul was a bigoted sexist asshole.

      • PrincessJones

        Just saw this (obviously don’t check my Disqus acct often) and you’re right. I don’t know why I said that. Must’ve just watched “The Help” or something. ;)

  • http://www.majorinthegraceofgod.blogspot.com/ dale carroll-coleman

    Love God, Love People… Summarizes the O.T. Jesus continued that when He came to save us from our sin. Perhaps if we concentrate on the loving part, while holding on to Gods Word, the Holy Spirit will do its work through us and touch lives. The H.S. points others to truth. We all have logs in our own eyes. Lets love better, starting today.

  • Joel

    I think you can have a different sexuality and still be friends. I think you have to be sure that it isn’t repugnance for or fear of the gay lifestyle that is guiding you. I don’t remember Jesus rebuking a gay man and I don’t remember Jesus rebuking a woman. So why are some men running the Church as if he did?

    P.S. I am heterosexual, married for 25 years.

  • nedmorlef

    It’s easy to get all feelgood about gays and the fact that, their sin is no different than ours.the hate towards gays is from old time real bible knowledge. No, not from Sodom and Gomorrah.

    The antichrist figure will be gay. That’s how important it is that we love them. So, they can rise to prominence and power to make the bible prophecy come true as to usher in God’s will of the end times. Sounds psychotic doesn’t it?
    Not so much when you realize that the Daniel 11:37 clearly states that, the antichrist individual will have “no use or desire for women”. So it’s imperative that we raise them to their pedestal so they can destroy us.

    And don’t forget to “stand in the gap” while you’re at it. We fight evil because, God said too. Even if his prophecies say we must lose to the devil and his world until Christ returns.

  • Kit

    In response to your call for interaction, I feel hated by the church because even people full of genuine empathy cannot grasp that I will never stop feeling hated by churches who insist there’s a theological basis for considering my love below their “moral standards”, or who my “actions revolt” (not to discredit the impact or beauty of Lewis’ point). I can put forth theological arguments that aren’t personal to me about not calling profane what god has made clean, that the greatest of all is love, about damn shellfish and polygamous privilege rape being acknowledged as good family planning in the same areas of the Bible as (likely, and depending on translation even) homosexuality, but I’ve stopped caring about theology and Christianity remotely enough to parrot things you can hear from people who actually believe them.

    I think your realization is wondrous. I think you’re a genuinely good person. I respect you and even like you (and would love you radically if I were a Christian). And I disagree with you. And I think that your theology is below my moral standards. And it kind of revolts me. I guess your theory is right! It’s a shame it still makes me feel hated by the church.

  • Temi

    I think we agree theologically Sammy. I know it is hard to love those I disagree morally with *I am praying for God to warm my heart towards every man, including myself*.

    One truth that I know, the truth that changed me, the truth that gives meaning to my life, the truth that makes me want to love ALL people (whatever they may do, have done, or will do) is this:

    God loves every man!!! Isn’t that why He sent His Son to die for us? *rhetorical question* My Bible is filled with stories of love and grace, over and over again (Romans 5:8, and Romans 5:38-39 especially underline this).

    The story in John 8:1-11 tells God’s take on the matter. And Jesus said over and over again, ‘Love thy neighbour’.

    I think we*especially so-called Christians* have just been brainwashed *by ourselves in this case* about the idea of perfection/righteousness. Nobody is perfect except he/she is made right in Christ, so doing a bunch of good stuff doesn’t even move one from a zero on the scale of perfection.

    I’m glad you wrote this: it couldn’t have been more clear than His writing on my wall ‘Do not be like the Pharisees’.

  • Mello

    This really touched my heart. I have a few friends, and a couple of family members, who are homosexuals, and this reaffirms that we are to hate the sin, not the sinner. I don’t judge them, but I pray for them, that G-d will bring them to Him.

  • bbt001

    Everything in the post is true, but it does nothing to solve the problem that it skirts over. The fact that no matter what love and grace you show them, most in the gay community will hate you because they don’t want to live by God’s moral standards. They want to live in sin and continue to say it is not sin.

    • http://stephenmatlock.com/ BetweenTwoWorlds

      Most people I know–including me–don’t want to live by God’s moral standards–or any standards. That’s why we’re included in God’s family as “saved”–because we weren’t making it on our own & needed a Savior to turn us around and rescue us.

      How are gays different than any other group of sinners? Why do they get special status as ungodly or unlovable or unforgivable or undesirable?

      Why is this THE one thing Christians today think they just cannot accept? Why focus on this one type of humanity?

      • bbt001

        “How are gays different than any other group of sinners?”

        I am speaking of those that don’t repent of the sins, which is require to be truly “saved”

        I also don’t focus on just this one thing, but it is the topic at hand. I can say the same about baby killers, or addicts, or any other group of sinners.

  • http://www.facebook.com/christopher.lirette Christopher Lirette

    Mr. Adebiyi your article is amazing. Your genuineness shines through and we are blessed to have you working for the kingdom Brother. I hope God blesses you all of your days.

    ‘Faith is only the handmaid of love. Love is the end of all the commandments of God, from the beginning of the world to the end of all things. And it will endure when heaven and earth flee away; for ‘love’ alone ‘never fails’. Faith will totally fail; it will be swallowed up in sight, in the everlasting vision of God. But even then love, its nature and its office still the same, lasting its lamp and unconsumed its flame, in deathless triumph shall forever live, and endless good diffuse, and endless praise receive.’
    - John Wesley

  • http://www.facebook.com/michelle.rinaldiortega Michelle Rinaldi Ortega

    Sammy, thank you for your humility that allowed the love of Christ flow through you to your congregation. Turning inward to your own heart for purity, and laying down the expression of your theological position for LOVE…I truly believe that is how we are called to live out the gospel in the world. I have cried these same tears this past 18 months and my life has been blessed because I have opened myself up to love this way. Not, “I love you anyway”, but “I love you BECAUSE” and it has been a healing experience for my own heart as well as for the handful of people I have encountered in my walk. I know that they have experienced the mercy of Jesus through our conversations, and that it has brought life and healing to desperate hearts. A shift in the path of a long, lonely journey. I thank God for this post and for your heart this morning.

  • Steve B

    “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”

  • http://stephenmatlock.com/ BetweenTwoWorlds

    Good conversation, my man.

    I think Christians have a sense that “we’re saving people down there below us” by offering them what we think is compassion but is really condescension. “You poor ugly lost sinner with your ugly sins. I’m taking a break from the prestigious community of the saved & deigning to speak at you. If you change everything about you and become everything we are, you’ll be accepted. But, all along the way of any change we’re going to remind you how you’re beneath us.”

    Most people I know–saved or lost, saint or sinner, free or enslaved–just want a few things. To be loved. To be accepted. To be seen. To be valued as a human being and to know that they have some significance. Most people have enough to deal with in their heads when it comes to a relationship to God; they don’t need more ammunition directed against them by the servants of God.

    Most aren’t looking for a lecture or a sermon or advice, and most consider the source when they hear the advice.

    I’m very sorry for the unkind words directed at you. You don’t deserve those words, and I can’t excuse them in any way. People do ugly things when they’re hurt, and they lash out. Because we’re clever, we often know the exact right thing to do or say to cause the most pain and humiliation. No getting around how that affects us. And I honestly do not know how we are supposed to really love people when so many of them return the love with rejection and pain and anger. It is safer to stay away from them, I suppose.

    All I can say is that I hope somehow you find it in yourself to still be yourself. You come across as someone who wants to be compassionate and honest. Those are good values. They represent who you are. I hope you get to somehow incorporate the pain without pretending it didn’t happen.

    I like the CS Lewis stuff because he has so many great images in his writing. The one that strikes me here is the one about redemption: how the diver goes into the murk and the deep and the dark where it is cold and oppressed, where nothing but shadows exists; he gropes until he find that unseen, hidden, secret thing, and then rises to the surface with that same thing, showing everyone it is actually a pearl of great price. He transformed the unseen dark thing by bringing it with him; he transformed himself by diving so far to rescue something so valuable.

    I think that image represents what we do here when we love the unloved, the unlovable, the unwanted, the unseen. We’re reaching, but not reaching down, because we’re down here with them. Not better, not higher. With them. Holding their hand in that darkness.

    We forget, maybe, that the name of the Savior was prophesied long before he was born: God with us. How could we do any different than he has done but be with those who in need of God’s favor?

    I’ll leave it for another day on what we actually think of the marginalized. I think Christians have made great strides in their understanding of humanity. We have a ways to go, however, in experiencing and manifesting the eternal love of God.

  • Nikki

    I am gay, Christian and going into ministry. I always associated Jesus with hate speech until I found the UCC church, where being gay is not an issue AT ALL. So now I am free to be a follower of Christ and do good works in this world with the support of a Christian community. It’s awesome. I am free to help my brothers and sisters who are homeless, suffering from addiction, and healing from abuse. Part of my ministry will also be healing the wounds that have been inflicted upon the gay community because of hatred from Christians. The biggest struggle for me is loving my “enemies”, most of whom are Christians who believe that homosexuality is a sin. It is difficult for me to be forgiving of people who are causing such horrific damage to their fellow man in the name of God. That CS Lewis quote will help me to be forgiving of those Christians whose actions revolt me. This blog is important and I hope that you continue to build bridges and open up conversations that go deeper than people throwing scripture verses at each other. Thank you for having an open heart and mind. I hope that my heart and mind will be opened as well as I continue on this journey.

  • Joe

    As someone who struggles with same sex attraction, I am so glad that these discussions are happening. It is easy to say that you identify with someone who is “gay” about feeling a certain way about themselves from a young age, and defend their life choices based on that. But where is the biblical basis for feelings? From what I know of life, our feelings are misleading and do not lead us to God’s path. As someone who also has His word written on my heart, I can honestly say that I believe a lot of the lies that I “feel” about myself since a young age (unloved, unwanted, etc). The bible isn’t meant to serve as a book where we scavenge for what is explicitly a sin and what isn’t. Saying that homosexuality isn’t a sin is not bringing more homosexuals to be disciples of Jesus, it’s bringing them to be members of the Methodist Church (sorry to throw shade, meant for example). Transformation (Romans 12:1) is what we should all strive for, not rationalizing sin (missing the mark). And I know that you care about your gay friends, and so do I; but the truth of the matter is, that homosexuality is rapidly physically and mentally consuming, and my cross that I have to take up daily.

  • legless

    Thank you for the article, Sammy. I understand exactly what you are trying to help people understand. I believe that Jesus understood that we would have problems with our brothers and sisters, that is why He said to hate the sin, but to love the sinner. I hope that eventually, all people will stop trying to push wrong living on everybody and try to change the way God set up this world. God Bless

    • http://stephenmatlock.com/ BetweenTwoWorlds

      “He said to hate the sin, but to love the sinner”

      Help me out here, honestly. Where do we get this scripture from?

  • Captain Obvious

    “Why do you think so many in the gay community feel so hated by Jesus and the church? Do you think it’s possible for us to disagree and still love people radically?”

    Allow me to use your words to answer that for you, Sammy.

    “I don’t know if we’ll ever agree on the issue of homosexuality, but what I do know is that Jesus loves you.”

    In the midst of an apology, you still seem to feel the need to raise your moral standards to remind the listener that you see what they do behind closed doors and in their personal lives as an issue.
    So no, I do not think you can truly love someone when you “disagree” with something as personal as deeply personal and unchangeable as sexual orientation. It would be the equivalent of me telling you that I will love you in spite of disagree with your choice of skin color.

  • lessthantolerant

    drivel coupled with delusion

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.j.duff Michael J Duff

    Brother Sammy, with all due respect, you need to learn that it does not matter what others think or feel about you and what you believe. You are called to speak the truth in love as a preacher. If gay people choose to hate you and me because we faithfully preach the truth about homosexuality, then so be it. It is not love to stand back and allow someone to engage in self-destructive behavior.
    Do not allow the truth to be silenced because believers are inconsistent in their condemnation of sexual sins. Not condemning some sins does not make other sins more acceptable or less destructive. Any sexual activity outside of the relationship of husband and wife is a sin and CLEARLY condemned in the Scriptues. I am sure that lots of people hated Jesus after the sermon on the mount, yet he slept quite well.

  • Revmargie

    I think you hit it right Jesus loves everyone he just doesn’t love our sin. Good article

  • uureverend

    Great article! The church needs to embrace cultural pluralism before it becomes as irrelevant and ineffective as the current GOP. Let God be the judge (“vengeance is mine”). Our role is to love lLove one another”).

  • rodney

    People matter to God. God loves ALL people. I can honestly say that I have never heard a Christian say they hated homosexuals. I’ve heard them express disapproval or even disgust about homosexuality. I’ve heard them speak ignorantly about causes/reasons for the condition. But never have I heard a true Christian say they hated homosexuals. Although homosexuals appear to be successful in portraying the Church as haters, the real problem in this matter is not about God not loving people or Christians mistreating homosexuals. The problem is the homosexual’s active, vocal, efforts to morally legitimize what the Bible clearly teaches is morally wrong, so morally wrong in fact, that Paul writes about it in Romans 1. This movement to call evil good is not new. There have been some all along who sought to promote the lifestyle as legitimate.. But an “uprising” occurred. I was first introduced to it in the early seventies when a student in a speech class at my University Alma Mater informed our class that he was a homosexual and that homosexuals were coming out of the closet and would challenge society regarding its moral position on homosexuality. The last thing these dear people need is for the Christian Community to deny the teaching of God’s Word on this matter. Some Christian groups have already taken this step, the Episcopal Church for example. When they ordained a known, practicing homosexual as a Bishop, that Bishop told the news media that just because the Bible says something is wrong, does not mean that it is wrong. Fortunately, some in the Anglican tradition challenged this step. Never before in my lifetime has it been more important to SPEAK THE TRUTH IN LOVE. It is tragic that our President appears to be encouraging this lifestyle. God help our Country. There is already enough confusion in our society about morality. We do not need to add to the problem

  • http://stephenmatlock.com/ BetweenTwoWorlds

    The only sin I read about in Scriptures that is unforgivable is one: the sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit of God, and I think it applies to the idea that the work of God cannot effect salvation. The only person in Scripture that I read about who could not be saved was one: a rich man who could not follow Jesus because his possessions possessed him.

    Gay men and women are not the unloved and unwanted by God; we are doing them, our fellow brothers and sisters, a terrible injustice by marking them as unwanted.

    All the talk about “loving the sinner and hating the sin” is so much balderdash. You cannot say you love someone when you know nothing about them except that you despise them.

    I cannot find in Scripture any support for the idea that sinners are somehow only a target for church membership, but not for understanding or love or acceptance. I cannot find the support for the idea that there is a special class of sinners whom we not only cannot accept in our churches, but also must despise in our society by denying them their humanity and their human rights.

    The gay men and women I know are not turned away from God because of God not loving them or wanting them. They are turned away by God’s people who tell them this, over and over again: “You are unloved. You are unwanted. You are unclean.”

    At the very core of their existence gay men and women are gay. Not sexual deviants. Not lustful sinners. Just that they love someone of the same sex and not the opposite sex.

    This is not something like “committing” a crime or an act, something where you can simply stop doing something. This is a core thing about them. Unchangeable. When we tell our brothers and sisters that they cannot be saved unless they stop being who they are–a condition we frankly do not place upon any other group in all humanity or history–we are speaking not God’s truth but our own fears and convictions. We have been trained to think of gay men and women as apart from humanity. They are not apart, and they are not on the margin. They are simply normal human beings.

    It took the Christian church an awful long time to reach a consensus on the immorality of slavery, even though Scriptures do not support the idea that slavery is forbidden in law or custom. We had to grow up in our thinking about who was human. We are still struggling as a community to elevate women to their equal footing with men in the church–we still exclude them from certain functions because we think Biblical honesty requires us to copy first-century cultural practices into twenty-first-century life.

    We are only started (unfortunately) with examining the place of Scripture as to its impact upon our choices, taking strictures about food and drink and sex applicable to the Bronze Age and making them apply to the Germanium Age.

    I get it that we think an interpretation from certain people can become the only interpretation. But that doesn’t mean it’s right. There are good, solid Biblical scholars who think passages against homosexuals apply to certain practices of cultic behavior rather than normal behavior between adults. There are good teachers who speak about the evils of prostituted sex but who teach that compelled sex doesn’t deny the place of proper sex.

    We might be wrong in how we think about and treat gay men and women. Rather than simply bang the drum of our rage louder and louder at the idea that gays and lesbians want to be seen, maybe we can think and talk and discuss what Scripture means to us, today.

    There are far more scriptures about loving our neighbor and doing tangible good for them than there are scriptures instructing us to shame and exclude gays and lesbians.

  • http://pickadirectionandgo.blogspot.com/ mickholt

    Enjoyed the post. This “issue” is something I have struggled with for years. I find it unacceptable that as Christ followers we miss the fact that that Jesus went out of his way- literally in the case of the Samaritan woman – to interact with the people that NEEDED to see his face. Yet, we act like the Scribes and Pharisees and turn our backs on people, why, because of the sin in their lives? I think sometimes God must be shaking his head in haughty derision saying “how can you people STILL not get it?” Looking forward to reading more of your posts.

  • Jay

    I’m glad you came to this understanding and shared it with others. At my undergraduate institution, the leaders of our LGBTQA Pride group and our Christian Fellowship group came together to work out their own misconceptions about each other. The two groups then went on to work together on a number of events, most notably a vigil for the rash of LGBT youth suicides that happened a couple years ago. It is wonderful when people can work past their differences for the good of others. lI hope you may find the same thing happening in your community in the future.

  • http://twitter.com/hlmcconnell Hilliard McConnell

    this is a great write up. Thank you!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/brianlovesjesus thanks Jesus!

    God bless you, thank you, this was a powerful post, praise Jesus Christ

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Debbie-Mcelhoes-Suderman/787380155 Debbie Mcelhoes Suderman

    This was really good thanks for sharing…….This is True!

  • Concerned50

    I taught my kids to be careful with beliefs…. don’t take any on that make you feel bad about yourself. Why is it so much easy to judge then to love? I have spent hours searching the Bible trying to justify what many ministers/pastors preach, and always come up with “Love begets Love, Hate begets Hate.”

  • Quentin

    I have a bit of a problem with the “love the sinner, hate the sin” approach. I am transgender. When people say being transgender is a sin, what are they saying? They’re literally saying “being who you are is a sin.” That doesn’t make me feel much better, honestly. It just makes me feel like I am the sin, and so I still feel hated. The “love the sinner” approach doesn’t make me feel loved at all. As for homosexuality (or other non-hetero sexualities) I honestly believe that people cannot change their sexuality. Saying, “acting on the way you are is a sin” or “loving people who you were made to be attracted to” is not much better either. In the end, it just comes down to hating the person. I don’t believe in God most of the time, but in the fleeting moments when I think God might exist, I question why God made me in a way many of God’s followers consider to be a sin. That doesn’t feel like love at all.

  • gracey

    I’m from the San Francisco Bay Area, and have gay friends all my life, and gay people in my family, and I can assure you. every single gay person I know believe “Christians” hate them. You keep talking pastor, keep spreading the love, because after all, it’s all about the love.

  • Shell

    I have been struggling with God about this topic…and wondering if I am not a True “Christian” if I don’t join the theological debate. I have been teetering between the speaking truth in love to just loving first and foremost. People don’t really care what you have to say until they know you care about them. There are so many moral issues that we all battle with…but when we forget we are sinners in need of Grace…LOOK OUT!
    Thank you for your article. I have a gay brother-in-law and we love him dearly…but I never come at him with a stance of telling him how he is wrong. I just want to tell him about Jesus! And how I fall short everyday and how beautiful the love of Jesus is.But, I mist never forget that I am in need of His grace no less than this family member.
    I read this at the perfect time! Thanks for sharing this with honesty and humility. It is my prayer that we can all be more sensitive to the Holy Spirit!

  • beloved828

    Sammy! Thank you so much for sharing! The Lord has been dealing with me about loving.. My question is how can I love the gay community without compromising their sin? What I mean is I want to radically love and too not make the gay community feel like they are hated by my judgement… But I don’t want them to continue in their sin… Does that make sense?

    • http://stephenmatlock.com/ BetweenTwoWorlds

      I’m not Sammy and would not presume to speak for him. (And holy cow, I can imagine the rebuke if I did!)

      But when you say this “how can I love the gay community without compromising their sin?”, what do you mean? Why this sin? Why this response? Why this desire?

      Most people caught up in their lives and their brokenness aren’t asking for me to love them but judge their sin. Most of them are asking me to love them.

      How is loving someone a compromise? What do you have to overlook to love them? What are they asking you to do?

      I have found a great secret to life, which is not such a secret: people respond to love. Pure, unadulterated love. Listening, respect, admiration, honor–people love it when they realize you see them, as they are, and not just what you think they are.

      There is no great sin of homosexuality that is somehow the worst possible thing, or the most difficult thing to deal with . People are broken. We all are. Loving people where they are, exactly as they are, is the key to being with them and becoming their friend rather than their evangelist.

      You’ll be surprised how many doors open when you start doing this. Just loving people.

      In the past year I’ve shared the gospel more openly and more bluntly with people than I did before when I was afraid to “offend” them because I was so concerned with their sin that’s all I focused on. “How can I witness when they’re such sinners?”

      As someone said elsewhere, we’re in sales, not management.

      Be there for your friends. Be Jesus to them. Hang out with them, talk with them, listen to them.

      Save the preaching and judgment for the non-performing believers, like Jesus did. Be the grace and mercy of God to those who don’t know him like you do.

      Well, my thoughts, anyway.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gregg.koskela Gregg Koskela

    Thank you for your vulnerability and honesty and for letting Christ love through you!

