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Explain this to me…

This post has been a long time coming.  (And I mean years.)

The last year has been a year of Jesus really working on my heart when it comes to loving people regardless of who they are. First, let me give you some background, though.

After getting engaged last June, I started trying to figure out who would be in my bridal party.  In the process of picking my bridesmaids, I almost didn’t pick one of my best friends and cousin who I run this blog with.  Why?  Because I was worried about what other people would think about Ryan being a “bridesmaid” (a title he’s okay with) and not a “groomsman.”

Can I gently explain something to you?  It doesn’t matter how feel about Ryan being transgender.  It doesn’t matter how you feel about it.

Here’s what matters:

  • We’re not to judge anyone else.

Judge not, that you be not judged.  For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:1-3 ESV)

  • That we treat everyone in the LGBTQ community with love and respect.  Because, guess what, church?  They’re not getting it.  I see it all the time.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34 ESV)

  • Realize that although someone may identify as LGBTQ, that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily acting on it.  (Do I have to say that?)
  • Stop ostracizing them!
  • If someone tells you they’re LGBTQ, don’t tell them they’re wrong.  (Seriously?) Understand that there’s a difference between an educated, biblical discussion about the matter and a rude, ignorant one that’s going to ruin your relationship with them.

So, if anyone has a problem with one of my bridesmaids wearing pants… that’s your issue, not mine.  Because Ryan will be in my wedding party along with the rest of my bridesmaids.  

Disclaimer  By no means am I supporting or affirming same sex marriage or relationships.  However, I have heard enough stories on my own (and my circle isn’t that big!) of the church flat out rejecting people that have admitted they were LGBTQ. ***

So, why is this post titled, explain this to me?

As someone whose heart breaks for those who many churches leave behind and just tend to forget and overlook (not all churches, please do not think I’m saying all churches here).  The churches that do exceedingly well here, please keep doing what you’re doing!  You’re doing amazing work fulfilling the Great Commission.  While the church as a whole has made strides when it comes to helping others in need and becoming more diversified.  Why can we not allow our brothers and sisters who identify as LGBTQ to serve and be a part of the body of believers? It still amazes me and irritates me.

Check out these previous posts!

Take Me to Church … Literally

Yeah, I Wanna Get Married Young (Original Post)

Dating Someone Who Doesn’t Love Jesus

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The Christ-Like Response to the LGBTQ Community

Taken by Peter Baker from https://www.flickr.com/photos/wrathdelivery/4592987200/in/photolist-7ZSg5u-bPN3Tn-bPN9u8-bPMNfc-bASW33-bPMfA8-ykNBZ-ffH4gf-bPN71D-bPN8Bx-bPMSB8-bATgxj-bASRg3-bASqZu-bPN2iH-bASMdy-bATsZ3-bPM53V-bPMhdK-bPMMpx-bATpMS-bPN35B-bAT6Vb-bPNarv-bPMUqM-bPMRLz-bATmKd-bATePq-bASDj5-bPMq9n-bASJUj-bASSfw-bPMJV4-bPMy8M-91gLe7-bPMLyn-bPMu3g-bPMCvi-bASNgo-brfato-91gVRQ-bASPf7-9nVGv-7mBSUW-7r7iCW-ffGQGU-8QMtJy-dVzkEr-6SznFn-aPMjdZ under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ license.
Taken by Peter Baker from Flickr under Creative Commons license.

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Before I say anything other than this short intro, we are going to start just with Bible verses that we will later use for main points:

  • “For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” Galatians 5:14
  • “There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you–who are you to judge your neighbor?” James 4:12 NIV
  • “When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.’ Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ ‘No one, sir’ she said. ‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.'” John 8:7-11 NIV
  • “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

So what should we take from these verses?

  • “For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” Galatians 5:14

Followers of Christ should be loving.  What does that look like?

  • “Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV

We are not to only love certain people based upon who they are, whether it be their sexuality, their race, their religion, whatever it may be.  We love across these “borders.” Jesus did.  That’s the only reason that I am able to have a relationship with my creator.  I have sinned and fallen short of God’s glorious standard and therefore deserve death as a result.  That’s what I deserve..

  • “There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you–who are you to judge your neighbor?” James 4:12 NIV

But Jesus came to earth and died on a cross so that you and I can have a relationship with God.  God is the only One who has a right to judge anyone that is not in Christ.

  • “When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.’ Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ ‘No one, sir’ she said. ‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.'” John 8:7-11 NIV

Jesus essentially looks around and says “Last time I checked you’re just as messed up if not more messed up than she is.  What right do you have to have stones in your hands?” How dare we think about telling anyone else how sinful their life is before dealing with the sin in our own lives?

So we can’t judge anyone, does that mean that homosexuality is not a sin?

  • “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

No, that’s not what it means. It means that because we are sinful human beings, we do not have the authority to judge others. It means that Christians shouldn’t ever be “against” another person.  You can be against something that someone did/does without being against them.  Yes, it is completely and totally possible.  The Gospel is for everyone.  

“Brothers and sisters in Christ should hold each other accountable for sin.

“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently.  But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.  Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:1-2

As well as reaching out beyond the church walls, it is important to build each other up within.  Christians must hold each other accountable with every sin, including homosexuality.