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    Thursday, May 17, 2012

    The Homosexual Fog

    I'm pretty sure that many will disagree somewhat with this post, but this issue has been a big discussion all around, not just this month but for years now.

      The church has wrestled, fought, argued and gotten a bit scrappy on this issue.

      The world around us has fought back with similar vigor.

      I'm not into culture wars, so I mean no flare ups from either camp (although I may incur some), I simply feel the desire to shed some light in areas that we seem to be missing.

    1. Homosexuality is NOT the main issue facing the church
       Sadly both the liberal Christians and the Conservative Christians have made this single issue "the issue".  Many have focused their entire lives on either side of the issue, reading Scripture through a "for" or "against" stance. Both sides do this with a sense of "Fighting Satan" or "Fighting Hate" but at this point, those war cries are bogus, maybe they always were bogus.  Many would say that fighting against this issue may offend some, but the Gospel is offensive, my answer is if your Gospel is only anti-gay you're missing a huge piece of the Gospel...Jesus.  The Cross is what's offensive.  His death, for our sins, which includes his dying for the sin of homosexuality, other sexual sins and the sins of the people holding the signs, declaring a "Gospel war".  Jesus is the main issue facing the church and He always has been. 

    "This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone" (Acts 4:11 ESV)

     By making Homosexuality the issue, both camps lose focus on Jesus and the cross.  The Holy Spirit within us calls us to live the Story of Jesus in this world, and He gives us the power to do so.  Jesus isn't always a nice happy clappy guy, but he does love deeply.  Jesus called people out on their sins, but he did so in love.  The woman caught in adultery, the same sin of sexual immorality, was first protected by Jesus, then he lovingly said: "Now leave this life of sin".  The implication was that he could offer something better than the sins she allowed to rule her life.  Does God have something better for homosexuals?  Yes.  Does he have something better for us?  Yes.

      The fog has been created by the enemy in order for us to take our eyes off the real issue: Jesus.  Sadly, we are more focused on will their be Gay marriage than is Jesus being preached.  We're more willing to put a self proclaimed cult leader (Mormonism is a cult) then ever before, because of this single issue. 

    Not saying one candidate is better than the other, just saying we are allowing the enemy to FOG us to death and He's winning the battle by taking our eyes of the main thing.

    2. My Generation is Leaving the church because of this issue
       Many young people in my generation are using this issue to hang their "I'm done with church" hat on, the fog of this issue has clouded their minds as well as the generations above.  Let me first talk to my generation.  Guys, this is not the issue to hang it up on.  Don't pack it all in, don't sell out.  Maybe God is speaking to many of you about this issue and I truly believe he's calling us to be middle ground people, not far right or far left on this issue.  The Bible is clear on many things and sexual immorality is one of them.  Our generation has struggled with sexual temptation more so than any others.  The availability of porn, the free open sex relationships, friends with benefits all of these issues have clouded our thinking on sexual conduct and the enemy has won some ground on how we think about sex, giving us over to thinking these things are OK but they are NOT.  We need to re-learn the Bible and re-learn true sexual intimacy.  If God is calling you to help make a change in the church...leaving won't help.  We may get frustrated, we may get down but if the Spirit is truly leading us, then He in us will make headway, He will turn His people back to himself and He may call us to help make the change.  Don't run like so many in our generation do, stay the course and be used to make the change, not just blog and complain about it.

      Older generations: don't allow one particular sin blind you from the rest.  Don't allow my generations voice to turn you completely away from us.  When a young person speaks and you completely dismiss everything, you cause more pain than you know and in so doing you prove my generation right about how they see/think about you.  I know you care.  I know you love, don't be so quick to dismiss us or call us heretics as many have done.  There are a good number of us who hold to the Scriptures, who Love Jesus and who are filled with the Spirit.  It will be on us who hold to Jesus and to course correct our generation because sadly, when you're gone we will need to hold the fort.  Please pour into us, pour in with love, passion and Jesus.  Pour the word over us, not by bashing it into us but by lovingly talking it out.  Don't push us away, I beg you.  I won't, leave because God has called me to be a bridge but many of my generation will keep leaving if our voice is completely ignored.  Debate with us, help us see when and where we're wrong but don't dismiss us.

    This issue is a FOG folks, let's all look to Jesus, let's pray to Him, let's allow His Spirit to permeate all we say and do.  I think then we'll see this issue isn't the giant we need to slay, but simply a fog blocking the real enemy from view.


    Becky W said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Becky W said...

    Thank you for posting about this issue Marv. You're awesome! :)

    Brian Kirk said...

    Marv, as you know, you and I see this issue from different perspectives. I see being gay as simply one more expression of human sexuality just like being straight. But what you lay out here, I think, makes a lot of sense. I too wish the Church could stop being so fixated on this issue. What all of us, liberals and conservatives, fundamentalists and progressives, etc. should be doing is focusing on where we can find common ground (I hope) and that is Jesus. We will not bring people to the faith with our constant arguing over this issue and our demonizing of those who disagree with us. So thanks for sharing your thoughtful point of view on this. I hope others will listen.

    Marv Nelson said...

    @Becky W. Thanks for the encouragement. I hope we can clear the fog and see the bigger enemy lurking behind it!

