• Homosexuality and the way we talk to one another

    March 19, 2012

    Over the course of the Gay Posts, I’ve received a couple similar responses from folks I know, people who once were my good friends, many, many years ago. The most recent comment said, “I guess if one tried hard enough they could explain away and justify adultery, lying, murder …” The not-so-veiled suggestion, of course, is that I’m simply trying to justify my sin. I couldn’t possibly have a good motive in what I’m attempting with these posts, and somehow the person making the comment knows this. Another previous comment was even more pointed. It said, “When you’re done justifying your sin, I’d like you tell me how I can justify my lust because that’s easier than repenting.”

    These responses are so shocking they literally take my breath away for a moment when I first read them. It’s not just the awfulness of the comments. It’s that I know these people! They’re people I went to college with. We prayed together. Worshipped together. Laughed and enjoyed life together. Now, this is all that remains because one of us took a non-traditional view of a moral issue. These comments, while more shocking when coming from “friends,” would be totally inappropriate for any Christian.

    They are arrogant.
    Somehow the authors of these statements are blessed in their own minds with an ability to know my true motives in writing these posts, and to know that those motives are evil. They are able to tell what even my closest friends cannot. They know that I am simply justifying my sin. And they know this, having had no contact with me in years. They know this, having not sat beside me a single day as I poured over thousands of pages on the culture and context of Scripture. And they know this, having had not a single conversation with anyone who has walked with me in the last ten years of life. If they had, they would know or at least strongly suspect that my motives are better than that.

    They are unkind.
    Even if you thought someone was simply justifying their sin, would it ever be appropriate to respond in a snarky manner? When Paul encountered people living in sin, his response was not, “Hey, let me hop on Facebook and see what clever retort I can fire off.” Instead, he wrote, “I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame” (Philippians 3:18-19, emphasis, mine). Paul was clear about what he saw as the final destiny of such people, but he wasn’t happy about it. He wasn’t vengeful or rude, either. He was sad. He was grieved. He wept! He certainly didn’t make nasty, unkind comments. How is that going to turn anyone? Paul said, “Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:25-26, emphasis, mine).

    And even as I write this, I am painfully aware of my own cheeky attacks I’ve made in the past which I’ve fired off in anger or self-righteous zeal, reaping a quick hit of dopamine at my clever turn of phrase and grieving God’s heart in the process. For these moments of selfish pleasure, I repent.

    Posted in: The Gay Posts

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