To all of those who belong to the LGBTQ Community,
I owe all of you an apology.
I owe you an apology because the church, which is the Body of Christ, the universal church that I belong to, has not done its job.
I ask for your forgiveness that some of the people who are within the visible church have not told you the truth concerning Christianity. We have taught people to pursue their purpose and their dream destiny is what God wants them to do. We have instructed people that God wants Christians to be rich, have better sex, or have great well-behaved children. We have turned Christianity into an exercise of morality. A series of “do these things” and “Don’t do these things” in order to be righteous and loved before God.
Simply put, we have not told you the proper distinction of Law and Gospel. Either we have given you just Law and condemnation, which have led many to despair, or we have given you all gospel and no Law at all, which has led to flat out rebellion against God’s word. We, as the church, have not proclaimed clearly the clarion call of what the word of God says.
So let me begin.
Let me start with the Law.
Homosexuality is a sin, and those who participate in this sinful act have earned the wrath of God. However, I desire to entertain a hypothetical argument: Let us suppose that homosexuality was not an sin. LGBTQ community, let me ask you a series of questions:
Have you ever lied?
Have you ever disrespected your parents?
Have you ever stolen (does not matter the object or amount)?
Have you ever been jealous of someone else’s personal possessions?
Have you ever cheated someone out of something you wanted?
Have you ever been intoxicated?
Have you ever blew up at someone?
Have you ever caused trouble or hostility between two or more people?
If you have said yes to any one (or all) of these things, you have committed sins against God and you still are not righteous before God! Even if homosexuality was not a sin, you have 8 other sins (and more I have not mentioned for the sake of brevity) that you have committed. One of the many places in Sacred Scripture where this is found in Galatians which says,
19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God (Gal. 5:19-20 NASB).
You observe there is more than just homosexuality listed (this is implied in the word “immorality”). Scripture says when you have broken one law you have broken the entire law (cf. James 2:11). This is in thought, word, and deed as well. So, to conclude, even if homosexuality (or in this case “immorality”) was not a sinful act before God, you still do not quality for righteousness before and just and holy God, because in your thoughts, words, and actions, you have been hostile towards God, and hostile towards your neighbor due to your sinful nature. Therefore you are still found guilty and deserve eternal damnation.
But you know what LGBTQ community, I am guilty as well.
The Law has condemned me also. I have been intoxicated, envious, and have caused hostility between people. I have been involved in witchcraft in the past, and have disrespected my parents (even as a young boy). This has earned me the wrath of God as well. I am sinner, just like you. I have been found guilty by God’s perfect and holy Law in my conscience, just like you. I have earned eternal separation from God for all my sins, just like you. This is why Romans 3:22b-23 is so important:
…for there is no distinction; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (NASB).
All of us are held accountable to God by the Law, and there are no excuses for all of us. Due to our thoughts, words, and deeds we all have fallen, and continue, to fall short of God’s glory.
Now for the Gospel.
Yet there is good news! Even though we all deserve eternal separation from God, we have been given a full and complete pardon by the death of Christ. God has displayed His love for us by sending Christ to take on our sin and our wrath that we deserved for our sin, on Himself. This is what Paul was had wrote in his letter to the Romans:
6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Rom. 5:6-8 NASB).
Yes, homosexuality is a sin. However it is one of many sins that Christ died for. Just like lying, cheating, disrespecting parents, strife, intoxication, etc. All of these are sins that Christ on the cross has died for and has won reconciliation and salvation for you, and me. The peace, comfort, and forgiveness of all your sins (past, present, and future).
It is through the blood of Christ that you and I have been reconciled to God, if you receive His extravagant gift for you. It is through the cross of Christ that you and I have been made white as snow, and it is by the blood of Christ and His forgiveness that you are not to identify yourself by your sexuality. For if you believe that Christ is truly your Savior, then you are now identified, not as a homosexual, but as a saint. You are a new creation by the Holy Spirit, and have died to your former way of life and are raised to newness of life in baptism. His forgiveness to you is affirmed every time you partake in the Lord’s Supper. You are now an expression of God’s mercy and grace, given to you and me.
Once more I ask for your forgiveness LGBTQ Community. The church has been off topic, has taught all Law and little to no gospel, and it has resulted in confusion and distrust in the church. I would also admit some of the visible church have not been as gracious and merciful, and some of us have not spoken out against injustices committed against you. We should have spoke out. Not because you are homosexual, but because you are human beings, created by God, and are fellow sinners who need the forgiveness of sins in Jesus name.
However I also apologize for those in the church who have turned a blind eye and have accepted this particular sin, watering down God’s truth because they do not want to offend anyone, yet preaching against all other sins and calling them out plainly for what they are. This does not help you either, because one may walk around as if there is nothing to repent and receive forgiveness for. This is what God’s word says, and we must proclaim it as a sin, but we must be respectful and plead that you receive His forgiveness, not insult and berate you to the Messiah. This did not work with me, and it sure will not persuade you. You, like me, are sinners who need the grace and reconciliation of God.
I end this blog with an quote from John Chrysostom (349-407 A.D.), which sums this up best. In his Homilies on 1 Timothy, 4.1. He writes:
“What then was it that was thought incredible? That those who were enemies, and sinners, neither justified by the law, not by works, should immediately through faith alone be advanced to the highest favor. Upon this head accordingly Paul has discoursed at length in his Epistle to the Romans, and here again at length. ‘This is a faithful saying,’ he says, ‘and worthy if all acceptation, that Christ came into the world to save sinners.'”
Until next time…
Soli Deo Gloria!