  • John

    The Scriptural process in addressing those in open, rebellious sin is not blanket acceptance but correction. Jesus is merciful, and the Blood of Jesus can cover all sin, but if they don’t repent, it should be evident that their sin is not acceptable. We all sin. Some have issues with lying, or pride, or pornography, or fear, or any number of sins. But IDENTIFYING with the sin, and using it as a rallying banner to rebel against God’s order is not OK. Those with Equal signs for facebook pictures, or those rallying support for Same-Sex marriage, for example, are not expressing God’s will for their lives. They’re adding mixture to the message of the Gospel.

  • Nicholette

    This brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for spreading love.

  • Redeemed

    “Why do you think so many in the gay community feel so hated by Jesus and the church?” Because…Jesus asks us to change! He asks ALL whom He calls to “be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.” (Ephesians 5:1-5) AND Jesus gives us all that we need to make that change! “Grace and peace be mulitplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.” 2 Peter 1:2,3 Unfortunately, the LGBTQA community who are vocal in the political arena have made it clear that they have no desire to change and “put aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of truth.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)

  • Rick

    Beautiful.
    In my own experience, as a man who choose to believe scriptures presentation of this subject and decided to not act upon my inclinations towards homosexuality, I have been placed in an odd position. I receive the angst of both sides, one hating me for deciding to following my faith and another hating me due to my temptations.
    I have long felt Christianity’s reaction to this specific subject has been off center and hypocritical. I find this story incredible and I hold great respect for the bravery of this Pastor. God bless, you are in my prayers.

  • Michael

    Here’s something that I think people often mix up when talking about the Gospel: God will judge sin. We are all sinners, and God will judge sin in the end. The only ones who escape such judgement are those who are washed by the blood of Christ. But it seems in our churches today, often we go to one of these two extremes (or sometimes both, depending on what issue we’re talking about): Either we discount the judgment of God and just tell people that God is so loving and try to avoid offending them by telling them the truth that they are sinners. The problem with that is that without acknowledgement of the sin problem and the consequences of it, there is going to be no felt need for a Savior. And so people who are saved under this philosophy of Gospel preaching seem to have tendency to easily fall away from the faith. Then there’s the other extreme which is for us to sit in judgment of other people’s sin rather than leave that judgment to God. Are we supposed to just accept sin and treat it like it’s ok? No, absolutely not. But our job is not to sit in judgment. Our job is to be the person standing on the side of the road yelling for people to get out of the way of the oncoming bus. It’s not to lecture them on the evils of standing in the road in the first place or to tell them how stupid they are for not recognizing there’s a bus about to run them over. It’s our job to try and get them out of the road. That means we recognize there’s sin in their lives and point out to them that by God’s standard, they are sinners on the road to hell. But we are to do that without passing judgement, and we are to love them unconditionally and attempt to lead them off the path of destruction. We are not to point out that they are on the road to hell and then condemn them to their fate.

  • http://twitter.com/4CrdPoker Dustin Lee Meadows

    Jesus loves everyone, but would he accept the (LGBTQA) I seriously doubt that. If our lifestyle doesn’t match up the standard that God is calling us to hold then there is something wrong here correct. You might confuse people with your message. It makes it seem like Jesus accepts the lifestyle that is homosexuality. Paul even talks about this.

    • http://stephenmatlock.com/ BetweenTwoWorlds

      Let’s put aside the question of whether Jesus accepts the (LGBTQAI).

      Do you? Do you accept that they exist? Do you see them in this world? Can you imagine befriending them or listening to them or coming to understand what they are, who they are, why they are the way they are? Can you let them live in peace in your own world? Must you make them as you are?

      Most of the people who reject* Christianity upon hearing it or experiencing it do so because they get a view of Christians as unaccepting, unlistening people. People who will preach at them, tell them they love them as sinners but hate their sin, tell them that if only they would change that God would love them and accept them. The world sees “God hates fags” on the signboards of some Christians, but what does it see in response by the rest of Christendom? “Well, God doesn’t actually hate you, but boy does he hate what you do. And so do we.” They see a focus on who they are, and an insistence that they, above all other people on this planet, must stop doing what they do in order to be accepted by Christians and the church.

      There are a lot of issues in the world that non-Christians see as bad, issues where Christians are simply failing to respond. There are millions of mothers and children going to bed hungry or without shelter, each night, here in America. This is probably a sin, that we are not taking care of these people, but I don’t see where Christians are hating this sin.

      This one thing, homosexuality, is a flag (pardon the pun) to people about the real nature of Christians and Christianity. That all sorts of sins can be forgiven and even accommodated, but not this one. This is the sin that separates gays from other, normal, “accepted” people.

      It is a very difficult thing to live in this world, and a lot of people just want to know that they matter, that someone knows they exist, that they have meaning. When Christians make this, opposition to homosexuality, as the hill to die on, they are setting up an enormous barrier between a gracious Savior and a hurting world.

      *I realize that rejection of Christianity, Biblically speaking, comes from a spiritual condition and not an intellectual or emotional condition, but as messengers for the Good News we should attempt to speak the Good News in a way that matches the listener’s understanding, which involves sensitivity to their intellectual need for understanding and their emotional need for acceptance.

  • Amy

    Love NEVER fails! Keep up the good work!

  • Chrissy

    I loved reading this. The honesty and transparency is refreshing. Often I want to chime in on the subject, but I am grasping for the right way to express my beliefs without offending, which only pushes people away. Wonderfully written, thank you for sharing.

  • Anna

    I think Jesus is just gonna have to come back as someone else if he is real and wants everyone to know he loves them. Christians have so thoroughly trashed his reputation that it’s the only way. As your article reflects, the world does not know who the hell Jesus is. The bigoted jerk telling them God hates fags? The glowing white sissy in the unnaturally white robe? The black dude crying saying he’s sorry? At the end of the day, who can know? I prefer to just say Love… love is what I believe in. Trying to make sense of Jesus is just out of my realm anymore.

  • Matthew

    Great article, you just need to re-read it and do better editing next time. Lots of mistakes

  • Ender

    I have nothing very enlightening to say about any of this. I just wanted you to know Sammy that i did take the time to re-post this to my timeline on Facebook. I have friends on both sides of the “argument”. So with that in mind this is the statement I made along with you blog posting….

    I have seen equals signs and crosses this week. I think it’s time that instead of seeing signs that we see the Truth for what it really is. I hope that all of you that see this re-post will take the time to read this. I don’t care if it changes your opinion of me that’s not my issue. If you read my profile you will see that I am a follower of The Way; that is to say The Way of Jesus, and this is HIS way. No fighting, no debate, just open arms hoping that you will come to HIM no questions asked.

    Thank you for writing this.

  • Jay

    Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable. -Leviticus 18:22

    How do people misinterpret this?

    • Jason Novak

      Perhaps because that is an extremely changed scripture from the original language. Its already been misinterpreted. Here is another version “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” That is the KJV. I could post a ton of others… each different than the first. However, if you were to go back to the original words… and search our there meaning… perhaps you would find the answer you are looking for.

  • erika

    Some people who quote the bible with predujice must remember that it has been rewriten by man many times and that man has decided to read what they want into it .God does not hate and he created everyone .I have never understood how munorities hate other minorities .They may not agree but should not preach hate .I was blessed with a Catholic mother and a Jewish father who taught me that everyone is equal .There are very bad people in the world , but it has nothing to do with how you were born , they are usually ugly with ignorance . The parents need to teach tolorence.

  • Kristi Mitchell

    Awesome. Please pray as my husband prepares for a similar message…

  • Gatorgirl77

    Beautiful! Similar to a story involving the church and the art community in Loveland CO. Read about that story here. http://www.rez.org/portrait/

  • http://twitter.com/kpbback Krista Back

    Love love love love this post. Seriously.

    I love that this isn’t about an issue, or politics, or theology, or anything other than simply Jesus meeting people where they are.. Totally broken. And saying, “I love you, and I am the only thing that will restore your brokenness.” So amazing! We don’t deserve that!.. I don’t deserve that!!!

    The “issue” here is that people need to encounter Jesus. Because, if we are going to call a spade a spade, and actually believe what we claim we believe, they need Jesus… Just like we need Jesus. It is not our job to be the Holy Spirit and condemn, it is God’s job to do that, we are just told to tell people about Christ and to love them without strings.
    Awesome!
    ~K

  • Realtalk

    I think Christians do love the gay community but the real problem here is the Gay community has already drawn there conclusion about the church. Thats why the “jesus” blogger was so up in arms. They dont hate christians they hate that we believe GODs word.

    So they get it twisted that we must “hate” them when if they would calm down, they’d understand what was said in this article. Jesus loves them and so do christians, we just disagree with the lifestyle. But they even twist disagreement as being homophobic and hateful. Sometimes the gay community doesnt practice what they preach when it comes tolerance and acceptance. They pose a huge double standard to the point of bullying.

    • Sara

      Hello Realtalk,

      I appreciate that you believe that Christians do love gay community and that the gay community is just closed off to Christians. You strike me as a person of good will, so I’m going to take a moment to try to help you understand things from another perspective. Please don’t hear this as unloving criticism. I think you genuinely want to love your LGBTQ brothers and sisters, but I think that there was a lot of unexamined straight privilege in your post that’s going to make it difficult for you to really understand or connect with your LGBTQ brothers and sisters.

      I am a gay Christian. I’ve been a Christian for a lot longer than I’ve acknowledged that I am a lesbian. In fact, having learned in church that I couldn’t be both gay and Christian, I was in denial for years about this part of myself. When I finally admitted to myself and God that I was gay, I found that God, despite my best efforts, did not make me straight. But the gave me the strength to live with integrity as a gay Christian.

      I’m telling you all of this because I want you to understand that I’ve been on both sides of this. I’ve spent part of my life proclaiming, “hate the sin, love the sinner,” but now I understand how hurtful that phrase is when the “sin” is how people love and is a part of who I am that I cannot change.

      What that “Jesus” blogger did was inexcusable. That was genuinely hateful and it was wrong. Please know that that person no more represents the LGBTQ community than the Baptist woman that I’d been friends with for 10 years represented Christianity when she responded to my coming out to her by calling me a selfish pervert and questioning my love for Jesus.

      I know that very few Christians actually hate gay people. Most gay people know this as well. But the belief that we are hated did not form in a vacuum. It is not, for the most part, a persecution complex or a paranoid delusion. Even though LGBTQ people probably make up between 2 and 10 percent of society, 25% of homeless teens are LGBTQ, and many are homeless because their so-called Christian parents kicked them out of their homes. After every major disaster, some Christian pastor gets on television and says this earthquake, hurricane, or terrorist attack is because people like me are so wicked that God is judging our nation.

      And our laws say that people like me do not deserve the same rights and protections that other people have. I could be fired, tomorrow, for being a lesbian. This will not happen, because my boss is a good person. But if she were not, she could fire me for being gay and tell me to my face that that was the reason she was firing me, and I would have no legal recourse. Because discrimination on the basis of orientation/ gender expression is not illegal in my state. My landlord could refuse to renew my lease because I am gay. And the law allows this.

      The law allows this because Christians in my state have fought anti-discrimination legislation. And I’m sure that most of the Christians fighting it would say that they love gay people, but how am I supposed to understand that love when they are actively harming me?

      Things have gotten ugly at times this week with marriage equality being before the Supreme Court. If I get married and work hard my whole life, and die before my spouse, she can’t get social security survivors benefits that my husband would have been entitled to. We might not be able to cover each other on our insurance. A lesbian was kept from her partner’s bedside in a hospital in my state as her partner lay dying, even though she had signed all the necessary legal documents to prevent something like that from happening. It happened because the hospital staff did not recognize her as her partner’s family. That could not have happened if same sex marriages were recognized. But good Christians in my state have made sure they cannot be. They’ve even made it a part of our state Constitution.

      Christian friends of mine, who know that I am gay, have been dismissive our cries for justice. They have appropriated the symbols we use to cry out for equality and then congratulate themselves on making a stand for morality. This is deeply hurtful. They say they love me. But can you lovingly mock and disparage someone’s fight for justice?

      I do have other Christian friends, some of whom are gay and many of whom are straight, who have been wonderful. Many of Christian friends do not see eye to eye with me on theology. But they stand with me, and they listen to me. And I am grateful. I also have non-Christian friends who have been wonderful advocates and kind and supportive. And, again, I myself am a Christian, so I know that not all Christians hate gay people.

      Disagreement isn’t hateful. My best friend believes that sex between people of the same sex is a sin. But she loves me. And she shows me that love by being a good friend and a good listener. And she does not actively harm me by fighting against equal rights.

      You talk about tolerance, and I agree that gay people should not be mean to Christians. Again, what “Jesus” said was awful and inexcusable. But it is not bigotry for LGBTQ people to reject something that is actively harming us. That’s just a sense of self-preservation.

      Also, please refrain from using the phrase “we just disagree with the lifestyle.” There is no more a single homosexual lifestyle than there is a single heterosexual lifestyle. That term is dismissive and offensive to many LGBTQ people and it can make it difficult for people to engage with you when you use that language.

      I know that most Christians don’t feel animosity towards gay people. But when well-meaning Christians support discrimination, it makes it difficult for us to feel the love. After a person I’d been friends with for 10 years told me that I was a selfish, godless pervert, she followed it up with “I still care about you.” What I am supposed to do that that kind of care and concern? Like it says in James 2:16: ‘If one of you says to them: “Go in peace, be warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?”‘

      Thank you for loving LGBTQ people. Please take the next step and do the hard but Christ-like work of laying aside your privilege and really listening to someone who is different from you. We feel hated because we’ve been hated. We feel discriminated against because we are discriminated against. Please listen instead of dismissing this. Thank you and God bless.

      • http://stephenmatlock.com/ BetweenTwoWorlds

        Sara, thanks for sharing.

        I’m sorry–really–for the troubles and hate you experienced for simply being human. You didn’t deserve this. No one does. We deserve to be treated well and to be treated equally.

        I think the whole “Hate the sin, love the sinner” is a cop-out for unexamined prejudice. I think it means, “Hate the sin, hate the sinner, but with a smile.”

        Loving God can be a radical thing because a loving God is radical in us.

        I’m very glad some things are working out better for you. I hope I can be a part of making things work better for you.

        • Sara

          Thank you so much.

  • http://www.facebook.com/walter.maner.9 Walter Maner

    It gives me great hope to read something this radically honest. Why do we insist on building walls instead of bridges? It only retards the Kingdom.

  • Jenny

    Well said, Sammy! My only fear is that we as the church in the US are too late. This week of red/marriage equality has brought out a lot of resentment among my gay friends. They cannot fathom how I, as a Christian opposed to”marriage equality”, could possibly be a anything but the enemy. And no, I don’t feel like I use that word “enemy” lightly. I’ve seen posts comparing Christians to Nazi’s, the KKK, and much more. Have we lost the window of opportunity to show everyone–not just the gay community (for lack of a better phrase!)–who feels disenfranchised, hated, and degraded because we as Christians are more concerned with being right than being a light? I do believe that homosexuality is a sin–but like Paul said in 1 Timothy 1:15–”Jesus came to save sinners. Of which I am the worst.” But the calling God gives us is to go out and make disciples, not go out and convict people of their sin. That is Gods job. Not mine. Have I overlooked the log in my eye to point out the speck in my brothers? Jesus died to save us all–lowly, undeserving sinners. How grateful I am that God chose to love this sinner, but hate my sin.

  • http://www.facebook.com/davin.wilson.39 Davin Wilson

    thanks for sharing your gift for writing and this story with the world. i do not consider myself a christian, but do believe in a higher power than myself and have no hesitations towards calling this higher power God. it is a shame so many people- gay or straight- are feeling persecuted and moving away from the church, and not only church, but faith as well because I’ve seen first-hand the power of grace and forgiveness. God bless you sir and keep fighting the good fight. i don’t love or support the lgbt community in spite of my faith, I support them because of my faith and all the love I’ve been shown

  • Out of Touch

    Cleansing of the soul from hypocrisy. What a beautiful thought! No one is bad because we are all bad. How I long for the day when we all come completely clean. Something like, I’m so sorry for anyone who has ever felt hated like I did because they are child molesters.
    I’m sorry for anyone who’s ever heard a parent say you’re no longer welcome here because you’re murdering people.
    I’m sorry for anyone who’s ever felt unwelcome in the church because they are having sex with animals. I’m sorry for anyone who’s ever felt like “Jesus” hated them, including the Pharisees. (Matt. 23) I know what you are thinking, but you have opened a door to a refreshing breeze here. Don’t get hypocritical now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dazedchix Deanna Lopez

    Tears, I have tried to explain to friends and family how much their words and actions make it even harder to live in a world by which they do not make you feel accepted for which they state Jesus does not accept us, it made me loose all faith. One thing I can not accept is someone who states they have gay people in their lives but do not condone or support their lifestyle, what I can not figure out or accept is if they don’t hate us or aren’t against why do they feel the need to shove it in our face when it has nothing to do with them beside being against their religion, me as a person would never want to put that upon someone else but when they do they drop my faith even lower knowing someone would create something or raise someone so hateful. If when my judgement time comes and I’m found guilty and not accept then I believe that should be the only time I am judged, but instead its a daily life and struggle with family and friends.

  • Jordan

    One BIG Factor on why we feel so hated is that we are told we can’t be gay and LOVE Jesus. I was raised Baptist very strict. Walked away after high school, got pregnant and wanted my kids to have some spiritual background and started attending church again. Started attending a non denominational church where I met and married my ex husband. Now I am single mom of 4 kids and the biggest factor in all of this is that for 33 years I hid the truth of that I was a lesbian. I did tell my husband and went to counseling for it. I had done stuff with girls before our marriage and needed to release these feelings. I fought and fought and fought it. I lived praying EVERYDAY for God to help me overcome this sin and constant sorrow that I wanted to be with a women. I slept with men to try to make myself want to be with one. I fell on my face nightly begging for it to go away, read my bible. If I just loved Jesus enough or correctly it will go away.. Guess what it doesn’t. I started to meet more gay people mostly men. Who talked about their love for each other their relationships that have gone on for 10 or 20 years. Nothing sinful or perverse. Just the love of another person. I began to support them fight for their love and their rights! Still never admitting what I wanted. Finally I started admitting to myself and family and friends who I am. I found an amazing women who loves me and excepts everything. She’s lived the last 15 years as a gay women so here version of Christianity has been rough to see. Than on top of it seeing how half of my “christian” side of my family and friends no longer will involve me in their life. She still supports my love for Jesus without question.

    The last few days with this HOT topic on fire I’m not going to lie, it’s been a struggle. I’ve been called a hypocrite I’ve been told all I’ve wanted is acceptance my whole life so now I’m running anywhere to get it. I began what if I have been overcome by my sin. What if with everything wrong, what if with everything I’ve done this is it I’m spitting at God saying my way is better. But I Know that my whole life I have tried to be something I am not because knowing that if they knew who I truly was, they would not accept me. This is not a CHOICE. I have lived that, I chose to pretend to be straight and marry a Man of God and have kids. I was miserable because I constantly was wanting to be with a women and when I prayed it was like a weight I felt like I could never just come before Jesus because I had all this sin in my heart for living a lie. Who do you talk to? They just tell you it’s you allowing your perversions to take over you. A Gay person in the church is the loneliest person, because all sins kinda happen to everyone, but not being GAY. If I could CHOOSE I would choose a much easier road than this.

    So Christians realize that the gay person may love Jesus just as much as you.

    • http://stephenmatlock.com/ BetweenTwoWorlds

      Thanks for sharing this.

      Who am I to say “I accept you” or “I reject you”? Only God can do that.

      But God accepts you, loves you, embraces you, and helps you. He’s in you and around you.

      And, of course, I accept you too, and say “I am glad to meet a sister in the Lord.”

      I hope the road gets easier for you. I’m sorry about your family. That’s a hard one to handle.

      • Jordan

        Thank you

  • Angelika Dawson

    thanks for this powerful message. it has given voice to things i have felt and given me lots to think about. Jesus said love God, love your neighbour. if i can get those two things right, i figure i’m doing pretty good.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jsivalon Jim Sivalon

    I wonder when we as Jesus followers will quit creating a extra barrier between Jesus and sinner’s, how do we show Jesus to a lost and dyeing world? we certainly have no hope of being a light throwing stones. little wonder we have so few opportunities to love people we failed, and rejected because of righteous indignation. thank you Sammy for being transparent and honest.

  • fireandwater

    I have 2 things to say – just so that people are thinking straight about the issue at hand.

    1 – Biological disposition does not necessarily excuse behavior (as far as law is concerned). For example, there is a gene that makes someone 10 times more likely to commit a violent crime verses if you don’t have that gene. However, even if you have that gene, you are not excused in the court of law if you commit a violent crime. What is this biological difference? It is the different between a man and a woman. Men biologically are violently more inclined compared to women (by about 10 times), and yet this makes no difference in the standard of behavior set by law. We are generally responsible for our behavior despite our biological leanings (though there are exceptions). I think when we are talking about this issue, people simply assume that biological makeup necessarily legitimizes behavior. I think more discussion could be had on this topic (ontology, telos, etc).

    2 – Most Christians think that all sin is equally bad. This is a very common misconception. The Bible condemns sinners because ALL have sinned, but not because every sin is equal to each other. Before God, everyone is equally sinful in the sense that all have sinned, but not in the sense that each person’s sin is equally weighted to everyone else’s. There are different degrees of restitution for sin in OT, and our common sense tells us that certain sins are worse than others. Jesus himself talks about “greater” sin (john 19:11). This is NOT to say that homosexuality is the greatest sin or that its among the worse ones. I’m just saying it’s not clear thinking.

    • http://stephenmatlock.com/ BetweenTwoWorlds

      Biblically, if homosexuality is a sin, then there is a biblical penalty: death. Leviticus 20:13

      If you want to quote the Bible to support the idea that homosexuality is wrong, then go all the way and support the death penalty as well.

      At least be consistent.

      Don’t be one of those liberal Christians who only support verses they like. Be a consistent, conservative, fundamentalist Christian.

