Jesus and Gay People (and I don’t mean happy)

Wow, what a subject. I am sure to get hate comments no matter what I say next. Rick Warren tweeted the following: “U can love people u disagree with & disagree with people u love.Calling anyone who disagree with u a “hater” is nonsense.” For all you grammar lovers out there my apologies but that is how he wrote it.  But the spirit of the quote rings true.  Why do we automatically dislike someone that disagrees with us?  Anyway, that’s another topic for another day.  Let’s get back to gay people.

This is a tough subject.  There are so many views and beliefs that it would take to long to discuss them all.  Let me give you my views and then we will go from there.

Born Gay or Decide to be Gay- A little of both.  Let me clarify.  I believe some people are born with the propensity to become gay.  Boys may be naturally sensitive or fashionable and then are told they must be gay.  Girls may act “manly” thereby becoming convinced they are lesbian.  We seem to fit the mold that is created for us growing up.  Note- I may be WAY off base here.  Science is still shaky on all this and this is just my non-qualified observation.  I don’t think we are born either gay or straight.  I think the inclination to go one way or the other is there because of our personality and that society and outside pressures try to force us to fit what “they” deem is right for us.  The question is what God deems is right for us.

Can Gay People be Saved- This is truly an ignorant question.  YES!!!!  Of course they can.  Anyone can become a Christ-Follower.  John 3:16- “God loved the WORLD so much He gave us His only son.  WHOEVER believes in Him will be saved.”  Nowhere in there did I see God loved the straight world so much He gave His Son.  If any non-gays believe in Him they will be saved.  Jesus is inclusive, not exclusive.  All may come.  All may believe.

Once You are Saved Can You Continue to Be Gay- Yep!  I have been a Christ-Follower for around 29 years.  While I am not gay I do still sin.  I do things that God tells me not to do all the time.  I am not saying it is right.  I’m not saying you should continue to live the gay lifestyle.  But like the Christian addicted to pornography or the Christian who can’t stop telling lies or gossiping it is something they must battle with.  Even Paul, writer of most of the New Testament said-

17-20But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.

21-23It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.

24I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?

25The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different. (Romans 7:17-25, The Message)

The struggle with sin is nothing new.  We all deal with sin every day.  It is only through Jesus that we can overcome the things the separate us from God.

Do You Believe It is OK to Be Gay- Well, it depends.  If you’re NOT a Christ-Follower then it doesn’t matter.  There is no reason to not sin.  I’m not saying go do whatever you want, but at the same time you aren’t held to the same standard as Christ-Followers.  Is it ok for a Christ-Follower to live the gay and lesbian lifestyle?  No, but no more than it is wrong for a Christ-Follower to have extra-marital affairs or for a Christ-Follower to be a gossip.  Sin is sin.  All sin, no matter what it is, separates us from God.  Like Paul said earlier, it is Jesus and only Jesus that can set things right in this life of contradictions.

Do You Support Gay Rights- Tough one.  Yes and no.  I support Human Rights no matter the color, race, religion or sexual orientation.  Do I believe Gay and Lesbians should be allowed to marry?  Sure, why not let them suffer just like everyone else (kidding Honey-you’re the best).  Seriously though, the Christ-Follower side of me says no as God said marriage is between a man and a woman.  BUT, we don’t live in a God led society, we never have.  We live in a Democracy.  This is a Roman based society, not a Theocracy (led by God).  So if the masses vote for Gay and Lesbians to have the right to marry will I be ok with it?  Yes and no.  I will not vote for it but I don’t consider it as big an issue as some others.  Why?  Because God told us to live a life of love that is a testimony to those around us, not to sit in judgment of those around us.  If we as Christ-Followers did what God commanded us, Love God, Love Others, I don’t think this would be that big an issue.  If we were the witness of God’s love that we are supposed to be more people would be Christ-Followers and that means that less people would be pushing for their God-opposed agenda.

We should focus on making more Christ-Followers and teaching and mentoring those that already are and we wouldn’t have to worry about the politics and agendas of people.  Politicians will do what the people want.  They will do what it takes to get elected.  The more people that live by Judeo-Christian values the more politicians will work and vote us toward those values.

