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LGBT VS HETERO: Clarifying Christian Approach

(Clarifying Christian Approach)

" The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the Scriptures. So practice and obey whatever they say to you, but don't follow their example. For they don't practice what they teach. They crush you with impossible demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden.... How terrible it will be for you teachers of religious law you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest part of your income, but you ignore the important things of the law-justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe yes, but you should not leave undone the more important things. "
+ MATTHEW 23: 2-4, & 23 +

Folks, we have a great responsibility as children of the One True King; to not simply use the Word of God as weapon, but to reflect the character of God. Being on " The side of right," does not necessarily mean that in our approach we are right. It is true we have an obligation to speak truth, yet we must remain conscious of how counterproductive and destructive we can be if that truth is not directed and delivered in a humble. loving, forgiving, compassionate spirit of grace. This is no easy task of course, yet it remains just as much our Christian duty as our own faith in Christ as the author and perfecter of salvation. If we fail in this part, we become no better than the spiritual leaders of Jesus' time; doling out judgment over the mercy and grace given as Christ's blood dripped off the cross and into the lives of all sinners without prejudice.
It is my hope and prayer that God will minister to lives through this message; bringing both the conviction of truth, as well as the deliverance from the condemning chains that have so carelessly been cast upon people for all too long. We will look at both sides of the coin here and confront the issues and misconceptions on both sides; that we can finally move forward as a believing body without deterring souls and condemning those equally offered grace. May our eyes be open to His truth, our ears attentive to His voice, our minds ready to receive His wisdom, and our hearts as good soil.

+ Part 1: Where God Stands +

" Don't you know that those who do wrong will have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don't fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, who are idol worshipers, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people drunkards, abusers, and swindlers-none of these will have a share in the kingdom of God. " + 1 CORINTH. 6:9&10 +

Scripture is very clear where God stands regarding sexual sin; including homosexuality, (this includes lesbianism, transsexual, bisexual, transgender, etc.) I would like to clarify that heterosexual sin is no less sin; this is not an attack on the LGBT community. We cannot simply ignore the truths in scripture that don't promote the attitudes, actions, choices, and lifestyles we entertain. Point blank; wrong is wrong, and God has said that sexual sin is wrong. However, all too often in this day and age, we find that people in sexual sin (in this case homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexualism, etc.) are quick to grab hold of the grace offered; but use that grace as an open ended license to continue consciously in sin. These misguided and jaded people condone this act as something "natural," ignoring the fact that were it natural they would never have been born to begin with. God does not promote, endorse or condone homosexuality in any manner; whether one chooses to accept that truth or not.
I have witnessed homosexuals lashing out at Christians who are simply trying to redirect them to the truth rather than allow them to blindly enslave themselves to the deception and sin that threatens their very souls. They rebel against that truth claiming the believer is judging them, when it is not the believer but the very Word of God itself casting that judgment. It makes little sense to be angry with man for what God has said; especially when man is simply trying to lead them to salvation and grace over the spiritual enslavement they willingly latch onto.
If one is in the midst of sexual sin, whether it's homosexuality, bisexuality, lesbianism, transsexuality, transgender, or a hetero in sin such as adultery, lust, premarital fornication; we must realize that God is not simply 'OK,' with it. Sure it may make a person feel better to ignore the truth; sure it may feel more welcoming and less difficult, but our eternal being rides on our ability to be accountable to the Word in this.
When we refuse to acknowledge the sin as sin, there is no sacrifice that can remedy our separation from God; because it takes honest and sincere recognition and admission of sin to surrender it to God. Please keep in mind that though this lesson focuses on the issues surrounding the LGBT community; sexual sin in any shape or size is equally sin; and heterosexuals do well to not ignore this fact either.

+ Part 2: Christian Failings +

" If I could speak in any language in heaven or on earth, but didn't love others, I would only be making meaningless noise like a loud gong or clanging cymbal...If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it, but if I didn't love others, I would be of no value whatsoever. Love is patient, love is kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it's been wronged. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance." + 1 CORINTH. 13: 1,2 & 4-7 +