      • fireandwater

        i believe i did not quote the Bible to support the idea that homosexuality is wrong…

  • http://www.facebook.com/tony.dowell.10 Tony Dowell

    Very powerful testomony. If only we all could be so honest with ourselvies and realize God’s gretest commandment was to love thy neighbor as thy self and judge not least yee be judged!

  • Sara

    Hello Sammy. I am a lesbian and Christian. I am so sorry for what “Jesus” said to you. And I am so thankful for your courage and humility in preaching this message. I had my first genuinely hateful encounter with a fellow Christian this week and my heart was still aching from that. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Your words are words of healing.

  • Jesus

    Hey Sammy. This is the first time I read your blog because a friend of mine reposted this on facebook. I’m 2o yrs old and I am gay. I’ve been gay since forever. And no, I wasn’t raped, nor abused. I don’t have sex with every living thing and I don’t wear a tutu. You wouldn’t even think that I’m gay if you’d see me or talk to me. I’ve had a normal life, and I’ve been blessed with an amazing family. Unfortunately people have this wrong concept that all gay people are just sick people with an endless hunger for sex and colors and it doesn’t work that way. I’ve been fighting with myself for as long as I can remember. I love Jesus, but I didn’t use to feel loved back by Jesus. I go to my neighbors house to read the bible and talk about how we can apply those thoughts to our lives. I’ve never been the kind of person that goes to the church every sunday, but I was very close to God, I used to pray every night, and I used to talk to God way more often than now. From week to week everything was going okay until they started talking about gay people. Of course I felt very uncomfortable right away. And as the weeks kept on passing, I started feeling more and more uncomfortable, to the point where I’d hardly go to the weekly reunion. I stopped praying. I stopped talking to God. I still believed in him and loved him, but I was living now like a long-distance son who hardly spoke to his father. I felt hated. I was living my life normally, but every once in a while that thought about God not loving me FOR WHO I AM came up to my mind and I would feel bad about myself. It was an inconvenient, silent truth that was there every day of my life, to remind me that it doesn’t matter how good my day was, because at that moment before going to sleep, where I am alone with myself, I’d feel dirty. I didn’t want to continue hurting myself by thinking of God, so I stopped talking to God and Jesus. But now as I grow up and I understand that I haven’t done anything wrong, and as I mature in the process of understanding that I am a good person, the concept of God loving me for who I am and not for who I end up loving gets stronger and stronger everyday. And are those brave actions (like the one you did) that help me in the process of accepting myself and letting God be as close to me as he used to be. Thank you for inspiring others.

    Sincerely,

    Jesus.

    Ps: Jesus is my actual name.

  • Jesus

    Hey Sammy. This is the first time I read your blog because a friend of mine reposted this on facebook. I’m 2o yrs old and I am gay. I’ve been gay since forever. And no, I wasn’t raped, nor abused. I don’t have sex with every living thing and I don’t wear a tutu. You wouldn’t even think that I’m gay if you’d see me or talk to me. I’ve had a normal life, and I’ve been blessed with an amazing family. Unfortunately people have this wrong concept that all gay people are just sick people with an endless hunger for sex and colors and it doesn’t work that way. I’ve been fighting with myself for as long as I can remember. I love Jesus, but I didn’t use to feel loved back by Jesus. I go to my neighbors house to read the bible and talk about how we can apply those thoughts to our lives. I’ve never been the kind of person that goes to the church every sunday, but I was very close to God, I used to pray every night, and I used to talk to God way more often than now. From week to week everything was going okay until they started talking about gay people. Of course I felt very uncomfortable right away. And as the weeks kept on passing, I started feeling more and more uncomfortable, to the point where I’d hardly go to the weekly reunion. I stopped praying. I stopped talking to God. I still believed in him and loved him, but I was living now like a long-distance son who hardly spoke to his father. I felt hated. I was living my life normally, but every once in a while that thought about God not loving me FOR WHO I AM came up to my mind and I would feel bad about myself. It was an inconvenient, silent truth that was there every day of my life, to remind me that it doesn’t matter how good my day was, because at that moment before going to sleep, where I am alone with myself, I’d feel dirty. I didn’t want to continue hurting myself by thinking of God, so I stopped talking to God and Jesus. But now as I grow up and I understand that I haven’t done anything wrong, and as I mature in the process of understanding that I am a good person, the concept of God loving me for who I am and not for who I end up loving gets stronger and stronger everyday. And are those brave actions (like the one you did) that help me in the process of accepting myself and letting God be as close to me as he used to be. Thank you for inspiring others.

    Sincerely,

    Jesus.

    Ps: Jesus is my actual name.

  • Mr. Incredible

    Because they made themselves a community. No one else did. They want to unite for collectivism, this is what you get. You will be lumped together, perhaps nlt fair, but real.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pamela.baker.7106 Pamela Baker

    I come at this from a different point of view. I was a lesbian who was delivered from the life style. I was a Christian when I fell into the homosexual life style..but Christ loved me enough to walk out inspite of Christians. Most homosexuality stems from abuse somewhere in the past…can even be generational…the a sins of the fathers. As Christians…it says on the word that we were such as these before Christ. Compassion and love concur all. Approaching people with love is always the best answer.

  • the real jesus

    great article but it’s spelled bawling not balling

  • margaret

    Thank you for this message. When I talk to people I sometimes wonder if we worship the same GOD. My GOD preaches love not hate. I have a nephew who is gay and it hurts me to know that he feels hated by christians. That he is hated by the church. So this message means alot to me. GOD bless you.

  • Some lady

    I’m not religious. I don’t go to church. I’m not gay. I’m just some lady who likes to read. If you asked me how I found this blog, you would laugh. But I want you to know that this is an inspired piece of writing. Thank you for being so vulnerable, so honest, and just being you. The world needs people like you because you eloquently explain one of the great paradoxes of life. Thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alicia.krawchuk Alicia Krawchuk

    amazing post. thanks for sharing.

  • Teacher of the little

    I don’t think this is an issue concerning homosexuality, but an issue concerning how the church should deal with sin. The hard part is when the sin becomes an individual’s identity. Using Hebrews 4:12 it is the word of God that will change a persons heart.

  • http://twitter.com/mycultlife Lisa Kerr

    Amazing what showing you care about people, regardless of their sexual orientation, can do, right? ;)
    I actually clicked on this post because of the title. I thought you were going to discuss the issue of slavery in the Bible (and how God endorses it) and how you reconciled it with your faith. A bit disappointed, but I will say, after blogging for about 3 years, I totally understand the feeling of reading those kind of comments. Pro tip (and I mean this sincerely), don’t pray the trolls away. Block them and delete them and don’t engage.

  • Lewis

    Wonderfully said! All sin is the same and yet Christians often seem to take a view that sin “x” is far worse than anything else and so forth. You got it right, sin is sin, no one denies that. But we forget, God SO loved the WORLD, he gave his son, not for a few, for all.
    Also, if you are hated in the name of Jesus, give thanks for the privilege!
    Keep up your wonderful work brother!

  • http://www.facebook.com/andrea.qpn Andrea Townsley

    I agree with a lot of the main points here. But, I don’t know where all the supposed hatred is coming from. I don’t know anybody who treats a gay person differently than any other Joe Schmo. Honest to God. Some may be more vocal in their beliefs than others, just as some gay folks may be more vocal about their own beliefs. Which is fine, although it can be off-putting (for both sides). I think the entire thing is just completely out of hand at this point. I don’t like being stereotyped about my Christian beliefs on message boards, etc, I’ve been called some terrible things and had some terrible and untrue things said about what I believe, but not IRL. I feel hated at times on those forums, but as a Christian, I know I have it coming. I think the same thing can be said for those who are gay and open in their own practices. It is definitely possible to love someone even when you disagree with their beliefs but their behaviors are harder to look past. Maybe that is the problem on both ends….

  • Blair Mulholland

    It’s hard to put all my thoughts on this into words, but this will have to do:
    Firstly, it’s not about you, it’s about Jesus. If you accept Jesus, you follow Him. It’s not about your fleshy desires, whatever form those take. Sex is not part of that equation. When you follow Jesus, you submit your sex life and your sexual desires to His will, not yours.
    Jesus offers people grace, and it is unconditional to those who accept it. Matthew 5:19 seems clear that even if you don’t follow the commandments, you’re still part of His Kingdom. But also that you won’t amount to much. Will you be saved? Sure, you are justified by grace through faith. Something of you will be saved. But your life will go nowhere. You won’t be able to imbibe the full measure of God’s Spirit in your life. You won’t be able to get better, or more Godlike, more like Jesus. That process of theosis which all Christians should seek and is part of what you take on when you decide to follow Him is not going to happen.
    We can love on teh gays all we want, but we do them no service by telling them their sexual practices are part of God’s plan for their life. Seriously, does anybody really believe God made some men to naturally put their penis inside other men? Or women to grind up against other women for gratification? I mean, really and truly, in their heart of hearts?! If that is so, where is the line drawn? Can I follow Christ and have threesomes? Hey, that’s consensual! Can I have sex with someone underage? Hey, the Bible doesn’t even say that’s a sin! Can I have great big orgies? Can I have sex with prostitutes? Is there any such thing as sin at all? What, exactly, is it that Jesus is supposed to have died for? If none of these things are sins, He went through all that pain and suffering for nothing, and died for nothing. And He then becomes nothing, nothing worth following at all.
    On perhaps a more selfish note, let me talk about my own sexual struggles. I have a porn and sex addiction. Every day I have to suffer to decide not to indulge those desires and to be chaste. Sometimes I fail. But I have never denied that God is right and I am wrong. As the Apostle Paul would say “those things lead to death!” I can choose the flesh, which will lead to my death, or the Spirit of God, which will lead to life, and life in abundance. And so it angers me when I struggle with my own desires, but somehow your desires, your gay desires, are “special”. You get a special dispensation because “this is who you are”. No. This is who we all are. We are all sinners. When we follow Jesus we say that sin is wrong and God is right. And we seek his Spirit, not some salve of cheap grace that only serves to make us feel better about ourselves and does not rejuvinate our bodies.
    I want to offer all the gay folk out there life, and life in abundance! I want to offer the the Spirit of God! What kind of crappy, half-arsed “love” says “I’m okay, you’re okay”, and offers the tidbit, the morsel of being snatched from the flames and left in barely much of an improved condition from the same wretched state you were before? I can’t do it. I won’t do it. I won’t entertain it. I won’t lie to you and tell you that God made you to put your dick in another dude just to make you feel at ease with yourself. The point of Christian faith is not to be at ease with yourself, but at ease with God.
    We need to fight this lie that men having sex with other men is something ingrained from birth, that it is not psychological. If you are a man and feel like the only way you can get fulfilling love is from another man, then ask yourself: Is acting on those desires right and God is wrong? Or is God right and you acting on the desires wrong? If the latter is true, then the next message is “do not despair – there is hope!” Jesus offers us his grace, and that has been mentioned on this thread a lot. What has not been mentioned is that Jesus offers us the abundant life through His Spirit. It is a narrow way and a hard way, but nothing worthwhile is easy. The riches of Heaven await us!

    • luvlee

      OH this is so real!!! I love it. A man’s way is always right in his eyes. People don’t want to hear the truth and hence why they get so defensive and angry when the truth is spoken. If they really think deep down inside, they know it is not in God’s plan, it’s very plain to see.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Armenia4ever Lucas Temple

    This is a fantastic article that I ended up stumbling upon due to my facebook feed.

    On a daily basis we see people sin. It’s part of human nature. Sometime’s people aren’t open to us pointing out that sin and encouraging them to turn from it, but that’s not the end of the road. If we really love sinners, as we claim we do, we need to show it.

    We can disagree with a particular lifestyle and point out why we do. However, we need to actually love these people with a very differing worldview. The world is more then perfectly willing to show the LGBT community false love for political, cultural, ect reasons. What we need to show them is real love, not for our gain, but because Christ has commanded us to. We should treat them and love them as if they were our own family.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jlpavlik Jeanette Leigh

    I changed my Facebook profile picture last week along with the 8 million other people that I’m sure did as well. I am a conservative Catholic and I’m sure the church would NEVER approve of my decision… but I have looked deep in my heart, and I believe that I would rather see and give love than hate. Instead of punishing those that make different lifestyle choices than I have, I just love them. I love them because that’s what we’re called to do as Christians. To love everyone, always.

    I don’t know who wrote that post, but what I do know is that you are loved… and I’m so so sorry that someone put you through that pain and hurt. I read this blog tonight because two of my friends reposted it today on Facebook… and I feel stronger in my faith because of it. So, thank you. :)

  • Alison Edwards

    All I know is we are called to LOVE.

  • Maui Smith

    loved this blog.

    I have a young male friend who struggles with his gay lifestyle and has pegged me in his box of what Christians are supposed to be like based on how the media portrays us. So, one day he posts a video of a young man who checks out where those crazy Westboro people live and sees that there is a house across the street for sale. He buys the house. He and his friends paint the house the rainbow colors of the LGBT community and then they hang a sign out front, “Equality House.” How do I respond? “Jesus, I ask that You bless these people. Let their kindness and love overflow and permeate that neighborhood that has been in bondage to fear and hate. Use them to change the city for good.” He was stunned. Yet, the church community does not get what I am talking about. I love the LGBT community. I wish them to know how much God loves them. I try.

  • Achen

    God bless you for your obedience. May he continue to shatter our age-old paradigms and may our hearts break for what breaks his. Eternity is not our responsibility, it HIS. Our responsibility is to love people and show them the love of Jesus right now.

    Peace to you!

    AC

  • http://twitter.com/JonDelker Jon Delker

    It’s disheartening to read through this article/blog and then see exactly what he was talking about needing to stop happening…going on right away in these comments.

    • http://stephenmatlock.com/ BetweenTwoWorlds

      It’s a growth process. People are still struggling to accommodate their sense of justice and mercy with their fear of the unknown and their hatred of a certain kind of person. “That” kind of person.

      I’m not gay, so I don’t know what it feels like to be hated for the simple fact of your existence, but I can imagine what it’s like. So I try to extend my imagination with “what can I do, as a straight person, to simply love someone who is not exactly like me?”

      And then I do that.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joseph-Coyle/167700658 Joseph Coyle

      Becuase gay will never stop if we don’t keep smashing people in the face with how against Jesus it is and how rebellious and full of sin you are for choosing to practice such wickedness. BTW Jesus loves you.

      signed,
      tongue-in-cheek

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=732224094 Kevin Rutan

    I would just like to say that the “gay friendly” bible, only changes or omits 69 words in the entire bible, to remove the ENTIRE ANTI-GAY DOCTRINE that gets groups to protest, and people killed, 69 words out of the whole bible. If we put as much effort into loving each other, Which is what the bible is about, we could all rise together. That was the original point of Christianity, it proved religion could evolve. The staunch rules of Judaism are now replaced with a, Dude, just treat people with respect motto. Jesus’ main teachings were of Feeding sheep, and loving one another.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1427916412 Trish Tomlin

    I think this guy is right on. The people struggling with homosexuality aren’t worse than those committing adultery or living together before they are married or with those struggling with other sins. The only issue I have is with ‘activists’ who are bent on pushing homosexuality as a ‘normal’ lifestyle on children (and I have the same issue with movies and TV shows that show s*x as a normal part of a dating relationship). Seeing as how secular socieity has already had success with the latter, I see the former efforts as being encouraged to keep pushing the issue. Callousness toward a paticular sin is just as bad as the sin because you fail to feel convicted and then walk in sin and soon it creeps into other areas of your life and begins to hinder your spiritual life and walk with God. I don’t know what the answer is that will show the love of Jesus while at the same time protecting our children.

  • hickory822

    Do you think the Lord should have been more loving toward Sodom and Gamorrah?? Should he just have excepted them for who they are because he loves the sinner? I know of no other entire city that God destroyed with fire from heaven than a city because of their wickedness/abomination. It is a threat to Christianity, it is a threat to morality in America. Anyone who participates in this sin has a seired conscience a reprobate mind and has no regard for God or his Word. This is not to say that people do not sin. I sin, you sin. But we look to the Lord when we fall. That is the difference. The sin of homosexuality is a willing continuance, a dwelling, a wallowing in sin. That is what is unacceptable! They can still come to the Lord and ask forgiveness and he will forgive all their sin. Until that point, while they continue in sin they cannot be accepted.
    Leviticus 20:13 “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”
    If you really want to get down to it. You are accepting sin. You are saying it’s okay to be in sin… there is no problem with you you’re fine. When they need something called tough love. Out of love we reject them because they are willingly participating in sin, not because we hate them. If you are consistent in your method of teaching, you would also have to be loving toward rapist, toward pedophiles, and that is just wrong!

    This type of thinking is detrimental to the furtherance of the Gospel.

    • http://stephenmatlock.com/ BetweenTwoWorlds

      If you quote Leviticus 20:13, are you willing to enforce this? Kill homosexuals in our society?

      Because Leviticus doesn’t say it’s bad. Leviticus says it has a death penalty.

      Either you fully obey every word in the Bible, literally, or you do not.

      I don’t get why so-called Christians think Leviticus 18 has provenance while Leviticus 20 is ignored.

    • Jordan

      “Levitcus 19:19 Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed.

      “‘Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material : 19 What type of clothing do you wear?

      Leviticus 19:27 “‘Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.

      Leviticus 19:28 “‘Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves

      Jesus spoke about Divorce in Length in Matthew, Matthew 9:9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.

      We allow no fault divorce in all states, should we outlaw any person to get a divorce that has been married before? According to Matthew we should.

  • Guest

    Thank you for your heart and this post. As the wife of a formerly gay man (22 years and counting – Thank you Jesus), and a lay- counselor/encourager to other women in the same circumstances, parents of gay children, and others, I am grateful that you are not sugar coating our failure as the body of Christ to – yes – speak truth – but also yes – IN LOVE. You have not categorized anyone, you have not ostrasized anyone. Friend, you have held up a mirror to the heart of the church and shown us where we have sorely missed the mark. Each and all of us. Thank you.

  • Angie Godsey

    Thank you for your heart and this post. As the wife of a formerly gay man (22 years and counting – Thank you Jesus), and a lay- counselor/encourager to other women in the same circumstances, parents of gay children, and others, I am grateful that you are not sugar coating our failure as the body of Christ to – yes – speak truth – but also yes – IN LOVE. You have not categorized anyone, you have not ostrasized anyone. Friend, you have held up a mirror to the heart of the church and shown us where we have sorely missed the mark. Each and all of us. Thank you.

  • Julie

    Wow! That is just amazing. The real Jesus is amazing. My heart goes out to you in suffering that horrible attack but look what beauty came out of it. Thank you for being so authentic and vulnerable so we can all feel this pain with you and the healing love of Jesus.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Lisame3 Lisa Marie Gilbert

    I dont see how you can hate someone for being attracted to or having feelings for someone of the same gender. Yes, I am a Christian and yes I believe in the Bible . I also know that we are all struggling on this earth . Each person will have different struggles . We accept other sins so readily like they are not sin at all. I do not believe that God makes people who are “Gay”. That being said ,it is a true struggle that is not a choice. We do not choose what makes us falter , that would be all to easy. We have to choose to love people where they are. God did not say “Go make people not be gay” . We are to show them the love of Christ so that they may find him . I am sorry too . My sins or no less than anyone else’s. They belong in the hands of God not thrown in the face of others. Jesus already died on the cross for the sins of the world so why do we continue to persecute those around us ? My sins are different than yours ,that doesnt make me better. It makes me a sinner too .

  • http://www.facebook.com/greg.martin.376 Greg Martin

    Those that struggle with porn, pride, deceit, and other sins have the luxury of hiding it. If they were open about these things they would have a hard time in the church as well. A gay person has to either hide or show his sexual preference (just as anyone else with any other sin). The gay person would obviously feel judged, just as a person who admits he lusts or deceives would feel judged, if he were open in church. The problem is that gay people feel that their sexual preference is so part-and-parcel to their lives (just as anyone’s sexual preference is), that the gay person feels diminished by constantly. There’s no judgment when a man and women walk in church holding hands, but there is when two men do. Homosexuality is a sin just as lust, deceit, and pride are sins. You can hide any of these sins and avoid judgment, or you can be open about any of these sins and feel judged, however, it is much harder for a gay person to hide their sexual preference because it is so intrinsic to who they are.

  • Jen

    The day when Christians and everyone else sees us as just people rather than “gay people.” That’s what I’m waiting for. (For the record, I am also a Christian. This article really warmed my heart, so thank you. Thank you so much for writing it.)

  • luvlee

    I think sometimes people feel like just because you dont agree with them, you hate them. I have had a coworker try to say that i hated homosexual people because I didnt agree with their lifestyle. As I have said many times, I love them, dont agree with the lifestyle. Just like God loves sinners but hates sin. It is the fault of both parties, we as christians have to make sure that we let the gay community know that we love them, God loves them, but we do not love the lifestyle. there is a difference. And the gay community should not equate disagreement with their life decision as hatred for them, because I have had it happen numerous times where as soon as you taking an opposing view, you are deemed hateful (from personal experience).

  • Rechobite35

    I suppose PAul should have appologised for preaching a message of turning from sin to Jesus as well.

