Before I go on I would just like to say that I am writing this now in light of the recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court regarding so-called gay marriage.
There have been many solid responses and in a way, mine will just be one more. The only thing that may make mine a little different is that I am writing in response to someone who is gay and expressed some thoughts in the form of questions regarding my previous post.
I could see how someone might think that I have an over-inflated sense of the importance of my thoughts on these matters, as if I am the authority on this subject. I would just like to be clear that I am just a man. I am a Christian man with biblical convictions on all of life and the way we conduct it. However, these convictions are not based on any authority that I have. I humbly submit myself to the authority of God's word and the commands therein. In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus commands His disciples and consequently, all of His disciples for all time by saying this, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold I am with you always, to the ends of the earth."
I recognize that no one has to read what I write. There are many who are greater than myself that are writing and speaking to this issue and many other issues of Christian growth and obedience. I am hardly the end all be all. I am not well known, nor do I have an official position of spiritual authority in a church.
I write these things because it is one of the means by which I am compelled to share the truth of the gospel as it applies to every area of our lives. Jesus commanded this because he ordained that people would come to a saving knowledge of the truth via the proclamation of His gospel by His disciples. Christ is the good shepherd and wants His sheep to come to know Him. So do I. That is my heart and purpose. Apart from the power of the Holy Spirit, this blog is just empty words. I pray that God will use what I write to change hearts for their good and His glory.
As I said, I have received some positive feedback regarding my previous post about homosexuality. All feedback is meaningful to me, but the one that has meant the most to me was from someone, who is gay, with whom I have direct, face to face contact. I am thankful for their honesty and thought provoking questions. I wish to respond with what will hopefully be some clarifying thoughts regarding my understanding of the concern. Here is the feedback I received.
Just because I love discussion, I thought I'd comment haha. I read it, and think it's pretty good. My parents are dealing with this now haha. It is interesting to see how stuff plays out. I grew up in a verrrrry conservative Christian home. And when I came out to my parents, I told them "this is how it is. I don't believe it's wrong. This is my lifestyle." And obviously I've grown up in the church for the last 20 years so they don't need to "drag me kicking and screaming" to heaven. I know what they believe just fine and no amount of convincing or begging or words will change my mind. And they have chosen to not say anything other than they love me and want me to feel safe at home. Which I appreciate. Because if they had harassed me(this is a harsh term, I know), it would eventually have damaged our relationship.
So basically my question to you is, what would you do if your child was independent? Seems like your post was awesome In regards to loving them and steering them as much down the path towards God, only, it felt like it talked only about the short term. What if they identify as Christian and gay? What if they don't repent? What if they have a same sex partner? I know these are super hard questions, but for people who are gay, we think about that. My parents have continued to love me and support me, and when I say "support", I know they don't support my lifestyle but they support me. And are there for me. But I do often think about what will happen when I have a partner. And I care about what other people will think too. So. There are some thoughts I'm throwing out at you. Enjoy the read lol.
I respect this person who identifies as gay very much for their honesty? I want to honor them for being willing to be vulnerable about their thoughts and concerns in a civilized way. I was going to write a couple of posts regarding this persons concerns but in light of current events, it seemed I could use another hypothetical to accomplish the same purpose in one post.
So let's suppose this person was my child. They have been raised in a loving Christian home and currently, the child has come out about being gay. As noted above the, now adult, child's parents have responded as lovingly as can be hoped for without affirming the inclination or the lifestyle. Now gay marriage is legal. So.....
What Would I Do If My Child Now Wants To Get Married?
These are the questions/concepts that I perceived in reading the feedback above, as considered regarding an adult child rather than a younger child. 1.) "What if they identify as Christian and gay?" 2.) "What if they don't repent? 3.) "What if they have a same-sex partner?" I would like to add one more? 4.) "As parents, If in fact, we cannot drag our children to heaven kicking and screaming, how do we lovingly point our children toward Christ, regardless of their sinful tendencies?"
One of the statements that I made in my previous post sums up, in a nutshell, my approach regarding sinful inclinations of any kind, no matter how old they are or what the sin is,
"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."Here is the thing. When you are in a relationship with someone whom you love, whether family member or friend, who is living a lifestyle of blatant impenitent sin, you can change how often you place the message before them, but you should not change the message.
There is a point at which you have spoken the truth, you have begged the person to repent and believe the gospel, and you have cried on your knees in prayer and you can do know more. If you continue to berate them with preaching or even strive to continuously hold up the gospel in front of them subtly yet they reject it, you may be "casting your pearls before swine"(Matthew 7:6).
Now, at no point does scripture teach that we should cease praying for the lost or that we should necessarily stop speaking truth in love and calling for repentance all together however, to whatever degree we do these things we must always remember that we are not always promised a yes as the answer to our prayers; even as it regards the salvation of loved ones. However, we must always remember that God is good and his ways are always just and right. We must pray and share the gospel with our loved ones because it is a good and right act of obedience and love toward our Savior and we must trust our Heavenly Father in all things.
