What If The Apostle Paul Were Gay

In recent debates, I have found myself going toe to toe with my fellow Christian concerning their view, or more precisely, their approach on the homosexuality issue.  In response, I've written the following:

Christians don’t have the privilege of hate.  Sure, we fall back on that, “hate the sin, love the sinner!” thing.  But that’s part of the problem.  We want to qualify our token love for people so we can focus the bulk of our energy on why we hate sin.  In fact, all too often, we make the definition of sin our end game.

Recent discussion on homosexuality and the comments of Phil Robertson have revealed to many that I don't take a traditional-churchy stand on the issue.  I believe my stand is Biblical, but my approach is different.  For many, the end game of the topic is simply the definition of sin.  I think many Christians consider gay people a lost cause.  Instead of first approaching lost people who need the healing and salvation which is found in our gospel... we jump straight to the sin.  We say, "I don't agree."  We say, "Our values must be protected."  We say, "Hate the sin, but love the sinner."  Problem is, we aren't loving the sinner.  We expect unredeemed people to understand a spiritually discerned truth.  We argue and debate on the issue with people who have no real basis of even understanding our Truth.

There used to be a debate on whether people chose to be gay, or were born that way.  That debate is dumb.  There are some who chose bi-sexuality for the sake of experimentation, but for the most part, gay people are born gay.  That does not mean that God made them that way.  If the state of our birth determined what God made, then we can blame Him for all kinds of diseases, deformities and mental illnesses.  We are born broken and messed up because of the curse of sin.  Not just gay people...  ALL PEOPLE!  US INCLUDED!  It is scattered randomly through our genes, and we suffer the consequences of it unwillingly AND by choice.  It is just as much sin to be born with homosexual feelings as it is to be born with ocd issues or anxiety.  Homosexuality doesn't become an issue until it is embraced and acted upon.  Many Christians find strength in the Lord to manage this weakness.  Many Christians find strength in the Lord to manage all kinds of mental and emotional deformities.  God promises to be strength in our weakness.

I have extra compassion for homosexuals.  Many Christians feel repulsed.  I feel compassion.  They carry a difficult struggle.  It's not their fault that they were born that way.  They wrestle with this, and at the same time, they come into a world that embraces it and validates it.  To the unregenerate person, this must be an incredible relief.  It is for them, a form of freedom from the curse.  They celebrate that freedom.  They find identity in it.

At the same time, God wants to free us from the curse of sin.  Our job is not to talk to the homosexual about their homosexuality. Our job is to share the gospel with lost, broken people.  We were lost.  We are broken.  We can relate to gay people if we really took an honest look at our own depravity.  For those who embrace the gospel and allow the Holy Spirit to guide them, there will be sufficient grace for the path which is before them.

There are many theories about Paul's thorn.  It was a messenger from Satan to buffet him.  But what was it?  Bad eyes?  Crippled leg?  Physical persecution?  What if Paul was gay.  What if Paul prayed three times for God to remove his homosexuality.  What if God told Paul, concerning his homosexuality, that His grace was sufficient, and that God would be strong in Paul's weakness.  How would we approach this issue if Paul confessed openly that his thorn was homosexuality?

If ,when talking about homosexuality, we make the definition of sin the end game, we won't be helping anyone.  I love Phil Robertson's boldness to share the gospel, but his misapplied heterosexual opinions on homosexual desires weren't bringing any gay person closer to hearing the saving truth which Jesus offers.  Homosexuality might seem like a threat... like an impersonal political agenda... like a philosophical enemy.  That's how many people approach it.  It's none of those things.  It is a large population of real people, like you and me, who are struggling to make sense of the curse they were born with.

We were all born cursed and broken.  We all have trials and imperfections to overcome.  As Christians, we are called to love and serve people, not fight impersonal philosophies.

Does this mean I affirm gay people?  As I once told a caller to the church who asked about this, "We don't affirm anybody, except Jesus Christ."  I don't affirm the humanity of any broken and struggling soul who calls ccCville their church home.  We affirm Christ in each other, not the brokeness which was passed on to us by Adam.

It's time for Christians to start loving gay people.