  • Susanne Davis

    What an amazing story! The fact that you shared it with the world is very powerful. This entire topic has torn me up inside. I finally decided that regardless of right or wrong, it’s not MY place to judge. We are all human beings who deserve love and respect regardless. Thank you =)

  • John

    First off, I’m not about to write a book. Having a gay uncle, I know about loving someone who was different (don’t get me wrong, he is obviously no less human). I am also not about to say what the vast majority of Christians have said. I just have to mention that true grace involves discipleship. In other words, grace is cheapened when we simply say that we can go along and not have life change after a real encounter with Jesus. There is redemptive work that is constantly taking place in our lives when we have been filled with the Holy Spirit. The crux of what I am saying is that everyone who follows Christ must take up their cross daily, die to themselves, and follow him. This includes homosexuals, compulsive gamblers, idolaters, liars, thieves, murderers, you name it. All humans must die to themselves, because the righteousness of Christ is infinitely greater than even our righteous acts. This exempts no one (have I made that clear yet?). We all must lay down our foolish ways and turn to the only thing that could possibly bring us into salvation and relationship with Jesus: his steadfast love and mercy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kevin.s.kling.7 Kevin SugarBear Kling

    Sell out. And I stand Biblically on what he says in the Bible New and Old test. It is an abomanation to God. So repent, don’t do it anymore and you are fine. Saying I am sorry for being Gay, is not enough. AND it is a CHOICE to be that way. For a Pastor to be open to Homosexual’s other than for them to repent, is a Worldly sellout!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joseph-Coyle/167700658 Joseph Coyle

      The gospel + anything is not the gospel at all.

      How do you reckon it’s a choice? Are you a man who has experienced attractions to the same sex? If so then celibacy is a choice, yes, but to whom you are attracted? That is not.

      You have the peace of mind simply to tell us “too bad, you’re out of luck, you have to be alone while I can take on a wife because that’s how I interpret the Bible?” In your interpretation the Bible benefits you as a straight man and leaves others alone. You don’t feel an ounce of compassion for those who, in your understanding of Christian culture and Biblical mandate, must be single and sexually unfulfilled because of those sexual attractions? Even those who “burn with passion” who happen to be those who Paul said were the ones who should be married?

      Until you’ve lived the decade or more of trying to make the choice that you’re so adamant is a choice then you have not an inkling what it’s like.

      Your heart is hard.

  • Kami

    Beautiful! Thank you!

  • Allie

    i love the article. thank you for your compassion.

  • Jshirey

    What
    I say here has nothing directly to do with how I treat or minister to
    or love people who struggle with sexual sin (of any kind, and we must
    put all sexual sin on the the same level). what I am saying is only to
    correct a misunderstanding that, I think,
    is assumed in this article and common sentiments. There is more
    biblical warrant (far more) for us to say that God’s wrath remains on
    any person (in our language: God hates them, in David’s language: God’s
    soul hates them) who does not believe in/obey the Son (See John 3:36).
    This is true for all people: “good” “bad” “LGBTQA” “strait” “Christians” and “Americans”. I agree that we have it all
    wrong: we tend to treat people very poorly who are not in categories we like
    or that are truly good categories and we do not manifest the Love of God
    correctly. However, what is suggested here (albeit implied) is an over-correction
    that manifests error. We must treat all people with love and
    respect and when speaking about the love of God we must say that it is
    only, always, intimately, and infinitely IN CHRIST ALONE. No matter who
    you are, if you do not believe in and obey the Son, God’s wrath is on
    you right now. But in Christ, we have EVERY spiritual blessing in the
    heavenly places. We must not exalt the general idea of
    love and thus sever it from its biblical moorings and Christ-centered
    essence, because then it’s not really God’s love and when you make people think that something fake is real, you hurt people. I do not want to offend anyone, and I as I said before, these
    comments have nothing directly to do with how I treat and minister to
    and love people who struggle with sexual sin. However, love in general
    is not the solution. Repentance and Faith in what Jesus did is.

  • Reannine Teer

    Wonderfully written.

  • Lewis

    I think this comprehensive essay by the utterly brilliant Dr. William Lane Craig, one of Christianity’s greatest modern thinkers has covered this “gray” area best by showing us, it IS not ‘gray’ at all. What Sammy Adebiyi helped us do, was show us the ‘love and support’ our brothers and sisters as we ALL fall short.

    Read this first, then comment: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/a-christian-perspective-on-homosexuality

  • GoogleReligiousRelativism

    Dogma. Hatred. Hypocrisy.

    The modern day church would disgust the Jesus depicted in the bible. The self righteousness makes me want to vomit.

    People will always hate. People will always exclude. People will always cast the first stone. I cannot wait for the day when an established church no longer exists as a vehicle for the misdeeds of those without love in their hearts. The true believers will have no need of it. Only the bigots and hate-mongers will suffer, as they will need a new excuse for their despicable actions and beliefs.

    Thank god I’m an atheist. I have no need of a book or preacher to tell me what’s right or wrong. The only thing I need is my own conscience, which is far more capable than any amount of guilt or sermonizing could ever be. I’m not bound by the arbitrary restrictions of an established faith. Read leviticus and tell me the laws there are all reasonable. If you are a woman and have sex before marriage (even rape!) you will be put to death. Such compassion.

    Did you need to read the bible to know murder was wrong? Theft? Lying? Cheating?

    No, you didn’t

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1053231604 Derrick Johnson

    I am a psychologist – just to give my “alibi” up front.

    No one is asking WHY gays are gay. Everyone is searching for excuses and “reasons” why, and there is a definite movement to try and call it a genetic malady or some felt uncontrollable inclination. Others are trying to “map the brain” and try to use what is found to offer the same sort of “reasons.”

    The truth is, people are gay for a reason. I’ve known some pretty decent gay people – I’d never call them evil or anything of the sort. They are decent people. More often than not, however, I would call them deeply wounded and engaged in the agonizing task of trying to rectify the wounds of childhood and life, just as I have done. I think the difference in this is, they have chosen to walk a different path (sexuality) to try and remedy their own wounds and “dis-ease” (the same ones I have wrestled with in the past) in often desperate acts to find peace and wholeness.

    And still, no one is looking at the psychological family-of-origin roots of why gay people are gay. Just something to think about.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joseph-Coyle/167700658 Joseph Coyle

      That question has been being asked for 40+ years. Just look at Exodus International’s history and you’ll find it to be the case. I think it’s a fallacy to say that we deal with our pain by sexualizing men. One’s “masculinity” can be damaged regardless of orientation. And some people grow up quite emotionally healthy and are still gay. Gay is not the result of damage. But damage is often the result of people treating us like our sexuality is damaged, The reason I couldn’t accept myself was because I grew up being told that my sexuality was evil. I was made to believe it. Now, as a 27 year old man, I haven’t taken medications in a considerable amount of time and I have never been so fulfilled or emotionally healthy in my life. And I am still gay.

      What brings up my reply is the idea that “they” AKA all gays (that’s how the post reads, if I’m mistaken forgive me) are all deeply wounded and therefore gay and I think that 1. it should not be all encompassing and 2. if it were simply an issue of wound then reparative therapy should have been an effective tool, not a more damaging one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/julieann.jordan.9 Julie-Ann Jordan

    What a great article! Thank you for your wisdom and insight. After reading just a few of the comments, I’m really sad that people can’t just take your article for what it is and drop the argumentative spirit. Is that what Christ came for? So we could argue everything “in His name”?

    I’m moved by your humility and your generosity. God bless you, brother!

  • unashamedChristfollower

    Wow, powerful & convincing insight! God hates sin, but loves the sinner. Thank you for being bold enough to share your heart on such a hot topic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/batalus Art Davis

    While I applaud your intentions, you’re still not really ‘getting’ it. Read this:

    “It’s true that you and I have plenty of practice loving, forgiving and
    taking care of someone who disgusts us at times. And it’s true that
    there are plenty of things we do that we don’t like but we can love
    ourselves and accept ourselves without approving of everything we do.”

    Your beautiful sentiment is essentially ‘look, yes, they’re disgusting, but we love them.’ One half of that sentence is acceptable, and one half is not. You felt the complete disgust of the internet troll directed towards you and it caused you to have a change of heart – but you are STILL casually aiming disgust at the homosexual community. That’s not a nice word. How would you feel if your friends or family said to you ‘you disgust us, but we love you’? Would that endear them to you?

    Secondly, do you still vote against equality for homosexuals? If so, then everything you’ve said here is empty and worthless. Nice feelings to not fix institutionalized discrimination and hate.

    • Vick

      We love them enough to tell them the TRUTH, even if it hurts. If you’re more concerned about being accepted and “loved” yourself than potentially saving your friends/family from hell, even if it means being hated and disowned by them, then you don’t know what love is.

      The Bible says homosexuality is a sin (Romans 1:26-28)

      If you can’t get over that, then … well, okay. That’s your choice. We aren’t forcing anything on you, only telling you the truth in which you can either believe or not believe.

      If I was doing something wrong, I would want my family/friends to TELL me. Even if it made me upset. Because I know they do it out of love, and they only aim for the best of me.

      “Love ya, but you’re wrong.” Do you get it now ?? If not, that’s a pretty big load of denial you’ve got there.

  • gaglianigirl

    Beautiful!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1387842454 Nina King Milliner

    Great, thought provoking article!

  • Gordon W

    I believe the gay community feels hated is because their lifestyle is totally enveloped in what the bible calls sin. All of us falls short of the glory of God but gays want everyone to accept their sinful behavior as right because the love of someone is involved. The Bible says that men love their deeds because they are done in the dark. Gays on the contrary openly express their behavior and use the covering of love. The problem as I see it is that I can love my brothers as I most certainly do but the difference is that I don’t want to have sexual relations with them, which God says is a sin. No one that I know that is a true believer is proud of his or her sinful life that’s where humility comes in. Most are ashamed of their sin but not gays. Their sin is cloaked under the guise of “love” which unfortunately is a lie. There can be all kinds of disagreement with what I have just said but my words are meaningless but it’s God that they have to deal with as far as the sin goes. I love my brothers and sisters in the gay community but I don’t love the sin and that goes for my brothers and sisters who aren’t in the gay community. I am also not the judge of anyone’s actions but God is and He has the final say.

  • Gordon W

    One of the biggest arguments the gay community has is that non believers feel that homosexuality is a choice and we are insensitive about it. Well just as you may have your reasons that you think it’s a condition rather that a choice, we have ours. When anyone can remove chapter one from Romans then maybe we could see where you’re coming from. True believers believe what God says and that’s that. Picking and choosing scripture to suit your tastes or desires is not wise. Man’s wisdom doesn’t come close to God in any sense of the imagination. There is NO factual scientific proof at all for being gay and that’s unfortunate because the enemy has a serious cloak of deception on the gay community and all of their supporters. Unfortunately the guy who uses Torrettes as a n analogy is brutally mistaken because that is a proven illness homosexuality is not. Having us to believe that it’s unreversable as being black. Sin is sin no matter how you dress it up. God loves everyone and desires to see no one perish, and neither do I but the Word says what it says no matter what. That’s where we are coming from. If someone is stating that some is gay and that’s wrong that is wrong. I believe that being gay is a mental condition but to say its irreversible is saying that God made a mistake. I don’t believe God would make you gay and then inspire Romans 1 to be written. Not buying it.

    • raz6

      There are actually a lot of studies and plenty of evidence that suggests being gay is not a choice. It’s very easy to find – some of the more common ones deal with similarities in different chromosomes that gay people have, others are studies about sexual orientation of identical twins, others are about the number of biological siblings (regardless of whether you grew up with them) having a correlation to sexual orientation, others are about the amount of testosterone/estrogen in gays/lesbians. And then of course there is personal experience. I am gay, I never chose to be gay and I attempted to force myself to be straight but you cannot change your sexual orientation, you can only pretend. Are you able to change your sexual orientation?

      The Bible was written by man, not God. There are plenty of things in the Bible that have been dis-proven or that you choose to ignore. The Bible claims that insects have 4 legs, that rabbits chew their cud, that snakes eat dirt and dust, that bats are birds, that snails melt in the sun, that the earth is flat and has corners, that the Earth is motionless, that the sun and stars are all the same age. There are plenty of things in the Bible you ignore – the common examples are women needing to be silent in church, their heads should be covered, if your wife is not a virgin at marriage she should be stoned to death, and of course plenty of others.

  • http://twitter.com/okijenn Jennifer M Krouse

    Great post. One of the hardest things in our lifetime is to realize that we are ALL Sinners and FALL short of the Glory of God, but that JESUS (Our Lord & Savior), died for EACH of US. Social Change comes from the heart and from understanding that JESUS (Our Lord) came not to condemn, but to love and forgive. Thank you for your words and for being an open vessel to the Holy Spirit.

  • hayden

    A friend of mine shared this on facebook. This is such a wonderful article and such an amazing thing to hear coming from a Christian Pastor. In this day in age, I’m afraid so few in the Christian religion preach of the unconditional love God has for all people, rather they preach about all the wrong “other” people do and the consequences they will face for their sins. I’m afraid they’ve made themselves appear perfect, and through only preaching of the wrong doing they give the perception of themselves as being very hateful people who’d rather have as much of heaven for themselves. It’s almost as if they have forgotten that all sin is equal in God’s eyes just as all people are equal in his eyes. I’m so saddened by the fact that they have changed the focus from God to the people. I am a Christian. I grew up in in a devoutly religious, loving family. I must say though that some of the coldest people have been Christians. Also though, some of the most loving have been Christian. Unfortunately though, the majority was balanced towards the cold, unloving ones. I’m terrified this has done damaged that can’t be repaired in the near future.

  • Meleah Bishop Allard

    Being the daughter of a pastor and a former lesbian (for 10 years…in a relationship with another woman for 8 of those) I did feel hated. Not by God but by His people. I knew He loved me but I didn’t think He liked me and I was sure He was terribly disappointed in me. Which is largely why I walked away from Him for that decade. When I came to realize that SHE couldn’t fill that void within me, I came back to Him in spite of His people (who had seriously hurt me, that’s how desperate I was). His people have largely been good to me since. Much better than when I was a prodigal but they still hurt me from time to time. Thank goodness I don’t look to them to fill me up anymore either.

  • http://www.OurStoriesGodsGlory.blogspot.com/ Elise Daly Parker

    Jesus love us this I know…each and every one of us. Thank you Sammy for reminding me of my hypocrisy.

  • Gay in RVA

    Very simply God has said that sexual sin is sin. Homosexuality is simply the practice of sexual sin in a particular way. If one is not attracted to the opposite sex than they should stay celibate and not marry. If they engage in any sexual practice while unmarried they are guilty of sin. But the bible also clearly states that men should not lie with men. Men in this case meaning human beings as in mankind not a particular gender.
    Sin is not measured in degrees. Sin is sin and forgivable by God through Jesus Christ. If you are a believer and have studied the bible then you know what happens if you continue in any sin. You know what the remedies are and the consequences.
    The problem is that sexual sin is addicting as are many other so called pleasures. The more you partake of a sin the more you want. It becomes like god to you. Like idolatry. You begin to worship the sin. Replacing God with your idol. Again if you have read about idols in the bible you know the result.
    The point is that you begin to think of yourself and your right to pleasure as more important than your relationship with God. You think you deserve it because God loves you. You begin to equate a physical sensation with love and to think that if God loves you than he wouldn’t want to deny you this feeling.
    There is much much more to say but there is a reason God planned life the way he did. The more you read the bible with an open heart and the more you seek out God over seeking out pleasure the more you will learn about what life is about.
    if you are a Christian you have made a start. If you are not the point is moot.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dsifuentes Daniela Makowski

    i think its crucial that the ‘community’ knows that Jesus loves them.. the christian ‘community’ has bashed on them for so many years that hatred

  • http://twitter.com/choann Anne Choi

    Hi Sammy I was

  • http://twitter.com/HabsVision HabsVision

    I may be an atheist, but I have absolutely no problem sharing the planet with Christians like you. You’re an inspiration to all people of faith, as well as those without it. Keep it up, the world needs more people like you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jan.dion Jan Termehr Dion

    Amen Brother Sammy,
    Thank you for shedding light on this situation.
    I know that without Jesus I would be in the mire because like everyone else I am the worst sinner.
    I choose love.

  • Sunshine

    Awesome message

  • Kish

    I love the saying, do judge some else’s sin cause its different than your sin :)

  • Rosie

    BOOM. Amazing. That’s the Jesus I know – not the one on the blog, the one you talk about and radiated in that sermon and article, sir. Grace and peace to you x

  • Sky

    I’ve never been hateful to anyone because they’re gay. When I was a young teenager I thought I was a lesbian, and in my teen years had perfectly uncomplicated and certain bisexual feelings. If I wasn’t a Christian that whole time, I know I would have lived that life… so I honestly don’t know what it’s like to be homophobic. For me this is what makes it hard to know that I do not agree with gay marriage- because marriage is about God first, then what we want, but it’s nothing against anyone personally. I am at a loss to know how to explain that I love my gay friends but don’t agree with them getting married. I feel that just saying you disagree with anything about a gay lifestyle will instantly make people say you are a bigot or narrow minded. It’s so far from true I don’t even know where to begin.
    Thanks for sharing your experience, wonderful to hear people felt your love for them.

  • richard v

    Why is it that “Christians” need something awful to happen to them before “God” opens their eyes? You honestly couldn’t figure out constant ridicule and hatred toward a group of people was wrong? I’m far from religious but it doesn’t take a genius to figure that out.

  • God

    Cute. Where were you when people who were gay were terrified of being harassed, abused, or even murdered if they came out of the closet because of your fellow evangelical Christians? Liberals, atheists, feminists, and others had to fight tooth-and-nail alongside the LGBTQ community for YEARS to get to this point. What were you guys doing? Trying to put gay people in prison, telling your children gays were equivalent to pedophiles, etc.

    And now, after all this time, right when it’s become clear your side has lost, you want to pretend that you’re not bigots for Jesus, after all? You’re no better than the Southern Baptists who split from the national Baptists because they believed so deeply in slavery and, once they lost on that issue, segregation. After it became apparent they had lost again and things weren’t going back to the way they were, they had the nerve to simply say, “Oops, I guess we got that wrong! Silly us! I guess we shouldn’t have treated black people like sub-humans after all (but we still secretly look down on them as lesser).”

    You may think you’ve finally gained some deep insight, but all your article is really saying is that, maybe, we shouldn’t treat gay people like they’re less than human (even if we still secretly look down on them as lesser). You still have a lot to learn. I suggest you starting with some history.

  • Steven Pape

    Ouch.

  • Ezmyrian

    That quote by C.S. Lewis is a good one. Really makes you think.

  • bobbi bullins

    I like this article, I agree we teach that some people have no right to accept Jesus or Jesus did’t die for them. I use to live the homosexual lifestyle until I gave my life to Christ. Christ came and died for the whole world, he does not pick and choose who comes to him, the cross is a open altar for everyone. But I do not agree with the churches who openly accept homosexuals in the ministry field, because God would not call someone to be a leader of a church living in abomination. Truth is the homosexual community has not received much truth from the body of Christ.

  • Tess Johnson-Kelly

    that was delightful, what a beautiful point you put across. more people like yourself are needed in the world.

  • Sarah Siders

    Oh man. I was getting crazy goosebumps reading this. Powerful, Sammy. I can’t believe you were harassed like that. It’s heartbreaking, but I am so amazed how God has turned it around for something so breakthrough. This is probably the best message on LGBT issues and the Christian community that I have ever read. Thank you for putting this out there.

  • Nick Charles Harris

    I have been a Southern Baptist pastor in the south for 50 years (kinda scary, huh). You can only imagine the non-biblical traditional thinking I have had to wade through and change in 5 decades (racial prejudice, women’s place in society and church, moderate drinking of alcohol, and sexuality, to name a few). I am so grateful for the work of the Word, the Holy Spirit, godly and wise friends, and articles such as this one. They have helped me see from a wider perspective and a more loving and less critical point of view. Thank you for sharing this.

  • anonymous

    I’ve never hated gay people, I’ve had to work around some a good part of my life. NO I don’t condone it and I DID treat them as any other person. NO I didnt become their best friend — but I did do my best to be a Christian witness before them and SHOW the love of Christ. However — they do need to know that Jesus DID teach AGAINST the lifestyle. The church is sometimes teaching LOVE LOVE LOVE but forgetting to address the sin. THAT can be done in a loving but tactful way, too.

  • Kimberly

    This is incredible … and I wish we all saw it this way … thank you Jesus for placing this conviction in your heart and the hearts of others … so thankful that Jesus is working in the hearts of your community … so thankful for your obedience and your vulnerability … thank you for sharing … my prayer is that we (the Christian Community) continue to seek Jesus’s heart that we (Christians) become just like Him and begin to see the log in our own eye and not the speck in others. Thank you for being that example.

  • cj gunna

    Praise God, It is the Love of God that draws us to repentance. I wish the church could understand what you have lived out. We are called to Love God, and our neighbor as thyself. This is much needed in the lives of those who call themselves believers. I know this one thing Jesus came to save those who are lost, and I was lost, we cannot forget that. Brother I am so humbled by what Jesus has done for and to you. May the love of the Father continue to reveal to you his Love.

  • Al Campbell

    A great article about a challenging topic. I’m currently living in Paris and I have been shocked at how some Christians have protested towards the legalisation of gay marriage, in a rather aggressive manner, showing such a lack of compassion. I understand this theological debate is ongoing and will always divide people and I don’t think it’s wrong to disagree on the issue of homosexuality on the grounds of what the bible teaches , but sometimes I think… would Jesus have been in these protests shouting his disgust towards gay marriage. Somehow I doubt it.

  • Al Campbell

    A great article about a challenging topic. I’m currently living in Paris and I have been shocked at how some Christians have protested towards the legalisation of gay marriage, in a rather aggressive manner, showing such a lack of compassion. I understand this theological debate is ongoing and will always divide people and I don’t think it’s wrong to disagree on the issue of homosexuality on the grounds of what the bible teaches , but sometimes I think… would Jesus have been in these protests shouting his disgust towards gay marriage. Somehow I doubt it.

  • Corey Panter

    Great article! Pastor Sammy, thanks for being authentic and vulnerable.

  • Adam

    This is a big deal to me because “gay” is the only way I can be seen by members if my old church. I can talk about no other issues in my life because that’s all I am to them. Before I came out to some of my church members, they were able to help me and discuss my other sins. I’ve become a checked box. I think of myself as having many different sides but the church no longer does. I went from being the thief/liar/gossip to “the gay.”

  • Heidi

    Good stuff. Thanks for sharing.