So there you go.  My stance on Gay and Lesbians.  They are NOT second class citizens.  They are people just like us and deserve the same love and respect that any other person gets.  Love God, Love Others.  No one is left out of those commands.

Please Help- Right now in Uganda a law is being voted on to make being gay punishable by death.  Pastor Rick Warren (quoted above) has close ties with the Ugandan leaders trough his work with AIDS.  Please join me in emailing, writing, tweeting to him that we would like him to become involved in this.  No matter your stance on the Gay and Lesbian lifestyle, life is precious and we as Christ-Followers should not let this stand.  Here is a link to the story.

Death penalty for gays? Uganda debates proposal

Author Update- Pastor Rick Warren has been working with the Ugandan Government to deny this proposal and according to his last tweet has been partially successful.  Keep up the Good work Pastor Rick.  The following is Pastor Rick Warrens comments on this subject.

Pastor Rick Warren Responds


It’s all about Him,

Shawn

Did you like this post? Did you hate it? Please share it with your friends and leave a comment below. I would love to read your thoughts and opinions.

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You can also check out the Other Resources page for Bible Study Helps as well as links to media downloads, all free!
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Questions? Don’t forget to visit the Questions??Questions?? page and let me know. I will try to answer it the best I can. No Quantum Physics or Time Travel questions please!

Einstein

I’m not Einstein!

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Nouns vs. Verbs

Hello everyone and welcome to another round of “NOUNS vs. VERBS”.  In today’s episode we will be looking at the word “Church” to decide if it’s a, say it with me- “A NOUN OR A VERB!”  That’s right.  We have some great prizes for the winner of today’s challenge, tell them Chuck.

Well Frank, if they win they will receive some dirt under their fingernails, some blisters on their hands and maybe, just maybe their wallets and purses will be just a touch lighter!”

What the heck am I talking about?  Have I lost my mind?  Has the cheese slipped off my cracker?  Well, yes,  but that’s besides the point.  What I’m talking about is how you and I view the word “church”.  If you ask people what is “church” you will get a bunch of answers, the uninformed will say “the building”.  The informed will say “the people”.  The deeply spiritual know it all will say, “I am the church”.  The religious theologian will say, “The priesthood of believers are the church”, usually in a very nasally voice.

That’s the problem though, everyone of those definitions are for nouns.  But the Bible is full of Jesus telling us to see the word “church” as a verb.  In the Great Commission alone we are told to “go’, “train”, “baptize” and “instruct”.  In the Great Commandment Jesus tells us, the church, to love God and to love others.

Something I recently noticed is the last verse in the Great Commandment, take a look.

“These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”  Matthew 22:40 The Message.

Everything hangs on these two commandments, love God and love others.  THIS IS CHURCH!  Church in action.  Being the Church.  Church as a verb.

This Christmas season try BEING the Church, not just going to church.  Maybe don’t spend thousands of $$$$$ on presents that people will either toss in the garbage or re-gift next year.  Maybe buy your kids two less toys this year and take that money and do Church with it.  Give it to your local church.  Give it to a local charity.  Give it to someone in your neighborhood that can’t pay their electric bill much less buy Christmas presents for their kids.

Or you can give the gift of clean water. Living Water International

I don’t work for these people but I know they are legit.  My church donates to them.  There are literally millions of charities you can donate to, find one you identify with and give.

Make Church a verb.  Something you do.  Don’t just go Sunday mornings and plop you rear-end on a chair for an hour or so and think you lived the Christian Life.  You aren’t “doing church”, you are just going to a church.  Go get your fingernails dirty, get some blisters on your hands and lighten your wallet/purse a little this year.

Lets Church this year!

It’s all about Him,

Shawn

Did you like this post? Did you hate it? Please share it with your friends and leave a comment below. I would love to read your thoughts and opinions.

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You can also check out the Other Resources page for Bible Study Helps as well as links to media downloads, all free!
Want to show God’s love in a practical way and let people know where they can go for more info or help? Take a look at the DUO page.

Questions? Don’t forget to visit the Questions??Questions?? page and let me know. I will try to answer it the best I can. No Quantum Physics or Time Travel questions please!

