Monday, May 26, 2008
Thoughts Following the Sermon
Yesterday the morning sermon was from Romans 1. The subject was how does the Christian face the question of homosexuality. Is it an alternate lifestyle? Is it genetic? Can one change? What is to be our attitude?
Our pastor did a terrific job in handling this very sensitive issue. One statement he made was to "get rid of your repulsion." And he suggested that Christians pray for the people they know who are in this lifestyle.
I wrote in my notes an additional thought: we need to pray for ourselves that we will truly love all people as people and respect them and their choices.
Homosexuality in the scripture is noted as a sinful lifestyle, along with adultery, hatred, and many other sins. I do believe that homosexuality is a learned lifestyle through environment and personal tendencies. I do know a few who have been in this lifestyle and have changed. I also have several personal acquaintances who continue in this lifestyle.
I think the challenge for the Christian is to accept and love the person and at the same time hold to the truth that homosexuality is wrong. That's an almost impossible task. And one reason is that oftentimes the one living in this lifestyle insists that if you really love them, you will see and agree with their view that this is natural and is okay. They fight for acceptance.
I see a lot of the problem as the holier-than-thou attitude many Christians and whole denominations have toward people who say they are homosexuals or lesbians. Sometimes these same condemners are lenient toward heterosexual people who have affairs or who live together before marriage or who are married and have adulterous affairs. That's quite a double standard in my opinion.
In my world and my generation, the condemning of homosexually oriented people was hateful, repulsive, and filled with slurs and bad jokes.
The current generation seems to express total acceptance with no reference to a standard of morality.
The challenge to me and for me is to show grace and love to all (and not only "show," but to really BE loving and gracious from the inside out). And the second part of this challenge is learning how to hold a moral standard and to struggle with the pain of doing this as I also show love and acceptance to the person. Whew!
Is this possible?
"[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you–energizing and creating in you the power and desire–both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight." Philippians 2:13 Amplified
This, to me, is great food for thought and a true reality check.