  • Greg

    Tim you said, “”as for your first question – i came to the conclusion homosexuality is not
    a sin through simply meeting and getting to know people who are gay. they are people, just like the rest of us.”

    What a ridiculous manner for determining sin! God says homosexuality is sin:

    “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
    “And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
    “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.” (Romans 1:26-28)

    Sinners are people. All people are sinners. But those who REPENT and turn to God for salvation, forsaken all other “lifestyles”, religions, etc., are saved sinners. Those who do not, are NOT.

    You are simply not a Bible believer. The Bible tells us that frauds like you will multiply as we approach the final judgment. Repent or you will perish with them.

    “Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” (Romans 1:32)

    • http://dailygallen.com/ tim gallen

      huh. i’ve been called many things in my life. but never a fraud. i suppose i can check that off my list. i do believe that jesus loves me. just as he loves you, greg. just as he loves my gay friends. just as he loves, well, everybody. sin or no sin – and there aren’t any folks who fall into the latter.

      whether homosexuality is a sin or not – and, well, everyone knows where i stand on that – i’ve got too much going on in my life to worry about others’ sins. i got enough of my own sin to deal with and worry over. i love my brothers and sisters and will do my best to comfort them and show love as jesus loves us.

  • mamat

    Thank you for this. Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world, but, through HIM they would be saved.So many I have known from the gay community and I have loved, encouraged, and have tried to show the love of God to them. On the other hand, I have had friends who after finding out a person we all have had relationships with is gay and they have aids have turned their backs on them, want nothing else to do with them. Is this what Jesus came to do. He(Jesus) sat with sinners and shared meals with them. Are we better than He? No, we are not. Thank you kind, insightful brother.
    mamat

  • Joel Baker

    I’ve read 1,000 articles on this topic. This was the only one that truly resonated with me. So inspiring. …” for the first time in my life, I wanted gay people to know Jesus loved them more than I wanted them to know my theological position.” – amazing. Thank you Sammy!!!

  • Darci

    Thank you so much for this! I have been best friends with a gay man since I was 15 years old and he has changed my life and the way I look at all gay people. It has been a huge part of my life and ministry to apologize to gay friends on behalf of the church – to say I am sorry – to assure them that Jesus really does love them! Thank you for seeing – now that you can see their hearts – you will find Jesus all over them!

  • Jasmin

    this is fantastic. Thankyou. So, so true. It really makes me sad that gay people do not feel welcome or safe in churches/around christians, when all we’re meant to be about is love.

  • Anna Joy

    Totally agree with this, and have wept with some dear friends of mine in the church (and those that have been pushed out) that have felt “less than” because they have wrestled their entire life with their same sex attraction but still desperately love and need God. There is no easy answer for any of it. Our core needs are the same, across the board, period, and we need each other to encounter that crazy love of our Wild Undomesticated God that lives and loves outside of all our boxes. My prayer is to learn more about how to walk with people in our shared pain. I am them, they are me. Christ is all. May He receive the reward of His suffering in all of us.

  • Jesus Christ

    I love you, Sammy!

  • DDRO

    From a Christian mother of a gay man, thank you! It is so hard knowing how much people hate the person I love so much. The child I bore, the boy I raised, the man I appreciate and respect so very much… Yes – we do disagree on issues but, one thing I tell my son on a regular basis, is that Jesus Christ died for him and that He loves him. He loves him even more than I do… You know, people need to realize that hatred and condemnation does not draw people – it’s the love of God that draws people. So many people do not know or care to learn just how people come to be what they are… They never get close enough to see the real person or the pain… They never take time to think that maybe this person might have experienced things in life that have led them in some direction… We all, especially Christians, need to stop and think before we judge someone’s life… I could go into a sermon here but, I won’t. I just want to thank you again for being open and honest & for allowing God to speak to your heart.

  • Shannon

    “Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.” -Rick Warren

  • katiemiaaghogday

    I wonder if you can relate to this spiritual experience?

    http://katiemiaaghogday.blogspot.com/2013/06/seein-eleven.html

  • CrystalCamelot

    What a powerful response Sammy! Blessings, friend.

  • Una Mulale

    Beautiful.

  • http://www.aarongreenstories.com/ Aaron Green

    This topic may very well be the single greatest topic we believers will need to understand in our generation. That being: that we are asked to love people regardless of whether we disagree with them, not hate them.

    Sammy, thank you for sharing this. I was immensely moved. Please, please, please keep sharing this story and this perspective. God will use it as he already has been here!

    Blessings brother,

    Aaron

  • Krystal

    Wow. You have such A way with words. In the end, we just need to love EVERYONE. Why do we forget that? Thank you for reminding me I’m not called to change everyone, I’m called to LOVE everyone.

  • Cynthia Price

    I’ve never been able to understand how people who say they know Jesus–know Agape–can be so free with ignorant hatred. I’ve read my Bible, and Jesus tells me to love everyone, especially those I perceive to be sinners. I don’t understand how other people who also read their Bible don’t see that message.

  • Luke

    My only caution is to those like Tim… Repentance is irrevocably part of Jesus’s message… It is a sin and there is a definite place for deceivers and false teachers… by calling it (against scripture) not a sin you are deceiving yourself and others

  • Karey Johnson

    I am so thankful for this message from you!! I just posted another article yesterday about being the belief that Liberal Christians Hate the Bible… it resonate so deeply with me. I guess that I would call myself a “Liberal Christian” simply because my beliefs span the “trending” issues. This is one of those issues. My belief is based on what I have learned about the Bible and the lessons that I have tried to learn (more so over the last few years)… lessons about truly loving someone when they don’t deserve it.

    I am so thankful that God loved me more than anything else… loved me enough to send His precious son, loved me enough to allow Jesus to spend time among us demonstrating true – unconditional – love, loved me enough to watch His son die on that cross for sins He didn’t commit – sins He didn’t earn – sins He didn’t deserve to die for. THAT is the example I want to shape my life after…

    I sometimes feel judged because I am choosing to love “the least of these” because I am one of them… I am an assistant principal in a public high school and (like you) have the opportunity to know and love a variety of people in this world and I NEVER want even ONE student to walk out of my office and believe that I didn’t love them for who they were right at that moment… and quite honestly, I have had more opportunity to have conversations about my faith and the love of God than ever before because I am trying to love like God loves me.

    So THANK YOU for making me not feel judged today!!!

  • Diana Huntress

    I love this!! People like you are helping us move to a better world. I don’t believe in Christianity, but I believe that it helps some people. And that Christians who leave their hearts open and are willing to learn and help, as they should according to the real words of Jesus (as we know them), are the ones who will help save us from those who want to use their own “interpretations” of the bible to their own ends. I find most religion disturbing, but I love the people who use it to embrace people rather than to shun them, to help and not to condemn, to learn and not to proliferate ignorance. Well done, sir, on your personal journey.

  • Leah

    Thanks so much for sharing, especially that C.S. Lewis quote. Wow. What is that from??

  • derek

    Wow. Moving post! I’ll admit that it caught me by surprise when the “curveball” was hit. As a gay Christian myself, I don’t know if I would have been trolling you under the name Jesus to get my point across, but it seems like it worked for you (and for other people who have read this post). Sometimes I forget how difficult it must be for those who are straight to fully understand what gay people go through, and this post wonderfully shows that. Thank you for posting! This was truly great.

  • James

    As Christians, we’ve used the phrase “hate the sin, love the sinner” for so long. But our actions and thoughts are consistently focused on hating the sin. We need to love the sinners. We are all in the catagory, and to focus on hating a specific sin, we do a very good job of avoiding the sin in our own lives. Love the sinner equates to “Love people.” ALL OF THEM!

  • Jcrox4evr

    Thanks for putting into words what I have felt for years. God tells us to hate no one and I have never understood why the “Christian” community hates gays.

  • Hana Grosh

    This is so positively moving.This is God’s truth, and I was so encouraged by this message. I hope you feel re-affirmed through this experience as a pastor and as a child of God. Gotta love that C.S. Lewis too!

  • Mike

    Sammy – very powerful stuff. God can speak through the Bible…God can speak through a mean spirited troll. God is speaking all the time…are His people listening? I think you are just scratching the surface of what God is doing in the hearts of his people. I in no way claim to have arrived or be an expert. Somehow, though, I believe God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are much more concerned with our supernatural love than our systematic theologies. Ouch, that’s hard for me to say as one who has studied theology all my life. I too have a long road ahead. May God continue to transform my heart and very life after the one thing Jesus said His followers should be known by…LOVE! Thanks for sharing brother! Keep seeking, keep changing, keep growing and keep loving. U DA MAN! Woooooooo! :)

  • Amanda

    I am so glad to know that pastors and Christians are beginning to and are understanding the heart of Christ. He constantly reminds me of the scripture in 1st corinthians 13 that states if you have not love you have nothing. Love never fails. That is the heart of Christ. That is what we as Christians are mandated to do above all else! That is the fathers heart. Thank you dear pastor for allowing father to open you up and give you his heart.

  • Mikki

    Thank you for the article. It just confirmed what I have been struggling with God for a while. What good is love if it is not shown. How can we say “God loves you but won’t accept you until you clean up?” Why do we focus on this community so much but we let gluttons, slanderers (who cause way more damage in our churches and are seldom confronted), adulterers, gossips and liars go freely on their merry way, giving them positions of authority and making excuses for their sin.
    I hope people read this and just start loving people REGARDLESS and then letting Jesus work through all of us as He makes the necessary changes needed in each individual. We really don’t know as much as we think we do. We judge far too quickly and truly love far too seldom.
    Thank you Sammy for your courage to say this publically.

  • Andrew Bereck

    Amen! Powerful message, Sammy. Keep up the good work brother. God bless

  • BSC

    Thank you for the reminder that God’s grace is more powerful than my sin. The Lord works though you, through me, and through all those called adopted of God, and this post has affected me for the good of the Kingdom. Praise God, and thank you, brother.

  • - pinkcamojeep

    i love, lOvE, LOVE your line, “I wanted gay people to know Jesus loved them more than I wanted them to know my theological position.” I’m going to sear that into my memory so that I can quote it. Thank you, Sammy. Thank you.

  • Jen

    It’s sad it takes something like this for people to realize hate of any kind is ignorant.
    Glad you learned your lesson but it shouldn’t of taken this long to realize spreading love is better than preaching hate.
    You fall in love with a soul, not their genitals.

  • Christy

    Dear pastor, shared your message on Facebook, I really hope a great many will take time to read it. It’s about time we as Christians start practicing what we preach, and thanks for being so transparent!

  • Eleanor G

    Regardless of whether homosexuality is or isn’t a sin, I think you hit the nail on the head, as it were, by saying that Jesus loves everyone, including people of the LBGT community. I don’t know if I would do what the troll “Jesus” did to emphasize his point, but I think it does bring out something really important: the REAL Jesus would never turn someone away nor condemn them. The good book says that God is Love, not hate. Thank you for publicly voicing that.

  • Jason

    Good stuff here Sammy. Admire how you publicly share heartwrenching stuff that you’ve allowed Him to deal with internally. This is none other than His perfect bold love coming out of you and blessing many others. Keep it up bro. Much love and blessings :)

    -frm another young pastor who keeps coming to the throne of grace over and over again when he finds himself not able to love others enough or discovers his religiosity & hypocrisy from time to time-

  • ATL Ash

    God bless! I love the C.S. Lewis quote. All you need is love!

  • jedandgrace

    great points…but I fear that as days go on the hate for the Christian community will be as strong or stronger as any has been for blacks or gays. Christians are being condemned for their rights or their thoughts as well. A sin is a sin is a sin. Being gay is like me lying to my husband. God says both are wrong. It doesn’t say either one is more wrong than the other. They’re just both wrong. It doesn’t mean I have any hate for the gay community or any hate for my husband when he would lie to me. I am called to love both the gay community because they are people not because they are gay. Just like I am called to love my husband not just because he is my husband but, also, because he is a person even when he does lie. Just too much hate going on. I think the gay community just like any one else who is doing something wrong wants to put a label on someone like “haters” just because they don’t agree with them Biblically about this particular sin. It’s not fair. Our Bible says what is right and what is wrong and it is pretty clear about homosexuality and about telling lies. I think guilt can make people hate and do the wrong thing whether it be lying or whatever kind of sin. There just needs to be more love in the world. It’s sad that the gay community doesn’t feel loved but at the same time they need to ask themselves…are they loving others who are different than themselves? May God be with us all!!!

  • Stacy

    I have recently become friends with gay people through our involvement in the community theater in our little, east Texas town. It has forced me face my “beliefs” as a Christian, raised in a Baptist church. Thank you for your article. Christians are called to love. Christians are not called to love ONLY the people who share our point of view. My love for my gay friends is very real,and very deep. Everyone needs love and respect from Christians. Everyone! I am so glad that God has taught me this.

  • Kalyn Kratzer

    Wow. This is so what I needed today–to be reminded of the world that exists outside of my Christian bubble. I stand humbled and blessed by God through your beautiful words. Thank you for sharing and rekindling a love for God’s people in my heart.

  • CTroy

    Yep… there you go. I often have told my christian gay friends that the gay lifestyle is wrong, but I always followed it up by saying, but that doesn’t keep you from being one of my very good friends. I also say that I am not perfect and tend to do things that are, also, biblically wrong (sin). All we can do is strive for what is right but do it without judging others. BUT if someone tries to promote it, I am afraid I will always step and simply say “I do not hate you for it, but it is still biblically wrong”.

  • Valarie

    Well Sammy, here is the deal…..Jesus loves us thus He died for us….Jesus does not love our sins, therefore as noted in His Word the Bible, go and sin NO MORE. To the drug addict, the whoremonger, the lier, the thief, the ……….Go and SIN NO MORE!
    Because the desire is there does not mean the action should be there. As one draws closer to the Lord, studies His Word, talks to Him….change comes as His Spirit, the Comforter, comes….

  • jcmarchand

    I wish my uncle and cousin, both pastors, would embrace this message. Thank you for expressing your heart and demonstrating God’s love!

  • Emily Bauer

    This is so touching and truly convicting. Thank you for such a kind and powerful post, this is the type of ministry that the church should be known for.

  • Lori Schaefer Hollinger

    THANK YOU for helping me make sense of things. I have been a Christian for most of my life and have never been able to express the church’s stance on homosexuality and never been able to put a finger on WHAT IS WRONG with it. While my kids were growing up (they are 22 and 20 now) we used to have a Bible study in our home and sometimes there was 25 kids packed into my living room. After the study we would eat snacks, sit around and talk about life. Several kids “came out” to me during this time and expected me to throw them out of my house and were surprised when I didn’t. I didn’t want them to feel rejection or hate from a Christian. I wanted them to know that at least one Christian didn’t hate them for who they were. When I think about it, I don’t think about what heterosexuals do in their bedrooms, so why should it matter if some one is gay, I won’t think about what goes on in their’s either. I believe the bible is clear on whether it is sin or not, but let God change their heart if he so chooses, it’s not my job. My job is to love others no matter what. Recently my daughter surprised me with a visit home and one of her “gay” friends drove her. When they walked into the house I hugged them both as hard as a mom does who misses her daughter. After a while her friend told me he was gay and had this look on his face like he was about to be reprimanded but all I said was, that’s really not my concern, and he stood slack jawed for quite a time. He asked aren’t you going to give me a sermon on how sinful I am, and I said if I did I would have to give myself the same sermon because we all do sinful things. I said I loved him because he was my daughter’s friend. He sort of choked up and said NO Christian had EVER said that to him. I started tearing up, too because THAT is WRONG! If we just love each other the way Christ did, He COULD and WOULD change hearts if He so chooses. I ask God daily to give me the grace to love people and I pray that He never stops<3

  • In His Makesty’s Service

    Blessings to you! It is words of truth and spoken from a man of our Lord Jesus! We must show love and sincere friendship to the gay community simply because they are loved by our Lord Jesus! The church needs . . . and . . . I need to be reminded of this constantly! Love you brother!

  • Claudia

    Hi Sammy I read your article today and I posted it on my FB. What you said echoes and resonates so deeply in my heart not only for the gay community but for those with mental illness and of course so many others too. I think the accusation of Jezebel can be thrown in with the rest of the lack of love displayed to many, especially. I am one of those people (I am not gay but if I was would it matter?) who has suffered tremendously at the hands of religious Christianity. It has, so many times, almost blown me out of the water, and has driven me away from the church at times. It has made the church an unsafe place to follow Jesus. But my prayer closet the safest place. I have seen not only in my own life, but in the life of many around me, how religion can unjustly judge another, and even at times accuse them of things they have never done or are not. The most interesting thing for me is that in the midst of the biggest heartbreak in the church, I had the most radical encounters with Jesus and heaven. I remember a time I was crying and reading my bible and then I watched the Jesus movie, because I just needed an anchor to continue hanging on to my Beloved. When the movie came to the part where the pharisees were accusing Jesus of having demons, the Lord spoke to me and he said…”see…they did it to me too”. Then I was overwhelmed in the most beautiful love ever. Where the church fails, Jesus steps in. Like he did for the woman who committed adultery. So often He has done this for me and taken me deeper into His heart of love. Where the church calls “sin”, heaven encounters. The thing that came to me so often during these times were the thoughts, “if I am such a bad person, or a this or a that, why would God be encountering me? Wouldnt he be rebuking me too. The answer I got was, “it isnt God, Jesus or Holy Spirit who does those things. God is love”. I want to thank you for writing this letter. And the words “Forgive them Father, they know not what they do”, quickly comes to mind. I love Jesus with all my heart. Not because of a church, but because He is an encountering, loving God who looks past everything to encounter our hearts with His tremendous love. Thanks again

    • http://stephenmatlock.com/ BetweenTwoWorlds

      Hey Claudia,

      I’m really sorry about the way you were treated. Even *if* the church was right on an issue, they were *wrong* in how you were treated (and in this case, I don’t think they were right). I can’t imagine Jesus ever being cruel or angry or hurtful to people who needed him. I can’t imagine a church of his name being anything other than “Jesus with skin on.”

      The only things I can say are “I’m sorry” and “Please forgive them.” Screwed up people screw up people. It’s not an excuse. Just that they’re not as far along as they think they are.

      I have dreams of what church could be, and that is a family of God, who comes to *us* to redeem *us* at our level. And it pains me to see what the church sometimes *is*, and that is a collection of religious believers on a journey who think they’re at the destination. Sometimes it’s just that we’re doing the best we can; sometimes it’s that we just really don’t want to do any better.

      I’m really glad, though, that you’ve had authentic encounters with the loving, healing God. I hope that you have more of these, and that you have some encounters with good, honest, merciful, understanding, and joyous Christians. They are out there, and they’re easy to spot, even if there are not enough of them.

  • N Jay Lewis

    Sharing this right now! Awesome to share your heart…

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      I appreciate you reading and sharing Jay.

  • Lara

    Rock on Sammy. You are doing God’s work for God’s people. Forget popularity- you’re on the right path.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Thanks Lara.

  • Dustin

    I was moved by this. I know that I do love first and I’ve said sorry before for to a person for the words of one of my sisters that they said to an atheist person. He contacted me and I asked what she said. He told me and I apologized. He was thankful for that. Back on with the topic of this, I noticed this was the first thing that they felt following God. I’ve been put on a path o try and help people and that’s what I’ve been doing. :) It’s great to know that I’m not alone in doing the same actions of loving someone even though I don’t agree with what they do. Thank you for this post :)

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Thanks for reading Dustin.

  • Kegger

    “You don’t have to sacrifice convictions to be compassionate.” – Rick Warren

    Even for those who feel homosexuality is absolutely horrible.. we’re still called to love those who identify under it.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Wow, what a quote…

  • Janice

    Thank you for this post, Sammy. It struck a chord because I am struggling, as a Christian, to love like Jesus but still stand up for what the Bible says is true. My Christian friends think I’m too liberal, and my non-Christians friends think I’m too religious! Where it the line? Your post made that line a little clearer to me.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      You’re so so welcome Janice.

  • Marcy Dyer

    Sammy – Praise God for your response. Jesus called us to love others as he loved us. I’m a sinner, yet he died for me, loves me unconditionally. I think he expects us to love others unconditionally. I’m so sorry the internet troll treated you so horribly, but isn’t it beautiful how Jesus uses what the enemy meant for evil and used it for good? I pray he continues to bless you and use you in a huge way!

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Thanks for the prayers Marcy. I appreciate it tons.

  • Leanne

    This really was beautiful. I completely agree with really loving those of the gay community. But I’m so torn about how to react when they claim Christ! It seems like such a fine line- especially when one of your own, someone you love, chooses to walk down that path. (Now that’s heart-wrenching!) What about when a Gal 6:1 reaction doesn’t help? Can/should we actually act out 2 Thess 3:14-15 & 1 Cor 5:12-13? Difficult. Ugh.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Leanne, it’s difficult alright. Relationships always are and this is and will be a polarizing issue for a long time. I pray for grace, humility and wisdom for us all. Sorry I don’t have sufficient answers.

  • Kendra

    Wow! So very well expressed.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Thank you Kendra

  • Doc

    Sammy, Awesome message. Stay humble, thanks for this reminder to stay humble. Love ya man!

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Thanks Doc and that sounds like a plan.

  • Jeremy Navarro

    I stumbled upon this thanks to a friend posting it on Facebook, and I have to say, I now consider you someone I am thankful for. More people need to courage to say what you said here, and in your sermon. And now I want to be your friend.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Jeremy, I’m game. Lets be friends :-)

  • Liz

    This was an answer to prayer for wisdom for me. Thank you.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Thanks for reading Liz.

  • Dawn

    *hugs you so tight* Oh honey, what a wonderful post. You touched my heart. Thank you.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Thank you so much Dawn.

  • wendy

    i am crying right now. this is exactly the point to where god has been leading me regarding the gay community. i am still not sure where i stand on if homosexuality is a ‘sin’, but if in doubt, i will always choose the path of love. thank you for sharing.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Thanks for reading Wendy. I encourage you to keep studying the bible and praying for discernment and clarity from the Holy Spirit. Hit me up if you are interested in some good resources too.

