“But, you see, I have this friend (or son, daughter, cousin, aunt, uncle, brother, sister, parent, neighbour) who is gay.” “I have a niece who is marrying her girlfriend, and I just received the wedding invitation.” “My son says that he always has felt that he should be a female.” “My daughter has moved in with her boyfriend. They say they are not yet ready for marriage.” “My business partner has left his wife and children for a young woman.” There can be a long list here of situations; I cannot complete such a list
Translated: “I am a Christian, and I know what the Bible says, but . . . what do I do?”
These raise questions: “Do I attend the wedding?” “Do my out of town guests sleep in the same bed?” “Do I buy women’s clothes for my son? Do I complement his wardrobe? Do I encourage hormone therapy and surgery?”
“And, I am a Christian. What am I supposed to do?”
Some of you can stop reading right here. If you are presently on board with the entire LGBTQ+ movement, this article isn’t really for you. There are things you should read, and I hope to contribute some items later. But you will not agree with much that I write here. Rather, this article is intended to speak to Christians who make a conscious effort to take the Bible seriously, and who do not argue against the correctness of the Biblical view of sexuality (and yes, I do believe that those who are sympathetic to what God calls abomination, do not take the Bible seriously). This blog post is for those who are felt pulled between the commands of God in Scripture, and the affection toward family and friends. This article is for those who do believe that sex is reserved for a heterosexual marriage covenant, but who find that commitment painful.
Now that I’ve properly offended and burnt bridges, let’s consider some very basic principles:
This worry may be new to you, but it is not a new thing. It is not a new problem for Christians.
“What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9.
This means that at the very least, you are not the first person who loves God who feels pulled to love someone in disobedience to Him. You feel harsh in refusing to accept and embrace a person who is living a life contrary to Scripture. If this is not a new problem, it also means that humans have not really created any new ways to offend God. We have, however, made those ways publicly available in ways unheard of in previous generations. What was once done and said in secret is now, literally, proclaimed in the streets and from rooftops.
Your first loyalty is to God.
Jesus made it very clear that the greatest commandment, indeed all of God’s commands, are to be taken at face value, and taken seriously:
Matthew 22:37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (quoting Deuteronomy 6:5; also see Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27).
Matthew 22:39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself (citing Leviticus 19:18).
Matthew 5:18–19 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
To apply these three passages means that there are hard choices to make in life. Again, let’s be reminded that these challenges are not new. Christians have always had to make difficult decisions, decisions that are costly even to the point of death. We who live at this present time are no exception. Being faithful can cost a human love.
The Bible asserts repeatedly that 1) there is one God; 2) it isn’t us. Governments, schools, media and all, have repeatedly asserted their authority over what determines a human life (abortion), when that life may end (euthanasia) and what it means to be human—gender fluidity. The Bible calls this kind of behaviour, idolatry, and the Christian can have none of it. Read Romans 1:18ff for an interesting description of its outcome.
Our first love, our affection and interest, must be God. It is our goal, our duty, our love, to please God. In any and all kinds of human relationships, this is the foundation, the starting-point; and this has consequences.
Jesus said that, to be His disciple, we must even hate our families:
Luke 14:26 If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
This passage is a hard one, not to understand, but to apply. The Bible as a whole tells us that we are to love our families, and honour our parents. But whatever else can be said about this difficult passage, it is clear: that if we love God, our own families will see our love of God as an act of hate. A Christian, being faithful to the God of Scripture, will be accused of hating those who do not share the Christian’s love. In other words, “If you really love me, you’d not be so insistent about all this God stuff.”
We must love God first, then love others. But neither we nor others get to choose the meaning of “love.”
If we have a friend or family member who is gay, for example, how do we love them? How do we love God first, and also love them? How do we know what love is? True love is seeking the best for the other person. If we play along with a same-sex marriage, for example, are we being loving? We certainly can make our lives easier by not making waves, keeping our head low, and getting through the incident. But remember, weddings have honeymoons. Is it loving to applaud that?
Your love will certainly be doubted by those who want you to do something wrong; and to many, your refusal to go along with the whole thing, is wrong. That’s true in any human relationship. Your teenage son might question your love if you don’t allow him to have his girlfriend sleep over, but it is wrong for a parent to allow that. If this stings a bit, please keep reading.
Paul writes, “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:8—10).
Today this is turned on its head: “love is the abolishment of the law.” All rules, taboos, regulations, limits must be cast off in the name of love. But we do not get to have our own private meanings of words, and the term “love” is no exception. God tells us what love is, and we work with that, and build our lives accordingly.
The Biblical worldview is so far removed from our present time that is nearly impossible for some to hear it, to understand it. Instead, the Biblical love-ethic is painted as hateful and loathsome.
The Biblical version of love, rather than eliminating the law, keeps and fulfills it:
11 Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. 12 The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires (Romans 13:11–14).
Note what Paul lists as works of darkness (sin, evil). Now ask yourself: to encourage and support what God calls darkness; is it loving, or hatred? Have we not reversed love and hate, if we encourage that which eternally separates us from God? Are we so very insecure in a relationship, do we fear its breakdown so much, that we will bless what God calls darkness?
Nothing has changed. Not only is this not a new problem, but our society’s embracing of a false worldview does not change reality. To change our minds is not to change anything at all, besides our minds: sins are still sins, abominations are still abominations. Same sex couples are biologically and spiritually incompatible. Same-sex marriage is therefore an impossibility at the same level as a square circle.