While there are some believers who do grasp this scripture and its principle of love without restraint or prejudice; the sad truth is that many simply do not, especially in dealings with the LGBT community. For some reason it seems as though believers wholeheartedly accept the truth of this passage, and reflect it; unless they are witnessing to a person enslaved within the LGBT deception. All too often this is when their witness takes on a hard edge; as believers come off militant, hateful, vindictive, and hurtful in their approach and wording. Somehow there has been allowed this predominant mentality and presentation that the sins of the LGBT are somehow worse or less forgivable than any other sin; and that simply is not true.
We can profess love, profess grace, profess forgiveness; but it does no good what our mouths speak if our actions are contrary. It is simply not our place to condemn others, yet time and again we find this attitude and approach of condemnation being projected at the LGBT community. Who are we to tell Jesus His blood is good enough for us, but simply doesn't cut it for them? Who are we to tell Jesus that He died in vain, when He gave up His life for them also?
We are nobody and infinitely less than nothing if this is our perspective; and we not only become an obstacle to their salvation, but endanger our own standing in Christ. This behavior is perilously close to blasphemy of the Spirit; as we negate the power of Christ's blood and try to dictate a person's worthiness to receive grace. My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, these people are overcome by deception and enslaved by Satan to a life and worldview of Christianity that makes it impossible to receive the grace of God. They are under perpetual attack by the enemy and dying a slow and eternal death.
However, in our projection of self-righteous indignation, bitterness, condemnation and even hatred; instead of offering freedom we are further hurting them and driving them ever farther away from the ONLY ONE who can set things right. We are kicking them while they are down, pouring salt in their wounds and have the audacity to feel confirmed in our authority to do so. Whether that is our conscious intention or not, that is what we are doing; and we pat ourselves on the back as we do so.
We must use caution when we witness, when we expound truth; for when we carelessly swing the sword of truth we risk cutting the soul instead of the chains. Let us endeavor to be gentle, humble, patient and tender as we lead these people to the truth. Let us judge the sin, not the sinner; let us value mercy and love over condemnation. Are we not to shine a light of love and healing into their lives rather than hurt and hate? Are we called to judge not by appearance but by intention of the heart? If these things are true, then how is it we strain at the gnat while we swallow the camel whole?

+ Part 3: Dropping Goliath +

" Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from what we believe; they will follow lying spirits and teachings that come from demons. These teachers are hypocrites and liars. They pretend to be religious, but their consciences are dead. They will say it is wrong to be married..." + 1 TIMOTHY 4:1-3(a) +

One of the biggest obstacles to tackling this particular issue is the amount of deception presented, promoted, endorsed and propagated by spiritual leaders and believers within the Body. There have been some who falsely teach that homosexuality is not sin, that lesbianism, bisexualism, transgender and even transsexualism is not sin. Due to this; we are now fighting an uphill battle as we try to break through the deceptions that have been allowed for so long to flourish.
At times churches and teachers have presented this deception even as the Word and will of God; more concerned with not offending than being obedient to truth. At times churches and teachers have promoted this deceptive doctrine and approach to sexual sin to increase membership numbers or prevent them from declining. Sometimes its permitted to run rampant merely because believers and spiritual leaders simply feel too uncomfortable about it to tackle the issue with integrity. It has become our modern day “Goliath," standing in the way of truth.
When these things occur it does several things to impede truth, unity, integrity, and faith within the body. First, it paints the wrong picture of God and thus; the Christian body. Society already has a tragically misconceived worldview of both Christians and the God we serve, and this only adds to the flawed perceptions that are already entrenched in the hearts and minds of folks who otherwise might be more receptive of the message of Christ. Second, it perpetuates these deceptions among believers and non-believers alike; impeding spiritual growth and obstructing the fruit of witness. Third, it gives license for those in unrepentant sexual sin to continue on that path rather than seeing the error in it that they may turn from it.
This last is possibly the most dangerous and critical impact as those who follow that mentality now face two undesirable options: A). Continue on blindly even though they are now aware of the misconception and deception. B). Risk shattering their entire foundation in Christ that they thought secure in a willingness to be obedient. By our failure as a body to reflect truth, by our casual disregard of establishing a true and scripturally sound foundation for them; we are the more accountable party. Is it their fault that they trusted in God's spiritual leaders and believed themselves approved? Food for thought.
Given the situation and the point it has snowballed to, we must be patient, diligent and dedicated in our mission to remove the deceptions, clarify the contradictions and institute truth in its place. We also must be conscious of the fact that these folks have built the foundation of their faith on the idea that their sexual sin is ok. This means we cannot simply remove that foundation; we must first help them establish a solid and scriptural foundation, otherwise they will have no foundation and are likely to fall farther away from God. We must reflect the kind of love, grace and patience of Christ or we will only compromise the fruit that may otherwise come from our witness.