  • Robert Jeter III

    I am a ministry assistant to a college campus who has a large gay community presence. Its taken years but I have managed to bridge the gap and at least earn the respect of many of them if not influencing their views. So much so that my organization is even endorsed by many influential members of the local gay strait alliance. This a phenomenal read and I intend to use it as a conversation piece to further expand relations. Thank you for writing.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Wow Robert. That’s incredible to hear what is going on in your ministry. What city are you in?

      • Robert Jeter III

        A large suburb of Houston

  • Jon

    Where in the bible does it even claim homosexuality to be a sin other than parts wrongly interpreted by bias churches? From what I have looked into, The bible was written in hebrew and some words in the REAL bible that supposedly stand for homosexuality were never actually seen in any language and it was left to be interpreted by the churches. Then homosexuality was taught to be a sin and up until now is still taught as a sin. Just because Christians love gays doesn’t mean much if you believe we are going to hell and their lifestyles are wrong. There have been so many things the church has done that is corrupt to taint the peoples mind (such as indulgences, forcing beliefs, war, etc) and we as a smart, rational race have overcome and persevered through these hardships to legitimize Christianity. Isn’t it time churches overcome the gay issue? Gays don’t hurt people, they don’t cause war, steal your money, yet we stopped all of those other things. I even remember in my earlier research the bible says that ways of living and morals should change with time, which is perfectly demonstrated in the transition from the old to new testament. If we still followed the teaches of the old testament we would be stoning children (please correct me if I’m wrong because I know that is fairly serious, but if it is wrong there are still plenty of immoral teachings from the old testament I’m sure you would agree are messed up). I think its time for the church to get with the times and start interpreting the words like kedah and arsenokaitai in a less homophobic way and learn to TRULY love the gay community by accepting their lifestyles in the eyes of God, not just loving them while not agreeing with them.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Hey Jon, just wanted to say thanks for reading and commenting. It’s obvious this is something you’re passionate about. Unfortunately the internet can be one of the least effective ways to engage in healthy dialogue (especially on issues like this) but if you want to keep talking through some of this stuff, please feel free to hit me up on my blog or on Facebook (links in bio above). Thanks again for reading Jon.

  • Molly

    You Pastor are sooooo right-on. We are to hate the sin but love the sinner. I am so sorry you were so mistreated by this person, steered by evil himself—but—G L O R Y!!!! What a humble true man of God you are for allowing the Spirit to show Nd teach you powerful truth to the people of God!!

    My husband and I own a business where we have quite a few gay customers, and have good relationships with them.

    LOVE is what Jesus is all about and you, Sir, are such a willing vessel. May Your dear Papa continue to annoint you and use you in miraculous ways.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Molly, thank you so much for the kind words and your prayers. It truly means a lot.

  • http://www.tiffinbox.org Seshu

    An outstanding blog post. Call it compassion or love, it truly begins with us. I’ve always felt most “haters” really hate themselves first and simply lash out at folks who they perceive as being different from them. On another note, I started to read Bob Goff’s book, Love Does, but stopped. I am determined to finish it now.

    • http://www.SammyA.com Sammy Adebiyi

      Thanks for reading Seshu. Just read that book this spring. It’s INCREDIBLE!

  • Jonathan

    I’ve come to a realization as a Christian in regards to these types of polarizing issues, and the homosexual issue particularly:

    Acceptance is conditional. Love is required.

  • Jeremy Adkison

    Your theological position?

    Love means little when, at the end of the day, you want us to be forced celibate or fake married. :/

    • Cara_L_M

      I’ll start this by saying I am a Christian who believes homosexuality is NOT a sin.

      And on that note, I’d just like to ask if you have never had unrealistic expectations of another group that you grew up thinking one thing about, and then realized that you really didn’t know that group at all. I think it’s safe to say that as you have grown and learned, there are a lot of preconceptions you have been raised with that fell away with teenhood and then adulthood, changed and molded by your new set of peers each step along the way. And, my guess is, a lot of the more positive changes to your perceptions were triggered by loving comments and remarks, and less by people who tried to angrily force concepts down your throat.

      Love means a lot, Jeremy, regardless of where someone’s disagreements lay. Love changes things on a cosmic level. Love, no matter where you start, even if it’s in the deepest dregs of hatred, can pull you out of it.

      It’s hard to love people who ‘hate’ you, I know. But Jeremy, I promise you, when you begin with love, continue with love, and end with love, goodness eventually follows, even if it’s not the path you originally thought you would take.

      • Jeremy Adkison

        It really isn’t my responsibility to reach out to these people. I’d say it’s the other way around.

      • Jeremy Adkison

        I think I’d accept a real relationship with these people if they began their interaction by addressing the negative consequences of what they believe.

        Destroyed families, ruined lives, suicides, imitation relationships that end in catastrophes(and as a principal rule are inherently unstable environments to raise children into), etc. Let’s start by admitting that this religious belief causes harm to my people, my community, to families, and that at the end of the day it is a pretty believable statement to say it has done far more harm to people like me than any good, ever.

        Let’s start there, with actual cause and effect, actual actions and reactions. This is just another example of religious right koombayah writings meant to preach an affirming love and acceptance- without mentioning the harmful things they otherwise believe, profess, and support. This is just another example of a person whose religious conservatism is becoming a minority position, and is trying to justify what he believes by presenting it in a new ‘perspective’. All the while, he conveniently ignores the consequences of what his beliefs have done.

        I’m just not skipping over that. No, no, and no.

        • Cara_L_M

          I’m not asking you to, my apologies if what I said came across that way. The problem I see here, though, is that you are skipping over exactly what you’re asking for: the addressing of the negative consequences of their actions. The primary thing Sammy has said here is, “I’m sorry”. He’s apologizing for all of the hatred, fear, and downright bitterness that has come from those beliefs. Regardless of the belief, there is no good reason to make someone feel ostracized from their community, and these are all things he apologizes for in this post. So you are getting exactly what you are asking for, but in that same note, you are asking for something you have already gotten. An apology. An acceptance that things have been done wrong and have hurt people, have hurt you.

          Acceptance works both ways, Jeremy. You can expect someone to ask for forgiveness. But forgiveness must then be given in return, for it to work toward a new beginning. I feel a lot of anger from you, purely justified, I have no doubt. But that anger is just as much a poison to you as the actions that have caused it. If you truly want change in the way things are and will be, you must be part of the catalyst, not just someone watching it happen.

          I’ll also address your other comment, that it is not your responsibility to reach out to ‘these people’. That depends on your point of view. You ask for penitence, but when you get it, you essentially say, “you need to suffer more!” by not accepting it and not offering forgiveness. And perhaps that is how you see it. But suffering only begets suffering. You can’t solve an argument by saying, “you’re wrong and i’m right and because of that you need to continue staying wrong so i can be even more right”. Doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it? That’s why love is so important, not just from the wrongdoer, but also from you, the one who has been wronged. You may not feel ‘responsible’ for these people, but it is people like you who have been wronged and choose to show that you’re still willing to love those who have hurt you, that can bring this change about.

          It’s entirely up to you, and for the Christian community, I do offer an apology for the wrongdoing done to you and those you love, for the pain and suffering and even deaths we have caused, and still do. I wish I could make it all stop just with my acceptance. But it’s people like you and me who can be catalysts for change. Just think on it, ok? I can’t pretend to know exactly how you feel, but I can tell you that the greatest pains in my life don’t compare to the relief I have felt once I gave them up to forgiveness. God bless.

  • Marc

    Man that cut… But so powerful and insightful. My mind is once again renewed!

  • JWGK

    I think we feel hated not only because of the response we’ve received from those closest to us in the church who have said “we’ll pray for you”. As if my sexuality and the inability to pray it away is a moral defect on my part. While I appreciate the revelation in this article and the soul searching that it has prompted, I believe as long as its an issue of acceptance rather than affirmation of the WHOLE person, the church will still fall short of doing all it can to support the rights of the people in the gay community. I am sorry for the hateful comments you received. There is absolutely no excuse
    For that.

    • JWGK

      I meant to say “not
      Only because of fundamentalists, but those
      In the church we
      Are closest to”

  • Krissy Jones

    I loved every beautiful word of this.

  • JG

    I am going to give a face to the problem. I am currently in a gay relationship. (The reason I say it this way is because I do not expect other people to identify with only one aspect of themselves, so why should I? I am not only, but also.) I have been in a relationship with Christ for longer. To be perfectly honest with myself, I have had such a fear of rejection and judgement since I met my partner that I have since felt severly cut off from the Christian community. I no longer attend a church because I fear my choices would result in my being ostrosized. I am work for a Catholic instituation and am keeping my partner a secret for fear of retribution. Basically even as an ‘out’ individual, I am living my life in fear of violence (because let’s be honest, that’s what this is. Christ made it very clear that intentions, thoughts, words, physical attacks are all violence.)

    What can I do? Do I trust my community to accept me? Am I going to Hell? Can what you do really be called love if you are willing to throw me under the bus? Can you call your feelings for me Christ-like love when his example of love so clearly says that you should be willing to suffer the consequences of my sin before I should? Did he not die so that we could ALL live? Why is it I feel no Christian doing that for me? When did I lose the ability to say ‘we’ instead of ‘Christian’?
    [As much of this is me processing as me asking questions and I realize that. I just felt like this conversation needed a face]

    • http://stephenmatlock.com/ BetweenTwoWorlds

      Kinda weird that you have to hide from the instruments of grace through the church because you think (correctly, I fear) that the church will reject you.

      I’m sorry for this. It’s a crazy world. The people given the task of representing Jesus “with skin on” are not doing it as well as they should.

      The words I remember are “Come unto me all you who are burdened and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” What things about us that are broken, Jesus can take care of. (I’d argue that same-sex attraction isn’t the bugaboo people think it is. For being the instrument of God’s compassion, the church is oddly fixated on sex.)

      I hope you find the right place of safety and worship for you and your partner.

  • LP

    You have to follow this up with how to make that love known even though the disagreement of sin is there. Fantastic article, fantastic word, Awesome God.

  • Elaina

    Wow! Thank you so much! I am a believer of Christ, but I also support love of everyone and equal rights, and this is EXACTLY how I am able to care for all of the people. A lot of the times Christians get a bad wrap, but if everyone started thinking more like this….! Well spoken!

  • Kevin

    That was a really great read, sir.

  • Tiv Wattenberger

    Absolutely perfect. I am straight, but an ally. I don’t want any of my friends to feel hated bt Jesus for being themselves (just the way yhat God made us). Keep up the good work. :)

  • Tony Lomen

    Sammy-
    I don’t like the church. It scares me. It has a history of ignoring god, and husbanding its own power. Often times it seems like an entity all its own, bent only on continuing its influence, power, and wealth. Far too often, the church forgets that they are not the intermediary between God and man. God does not need help from mortals, and no mortal on earth can ever aspire to be worthy of being the voice of God.
    But I do believe we have moments where we are touched with grace. Moments that seem fleeting and inconsequential to us, but mean everything to someone else. It is those moments that create a ripple. That change everything, that bring back a balance to who and what we are. I do not believe we are commanded to sit in judgment on one another, but rather to develop a relationship with God. And that is all but impossible to do, if you truly believe that God hates you.
    As foolish as this may seem, Sammy, that one moment may have been one of the most important of your life. Your words, simple words, will give someone hope. Give them hope for a love that transcends our own limitations, courage to speak to God about their lives, and the ability to come to their own conclusions.
    There is no greater gift, than that of hope born from love.

  • Booker

    You are accepting the whole framing of devout homosexuals. The concept of “gay people” who “are” gay connotes the essentialism of race, and by even accepting that framing, you’ve compromised the gospel. Your apology is heard as affirmation of abominable sin and contributes to the profound self-delusion one must maintain to “be gay.”

  • galacticexplorer

    I’m coming across this article rather late, but I just want to say, it is beautiful. Thank you so much. It is a great encouragement to me as a lesbian with a lot of residual anger towards the church. And yet, I still cling to Jesus as my support for rescuing me from his own followers.

    My story has been full of betrayals and cruelty from Christians that should have been there to help me at my darkest moments. My family banished me from their home, my pastor’s wife responded to this by telling me that my tears were “God’s conviction on my heart”, and my sister told me “God has given up on you.” I truly believed Jesus must hate me. In the middle of one of my classes in grad school, it all became too much and I stood up and left, leaving my books behind. I walked across the campus deep in thought, making my plan to kill myself. All I wanted to do was speed my journey to hell, since I was certain that was my destination anyway. After all, Jesus hated me.

    Overcome by exhaustion, I found a quiet place to sit down and make my suicide plan. Would a 3rd story building be high enough to kill me? Should I leave a note? I instinctively began to pray, since that was usually my response to distress, but I cut myself short and reminded myself that God didn’t want to hear my voice. I imagined him standing over me, arms folded, disgusted with my display of weakness and sinfulness. But only a moment later, I heard a voice, startlingly clearly that said “I am not standing over you. I am sitting right beside you, crying with you.” I was so startled that I instinctively looked to my right and, for a moment, I honestly thought I saw someone there.

    That experience saved my life. That is the only reason I still believe in Jesus, even if I no longer see him as the cruel, abusive slaver that I knew him as before. Now I know that, if God exists, he is love and warmth and an accepting embrace… a man willing to sit beside me at my worst moments when everyone else has given up. Jesus still loves me, a lesbian, as much as anyone can be loved. That gift gave me my life back. I am no longer ashamed of who I am. After all, if he is with me, who can stand against me?

    • http://stephenmatlock.com/ BetweenTwoWorlds

      Thanks for this. I’m really sorry this stuff happened. People are cruel, sometimes in Jesus’ name. I’m glad you’re still around.

      No one can really stand against you. You have the majority.

      It’s all gonna work out. People are gradually understanding what grace really means–not just some contentless niceness, but the full understanding of who we are, warts and diamonds and all, along with the utterly unconditional acceptance.

      Maybe we don’t always get this right as humans, but it’s the goal. We shouldn’t stop just because we don’t actually hate anymore; we need to continue into love.

      Good luck on the journey. Really do appreciate your post here.

      • galacticexplorer

        Thank you so much. It is always encouraging to see support, just from wonderful strangers like yourself. It means a lot. I am much stronger now, I believe in the future (even if the present is still sometimes painful) and I am facing it with the love of my life, who happens to be another woman. I am happy.

  • Debbie P.

    I have given a lot of thought to homosexuality over the years and this is my opinion. I have been taught that a sin is a sin and that they are all equal in Gods eye. So, I am just as much of a sinner as a LGBTA person because I don’t wear my seat belt. God loves me even though I don’t wear my seat-belt. I can still go to church, I can still worship God. I am just as much of a sinner as anyone else. Because of this I have a really hard time with people who actively speak out against the LGBTA community. It saddens me when my friends who are just like like me, except they are a member of this community think that Christians are a hateful group of people. A sin is a sin, but do you hear pastors speaking out about not wearing your seat belt? nope, what about drunk driving? Some times, but not often enough. Drink Driving is a sin, which is equal in God’s eyes to other sins, but yet I don’t hear too many groups protesting that drunk drivers can get married. But why not? Because again, if all sin is equal in God’s eyes then they, the drunk drives, non seat belt wearers or LGBTA community members. Why then do I only hear about only the later category?

    I am glad that Jesus spoke to you and I hope that more people actually start to understand what it means to love your neighbor as yourself.

  • Karen

    AWESOME! Well said as only God inspired words can say. Bless you and keep spreading Jesus’ amazing love.

  • Phil EuBank

    Great word man. Very difficult issue and without grace and compassion on the subject we begin in the wrong place to deal with the Gospel. Way to set the example.

  • Jenelle

    This is so powerful and so true. It is always so hard to look at one’s self before speaking about another, but we all sin. We shouldn’t judge for sinning differently and as the body of Christ we need to love EVERYONE. It’s hard but that’s if God can forgive and love me (on the daily) then so should I. Thank you, thank you for this reminder. Thank you for sharing.

  • Carolyn

    that does not just go for gays-that is also the rude person in the store line that turns everyone off – it is the one who claims to be christian and talks about everyone else – it is the bosses who talk to you any which way they please – it is the one called a friend that takes advantage for personal gain = ALL OF WHICH HAS NO BUSINESS LAUGHING OR MAKING FUN OF ANYONE – the bullies for or because of the power they can hold or do hold over another human being = I CRY FOR THEM and anyone that knows growing up with hatred and living with it on a day to day basis – the abused child – or the adult still trying to pull through THIS IS A DIFFERENT WORLD an entitlement mentality that seems to have lost any sort of value for anyone or anything that has not a personal issue to them

  • Awk Ward

    That CS Lewis quotation speaks volumes. Thank you for pointing out how merciful the Lord is… That feeling of 2Peter 2.9… Ya know?

  • theotherSammy

    Thank you for posting this. As someone who grew up and really embraced Christianity, I struggled for years with my own sexuality. I’m bi and that is not an easy thing to be in a very fundamentalist Christian church and community. I actually left the church when I graduated from a (baptist, haha) college and moved far away from my hometown and small minded youth pastor sibling (whom I love very much, despite his lack of acceptance of me) to give myself some freedom to be the person I always knew I was but was forced to suppress. I still love God, but I’ve not been comfortable in church for years because even my own family doesn’t accept me and that’s hard. Thank you for reminding me of not handing out blanket judgements myself of Christians and further perpetuating a cycle that brings neither side any glory.

  • Brent Boersma

    Thank you for sharing this. It puts words to how I’ve felt, but didn’t know how to say it.

  • Misty

    Beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Peace and grace.

  • john

    Simply a beautiful word……now if we could just tackle racism why we are at it! Many Blessings!

  • Dean Phillips

    Of course it is okay to love radically even while disagreeing! I thought that is what Jesus would supposedly have done. It sure can be difficult, though. Seems to be part of being human. We all do the best we can, even if someone else thinks we could do better, it doesn’t change the fact that the majority of us do not go out into the world looking to hurt others, somehow it happens just the same!

  • Lory

    Though as I understand the Bible at this moment in time, I would classify acts of homosexuality as sinful in nature, I do believe we all sin, even knowingly, even when we try not to, and that I in any case have no right to judge someone for their way of living. I couldn’t possibly understand what it is like to be in another person’s skin, in their head and thoughts, and with their experiences at hand. God knows these things about a person and He will know how to judge.

    I do try to look at it scientifically and historically to help me understand the occurence of homosexuality.

    I’ve often heard say that homosexuality occurs in nature as well, but I’m not sure that you can lay a parallel between these occurences. Though sexual acts of homosexuality do occur in nature, this is generally a display of dominance. In fact, for the longest time, it was (mainly) this way in many human cultures as well. An interesting reference is Egyptian mythology, where Seth tries to drug Horus so he can have sexual relations with him – the reason being that to the beliefs in that area during that time, being homosexual was fine as long as you were the one penetrating rather than receiving, because the latter would reflect on your masculinity. Horus in that case would be shamed, while Seth would come out as victor.

    But nowadays homosexuality is obviously looked at rather differently. There is a shift in attitude: once mainly referring to sexual impurity and
    dominance, now, for many people, to love and relationship. We speak of love. In the secular world it’s clearly put on one line with straight relations between men and women. And indeed, there are homosexual marriages or partnerships that probably reflect a happier, more loving relationship between the spouses than some straight marriages.

    Based on the Bible as I understand it at this moment, I don’t believe God necessarily originally made us to be homosexual, or that it was in his intention that we would be such. But God also did not make us to age and die. And here we are.

    God loves us and allows us to make our own choices and to make our own mistakes. If he assumed full control over everything that we did, we would be like robots – there would seem to be little meaning in His creation. However, that does not necessarily mean that every sinful aspect of our lives originates out of our own, conscious choice. After all, we can’t choose to not die. Death came into the world due to sin; but there’s nothing we can ‘stop’ doing to prevent it from happening. Sin is present everywhere; none of us are holy or free from its effects. More often than not, the effects of sin that we suffer from the most are due to sins committed before we were even born.

    Based on conversations I’ve had with homosexual people, I don’t believe that homosexuality always is a choice, though I do think for some it can be. I also remember reading a research paper on homosexuality in men where an area in the brain that is usually larger in men than in women, is much smaller in homosexual men. It was quite a while ago and I’m not up to date on the current research, but if true, this would also argue against the idea that homosexuality is necessarily a choice. There could very well be a physical element in play.

    I realize it’s dangerous to bring this forward on the basis that many may feel offended by it, feeling that I am saying that their sexual preference may be a brain defect. But I urge people to realize that this is a lacking in our time and age: if something is different we call it a defect. This is a dangerous way to look at people. My husband has ADHD; this is something you can measure in a person’s brain, but we don’t consider it a defect. He’s been made to feel bad about it all his life, simply because he doesn’t quite fit in the straightjacket that is society. He’s been made to take medication for it, which made him miserable. But it’s who he is, how he was born. It’s different, but that doesn’t mean he’s any more ‘broken’ than the rest of us.

    Once allowed to be the way we were born, and loved unconditionally, aren’t all of us happier?

    I ramble; I apologize. My main interest in the subject is philosophical. On a religious basis, my main point is that God only can judge people; we can never see all ends. And that as much as I too think that Scripture states that some things are sinful in nature, this doesn’t give you as a Christian the right to make judgment calls.

    I did once hear someone say that priests/reverends etc should be ‘forced’ to marry homosexuals though. That, in my eyes, is ridiculous as well. You wouldn’t press for a nudist wedding by an imam either, or even simply in a mosque. It would be considered disrespectful of the Muslim beliefs. You don’t have to have issues with nudists to understand that concept.