I repeat: Changing your mind about a subject only means that you have changed your mind. It does not change reality. If you are a Christian, the final reality is what is revealed in Scripture, but also in nature. Now it does seem that many have changed their minds lately. In fact, it may seem that there are only a few holdouts, and you may begin to wonder if “you alone are wise.” That last quote is from Martin Luther, whose massive reformation caused him to doubt himself. We sometimes begin to doubt our position because so many others reject it. Romans 3:4 “. . . Let God be true though every one were a liar.”
Being right can be very lonely, but being alone does not mean you’re wrong,
The Christian ought not to expect approval, but disapproval from the world. In your circle (family, friends, school, neighbourhood or work) you may well be the only one who believes God’s Word and are prepared to live by it. But you are not as alone as you think you are, which is my next point.
The opposition to God’s design for human sexuality may not be as great as it seems. The sexual revolution has for decades demanded a release from all restrictions, law, and morals with respect to sexuality. In 2017 it seems, because of media captivity to that revolution, that there is no resistance left. But there is this: if God created the universe and all that is in it, if His decrees are unchanging, then sexual ethics do not change, and the culture is pushing hard against reality.
Be certain of this: same-sex couples, triads, and transgendered people cannot, without outside interference (or denying what they claim about themselves) produce a child. Men are incompatible with men, and likewise women with women. The reality is that gender does equal sex, and that is a chromosomal makeup that cannot be altered, no matter the surgeries or hormone therapies. Reality cannot be denied forever.
There are great spiritual and natural forces working for God’s view of things.
You cannot be loyal to God and approve of evil. It follows that you cannot be faithful to God and participate in things God calls evil. This means that you can’t attend the wedding, even if it is a person close to you, whom you truly love. You don’t send a gift. You stay put, with God and His people. You can’t buy your son dress and makeup, and pay for his hormone therapy. You can’t celebrate a disordered existence. To celebrate it is to approve of it, and this is the demand of the culture we now have. Would you make the appointment for your daughter’s abortion? Would you drive your mother to the euthanasia clinic?
Being true is a hard thing, but it is the expression of both love to God, and love the person who is wrapped up in sexual sin.
Scripture tells us what is, and is not, permitted; feelings come second to God’s Word. This article is not the place to lay out the clear teaching of Scripture regarding the sins of the sexual revolution, which summarized is, “sexual activity of any kind, with any person, animal, thing, in any place and any time,” but without consequences. It also includes the sense of entitlement that sexual activity is never shamed and must always be accepted and applauded.
Even if you’ve “broadened your horizons,” be prepared for more expectations from The Pit. Perhaps you have opened the door to same-sex activity to the point of, “Let them marry. Who am I to say who someone else can love?” You might be able to sooth your conscience a bit about it, but you’ve opened a door that others may have to block shut later. How, by abandoning God’s Word, can you deny other’s sexual pleasure with an even greater “diversity?” This, of course, speaks to the growing demand for polygamy, open relationships, incest, bestiality and a host of other things not yet invented. By removing all standards, what is left?
Some will say this is unnecessarily alarmist, and I’m invoking the “slippery slope” argument, that one thing leads to another. Onward, then, to my next point.
The slippery slope argument is a fallacy only if no one actually slips. The problem is, some slopes are very slippery. It wasn’t that long ago that same-sex relationships were to be tolerated, but nothing beyond that. As a society, we’ve come far beyond that, and to quote Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, “Old Charlie stole the handle (throttle) and the train won’t stop going–No way to slow down.” These lyrics probably refer to Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution, but apply here. Once the “handle” of God’s rule over creation has been removed, what will stop the train? Is there a point past which you will not go? How do you establish that point, having removed the first boundary?
So if you are concerned (and you should be), that the so-called progressive view of sexuality is moving in some very bad directions, one slope at a time, you are not committing a logical fallacy. Some slopes are very slippery and very fast.
Be Christ-like, but know what Christ was like. You probably have friends, even Christian friends, who say that to oppose a loving relationship that the Bible says is neither legal nor loving, makes you into a Pharisee, legalist, unloving, and probably hypocritical person. The mantra of the day is “Do not judge” which Jesus did say, along with a clear list of things that Jesus expects his followers to be judgemental about.
Jesus hates hypocrites, so don’t be one. Jesus hated sin, so don’t sin. Be as intolerant of sin in yourself as you are of sin in others. Be consistent.
The Christian is commanded to change by the God Who does not change. In Romans 12:2, Paul pleads with his readers, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” It is this world in which we live, one that is trying at every moment to conform your thinking, and therefore your life, to its standards. The world will lie, and tell you that to be stubborn about this is a form of bigotry and hate. Remember this: the world lies.
All Christians should be growing toward God’s will, not away from it. If we are Christians, our minds will be transformed so that we will think less like the world today than we did a year ago. If you are growing in sympathy to all things LGBTQ you are growing, but not towards God or Christ-likeness. The verse just ahead of the one I quote is this: “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship (Romans 12:1). If you hope to do the work of transformation and mind-renewal, you must submit yourself (body, mind, and soul) as a living sacrifice. Remember the great commandment of Deuteronomy 6?
With respect to sin, be the one to whom a friend can return, not a fellow-traveler. Leave the lights on, “let the lower lights be burning.” If a person is lost, they need a place to return to, a person who has never left. Many will regret their decisions in this life, and will need much guidance and encouragement. If you are a fellow-traveler by approving of sin, you will be of little help if they repent of it. This means entire Christian denominations will die off.
Be as good a person as you can, without compromising truth. This means that you are kind, hopeful, prayerful, and not simply mean and rude. What you say and do may be thought of as unkind, even hateful, but that doesn’t make it so. Be certain that what you do and say reflect the heart of a person who is trying to help a lost person find his way home.
- Stay strong, even when those close to you capitulate. Even the eleven were surprised at Judas’ defection. Don’t blame yourself if you don’t see it coming.