+ Part 4: Proper Perspective +

" Under the old covenant, the priest stands before the altar day after day, offering sacrifices that can never take away sins. But our High Priest (Christ Jesus,) offered himself as one sacrifice for sins, GOOD FOR ALL TIME. Then he sat down at the place of highest honor at God's right hand.... then He adds,' I will never again remember their sins and lawless deeds.' Now when sins have been forgiven, there is no more need to offer any more sacrifices." + HEBREWS 10: 11&12, 17&18 +

A major contributing factor to this situation becoming what it is today, is an undue focus on sin. Please do not misunderstand; I do not condone, promote, or endorse sin in any form. Sin is still sin, and sin is wrong, period; so let's not misinterpret this as a license or freedom to keep sinning. However, the issue is no longer sin; as the blood of Jesus FOREVER removed both the stain and penalty of sin, so long as that sin is confessed, surrendered, and the heart turned against the sin. The larger issues are the state of the heart, and those things that lead to sin. When we focus on the sin rather than Christ as the answer, our heart's intention is to judge rather than look beyond that sin to the value of the soul. We are dispensing condemnation rather than grace.
We are told there is no condemnation in Christ, (Rom. 8:1) and that nobody can separate us from the love of God in Christ; yet by our actions we project that condemnation and stand in the way of grace. True nobody can separate us from this love in Christ, but we can prevent ourselves and others from initially receiving it by projecting condemnation. In our zeal to do God's will, we become the biggest obstacle to it being fulfilled.
We absolutely must move past the elementary teachings, (not that we forget them mind you,) and move forward into the season of grace we have been given by Christ's blood. Otherwise we are repeatedly crucifying Christ over and over as though His work simply wasn't good enough. Is it not bad enough our Lord had to suffer once for all mankind? Why then do we casually nail him back up there as though it were necessary?
For many, many years there have been believers who simply swing the sword of truth at people in sin; oblivious to the fact that the very nature of the Word can bring a tremendous weight of spiritual conviction. Since things of the Spirit can only be discerned and recognized by one born of and sensitive to the Spirit; those being bombarded with the Word do not recognize it as conviction, but feel as though it is man's condemnation. Let me ask you: How quick would you be to receive wisdom and truth from a person who seems only to be condemning you as they preach a message of forgiveness? Does it not seem hurtful and contradictory? I'd imagine that is exactly how it appears to them.
The Sword is not the only weapon we have to combat sin, deception and spiritual enslavement; we also have the light of love, peace, kindness, grace and forgiveness. Does scripture not say, " We have this treasure in jars of clay that the surpassing power may be of God and not of man,"? Why would God gift us with the Holy Spirit and the ability to bear fruit of the Spirit if we disregard this fruit? Where the Word of God (Sword,) is a heavy, brute weapon of warfare; light is a delicate and precision instrument that is useful especially for the things that require a more careful and tender approach; like state of the heart.
When we encounter hearts that are hardened against truth, against God, and against salvation; it takes a delicate touch to slowly remove the things that have become entrenched in the hearts of the lost and misguided. When a cardiac surgeon operates, he does not use a chainsaw, but a tiny scalpel; making small precision cuts. Yet as believers, all too often we keep swinging this giant sword to change the hearts of man; and sadly destroy the heart and a person's trust in God. I do not discount the infinite value and power of the Word of God; but caution that there are times when a person is, " In need of milk, and not strong meat. "
Truly, we must first shine a light of love, mercy, patience, acceptance into others' lives. This way we can develop the trust and hope that are critical for a person to develop a proper perspective of who God is and what He wants to do in their lives. Ministry and witness are far more powerful when we simply reflect the kind of character God has; because love covers a multitude of sins, and opens the door to a surrendered and faithful heart. It is hard for people to accept correction and redirection if they aren't confident that it is true, delivered in a spirit of love, and reflective of grace. Once we have shown that we are not here to condemn, belittle, or lord over each other; we will find that our witness is far more fruitful.
To the LGBT community I would say:
A) On behalf of a loving and forgiving God in heaven; on behalf of the Body of believers in Christ everywhere...I apologize that we have hurt you so deeply. I apologize that we have allowed bitterness, hatred and condemnation to be so casually thrust at each and every one of you. I apologize that in our zeal, we have sinned a far greater sin against you all than the sin we so carelessly attack. I apologize that we have abandoned you, deceived you, and contributed to your incredible burden in life. We have no right, no call, no authority to have done these things to you. While we have no excuse at all...NONE, I'd ask that you endeavor to realize that as human beings we are just as prone to sin and error.
B). Scripture does state clearly that anything outside of heterosexual, marital sex IS sin; whether one wishes to accept it or not. HOWEVER, this is no different than any sin a married heterosexual man or woman has. All sin is equally sin. True, you may be living in sin; but so is any believer casting hate, condemnation, or any other ungodly fruit. We are all equally prone to sin and error; and we are all equally offered the gift of grace and salvation. Your sin is no worse, and DOES NOT disqualify you from what is so readily given of God without prejudice. Any who would tell you otherwise, well let's simply take consolation in knowing that one day they will need to stand before God and explain why they murdered His children in their hearts.
C). This is the really tough part; but I implore you to make an honest effort to look past the sacrifice it will take, that you may truly and finally find perfect love and grace in Christ. This is a process, not an instantaneous act; and if needed I personally will walk side by side with you through the valley, rather than simply walk by you.
First, simply accept the truth that the sexual sin you are living in IS sin and confess it to God. I'm not asking you to immediately, confidently and completely turn from the sin; the chains have been on far too long. It will take time and spiritual growth for that stage. I simply ask that you take the necessary step of admitting the sin; of truly accepting the fact that it is indeed sin; and having a heart turned towards Jesus rather than the sin, so the power of Christ's blood can completely remove both the stain and penalty of it.
Second, try to keep an open mind when reading scriptures; so that you don't fall into the habit of disregarding the passages and verses that confront things in your life which aren't truly scripturally sound. I know all too well how easy it is too readily accepting the messages of love and hope; while blinding myself to things that I don't care to admit are wrong in my life...whether it’s because I am ashamed, or because I don't want to give them up. This alone will help to wash and renew your hearts and minds; giving you the power to finally break free of the chains.
Third, be unwavering; be courageous, be strong. These are traits I greatly admire in the LGBT community. It has taken such strength and courage to take a stand against a society that has been violently against you for so long. Granted that strength and courage has been employed to the wrong end so far; yet those same traits can be employed towards the right end if you are willing. It will take incomparable sacrifice, and much dedication to set things right; but all of you have what it takes. To be honest, I pray that all believers everywhere can be so committed and brave in our own walks.
Four, please keep things in perspective. It may take time to break free of these chains. Don't condemn yourself if you fall short and struggle to completely turn away from the lifestyle. As long as in your heart you know it is sin; have truly confessed it as sin; and truly will to be rid of it; then it is no longer unrepentant sin, but a sin that the flesh simply is fighting to hold onto. In this context it is your heart that matters...not perfect adherence. This is not an excuse to sin mind you, but if you read Romans 7:1-22 it will further explain this principle. In spite of sin. Let Him in!