  • Jimmy Meeks

    “For you are not a God who delights in wickedness;
    evil may not dwell with you.
    The boastful shall not stand before your eyes;
    you hate all evildoers.
    You destroy those who speak lies;
    the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.”
    (Psalm 5:4-6 ESV)

    As much as it hurts our pride and man-centered idolatry to admit it, God not only hates sin, he hates sinners (whether or not you believe homosexuality to be included in such hated “wickedness”). Before I was united with Christ by faith, God hated me. That is why the Gospel of Christ is such good news. Despite how much i deserved his hatred towards me, in love God became a man and dwelt among his enemies, to absorb his own unspeakable wrath reserved for us, in order that he could achieve reconciliation with the ones He formerly hated.

    “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
    (Ephesians 2:1-10 ESV)

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      My heart breaks for you as you are locked in the fear and loathing of a Pharisee’s heart. Only those who hate believe that God hates. Only the broken believe in a God who despises any of good Creation. Only the weak worship a God that is a tyrant. I will keep you in my prayers.

      • Jimmy Meeks

        Here’s the thing Kimberly. I’m only affirming the things that God’s Word affirms. I have no interest in affirming anything else, and I will affirm it till the day I die, even if it is politically incorrect or flies in the face of what Western culture finds palatable.

        Unfortunately, I’m afraid that is what many Christians have done by denying the existence of God’s wrath against sinners, they have compromised God’s truth in order to be palatable by the world around them. Of course it’s not popular to preach that God hates sinners, even if that’s what God himself says. That is why the Gospel is so offensive, the good news starts with the bad news. It doesn’t surprise me that many Christians are abandoning the truth of God’s Word for ear-tickling false doctrine, “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” (2 Timothy 4:3, 4 ESV)

        I’m denying that God is love. He is more loving than we ever dare imagine. He sent his son to bear the sins of his rebel creatures so that he could redeem the objects of his wrath to become objects of his love. His love is truly incredible. But to be a faithful disciple you cannot ignore very plain truths that God has revealed.

      • Jimmy Meeks

        I’m NOT denying God’s love***

        Please forgive the embarrassing typo.

  • Celeste

    This is Jesus, convicting us, restoring us to His will so healing can occur. He’s good like that.

  • tasha

    Thanks for this message! I have acquaintances with gay people and I always feel trapped. Part of me feels like I’m failing my faith & another part feels I’m doing the right thing. By loving &accepting me where they’re at in their walk with God just as he does.
    Thanks for the confirmation &reminder.

  • Kristin

    My question as a fellow Christian would be: can you truly, or as you write “radically” love without respecting the one you love? Because I think that love without respect isn’t genuine love and respect doesn’t exist if you have to say “how you live is unacceptable to me”. Aren’t you more of a hypocrite then?

  • Jill

    Wonderful. Thank you! As the mother of a man of God who happens to be gay, Thank you! There is none of us perfect and we all live in sin every day. Just because my sin isn’t your sin doesn’t make your sin worse than mine. This is my philosophy now, and I have just had to let go and give Jesus my struggles with this. I love my son and his partner with all my heart and not once have I ever doubted their love for Jesus.

  • NotAccepted

    Your apology is meaningless and your newfound sympathy is useless, because all you have done is changed the packaging on your messaging that gays are less than straights. Your new packaging may make you somewhat more externally tolerable, but that just means you now have a better ability to make friends with gays before condemning them as hell-bound.

    Gay youths raised in Christian homes kill themselves at an unprecedented rate, and the fact that your underlying attitude is the same means that your condemnation will hurt them all the more. All you do is give queers false hope that you’re not going to say godawful things about them, but you do.

    Your apology is worthless without an actual change in what you believe, and what you believe is that God has structured the existence of certain humans so that they can never engage in a God-approved relationship. And you’re not afraid to tell people that, and then be offended when they say you’re a bigot and you’re still a bigot and you’re always going to be a bigot, because Christianity is a bigoted religion that hates gays.

    “Love” my ass. You’re exactly the same as “Jesus” in your post; the only difference is you say “love” where he says “n*****r.” And you know what? That makes you worse, because when people scream “f****t” we can know them for what they are, but when you say “love” what you mean is “hate.”

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      Maybe he is on a journey. This change of heart does not happen over night, it is not a light switch that suddenly turns on a bulb. A huge paradigm shift that alters one’s entire world view and understanding of their relationship with the Divine takes time and compassion.

      And this is coming from me, a gay CHristian who sat and spoke with a VERY different fundamentalist just a week ago and came to a vastly different conclusion of my experience of that one person.

      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/2013/07/a-lesbian-and-a-fundamentalist-walk-into-a-bar/

  • Diana

    As a straight, white woman, I think I would like you and your church just fine.

  • D Chan

    AMEN BROTHER !! Very touching story. And eye opening I must say.

  • Janice Klapp Pruett

    Thank you for expressing His heart! Oh how He loves. :o )

  • Doug

    I am sorry about the treatment you received with someone who signed the name of the Prince of Peace. Reading passages like Romans 1:24-27 and others in both Testaments, I would only say that God believes homosexuality is a perversion of what He designed. Many of us Christians, like God and Christ, hate the sin, but love the sinner. Tragically Christians are stereotypically branded by the actions of a few. I think the thing about the marriage issue is that God created marriage for a man and woman, not two men or two women. I think the culture would see a similar reaction from Christians if there was a movement afoot to legalize lying, stealing or murder(abortion excepted). We hate lying, stealing and murder, but love the individual who perpetrates such things, praying as did Christ for them to repent, “or all likewise perish.”, which He stated on a number of occasions. I’ve got no problem with name callers who label me a bigot. After all Christ was called a drunk, liar, glutton and demon possessed, so I’m in good company. And much of the criticism leveled at Christians today have the foundation of the Pharisees: a hardened and embittered heart and hatred of God and all He stands for.

  • Justice

    Sorry but if you think being gay is a sin, but that’s its okay because you can still love sinners, then you need to re-evaluate your entire philosophy on everything.

  • Angilee

    I have moments where I am chewing out the person driving too slow, or mad and catty toward people I live with/work with/even attend church with and have that thought of…”is that really loving them?” It’s self-centered garbage! I once heard that growing up isn’t a physical thing. As babies we are ego-centric, the world revolves around them (and as babies with many needs, that is okay), but if you are a thirty something ego-centric, crying every time you don’t get your way, frankly, it’s embarrassing and wrong! Truly growing up involves the process of moving the focus OFF of YOU and ONTO others and what is going on in their lives. My long, drawn out point is, if we take our eyes off of ourselves, actually get to know others, their needs, struggles, joy, pain and desires, actually love them, this is something they have NEVER seen in this world. It is a love that can only come from Christ and they will want to know how you have it and where they can get it. It’s still telling the truth, but loving them too!

  • Amanda Elliott

    Sammy! It is amazing how God is using your life and your testimony. I just read this post from a link in a Facebook post from one of my best friends from high school. It is awesome both how big and small the world can be! God Bless you and your ministry!

  • SomebodyAfterGodsOwnHeart

    Sammy, this article is very powerful, and holds a lot of truth. Unfortunately, it does start arguments that the bible warns against, arguments that are fruitless, and destructive. Some say that arguments will strengthen your faith, but The Bible calls for a teaching, not combative spirit. The many back-and-forths on this issue may be behind the facade of respect, but they are, ultimately, fruitless. His Word is Truth. I think the point is to love, and to go where God calls you to go and do what God calls you to do. I’ve never been inside anyone else’s mind, so who am I to judge what that is? I am straight, but if God called me to love another man to the point of marriage, would I? Would God do that? I don’t know. He works in mysterious ways. I don’t think arguing helps anyone. I don’t think anyone should judge based on whatever knowledge they have, because we don’t know, and never will until we meet up at the eternity. We only need trust, love, and forgiveness. I can’t wait for the day when we can stop tearing each other down.

  • Danny

    As a man who’s been undeniably attracted to other men for as long as I can remember, as a man who still struggles with those feelings 2 and a half years after Jesus took over my life and changed my heart, and as a man who trusts Jesus every day for His all-empowering perfect grace, because those feelings have a good chance of never going away – thank you for your message, here’s to hoping God’s beautiful Church can one day come along to embrace such a beautiful word. I’ll fight alongside you until the day I die, brother, that the gay community hears this out of the mouths of every Christian they meet.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      And those feelings do not have to go away – it is possible, and happening all over this country, to live a loving and faithful life with Jesus and a partner.

  • Gail

    All I can say is Thanks, Sammy and Father help my unbelief!

  • Mitch

    Romans 5:8, “…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

    Greetings and blessings to you Sammy, my Brother, in the name of the risen King and Savior, our Lord Jesus! Thank you for being vulnerable, thank you for being open, thank you for being teachable and humble and for your reflections! King Jesus loves us, even as we are detestable, insufferable, rejecting, neglectful, arrogant, haughty, clanging gongs and without love…he waits, patiently, with arms open to receive us in his warm embrace. Truly, to die is gain and when we realize that elevating ourselves, our human selves, above those around us and find division we continue to hold ourselves back from running into those arms!

    Hank Hannagraaff has said many times on his radio show (The Bible Answer Man), “Of the things that are critical let us be united, of the rest, grace” Which reminds me of Colossians 3:12-17,

    “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”

    Chen & Shalom

  • chrissy w

    Thank you! It’s as simple as that, I wish there were more people who felt that way.

  • tabby

    thanks sooo much!!! I’m a christian and seeing other people come to the same conclusion on how they want the lgbtqa community to feel loved by Jesus and not hated is soooooo important to me! You’ve got it! You’ve really got it down. That’s sooo encouraging!!! I am soooo happy to have read that!

  • PrincessPoetress

    POW!~~ A mini “sermonette” in the middle of the week that was so necessary….

  • Kristin Morrison

    This was wonderful. Even over my past four years at college my eyes were really opened to this issue and I could not help but want to know them more and understand their hearts and souls. This is what Jesus does for me no? He knows me completely and despite it all still loves me and has endless grace for the broken mess I once was and even for the times I slip up. So I know Jesus still loves everyone of them completely and I pray we start embracing with love, truth, kindness, and grace. A great deliverance of hatred and misunderstanding is coming! We as the church, the body of Christ need to align our hearts with the will of God. We need faith that God is pursuing every broken person regardless of of their heart position(the sick need a doctor not the well). We need hope of a releasing of truth. But greatest of these is love, we need a revelation of God’s love, of God’s heart for all his people gay or straight! Thank you for sharing your words and your heart!

  • Lincoln Alexander Hall

    I am aTheist turned Atheist. I have still Christian friends who are attracted to the same gender, and I appreciate your rare, new-found “love first; debate theology later” approach. You and I will likely never agree on much of the theology debating part, but I’m glad that at least we can agree that some of the people I love most in this world don’t deserve hate and vitriol, no matter our theological differences.
    In short, thank you for identifying Christian immoral behavior, owning up to it, and encouraging other Christians to stop using a morality that values issues above (and as a precursor to) love.

  • Nay Unapologetic

    Thank You so much for this. I feel like so many people need to hear this message!

  • Emma

    Thank you for arming me with some more things to add to my long list of reasons why we need to love people, no matter what! After all, Jesus said that if we remember or take away nothing else from his ministry, we should love one another. And that’s what I intend to do! Thanks for the amazing post!

  • Jennifer Huseman

    Wow! I’m speechless! Thank you for saying what was in my heart!

  • Geneva to Love beyond Borders

    Thank you sharing this. I have often said I do not have to agree to your positions in your spiritual, political, or emotional views to love you! I am however called to love beyond earthly understanding. To love like Christ. I am not the judge or the jury I am a bystander. I have several family members that are gay, but I have a whole lot more family members that participate in sin daily (as well as myself). I am a sinner saved by Grace. I will always be a sinner, I am no less a sinner except for the fact that I have Jesus Christ as my Savior. I pray daily for eyes of compassion that I would see others with the same eyes that God sees me!

  • Joyce

    I completely agree …. to be Christian, to follow God’s own heart, it is to love everyone – even though you think they are sinning. There are things you can’t completely change and things that you may never agree upon, but that doesn’t mean that if someone you know is living a life that you disagree with is a someone who is hated by Jesus. Jesus never hated. That was why he was, and is, perfect.

    My perspective on homosexuality may contradict with today’s society on pro-homosexuality. I don’t believe it is good. However, I have a lot of homosexual friends who I would never tell them that I hate them, or Jesus hates them, or they are disgusting, because I don’t feel that way. They may be living in a way I feel is sinful, but I am no judge and by no means are less of a sinner than they are.

    That being said, I also want to extend my thoughts to the pro-homosexuality community. Not all Christians hate homosexual people. I feel that I am also stereotyped that I would immediately hate someone or disapprove of someone if they are gay – when in fact, I don’t care who they are or what they are. I want to love like Jesus, and though I may have my own convictions and opinions on ‘controversial’ topics today, I don’t believe that anyone should to force any body to agree upon anything.

    Sammy – what you said was incredibly insightful. I hope that any other Christians who are reading this will also learn that we are not better than homosexuals. God weighs all our sins the same – you are not a better person to God if you didn’t kill anyone. His holiness has set him a part from who we are, so to him murder is equivalent to a lie. Homosexuality is equivalent to adultery. Ultimately, we’re on the same boat as those we hate.

  • Krista

    Awesome and heartfelt. Lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. Thank you.

  • JBK

    Sammy, your “Love” is a theory. You can’t love someone and yet refuse to support equal rights for that person. Your gay friends don’t need warm, fuzzy words from you. They are fighting to get the same rights that you take for granted each day. Are you going to help them or not?

  • Faith

    Thank you, Thank you a thousand times over. This is so helpful to me. I am an 18 year old Christian woman surrounded by a mix of prejudice and loving Christians. It’s hard to disagree with people who are so much older and more educated than I. In my youth, people see ignorance. And they are right. There is so much that I don’t understand or even know about. But one thing I do know is that my King and Saviour is a God of love. Strong, passionate, and un-ending love. I’ve never been able to put my unique (At least to my local Christian community) views into something so eloquent. Thank you again, this blog has helped me to better formulate my beliefs in a loving and honest manor. (Things I believe to be Biblically sound!)

  • Bobdeebobbob

    Sammy I really enjoyed the article you wrote. I think it is insightful. As a christian I think it is obvious that bigotry exists in the Church towards Homosexuals. And I think as a church we have let down many people many races throughout the duration of the Christian faith. In many ways church has become more about the ritual than the relationship with Christ.

    However I think as a church we have also blurred the lines of christianity in order to accommodate the lifestyle we wish to live. Not so much what Christ asks of us. As a society today we view sexuality as a choice, which differs from the idea in the bible, that God designed a sacred union between a man and a woman. Sex was designed to be scared. A Union which was supposed to be within Marriage alone. I believe that the strong words in leviticus where it called homosexuality an abomination. Or in the new testament, when Paul describes the sinful nature of man, and calls out how man has exchanged sexual relations with a woman to lie with another man, is based on the idea that Sex in its created order is sacred.

    If we believe in God we also believe that he created us. He created sex, he created marriage and he created an order for which our sexual relations were to operate. In Genesis we see that God saw that it was not good for man to be alone. So God created a helper from his own flesh. He created a woman. In the Garden there is a beautiful picture of what marriage should be like. A tri-union between God, man and woman. ( I think this is the sacred unit God created and hoped for )

    In todays society as a church we can sympathize with the Homosexuals and understand that maybe their sexual orientation was not a choice they made. I can also see how a monogamous sexual relationship can be viewed as better than those who live a promiscuous lifestyle. However what looks like truth can often, and has been used by the devil to ensnare us. in Matthew Chapter 4 Satan used scripture against Jesus in an attempt to derail him from his task. It was Jesus knowledge of scripture and the truth that enabled him to see through the deceit. For the Christian the knowledge that sex was created sacred, as a union between man and woman. Should also help us to see where we as a society as a church fall down. It’s not just homosexuality, its adultery and other sexual sin’s that as a church we have become lax on.

    I have often heard it said that Jesus would love the Homosexuals and I agree he would. However he would also stay strong to the commandments. Jesus in his interpretation of the commandments never downgraded them in fact he stated a higher standard. In his own words he stated that he did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it. In reference to adultery he said in Matt 5:27-28“You have heard that it was said to those of old,‘You shall not commit adultery.’28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
    I do think Jesus would have sat at the table with homosexuals, I do think he would have loved them. However I also believe that he would not have compromised the law in order to accommodate them.

    Just as the Homosexuals seek acceptance, they should also allow us as christians to take our own beliefs seriously and that includes that sex is a sacred gift given to us by God in the union of Marriage between a man and a woman.
    So while we may believe different things our challenge is to love the person. To find out how to reach this community while standing strong to the values our faith implores.

  • Papa Ray

    If I cannot love a gay person because they disagree with my beliefs,
    what do I do with all the Mormon’s, Jehovah’s Witness, Seventh Day Adventist, Muslims,
    and every other belief that is not the same as mine?

    I think Jesus said He loved us when we were still sinners,
    He did not wait till we have it right. The greatest commandment after Love God
    with all your heart and soul is to love your neighbor as yourself. My bible does not say love them if they think and act like you.

  • liltampa71

    So beautiful. You have summed up my feelings and struggles perfectly.

  • Diana

    Man… thank you Jesus. I’m going through a lot of crazy stuff myself. Being a Christian who has been compassionate towards the LGBT community and now going through my own struggles with this, I say thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being so honest about this. It’s all painful. But most of all we need Jesus to heal our hearts. I have recently become more acquainted with the plight of those who want to not feel hated for who they love.

    Here’s my experience with Jesus meeting the LGBT community: http://heytherediana.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/response-to-chik-fil-a-gatherings-part-1/

    When dealing with this struggle in myself, I went to a non-profit called the Human Empathy Project (a place to talk about faith and homosexuality) and met people from the LGBT community for the first time. I can tell you that it was wild to see how many people had been hurt by their churches but I had been loved by my church no matter what I was going through.

    It is so important to have empathy and love people like Jesus would. Even if you think it’s wrong, people going through this really can’t help how they feel, and the last thing they need is to feel judged. Listening to them helps open doors you would never think would open. Thank you for sharing.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

    Wow, and thank you Sammy for such a raw, honest and faithful post. As a gay Christian I am grateful you have shared this part of your journey. If you would ever like to talk about the intersection of being both comfortably gay and confidently Christian I’d love to be in conversation with you.

    Grace and peace,
    Kimberly
    http://www/patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight

  • Jen

    Thank you for a great article. You are a great example of how to truly love others and not just say you do. I’ve always felt like you can’t really say “Love the sinner, hate the sin” (like our churches have done) because no one is going to feel connected to you if you are calling them a sinner- even if we all are. Why not just LOVE and leave the sin out of it? Thanks again- I hope you continue to do this good work!

  • Sascha

    I feel so horrible that you were blasted with such horrible words, thoughts, and that someone sought you out repeatedly to make you feel inferior. THAT is unspeakable. its unkind. its unGodly. its just downright awful. regardless of the lesson He taught you through it, it was a hard experience, and I am thankful for your faith to show you love and get you through it.

    You and I do disagree theologically on the issue of homosexuality and how He sees it, feels about it, creates it etc, but i am SO thankful that you, in the midst of hearing hate and negativity, had your finely tuned ear to God to show you empathy and compassion (youre an empathetic and compassionate person to begin with, but now on another level, reaching even more people than before). Im happy that our faith in Him was able to reach others by preaching words of love. Im happy that HE came out that day through that other person. and im happy to know that others will feel love despite the whole process stemming from hate.

    Ill forever pray for that deeply troubled fella who sought you out in His name, tarnishing His love and His loving hands.

    Thank you for overcoming :)

    it gives me even more hope for this unneccessary fight against Love and His heart for us. sometimes it feels so hard for others to feel His love and Light because of humans that get in the way of it, and this gets us one step closer. thank you.

  • publius327

    Really good article. Bravo.

  • Opa

    I helped you at the Toby Mac Concert in Hershey. You know me as Opa. I cam down during the end of the first session to share the ministry to children around the world. I was very impressed with you that night and even more now. My daughter who lives in Maryland with her family also helped me and shared this blog. She thoroughly agrees with you. Let Go Let God. Love, Opa

  • Aaron Rosenberg

    Yet even with Sammy AdebiyiI’s labeling himself a hypocrite, there’s still, in the end, the smugness of “loving the sinner.” I can’t imagine the cognitive dissonance that Christians living in 2013 must feel.

    The C.S. Lewis quote assumes that homosexuality needs to be “forgiven.”

    No, it does not.

    Sammy Adebiyi and those who share in the histrionics of self-flagellation in the service of self-absolution still don’t get it. In a scientific and enlightened age, they are still choosing to believe that there’s something inherently flawed with people who are sexually oriented differently from them. If you can produce the deity who proclaims that I’m a sinner, we’ll talk.

    Until then, don’t pretend to love me because it saves you. Keep your sanctimony to yourself. I’ll be fine without it.

  • Danielle

    This was a good article, and it brought to mind my own story

    It’s taken me over 4 years to reconcile who I was, as a lesbian and as a Christian

    Having gone to a church school, where everyone went to the same church, even the teachers, was hard. If I ever decided to be true to myself, I faced isolation at school, at home, and at church, the three places that encompassed my world. Pretty heavy stuff, for a 15 year old. By 16, I’d done it all. Counseling, psychiatrists, every bit of free time was devoted to ‘praying the gay away’. I was depressed, and it showed. My grades were dropping, my stress was affecting my friendships, I stopped all my extra curriculars. Why couldn’t I just be ‘normal’? It was that year that I told my mother, terrified and desperate for comfort and help, some sort of reassurance. She beat me, and kicked me out of the house.

    By the time I was 17, I’d developed quite the cannabis habit: One strain to help me get through the day, another to force myself to sleep at night, so I didn’t have to sit alone in the dark. I’d already attempted suicide 6 times.

