Wednesday, November 15, 2006

WARNING: Highly Opinionated-Part Two

Someone wrote me to remind me that while all sin has the same price (which Jesus paid for on the cross), that there are different consequences for different sins. Some sins affect more people than others, and cause more damaging results.

This was my reply:

You brought up a good point. There are different consequences for different sins. I think that is why I'm so burdened about this topic. If there are certain sins that have greater consequences, why do we act more hateful to those individuals? Why do we put up a wall between us rather than reaching out a hand to draw them into our loving guidance to the TRUTH? Why do we preach messages of hate, very similar to messages I hear from prejudiced individuals about someone of a different skin color? I have heard preachers make fun of homosexuals from the pulpit and call them names, and then wonder when the invitation is given why the lesbians in their congregations don't come forward. I've seen people who call homosexuals "those people" in a tone similar to Archie Bunker talking about a different culture or color. I've seen people coordinate boycotts, but they won't take a casserole across the street to the gay couple who have had a setback.

How in the world are we going to reach these beautiful individuals who God created with loving tenderness who have a greater consequence for their choice of sins, if we draw a line between "us" and "them"?

I know there are people who say they have a gay person in their lives, but they still mock them, much like a prejudiced person says they have an African American friend, which somehow seems to allow them to make black jokes and still have a heart.

But to use that same "I have gay friends" statement that some say before they make a gay-bashing joke--I have had gay individuals in my life as long as I can remember. Some of the people I was closest to in my childhood were gay. I can count at least eight before I was 17, in a small town of 4,000. In my adult life it seems the Lord has opened my eyes to the hearts of several others who have chosen the homosexual lifestyle. When a lesbian stayed in my home for a weekend retreat, my heart was so touched by her plight that I have never been the same. She was struggling to find her way in this world, and so open to biblical truths, when given with doses of love and not condemnation.

Some say they could NEVER be a homosexual. Don't be so sure. I have to admit, there but the grace of God go I. What does that mean? If I had not been introduced to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ at an impressionable age, I could have gone down a different path. When diagnosed with a reproductive congenital defect at the age of 17, I'm not sure what I would have done without the peace of Christ that passes all human understanding. I have known many others with the same anomaly who have become lesbian after the diagnosis because of their confused hearts and minds. That could have been me.

A cousin who was as close as an older brother lived a homosexual lifestyle. That wasn't the only thing that defined him as an individual, but I'm sure it was all a gay-hater could see. But if you could get past that, you saw a phenomenal human being. He died at a young age last year about this time, all alone. His passing has caused me to reevaluate many things "religious." Was it a message of hate that drove Mark away from the life in Christ he embraced as a teenager?

I am not condoning any sin. I'm just against treating some sinners as more despicable than other sinners. Since some do face great consequences than others, we should reach out to them with open arms rather than closed fists.

1 comment:

Praying for your Prodigal said...

Great post! The bottom line....Jesus paid the ultimate consequence for all sins. He paid the price....he offers the love to any sinner.

Diane