I have shared a good bit regarding homosexuality on FB. I have received my share of push back. I have wrestled with how I would write on this topic as a blog post. I have processed a lot of ideas in drafts that have not been published. While this may not be the only post I write on this topic, I realized that a personal concept such as this question provides a platform that makes the whole thing real for me as well as anyone else reading it. It is a real question with real possibilities. If you have ever wondered where I fall on this topic in general, I think this post will shed quite a bit of light.
The liberal article I reference below went viral. You don't see that very often with conservative pieces. I don't care about hits or likes for me personally, but I do want the truth to be proclaimed and lives to be changed. There are a lot of good resources and examples out there for Christians who are striving to live an obedient Christian life. They need to know about them. So if this registers with you and you think it would speak to others please share and share alike. Here goes.What would I do if my kids were gay?
No, I am not the first person to contemplate this question or write about it. However, in today's culture, I may be one of the few in my tiny circle of influence who would write a biblical, yet still loving response to that question. I have considered writing about this thought process before, but I am admittedly driven to it now by this article. An article in which a man speaks to this very question. I will speak to it on a personal level, as a parent, as well. First, I have a few brief thoughts specific to this man's article.
This man is not only a professing Christian, he is also a Pastor. This makes his response doubly dangerous. When we profess Christ we stand on a name with great authority, consequently our very Christian witness reflects on the character and teachings of God's word. However, as a Pastor there is an even greater accountability and a stricter judgement on what is said (James 3:1). There are aspects of this pastor's thoughts that are good. He wants to love his children impartially, shamelessly, and devotedly. He does not want to see them suffer shame or persecution at the hands of haters because of their same-sex attraction.
These are Godly, loving desires that any parent should have. However, when that love is unwilling to call a sinner to repentance and warn them of the judgement to come, no matter how well intended, even if that sinner is their child; that parent is grossly deceived and is misleading their children to certain eternal death, unless the Lord intervenes. I pray this man repents both as a parent and a pastor or he will lead many astray.
For myself, I can no longer sit by and watch people who not only call themselves Christians, but some of whom are functioning in a role of pastor, write and make statements that throw the gospel under the bus in the name of love. They misrepresent Christ's sacrifice and God's word. It is irresponsible and damning for those who take those words seriously.
Rather than nitpicking his article at length, I would like to share my heart regarding this question. Yes, the scenario is hypothetical for me, so some could argue that I cannot possibly know what I would do. If anyone has that thought, I would point to the fact that this Pastor takes a more liberal stance than I will and his thoughts are based on a hypothetical as well. The hypothesis did not seem to bother the hundreds or thousands that liked and shared his article. It is healthy to think about these things because we have no idea exactly what trials we may face and it is certainly possible to be a devout Christian and have a child who is same-sex attracted. What is not healthy is that pastor's answer to the question.
This is my family! I love them more than life itself. My boys are 10 & 6. I too never want to see them suffer. I desire nothing more than for them to grow up loving Jesus and desiring to put Him first in everything that they say and do. I pray that this family will know one another, in fellowship with Jesus, for all eternity.
I pray that my boys will never have to face this scenario but if we did, how would I respond if this question was applied to them? I believe there are at least three risks to consider when contemplating this scenario. What is the risk to my soul as I respond to this concern? What is the risk to the soul of my child? What is the risk to Heaven's joy?
Risking My Soul
I do not fear what men may do to me or my children. I do not want my children to suffer because of any one sinful tendency they may have. I do not believe any Christian should have to because we all have sinful tendencies. However, if they suffer for the sake of the gospel; because they are standing for truth even in the face of temptation, so be it. Jesus says that it must be so. When sending forth the disciples, Jesus guaranteed persecution but instructed them, "do not fear that which could kill the body but not kill the soul. Rather, fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:28, Luke 12:4)
Regarding all manner of unrighteousness, including homosexual acts, Paul states in Romans 1:32 that, "Though they know God's righteous decrees that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them."
It is an eternally dangerous and slippery slope to manipulate or outright reject the word of God as it regards the sins of the flesh. When this is done it reflects a lack of love for God, a lack of trust in His word, and a lack of love for the sinner. I have friends who have and may be still walking this slippery slope. I want to say to you and anyone else it applies to:
When you condone sin, you are putting your soul at risk!
When you condone sin, you are putting the sinner's soul at risk!
I refuse to do either! Silence is not an option. Silence simply ignores the problem, it does not make it go away. A person is equally as damned if they die in their sins because you did not share the truth as they are if you change the truth. Please pray and seek God regarding this, for your sake and the sake of the unredeemed souls in your circle of influence.
Risking My Child's Soul
It is one thing to tell my child, "I love you no matter what." It is quite another thing to tell my child that God loves them no matter what. This is putting my own child's soul at risk based on a lie. I will not do it!
It is not true that God loves everyone the same. God hates impenitent sinners (Psalm 5:4-6). God loves His children. Who are his children? His children are those who have believed in His name and are born of God (John 1:12-13). So who says a homosexual cannot believe and be born of God?
Not I! However, a born-again (John 3) homosexual will not act on their same-sex attraction. They will not be impenitent. They will be penitent or repentant. They will turn from their sin and themselves and run toward God. All sinners stumble however, the choice to ignore scriptures teaching on a given sin is a heart issue. If their heart is surrendered to Christ, they will repent, ask forgiveness and be forgiven. (1 John 1:9)
A born-again homosexual will learn that they no longer need to identify as a homosexual. They will learn that they have been set free from the power of the law of sin and death. They have died to that nature which identified them as gay. They can now identify as a born-again child of the Most High God whom may wrestle with same-sex attraction, but is no longer enslaved to it. They will learn that they are adopted into the family of God and can now call God Abba, Father. As a child of God they are now set free to follow the ways of the Spirit of God.(Romans 6 & 7; Romans 8:1-2, 12-17).
