Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." - The Apostle Paul
Today I heard another Christian who “struggled with homosexuality” now accept the idea God blesses same sex relationships. This is one of the most frustrating and sad news for me to hear. Whenever I hear this type of news I get mad, sad, and very frustrated with the individual and the Church. This reminds me of the existence of the large gap between those who have deep same sex needs and the Church practically meeting those needs. But I have hope this will one day change. This isn't blind hope though. This is hope built off of the correct theology of a local Church Community!
Church! We are the hope to those who struggle with Homosexuality! God gave us the opportunity to be like Jesus and love others selflessly. Jesus never told others to go to the Father when the crowds went to him for help. There are times when Jesus would get some quite time to relax but he was always back to work helping others. The Church, with the help of the Holy Spirit, can do the same thing! We need to stop sending people to “God” aka isolation. God's primary way of working on Earth is through the Church. We are the hands and feet of Jesus. We should stop changing God's plan. The Holy Spirit is leading us to help, support, and love others like Christ. He isn't sending others into isolation. He is sending us into each others arms to experience the here but not yet arms of Jesus. Let me remind you, as a Christian struggling with same sex attraction, my needs and wants are not about changing my attraction, its about establishing healthy GODLY same sex friendships and intimacy.
We need to evaluate our “wants,” “blessings,” and “boundaries” and see if we can include others a lot more in our lives (watching netflix, homemade dinners, family time, family vacations, the beach, disneyland, physical touch, etc.)
Many people turn to the belief God “blesses” same sex relationships because their needs (Time, Touch, Transparency, and Teamwork) are not being met within the Church. They either suffer with great heavy depression because they are extremely disconnected from other humans and are not experiencing humans the way they need to experience humans or the other option that seems to exist is that it is better to kill themselves. So what do they do? They change their theology to meet their needs.
And thats very sad. We should grieve about that.
But if we can change our “wants,” “blessings,” and “boundaries,” we can be the hope and the working hands and feet of God!
We can touch those who need touch! Give Hugs, kisses, long hugs, shoulders to rest our heads on, hands to hold in order to feel close to another human. Sex isn't the only way to feel close to another human, and thats not what we who struggle with homosexuality want. We just want physical affection from the Church. Jesus would give it.
I truly believe Christians who struggled with homosexuality but changed their theology and now believe God supports homosexual relationships would not have done that if they received large amount of touch from their fellow brothers and sisters in the Church. That is how important touch is.
We can give time to those who need time to feel valuable! How many people do you hear complain about the amount of time they receive from their friends and community? Americans struggle with loneliness and isolation. American Christians can avoid that by getting married and spending all their time with their spouse and family. Obviously it doesn't always solve loneliness, but that is not Church community, thats on the edge of being called a idolized marriage and family. Instead you can spend your marriage time with others in the Church, your first family, having triple dates, Disneyland dates with single Christians. Nights hosting slumber parties (guys say spending the night), dinners, road trips, vacations, etc.
I truly believe Christians who struggled with homosexuality but changed their theology and now believe God supports homosexual relationships would not have done that if they received large amount of time from their fellow brothers and sisters in the Church. That is how important time is.
We can be Transparent with those who struggle with Homosexuality. We can be honest and expose are deep emotional parts of us within our Church Community. Not just with our husbands and wives. We can show emotional affection for those in the Church! We can tell others how important they are to us. We can prove it by actions of emotional languages. We can be honest spiritually. And most importantly, we can be transparent with our bodies (I'm not going to go into detail about that in this post, but please think about what that can look like in a healthy context. There is a reason why we who struggle with homosexuality think the body is a beautiful sight and thats good!)
I truly believe Christians who struggled with homosexuality but changed their theology and now believe God supports homosexual relationships would not have done that if they received large amount of Transparent experiences from their fellow brothers and sisters in the Church. That is how important it is to be Transparent and vulnerable with someone who struggles with Homosexuality.
Lastly, when we are a Team at Church, we are very strong and feel like we are something bigger than ourselves and that is what being a part of the Bride of Christ is all about. Humans were never made to be alone with God. When John Piper, and my favorite Christian pastor, Francis Chan, say things like “Would you like Heaven if all your friends and family were there except Jesus?” I cringe at that question because they created a world that even God himself didn't like. We desperately need other humans, not for salvation, only God can do that for us, but to experience the community (Church) Jesus has established for those who are saved and adopted in his family.
I truly believe Christians who struggled with homosexuality but changed their theology and now believe God supports homosexual relationships would not have done that if they received large amount of Teamwork experiences from their fellow brothers and sisters in the Church. That is how important Teamwork is for someone who struggles with Homosexuality.
For those of you who struggle with Homosexuality, please don't give into sinful theology. We are God's artwork. We have no authority to change the big painting that God has designed. God is Holy, Just, and Graceful. Live in that. It is extremely hard and painful but that is the part of sanctification we have to go through.
As C.S. Lewis said, “The Christian way is different: harder, and easier. Christ says “Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down. I don’t want to drill the tooth, or crown it, or stop it, but to have it out. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked—the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours.”
And for those of you who believe it is okay to live in a romantic relationship with the same sex, or teach it, please cut it off and understand that it is not the artwork that God has made you or wants you to teach. It's actually the extreme opposite and goes against Church community (along with Christian couples who idolize marriage). I come from no place of higher ground, if anything, I'm quite low because I struggle with hooking up with other men, and I am in a great battle of understanding God's grace, justice, and sanctification in this process. I hate it. As Augustine wrote, “ Lord make me chaste but not yet.” In other words, my prayer every day is “God, please take this sin away, but not yet, I still love it.” Please pray for me in this. I am not the artwork that God made me to be.
Church, we are the hope and God's hands and feet for those who have deep same sex needs. For us who struggle with homosexuality, meeting our needs is as simple as giving us large amounts of touch, time, transparency, and Teamwork. We are the Church. You are the Church, you can do it.