    In the end, it was my friends from school, and a caring theology teacher that pulled me from the brink. They reminded me of our loving God, and that who or how I loved was no one’s business, except for God’s, mine, and whatever lady I fall in love with later on. They proved that, too. Whenever someone had relationship issues, we could all contribute advice without fear. They treated me like a normal human being. Imagine that: To be so scared of your church family, to have to be so wary of any love that you receive from people, that being treated like a person is a pleasant surprise. That’s the spot most gay Christians are in, right now. We don’t need to hear, “Love the sinner, hate the sin,” or “I don’t approve, but…” because we’ve heard that. We ALWAYS here that. What we need is love.

    In time, I quit the drugs. Scars faded. I’m 19 now, in college. Still nervous about going to church though. I went once in the past 4 months, but I saw my mom and had a panic attack, so I hid in the church bathroom. My friends joined me, and we listened to the sermon through the speakers. We didn’t stay for potluck, though. We have been doing bible studies together, though. And once in a while, feeding the homeless, and talking to homeless youth. My story is not at all unique, you know.

    Most of the homeless youth in North America are queer. Queer Christian youth are 40% more likely to commit suicide than other gay youth. To give you an estimate, about 4000 gay kids kill themselves a year. Something needs to change, brothers and sisters, and it starts in our hearts and minds, long before our homes and churches.

    I haven’t seen my little sister or my dogs in a very long time. I pray one day, God will give me the confidence and courage to reconnect with my family. And if not, I pray he gives me the courage and strength to let go.

  • Jamie Easthom

    I love this post, for more reasons than can even begin to be stated, but I will try.

    For all of my young life, I was raised very conservatively and to a degree, even though i would never say the words out loud, those who openly practiced anything labelled “sin” I thought myself better than, though i would try to love them if they came to me, but I didn’t know how.

    Fast forward to early college, I started backsliding very hard, and among other things identified as bisexual for 3-4 years. Needless to say, that opened my eyes to how people in this community and others perceive Christianity.

    Toward the end of my time living on campus, God started to very strongly get my attention again, and I wrestled with him for at least a year before finally saying “I can’t justify the way I’ve been living with what I claim to believe” and turned back to follow Him.

    It’s interesting to see how people respond when I tell them my story and tell them I know a lot of what they’ve been through, and while I don’t have all the answers, I do know the One who does. I will never agree with what they claim, but I will also never judge them, but always aim to show the Love I have been shown!

    I think that this is what Christ showed you through this :)

  • Zac

    Well said Sammy!! So cool how you listened to God and allowed pain and sorrow in your life to turn into something good and use it to bless others. I believe he is growing you through this as well. You could have just as easily stayed stuck in a state of sadness and bitterness and focused on yourself or how you felt, but I think God uses things like this to stretch us so we can minister in new ways to others. “Struck down but not destroyed, persecuted but not abandoned…”

  • Stephen

    The man! Thanks for sharing sammy! Haha Jesus loves! It’s amazing every time you think about it! That God died for us… that’s real love and it’s for everyone….

  • Timothy Driggers

    It has been a personal mission of mine to show people in the Gay community that they have not committed an unpardonable sin. The Bible clearly says homosexuality is wrong, but does that mean homosexuals are beyond redemption? Absolutely not! This was an awesome reminder to the Christian community. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Hary

    Broke my heart….and that’s a good thing. Unless our hearts are broken we will never be changed. (transformed)

  • erickajen

    yes! awesome post! i try to explain to people all the time that we dont always have to love what people do. we do not have to agree with what they do. we dont have to support what they do. what a person DOES and who they are as a person are two completely different things to me. love the sinner, hate the sin. whats wrong with that? we know Jesus hates sin. but He hates NO ONE. if its good enough for Jesus, its good enough for me.

    where i live its very common for people to think of it in only one way. if we dont accept every single thing a person says, does or is, then we arent accepting them at all. its ALL or NOTHING. i dont agree with living that way. EVERYBODY, myself included, does things at times that i dont like and dont agree with. does that mean i should hate everybody then? NO WAY. thats totally wrong.

    its sad when Christians dont see LOVE as their main goal, as their main focus, as their main action. you HAVE to show LOVE or you will NOT get anyone interested in your God.

  • Carolyn

    I will speak for myself, as a lesbian who has recently come to Christ. I felt hated by Christians because homosexuality was a so-called “sin”. Loving someone was apparently sinful and, by all accounts, I was supposed to remain celibate and miserable for my entire life because OMG HOMOSEXUALITY IS WRONG. It was one among many, many reasons that I ignored Christianity completely as even a remote possibility for my own faith at any time, in any place. Right now… I simply do not believe the doctrine that homosexuality is a sin, and after reading many Bible quotes that homophobes have given to me as “evidence”, I also believe the Biblical “evidence” is ridiculous and ALWAYS some sort of misinterpretation or downright error. You know, if I am a horrible person for rejecting the doctrine of homosexuality as sin, then I am. But I do not believe that I am a horrible person. I am actually a very kind and moral person, and I know that Jesus says “Do not hate” and also “do not judge”. What right have these HUMAN BEINGS to judge ME because I am gay? Only God can judge me. And if God is truly good and kind, as I believe He is, he will know that I am doing my best to be loving, non-judgmental, and accepting in a world full of hatred, prejudice, and loneliness. And since He will know what is in my heart, He will accept me as the moral, kind person that I am. If he does not, then he is not all-kind, and I do not accept him as my god. But I know better than that, because the Bible taught me that Jesus loves everyone, and that He recognizes when a person is truly good, because He can see their spirit and their heart for Himself.

    • http://stephenmatlock.com/ BetweenTwoWorlds

      So here’s the key thing–you’re following Christ.

      I read the creeds.(Apostles and Nicene) and I follow them as my rule for Christianity. They don’t seem to focus too much on issues which seem to both fascinate and enrage us.

      God bless you on your journey. We are all just trying to get closer to where God wants us to be.

  • Carolyn

    On the other hand, church-wise… I am a Catholic, and I never know, when I enter a church for mass, how many people hate my “sin” or are downright homophobic (I personally do not believe there is a difference between these two stances, not where homosexuality is concerned). But I go to mass because it makes me feel so connected to God, and it brings me peace and joy. Whether or not the other human beings in the basilica with me would judge me is of concern to me on a personal level, yes, and I purposely would never engage in a conversation about homosexuality for that reason. But, again, I know that God loves me and He is happy to see me at mass, to hear me praise Him, to see my joy in celebrating Him. But I am able to go despite knowing there are homophobes in church with me; many gay people do not feel this way.

  • Carolyn

    Finally… we always know. We ALWAYS know when someone hates us vs. someone who accepts us.

  • Victoria Goodell

    Such a great article. Thank you so much.

  • Christopher Kanas

    Have you forgiven George Zimmerman? Jesus has.

  • Jenn Buckhahn

    Thank you sharing your story. As a lesbian daughter of a pastor I still don’t understand my dad and his beliefs. He says he believes in “Love the sinner but not the sin.” But why single out the LGBTQA community? If he believes that, then he should have that ‘philosophy’ towards his parish, everyone he meets, and even himself. To me that sounds like judgement, self hate. I know Jesus would not want us to judge. Love. Let’s all just love one another, yes? My love for my fiance is not a ‘behavior,’ and it should not be reduced to such.

  • susan

    awesome Sammy Adebiyi article….loved your story it tore thru my soul as amazing truth…

  • guest

    Thank you. I don’t agree that homosexuality is right, but my stance has and will always be it’s not my job to judge anyone. God put me here simply to love everyone even the people who choose to hurt me. Look at what Christ did for love of us and he didn’t even do anything wrong, so why can’t we as his children love despite disagreements.

  • Harry

    Sammy, thanks for this. I needed to see this today.

  • Nick

    I’m a student at Baylor, and if you haven’t heard, Westboro Baptist has recently protested a few events.
    It’s incredible to me how mixed up people can be. The message of Jesus is love and forgiveness not hatred.
    And then I examined myself and realized I was just as wrong. My roommate is gay, and a number of my good friends as well, and I can honestly say I treat none of them differently. But there are others, most often people of higher economic groups, and lower as well, who I just write off. “He’s rich so he’s selfish and doesn’t care about other people.” “He’s homeless so he must be a meth head who doesn’t try at all.” Maybe those things are true, but nobody needs love more than the people who have none. Even the rich need love. Middle class, white, males who fulfill every stereotype of the majority need love too. So basically, love more.

  • Grace

    Amazing!!!!

  • Gracie

    Thank you. I’m gay, I believe in Christ, I don’t call myself Christian because I don’t want to offend the people who have so deeply hurt me. I don’t go to Church because I cannot believe that Christ loves me and go to Church, I receive to much hate there. Thank you.

    • Anon

      Gracie, you are deeply loved. Jesus will never stop loving you and anyone who doesn’t show you that love is going to have to answer to Him. Press into who you are as His daughter and He’ll pour more of His love into you. If you have abuse in your past, let Him take all of that for you. His shoulders are bigger. Know that no matter what you’re dealing with, Jesus can and will carry you into freedom. He sets the captives free no matter what we’re captive of.

  • Anon

    It definitely is humbling and I personally have a heart for this community…and I pray that other pastors will read this and be humbled to love well like you, Sammy desire to do. I was disturbed though by one of the comments below by another “pastor” who admittedly states that he doesn’t know a lot theologically and that concerns me. He literally says that he doesn’t believe homosexuality is a sin and that though he doesn’t understand why, God “made” them that way. Another pastor though states facts straight from Scripture, while remaining very loving…totally awesome.

    I was disappointed, however, to not read anything from anyone who have either been freed or knows others who have been freed. I do. I know people (men and women) who have been set free from this very sin and are living out their freedom and one woman was in a homosexual rel’p for 13 yrs, but today, she watches as Jesus sets others free through her ministry. We live in a spiritual world. Ephesians 6 is very clear and demons aren’t big hairy, scary creatures. They have names, “depression,” “self hatred,” “bitterness,” “addiction,” “codependency,” “sexual immorality” (this includes all sexual immorality), “pride,” “fear,” “idolatry,” etc… The people who are now free would also tell you that it’s about breaking soul ties. When we become unhealthily tied to another person, that is a soul tie. I have had several because I was sexually abused in my past, so the tendency for me is to want a person to fulfill the bonds (God, spouse, parent) I was created for, so I can tend to put a person in one of those positions each time I find myself to be in a place of need.

    Anyway, the people who have been freed from homosexual sin (I don’t call it “homosexuality” b/c it is not one’s identity) their own mouths, call it “sin.” They also acknowledge that like any other sexual sin, it wasn’t easy to gain freedom. They had to break their agreement with not just homosexuality, but the orphaned spirit. They would tell you that it was a case of mistaken identity and they had to learn their identities as “Sons/Daughters of the Most High God” and they had to CHOOSE freedom. Some have also had to receive healing from past sexual abuse. The bottom line for them was that they had to come into agreement with WHO God says He is as loving, gracious, merciful, holy, and righteous…that not one can be separated from the other. As God does with all sin, I know He will make their greatest pain their greatest ministry just as He has mine. I was sexually abused, but I now have a passion for human trafficking abolition. The bottom line is that Jesus, the TRUE Abolitionist is going to return someday to remove everything that hinders love.

  • kellyburton

    God bless you for the courage to write this. We are called to LOVE as Christ did, as Christ does. Amen, brother.

  • Kiare Moreno

    This is amazing… thank you for opening up and sharing your heart, it’s very moving.

  • http://www.taradanandclan.com/ Tara V

    Apparently “Jesus” failed to check his hateful message to you. He said “price of trash”. I’m not sure that is what he was trying to say in his moment of destruction. One problem is people fail to view love and as “LOVE”. Who really cares who John opts to love, it is no ones business but John. If John found happiness? People can be evil and do so in the name of the lord, which the bible is against. I would question anyone who claimed to be a god-fearing individual that has so much hate in their heart. I’m sorry you had to deal with such a “price of trash”!

  • Hannah Catherine

    This is EXACTLY what I’ve wanted to say for so long, because this is always how I’ve felt. I just never knew how until now. Thank you for giving me the insight and the words <3

  • Randy Black

    Totally agree, amazing how I can make one action worst than another, when if you blow it on even the smallest standard God has set you are guilty of all of them, and oh how I have messed up on all of them. People are Gods invention, we all deserve to be loved, and heard. I don’t have to agree with someone else on Morality or the Bible, but I can love the mess out of em Just like Jesus who loves me even when I don’t agree with him !

  • Amber

    I absolutely loved this article. The true Jesus, son of God and Redeemer of the lost never judged. He spent his time with sinners and prostitutes. I love the passage of the Bible where it says “It’s not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but the sinners.”

    Why is it that we hide behind religion in order to maintain a judgmental lifestyle? Too many Christians use “Jesus” as their reason why they do not accept homosexuals. “Oh, God doesn’t like them, and neither do I,” seems to be the popular mindset behind Christians who are homophobic and choose to abandon the command of loving others.

    I don’t want to be a Christian any longer – ‘Christian’ has become a term that so many people hide behind. They use it as an excuse, or as a “get out of jail free” card. They think that because they are a Christian, they can get away with hatred, slander, and their own sins.

    I would much prefer to be a Disciple. I want to follow in Christ’s footsteps. Jesus loved, and so I will love. Jesus served, and so I will serve.

    • Anon

      Hi Amber, I read your post, but feel like you should know that Jesus absolutely did judge. He wasn’t angry or critical when He did it, but He did judge on several occasions. “To judge” according to Webster’s dictionary means, “to form an opinion or estimate” and Jesus absolutely formed an opinion on several occasions. He judged Peter when He said, “Get behind me, Satan.” He also judged the Pharisees when He called them a “vipers.” In addition, He judged the woman caught in adultery when yes, He told her He didn’t condemn her, but He also looked into her eyes and said, “Now go and sin no more.” He called “sin”, sin and this is what we’re called to do as lovers of Jesus. BUT just as He was kind and loving, we must also be kind and loving and that is where many Christians miss the mark. It’s His kindness that leads us all to repentance…daily. God loves everyone, but thankfully, He loves us enough to not leave us where we are.

  • Anon

    Thanks for posting this, Sammy. I so appreciate your humility…it really is beautiful.

    I know people (men and women) who have been set free from this very sin and are living out their freedom and one woman was in a homosexual rel’p for 13 yrs, but today, she watches as Jesus sets others free through her ministry. They, from their own mouths, call it “sin.” They also acknowledge that like any other sexual sin, it wasn’t easy to gain freedom. They had to break their agreement with not just homosexuality, but the orphaned spirit. They would tell you that it was a case of mistaken identity and they had to learn their identities as “Sons/Daughters of the Most High God” and they had to CHOOSE freedom. Some have also had to receive healing from past sexual abuse. The bottom line for them was that they had to come into agreement with WHO God says He is as righteous, holy, loving, gracious, and merciful…that not one can be separated from the other. As God does with all sin, I know He will make their greatest pain their greatest ministry.

  • Rob B

    Awesome article man, thank you for sharing. In the midst of all the recent debates, I have been praying that God would show me His heart toward gay people. I believe He just did.

  • Charis

    Great article! To those putting gay on a pedestal.. As to think that God sees with the same eyes you and I see with? God sees your spirit man. “Gayness” does not seep through the blood Jesus shed.
    Grace – I love that beautiful word.
    I couldn’t have been blessed with a better name.
    Charis: grace, kindness
    Original Word: χάρις, ιτος, ἡ
    Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
    Transliteration: charis
    Phonetic Spelling: (khar’-ece)
    Short Definition: grace, favor, kindness
    Definition: (a) grace, as a gift or blessing brought to man by Jesus Christ, (b) favor, (c) gratitude, thanks, (d) a favor, kindness.

  • Tracey Hancock

    My older brother is ay and a professed athiest. I love him hard. I never want him to think I see his sin as greater than my own (had a child out of wedlock). And those are just the “big” ones! I hope he never is made to feel like he’s loved less than me because he is a gay man. Thank you for confronting the hypocrisy in our hearts. It needs to be done more frequently and on a TON of other topics.

  • Morgan Chapman

    Just got this blog and I say, WOW! Thanks for posting, sharing and representing Christ and God’s Love. You nailed it bro!!

  • Republic1776

    I do appreciate the heart of this article and the premise has truth in it, but I believe there may have been missed opportunities to promote a “balanced” approach to this very sensitive topic. It emphasizes that “it is not about what the Bible teaches about Homosexuality or excusing your moral standards”, but in reality those are very important (if not the most important) aspects of our faith that make us Christ followers. Yet, it’s being pushed to the side (being excused) as though it is an after thought of little importance based on what? Feelings? Reactions of others? If Jesus had let the reactions of others get to Him he would have taking the first ship out of Galilee to some distant land and would have stayed a carpenter. Scripture is clear. The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. That is a stumbling block for many. So, no matter how we try to water it down or make it “seeker friendly”, in the end we will be hated for being followers of Christ. Scripture is clear when it says, “beware when all men speak well of you” for that is how false prophets and teaches are treated.

    The Bible doesn’t teach us to go by our feelings of how WE think we should treat others and how we think “love” should be shown to others, but instead it teaches Christ followers to rely on the word of God to shape and mold our perspectives on how to love people. The problem with this article is it’s leaving out an important component of love. What’s missed here is as scripture states, “love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth.” The truth found in God’s word. Jesus never said He accepts you as you are, He said come as you are and leave changed!

    We can embrace those lost in the sin of homosexuality all we want, but until they let go of practicing that lifestyle (which only in Christ can this be done), they will be lost and separated from God forever. Yet, I don’t even see that kind of true love and compassion for those living this lifestyle. It’s instead pointing all the fingers at those who would dare to call it what it is and would do everything they could to speak the truth in true love in hopes they would turn from their wicked ways. I’m assuming Jesus Himself would be criticized for not “extending enough grace and mercy” and being “judgmental” if he was in the American church today.

  • Natalie Nicole Johnson

    Brother, I preach against homosexuality at Deviantart. I am trolled, bullied and harassed by those people on a regular basis. They blaspheme the Lord on my page, send disgusting sexual images purposefully on my page, and I have been called the N word a few times. Yes, my flesh wants to retaliate with mean words and I want to hate them when they call me names, but that is not God’s will.

    You need to not focus on what these people will say, and how the devil will try to manipulate you using God’s name. Remember this:

    -22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate
    you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name
    as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.

    23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is
    great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the
    prophets. (Luke 6).

    I encourage you to keep firm on God’s word, and DO NOT make friends with the enemy. You can live peacefully with them, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men”, but to be their friends is part of the problem. Recall Psalm 1:1, “Blessed
    is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth
    in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful”.

  • helloalone

    amen!

  • wendy

    my son is gay. I love Jesus. I love my son. I believe God’s word is true about homosexuality, but I can’t/wont stop loving my son. There are several families in my church who have a child who is gay or lesbian. I love my church family, but I don’t know if anyone realizes that there is an unspoken pressure to reject your gay children or not talk openly about your gay children in the Christian community. There is the impression that if you love and accept your gay child and their partner that you are sinning as much as they are. For many, many years my son did his best to pretend. I told him I knew, I told him I loved him no matter what. He told me the church would never accept him being gay. He continued to pretend in order to make the church happy – until he came to the point of wanting to take his own life. I don’t know how the church can find a way to welcome and accept gay people when the Bible so clearly says its wrong, but I know how the church is handling this issue isn’t right either. We are all just as wrong if we don’t “love our neighbor as ourselves”. As much as you don’t want to accept this church… that gay/lesbian person is your neighbor.

    • Republic1776

      It is a tough situation and for sure it is something Wendy that I know would be a heart wrenching situation for any parent. I for sure agree with you that as a parent we should love our children unconditional regardless what sin they are involved in while setting standards to show them that we DO NOT accept their sin. Too many people let this sin slide and make excuses for it (Christians even) as though it will slide under the radar on the day of judgment. Others “attack” it as though the person is our enemy. There needs to be a balanced approach to this sin just like any other sin we should be appalled by.

      Yet, scripture is clear as you stated. Those practicing homosexuality will not enter heaven. So, just like a person involved in adultery as well as any other sexually immoral lifestyle, we don’t accept them as they are, but we walk out this journey with them to help them forsake that lifestyle and replace it with Christ and His way for us to live. If an individual realizes that they are locked in a sinful lifestyle (instead of them embracing it and trying to incorporate it within their “Christian” faith) and they want to change, then the Church should do whatever they can within the grace and power of God to help them with being set free from this sin. Instead of truly coming to Christ for healing it sounds as though he wants to hold onto his sin (which is causing him to want to take his life) and be accepted by a Church that cant accept it for the sake of the Gospel. Jesus didn’t say He accepts you as you are, He says come as you are and leave changed. Here’s what Jesus Himself says about those who are caught up in a sinful lifestyle who calls themselves “brothers” or “sisters” in Christ and how the Church should react to it:

      If another believer sins, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector. – Jesus Christ, (Matthew 18:15-17)

      The minute we stop looking at the homosexual lifestyle as sin, make excuses for it, and attack fellow believers who want to keep this sin from permeating throughout the church in accepting it, is the moment when we stop being a true light that shines a light for unbelievers to see their need of a Savior. Then, instead of seeing their need to change, they continue in their sin while trying to create their own “god” in their minds that says “God accepts their lifestyle” when clearly scripture says He doesn’t. True love won’t allow this travesty to happen.

      • wendy

        romans 5:8
        I know what Matthew 18 says, but many years ago when I strayed away from the Lord it was the people in the church who continued to love me, accept me and point me back to Jesus who made the most difference – not the ones who judged me and shunned me. These people didn’t tell me that what I was doing was okay they just loved me in spite of my sin and that made all the difference.
        Jesus does love us and accept us as we are. Otherwise it would be conditional love. God loves us unconditionally. He doesn’t say, “I will love you and accept you when you turn from your sin” If that were the case then no one would turn to Jesus. It is God’s great love for us while we are still sinners that makes us want to change. When we realize Jesus loved us so much that He laid down His life for us while we were still up to our neck in sin then we can’t help but want to change.