This summer the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on whether to legalize same-sex marriage across America or allow states continue to determine outcomes. Over the past few years, the conversation regarding gay marriage has moved beyond legal and political proposition to become the forefront issue in American social space. Thus, what was a political debate only years ago is now the defining issue of our time with social, economic, and religious consequence for generations to come. The Rev. Franklin Graham recently said, “This (the U.S. Supreme Court vote) will rank as the most historic and far-reaching judgment of the 21st century… a vote that could pave the way for persecution of true believers.”
As the social rhetoric and political legalities continue, it becomes increasingly imperative that Christians understand and clarify their position as one of, “truth in love” – committed, at any cost, to uphold the authority of Scripture and biblical definition of sin(s) therein, while maintaining gentleness and compassion in how they relate to those far from God. The following letter from a lesbian, originally posted by Hunter Baker of The Gospel Coalition, is helpful. Although the author’s sentiments are not true of everyone, nor of every church, her overall position provides helpful clarity on both the love Christians need show and the objective truth of God which they must protect.
To the church concerning homosexuals and lesbians,
Many of you believe that we do not exist within your walls, your schools, your neighborhoods. You believe that we are few and easily recognized. I tell you we are many. We are your teachers, doctors, accountants, high school athletes. We are all colors, shapes, sizes. We are single, married, mothers, fathers. We are your sons, your daughters, your nieces, your nephews, your grandchildren. We are in your Sunday School classes, pews, choirs, and pulpits. You choose not to see us out of ignorance or because it might upset your congregation. We ARE part of your congregation. We enter your doors weekly seeking guidance and some glimmer of hope that we can change. Like you, we have invited Jesus into our hearts. Like you, we want to be all that Christ wants us to be. Like you, we pray daily for guidance. Like you, we often fail.
When the word “homosexual” is mentioned in the church, we hold our breaths and sit in fear. Most often this word is followed with condemnation, laughter, hatred, or jokes. Rarely do we hear any words of hope. At least we recognize our sin. Does the church as a whole see theirs? Do you see the sin of pride, that you are better than or more acceptable to Jesus than we are? Have you been Christ-like in your relationships with us? Would you meet us at the well, or restaurant, for a cup of water, or coffee? Would you touch us even if we showed signs of leprosy, or aids? Would you call us down from our trees, as Christ did Zacchaeus, and invite yourself to be our guest? Would you allow us to sit at your table and break bread? Can you love us unconditionally and support us as Christ works in our lives, as He works in yours, to help us all to overcome?
But, to those of you who’d change the church to accept homosexuality and its lifestyle: you give us no hope at all. To those of us who know God’s word and will not dilute it to fit our desires, we ask you to read John’s letter to the church in Pergamum. “I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Repent therefore!” (Rev. 2:12-17)
You are willing to compromise the word of God to be politically correct. We are not deceived. If we accept your willingness to compromise, then we must also compromise. We must therefore accept your lying, your adultery, your lust, your idolatry, your addictions, YOUR sins. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Rev. 2:17a)
We do not ask for your acceptance of our sins any more than we accept yours. We simply ask for the same support, love, guidance, instruction, and most of all hope that is given to the rest of your congregation. We are your brothers and sisters in Christ. We are not what we shall be, but thank God, we are not what we were. Let us work together to see that we all arrive safely home.
A Sister in Christ