They will learn to rest in Christ's righteousness which has been credited to them as their own. They will learn that, as a child of God, they no longer have to fear death and judgement because Christ paid the price for every sin that they will ever commit. They only need walk in obedience to God's commands and by God's grace, repent of sin as it arises. This will be evidence that their life in Christ is legitimate.
These are a few of the many gospel truths that I have already begun teaching my children. If they began developing feelings of same-sex attraction, I would continue teaching these things. Nothing would change because these truths do not change no matter what our sinful inclinations may be. They are just as true for the single man or woman inclined toward fornication or the married man or woman inclined toward adultery as they are for the single homosexual inclined toward the same sex.
Again I will ALWAYS tell my children that I love them and strive to show them that I love them! I will look for any source of support that I can find, beginning with my undying love and affection. What I will not do, is affirm the desire to pursue any sinful lifestyle, up to and including the homosexual lifestyle. They will know that I love them, but I will continue to uphold the truth for the sake of their souls! Any philosophy which suggests that withholding this truth is more loving than declaring it is A LIE!!!
I will not hold my children's hand to Hell! If I could I would drag them kicking and screaming to Heaven. That is not how it works, but if I could I would.
THIS IS GOOD NEWS FOLKS!
This is not joyless, identity stealing, oppressive hogwash. This is the yoke-destroying, chain-breaking, joy-giving, hope-wielding gospel of Jesus Christ! He came to deliver any sinner from their sin and to empower them unto a life of obedience, if they would repent of their sins and put their trust in Him.
Now, I am not so naive as to suggest that the same-sex attraction just disappears for anyone who believes. I would not teach my children that, gay or not. I would teach them that by God's grace, anyone wrestling with same-sex attraction can either live a satisfied, joy-filled life of celibacy or; that perhaps God will empower them to move beyond their same-sex attraction and enjoy a heterosexual marriage. I know of people whom have experienced one or the other of these results, while still having some semblance of same-sex attraction. God has done it both ways for His children because He always knows what is best. He always does what is best for them and what will bring Him the most glory.
I would provide them examples of men such as Wesley Hill one of the founders of Spiritual Friendship.org and Sam Allbery one of the founders of Living Out; they are both Christian ministers who are also celibate men that have learned to overcome the temptation of succumbing to same-sex attraction. That is not to say that it is altogether gone, but they are not slaves to it. They have found victory and satisfaction in Jesus.
I would also introduce them to the story of Jackie Hill Perry, a former lesbian that got saved and is a happily married, heterosexual Christian rapper. Also, Rosaria Butterfield, a professor at Syracuse University, a former lesbian and author of The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert. She is also living a happily married, heterosexual life.
As I said, I would provide any source of biblical hope that I could find to my same-sex attracted child while continuing to affirm my love for him, God's grace for him, and striving in any other biblical way I could to support him.
Risking Heavens Joy
This is not a tag-on. In a sense, it is equally as important as the other two risks I have discussed. But what does it mean to risk heaven's joy? Luke 15:7 ends The Parable of the Lost Sheep. It states, "Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance." This parable begins a string of three parables that regard celebration over the lost treasure of a repentant sinner that has been found.
What we must realize is that, when we minimize the tragedy of sin and the importance of repentance in the life of a sinner we not only aid in their condemnation, we are agents in removing the opportunity for Heaven to rejoice. Who or what is heaven? Heaven consists of every impenitent sinner who became a repenting saint in this life, and is now perfected and worshiping before the throne of grace in eternity. It consists of the Angelic hosts, and most importantly it consists of the Godhead; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. All three of those parties, including those believers still living this life, lose the opportunity to rejoice; all because of the lack of repentance by every sinner that is deceived and led astray regarding the profundity of the dangers of the world, the flesh, and the devil.
Heaven wants to rejoice! God sent His Son and Jesus willingly gave His life so that they could rejoice over impenitent sinners who are now repentant, saved souls.
Your children, my children, murderers, pedophiles, rapists and yes, homosexuals; every sinner that needs to know the Savior must be loved by us. "God demonstrated His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8) He didn't differentiate between sins, race, nationality, or gender. "For there is no distinction between Jew or Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved!"(Romans 10:12-13).
Some of you may have balked at my list of sinners above. You may not like the idea of lumping our children in with some of those other heinous concepts, but why not? None of us are sinless. We may differentiate between sins, but God does not. It only takes one sinful act of rebellion to make us eternally guilty before a Holy God.
If we deserved death yet received grace, how much then should we be showing that same grace and compassion for other sinners. The greatest expression of appreciation that we can show God for what He has done for us is to declare that Good News to others as often as possible. If we truly believe this Gospel, should we not want to tell it to anyone who will listen.
Like it or not I have to acknowledge that my child is not a perfect little angel, no....he is a viper in a diaper!
Or at least he was when he was in diapers and he continues to be a sinner now. You get the idea. Whether it is my child, my neighbor, or my coworker, the greatest way that I can ever show them love is to share the Gospel with them. So, whether my child expresses an inclination toward same-sex attraction or not, I will keep the Gospel in front of him for as long as I have breath and I will show the Gospel to him by striving to give him as much sacrificial love and affection as my strength will allow. It is my joy to do so as his Father. Sinner or Saint, he will always be my child, but I want my child to celebrate the goodness of our God with me in Heaven for all eternity.
I hope you would want the same for yours!
May it be so in Jesus name.