One of two things will happen: 1.) the Holy Spirit will respond to your many payers and the gospel that has been presented, and your loved one's heart will be changed or 2.) sadly, God will actually send delusions in order to harden the heart of those whom have heard and understood the truth and have rejected it(2 Thessalonians 2:11-12; Romans 1:18-32).
My response to my child in this case would be this. If you have read my previous post, you know the good news of the gospel which I stated that I would ensure my children understood, at least intellectually, even if it does not change their hearts at that time.
- They will know that God has loved them enough to provide a Savior for their souls and that they can find meaning and satisfaction in this life through relationship with him and through relationship with His Church.
- They will not be told that God loves them no matter what. They will have been told, and will continue to be told, that God will save them just as they are, but not so that they can remain just as they are.
- There will be no question of God's love, God's righteous judgement and God's just truth. They will know that whatever God requires, he makes a way for it to happen if we will trust and believe.
They will know that I love them no matter what. but what does that mean? Does that mean that I will support them in all of their endeavors, no matter how immoral I believe them to be?
Would I Attend My Gay Child's Gay Marriage Ceremony?
This is not intended to be a prescription for all parents of gay children that may face this question, though I do believe it is the most sound approach. With that said I willingly acknowledge that this is a very difficult scenario and I believe that consulting with your local pastor and having their wisdom and support is vital in such a difficult situation.
The answer for me is NO. I could not in good conscience attend a ceremony that is celebrating a commitment that I find to be in direct rebellion toward God's word. Nor could I celebrate what is a commitment to definite damnation if it is not legitimately repented of before they die. I.e. they "divorce" and no longer relate to each other in any way that is homosexual. In fact, I believe wisdom suggests, that parting ways altogether is best in order to avoid temptation in every way.
Again, I would ensure that they know that I love them and value them. I would even ensure that their partner knows the same. But I could not support them in this way. I would tell them that I would have a special visit with them afterwards if they would like but I could not consider myself a responsible witness to the truth of God's word if I attended the ceremony.
To be clear, this whole idea breaks my heart to think about. I do not contemplate or state these things lightly. Any loving Christian parent will be heartbroken and endlessly prayerful over such a scenario.
As I said, my hope is that all of the questions that I perceived in the feed back I received are answered in the way that I have said I would respond if I had an adult child who is, not only professing as gay, but has a partner and wants to get married.
To be clear, there is no such thing as a gay Christian. That is in fact an oxymoron. Can you be a Christian and wrestle with same-sex attraction? Absolutely! However, there is no scenario in which someone can embrace that attraction, be in a relationship much less get married, and have any biblical support for calling themselves a Christian. If you are living an actively gay lifestyle and choosing not to repent and you die in that state, you will go to hell!!!
I know this is direct and I want to emphasize that I did not make that statement big and bold as if I am yelling. I write these things not to be inflammatory. I write them emphatically because I do not want anyone to go to hell. I truly want people to understand that there is a better way.
Sex and marriage are for this life only. While useful for intimately and pleasureably unifying a husband and wife spiritually, the primary purpose for sex is procreation. Marriage however, is intended to be, first and foremost, a representation of Christ's relationship to His bride, the church. It is supposed to be a representation of the gospel. A biblical husband will represent Christ's sacrificial love for His church in the way that he loves his wife. A biblical wife will represent the church's loving, respectful, and submissive response to Christ in the way that she loves her husband (Ephesians 5:22-33). That is part of why it is so offensive that it has been commandeered and "redefined" by the government; not that they can ever truly redefine it.
As we look at examples of people biblically and currently, we know that not everyone is intended to be married. God has in mind that some will remain single. However, the idea that this somehow robs a person of fulfillment relationally and they can never be totally satisfied is a lie. In all three of the synoptic gospels, Mark 10:29, Luke 18:29, and Matthew 19:29 Jesus tells His disciples this,
"Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundred-fold now in this time houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.(Mark 10:29-30)God will see to it that your needs are met and desires either satisfied or changed so that they line up more with what He knows is best for you and for His plans for you. That could mean marriage, it could mean singleness. Either way, your Creator knows what is best for you.
Please, Please, Please, consider the things that I have said here. If you have heard these truths before, marinate on them. They will change your life for the better in ways you cannot imagine. If you will put your trust in Christ and allow him to direct your paths, he will take care of you. Once you are spending eternity with Him, you will not care whether your every sinful desire was satisfied in this life.
At the end of the day I know that I cannot change anyone's mind on this. Only the Holy Spirit can change a heart and make these truths real on the inside in a way that is irresistible. I will not be offended if no one reads this post or if everyone who does wants to disagree with it and tell me so. That is ok.
This is not about me. This is about every sinner's (including me) need for a Savior and the recognition of that need. This is about so many spiritual orphans that are in need of reconciliation with their Heavenly Father. That reconciliation is available but it can only be found through Chist. These truths can be said in so many different ways and in so much more detail but ultimately, God must open the eyes of your heart to see and believe.
I love you and I pray that you will reconsider these truths and ask God to show you what He created you for. He will give you purpose and fulfillment like no one else can.
May it be so in Jesus name.