Good Morning Brothers and Sisters…
Most of you know that I am a builder by trade. and a pastor by vocation. I do both, I enjoy both, and I see houses built and raised with both. Some houses are built with timber, others are built on the promises of God. The Church is abuzz with conversations about homosexuality and the validity of that lifestyle within the blessing and grace of God. I too, am caught up with this conversation because of my trade and my vocation, but most importantly because of my faith. As a Christian, I have the responsibility to uphold the edicts of God and the tenants of the faith, whether I am building with timber, or building on the promises. Either way, my faith cannot be left at one door and picked up again at the other door. My faith must remain with me in whatever “construction meeting” I find myself in.
This has shaped my view of ‘homosexuals’ and the homosexual ‘agenda’. Homosexuals are people. The homosexual agenda is an attempt to replace God. Let me explain it this way; the homosexual lifestyle is sinful, but not any more sinful than couples of the opposite sex living together who are not married. Not any more sinful than married couples cheating on each other with other partners or through pornographic fantasy. In other words, homosexuals are people in need of grace and forgiveness just like every other human being. The ‘agenda’ is a different story because it seeks to replace God. The argument used by the ‘agenda’ is that homosexuality is natural and justified because some people are born with this attraction, therefore, it cannot be wrong. This debate has made its way into the Church and the Church counters the ‘born with’ argument with this argument, “No you’re not” or with this agreement, “Yes, you are, I guess it’s okay…kind of”.
Here is the problem, when the Church argues “No you’re not”, the conversation veers away from grace and forgiveness and veers onto a road filled with psychological theory, mistrust, and the narcissistic need to be right…by both sides. When the Church agrees “Yes, you are, I guess it’s okay…kind of”, then the Church has let an idol in the door and created room for that idol right next the altar of an Almighty God. I use the word ‘idol’ on purpose, because that ‘idol’ is self. Here me out; the ‘agenda’ is trying to convince the world (and the Church) that ‘born with’ homosexuality is okay, because it would make the needs of self…preeminent. It would also open Pandora’s box to make all sins debatable under the guise of ‘born with’. This means that every affliction (sin) of man would become okay because we were born with it (can you imagine that mess). The ‘agenda’ is trying to create a ‘doctrine of original sin’ that justifies sin. This negates God and the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
As a Christian builder, of both structures and lives, I must make decisions on this topic. Will I build a house for a homosexual couple, or will I turn them away? Will I introduce a homosexual couple to the faith, or will I turn them away? Through much thought, prayer, and study of the Sacred Scriptures, I believe my choice has been formed more thoroughly by the Lord blessing me through the following prayer:
A Franciscan Blessing
May God bless us with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that we may live deep within our hearts.
May God bless us with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that we may work for justice, freedom, and peace.
May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, hunger, and war, so that we may reach out our hands to comfort them and turn their pain into joy.
And may God bless us with enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in this world, so that we can do what others claim cannot be done, to bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.
Asking the Lord to bless me with discomfort, anger, tears, and foolishness has caused me to see the difference between the sinner and the sin. I love homosexuals because I love sinners. I love sinners because I love people. Jesus died for sinners while they were still sinners. The Church refers to His march to the Cross as His ‘passion’. Jesus loved sinners passionately. The blood that He shed at the Cross washes sinners. The stain of sin is removed from sinners. The blood of Jesus did not, and does not, wash sins. Sins are just as black and nasty now as they have ever been. When the blood of Jesus washes the sins from the sinner, the sinner is clean, but the removed sins are still dirty…they just aren’t attached to the sinner any longer. The line I have drawn both occupationally and vocationally is this: I will build for the homosexual, both in timber and in promises. I will not build for the ‘agenda’…either way. My prayer is that the Church will come to its senses and love the sinner, but reject the ‘agenda’. Accept the argument of ‘born with’ and steer the conversation right into Jesus, the Cross, grace, forgiveness, but hold the line and not let idols into the Church.
May God, who sits on His throne, bless us with discomfort, anger, tears, and foolishness.