This is what I would say to the body of believers:
A). Try to look at others through the lens of the Holy Spirit, rather than the jaded eyes of the flesh. So long as we focus on the shell, the sin; we will always be blinded to the more important value of the soul. We will not see a precious and hurting child of God; lost and under attack, we will only see a sinner and will be more prone to condemnation than mercy and grace.
B). Keep in perspective the truth that all of us equally are in sin without the blood of Jesus; and all of us equally are offered salvation through grace, not through righteous behavior. We must remember that we are not above anyone else, but rather are told to "esteem others above ourselves." We must be conscious of the fact we were given a tremendous gift we definitely did not deserve, so we can remain humble and gentle in our witness.
C). Let us be aware of situations and the task at hand; being careful to use the right tool for the task at hand. There are times for stern rebuke, there are times for gentle correction; there are times to swing that sword for the fences, there are times we need to be delicate and precise. Let us be sensitive to the direction of the Spirit, and aware of when we must use the Word of God, and cognizant of the times we must simply shine the light of love and patience into the lives of others.
D). When in doubt...let God hash it out. We cannot afford to continue pushing God's potential children away from the message of hope, life and love in Christ. We must ALWAYS let mercy and love win out over judgment and condemnation; over legality and tradition. It is not our place to personally eradicate sin in the lives of others, that is in Christ alone. Let us not simply profess to be the Body of Christ, but let us step boldly into a season of grace, always reflecting the true nature and character of Jesus.

In the end: gay, straight, black, white, male, female, old, or young, we are all potentially God's children. So let us work toward truth and unity. May our Father in heaven continue to lead us, teach us and mold us into an ever perfected image of Jesus; for its in His holy, precious name we pray. AMEN!!