Einstein

I’m not Einstein!

The Forgiveness Formula- Part 3

In part 1 of this series I gave the first part of the Forgiveness Formula, Forgiveness=Freedom. In part two I gave you the second part of my Forgiveness Formula, Forgiveness+Love=Restoration. Now in part three of The Forgiveness Formula I would like to discuss the final equation.

In part two we went beyond rational. We learned about loving our enemies. In this post we will going way beyond rational. Almost to the point where people think we might be a little crazy. Today I want to write about a word most of us don’t like to read, sacrifice.

No one likes to sacrifice. No one like to deny something from themselves. I don’t. I want what I want and I want it now. Case in point. About a month ago I was dead set on getting a new laptop. I researched it, I talked about it and I dreamed about it. We were getting some money for our move and part of it was budgeted to go to me for a good laptop. I have a desktop but it is in our bedroom and while I like to write early in the morning my beloved wife likes to sleep. A laptop would be the perfect solution. I can grab it and go out into the living room and type away with no fear of waking The Queen. But, as always, life happened. Money was needed for other things. I didn’t like it (Amy and I argued over it, which we rarely do), but I sacrificed. As much as I didn’t like sacrificing it wasn’t a huge deal as it was for my family. I love my family.

But what if it was for someone you don’t like? What if you were asked to sacrifice something for an enemy or even the guy at work that just annoys the heck out of you? What if a major sacrifice on your part for someone that hurt you might allow that person to find their way back to God? Would you be willing to give up something for someone you don’t like? I know, me neither. Not easily at least. I’d need a sign from God; billboard size, flashing neon lights and a tractor trailer horn blaring saying “Sacrifice for (insert random name here).”

I’m not going to give you a specific Bible verse this time. I’m just going to recall to your mind the story of Jesus. A man who physically walked this Earth around 2,000 years ago. A man who trusted a friend named Judas with his life and was betrayed. A man who stood up for what was right, fought for the oppressed and taught that love is the most important of all commandments, love of God and love of others. A man that the entire world rejected, spit on and beat with a whip. A man that not only cried out while hanging on a cross in terrible agony begging God to forgive them for what they had done to him but went further. He loved them. He prayed for them. And then he went totally crazy. He sacrificed for them. He sacrificed his own life. He died. He died for me when I was rejecting him. He died for me when I was making fun of him. He died for me when I was ignoring him. He died for me when I was hurting others. He died for me when I was disobeying his Word and enjoying my sinfulness. He died for me. He sacrificed for me, beyond forgiveness, beyond love- sacrifice.

You see Forgiveness+Love+Sacrifice=Redemption. Redemption is deliverance from the power and penalty of sin; salvation.

Jesus is our example.  He is the one we should hold ourselves up next two.  If we want to really reflect Jesus like a mirror then we need to be willing to go to the extremes that He went to.  First, forgive.  Then learn to love that person.  Next force yourself to sacrifice for them.  Did you know Jesus didn’t want to die?  He didn’t want to sacrifice for us.  He did it because He loved us so much he forced Himself to do it.  Read in Matthew 26 what Jesus prayed before He was to go to his death.

39Going a little ahead, he fell on his face, praying, “My Father, if there is any way, get me out of this. But please, not what I want. You, what do you want?” (Matthew 26:39, The Message)

Jesus wanted out.  Wouldn’t you?  I would.  But He also wanted to please the Father.  He wanted to do God’s will above His own.  He was willing to sacrifice.

It won’t be easy.  It won’t be fun.  But your sacrifice may mean the difference between salvation and damnation for someone.  What better way to show the love of God than to sacrifice for your enemy?

It’s all about Him,

ShawnReblog this post [with Zemanta]

Did you like this post? Did you hate it? Please share it with your friends and leave a comment below. I would love to read your thoughts and opinions.

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You can also check out the Other Resources page for Bible Study Helps as well as links to media downloads, all free!
Want to show God’s love in a practical way and let people know where they can go for more info or help? Take a look at the DUO page.

Questions? Don’t forget to visit the Questions??Questions?? page and let me know. I will try to answer it the best I can. No Quantum Physics or Time Travel questions please!

Einstein

I’m not Einstein!