Gay Pride

One of the best editorial cartoons I’ve ever seen depicts a man holding a protest sign that reads “Gay Pride”. A little boy is looking up at the sign, pointing and saying “Hey Mister, pride is a sin.”

For me, it illustrates the screwed up mess we’ve made in this country of intelligent dialog about homosexuality and sin. I find myself avoiding the issue in general public conversation – not because I’m afraid to proclaim right from wrong but because Christians have convoluted the discussion by grading sin on a curve.

Years ago, I watched the sitcom Cheers. One night, a friend called me to express her righteous indignation. “Did you watch Cheers tonight? They’ve introduced a gay character! If he becomes a regular, I’m done with this show.”

I thought for a moment. “I understand what has set you off, but let’s talk this through. We’ve been watching a show where people spend hours in a bar with a main character who has slept with thousands of women but NOW, with the introduction of a gay character, you’re done watching!? Something is way wrong with our “Sin-o-meters!”

I get it.

Some sins hit nerves in the human heart. We come at sin from a human perspective and when we do, we’re inclined to devise charts and scales making some worse than others but that’s not how God sees it.

If we truly understood sin from God’s perspective, we might still be carrying protest signs like some people have chosen to do. (You’ve seen them on the news with placards saying “Homosexuality is a Sin.”)

But if we really understood things from God’s perspective, we’d picket some pastor’s offices with signs that read “God Opposes the Proud”. We’d show up at sporting events with posters that say “God Hates Arrogance”. We would walk down Wall Street protesting greed and selfish ambition. We would go to fashion week with T-shirts that read “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”

When I discuss sin with anyone, I’m speaking from the perspective of an expert on the subject. If I tell a gay person they are a sinner, I am saying he or she is just like me. A sinner in need of God’s grace. A sinner who needs to repent, to change. A person whose choices have made them an enemy of God who needs to seek forgiveness and reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ.

It hurt me, recently, when a teen from church asked me if we are “allowed” to love people who are gay. That’s how much we Christians have screwed this up. God is love. His people are called to love. Of course, we are allowed to love homosexuals and all other sinners.

And we are also called to proclaim the truth. God calls pride, cowardice, greed, selfish ambition, fornication, lying and homosexuality sin. I don’t apologize for God. He’s not the God of my creation. I am His creation conveying His message to the world, not my own.

I am not responsible for the message but I am responsible for the way I convey it and the way I live it.

Romans 12:9 says this: “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.” Where would the protest marchers be stationed if Christians started proclaiming God’s hatred of hypocrisy? Some days, I’d be forced to protest on my own doorstep.

What if Christians all agreed that whenever we go out to protest the sins of others, we have to wear t-shirts that list the sins from which we have repented. “Forgiven adulterer.” “Forgiven tax evader.” “Forgiven fornicator.” “Forgiven slave to anger.” “Forgiven lazy shirker of responsibility.” “Forgiven arrogant, self-righteous judge of others.” “Forgiven hypocrite.” “Forgiven slave to lust.”

The subject of sin, particularly specific sin, is not the stuff of sound bites or protest signs. God felt it required an entire set of books to cover, sixty-six of them to be precise. He sent a pretty clear message that the best way to deal with sin is in the context of a relationship with Him and with others who love Him.

He didn’t hire a skywriter or send an army of angels with placards. He sent His only son. Relationship. Time. Sacrifice. Love. Truth.

Mmmm, maybe that’s a method we could use to spread the message, too.

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Photo from http://brianmccormack.wordpress.com/2009/02/24/cardboard-testimonies/


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13 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. We always get it wrong when we lose sight of our own sinfulness, don’t we?

  2. Rita says:

    Fantastic article!!

  3. Hi Lori,

    I too am repulsed by the things I know as wrong or sinful on TV and other places, but I have to remind myself that I am no better than these. My only difference is He who is in me and that His blood covers my sins.

    We as humans tend to grade sin on a scale of 1 to 10, murder, and adultery as the worst sins and “little white lies” as a minor sins. We forget (myself included) that all sin is the same in God’s eyes, it is that dark blot that keeps us from fellowship with Him.

    Wouldn’t it be better to be like Christ, and love the unlovable? Instead of being judgemental and self-righteous, let them see Jesus in our actions and maybe they will want to know more about what is different in us!

    Blessings,
    Debra

  4. as always, so good, Lori!

  5. Carol says:

    Well said. I especially love the Cheers analogy… I have gay friends who are monogamous couples and I feel and believe I am not to judge, point out their sin when I still have a few splinters of my own, nor am I repulsed by them. I see them as humans just like me trying to get through the day. I do not tell them how to live or that they are sinners, not my job. My job is to love them as Jesus does, that is all I am called to do, all that I want to do, just love. Thank you for a thoughtful post.

  6. Excellent post, Lori! “But by the grace of God go I.” Have a blessed day gifted writer!

  7. Thank you all for dropping by and weighing in on a challenging subject! God bless.

  8. Carmen says:

    Awesome post Lori–and so challenging! Not because I don’t like gays, I used to have a gay friend, I have a family member who is gay, and I’m pretty sure there are gay guys working at Starbucks and Extra Foods. They’re actually quite nice guys. Really.

    What’s got me challenged, is your words:

    “He sent His only son. Relationship. Time. Sacrifice. Love. Truth. Mmmm, maybe that’s a method we could use to spread the message, too.”

    I have had such a hard time knowing how to spread the message effectively, but to see it written down like that has really helped. Thanks!

  9. diane homm says:

    Very well said, Lori. Thank you.

  10. Crystal says:

    Lori…….in Romans 1 it says they worship the creation instead of the creator and turned over to the flesh, it even speaks of them having a reprobate mind……I do not hate gay people but I see them as being in a state of sin, not just committing a sin…..and if the Bible is correct, they are not saved if they are doing that no matter how much they claim to be.

    Like you, I’m inclined to address the issue of sin in generalities and not so much in specifics unless I’m quoting scripture…..and though I would never mistreat or disrespect a gay person, I dont want the agenda being pushed down my throat to make it acceptable, celebrated and likened to a regular marriage or relationship. So when I see it on tv……I boycott it as well. I do not want social engineering from hollywood to raise my children…..I dont have close gay friends…..I would not confide in someone who has that lifestyle for advice or even let them watch my children….because of what the Bible says about their thinking….but no, I would never mistreat them either….they are in need of the love of Christ….I can see why you feel as you do and I have many friends like you…..I respect their right to their opinions…..but I have to answer for what happens with my own family and my own life. Have a good evening.

  11. Crystal, I am not sure where you feel we are in disagreement. My piece was certainly NOT in favor of gay marriage or any other activity that opposes Biblical truth. I just believe that some in the church, in their efforts to uphold that truth, have fallen into the sin of pride and self-righteousness. Galatians 6:1 says this ” 1Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.” When the country asks my opinion about “gay rights”, is in asking for my vote, I vote along Biblical lines. I also don’t want Hollywood or social engineering to raise my children – a major motivation for my decision to homeschool through high school graduation. I don’t see us at all in disagreement. I just think those who are given over to sin need our prayers and our living witness more than they need posters and placards full of anger. God bless.

  12. I am learning not to judge the hard way…by being judged for a decision I made. God has left me on the other side of judgement long enough for me to soften – I’m not free of my habit but I’m certainly closer to compassion than I’ve ever been. I love the post.