    @Brian Kirk, thank you brother for your words. I knew your perspective before I asked you to read because I respect you despite our differing views. I think that is one step the church needs is to stop the infighting and look at the big picture together. Again, thanks for taking the time.

    Jen M said...

    Well said, Brian Kirk. I struggle with this. It's a really tough subject for me. On one hand, I know it's a sin and that sin separates us from God. On the other hand, I know that grace saves our souls and wipes the slate clean. I also know that the sin of homosexuality is no worse than my sin of arrogance and pride.

    In the past, I would have just thrown the conservative card out there and made a politically aligned statement of, "it's awful and wrong and YES OF COURSE it's an issue to be taken seriously in elections." But now, I'm not so sure. I have Christian friends who have "switched teams". I have a transexual family member. I have gay friends. Do I really love these people? Do I really care about them enough to step outside of my awkwardness and love them where they're at and trust the Holy Spirit to do the work of changing hearts? Is a political statement important enough to make, that I might alienate those whom I love in the process?

    I waffle. I'm on the fence. But I know one thing for sure: there is no where in the Gospel that says my political leanings need to be in one direction of or the other. There is no where in the Gospel that tells me how to vote for a leader, and on what basis. So I pray, I love, I try to be humble, and I fail. A lot. And at the end of the day, I hope that my heart is fixed enough on Christ that my decisions and my words follow in a way that is honoring to him.

    Is that an answer? Probably not. But this has been on my mind a LOT lately, and your article (which I thank you for writing!!!) is just more food for thought.

    Anonymous said...

    Marvin ty for posting this. It seems as though Jesus has brought this issue straight to my front door. I have had gay people hurt, confused, bitter towards Christians shoving this issue. You know where i stand as far as sin is concerned. Hate the sin love the sinner. You are absolutely right we have created this issue and it has clouded our focus of showing people the love of Christ. Im not saying to condone what theyre doing, but build a relationship, love the sinner, let them see Christ in you. When someone asks me my thoughts i quote scripture but lets not forget sin is sin... so if your completely blameless go ahead and cast the first stone. For me as a married women ive had moments im not proud of it was my husbands love for Christ that brought me to my realization not pointing the finger. I thank you for this, in the last few months ive had homosexual people devastated theyve had people closest to them disown them. It is heartbreaking. Ty for going there.

    Anonymous said...

    Also i have enough to worry about with my own walk with God... thanks Marvin

    Kathy said...

    Marv, you definitely make a great point here. Jesus should be the focus, always, yet so many people have turned away from Him because Christians (or self-proclaimed Christians) hurt, abuse, and demean others in His name. Homosexuality is one of those topics that turn people from Jesus because church people lack compassion for others and have lost focus on Jesus. As for myself, I'm on the fence about this topic because not only am I a newer Christian still trying to learn so much, but as Jen stated above, there are people I love that are gay, people that I know God loves, too. Just as I don't get the heat behind politics, I don't get the heat behind homosexuality. I think what you say is right, the way Jesus handled sin and sinners. I think we should all look at our own sin and get angry about our own sin before we throw stones at homosexuals because sin is sin is sin is sin. I am judgemental, and it makes me angry! No matter how hard I try, I judge people and then hate myself for it. The Bible says that my sin of being judgemental is just the same as someone being gay. So wouldn't our time and energy be better spent if we took it all and used it to work on our own sins? To walk closer with Christ instead of doing damage to His Kingdom with this never-ever-going-to-end-I-don't-care-how-passionate-you-are-about-your-side debate on homosexuality? Like Brian said above, we do have common ground: Jesus. That is what... or WHO we should focus all our energies on.

    neatr_natr said...

    John Piper framed any sin issue well for me when he said, " when you gain a passion for the holiness of God everything will change. You view of sin will no longer be viewing it as the gaining of pleasure but the loss of pleasure. You will see it as the horror of demeaning the work of Christ on the cross. " Like Marv alluded to homosexuality is not the central issue plaguing the church, a lack of a serious view of sin is what p,afire all people's and when I say that I do not mean it in terms of condemnation but rather as a separation from our creator. CS Lewis said "it is not that our desires are too strong for heaven it is that they are too weak." When a person settles for sex of any kind as a substitute for an all fulfilling relationship with God they are settling for a "Judas joy", a traitorous poison. This is the message we should be shouting from th e rooftops and proclaiming
    The electric, energizing, liberating force that is Gods love who leaves no one to die in their sin but acts as a free gift. We have allowed this single issue to intoxicate us and fill us with self righteousness or an overly permissive attitude believing we know better than God. Yet somehow God continues to pursue us.

    neatr_natr said...

    Here is the sermon I pulled that Piper quote from and I tell everyone to watch it http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/conference-messages/a-generation-passionate-for-gods-holiness

    Anonymous said...

    Your thinking strongly from a biblical perspective, from an outer view what's wrong with homosexuality? Absolutely nothing. Homosexuality is found within the majority of all species, so Why would we as humans be the exception. And also we as Christians are spreading gods love. Really isn't that what it's all about? Whos the church, Christians, or even you to tell some one that the love they feel is wrong?

    neatr_natr said...

    If the. Biblical commands of the Bible hold no sway than Gods love is meaningless.
    1 Cor. 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for, "Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.
    Choose to look to the creator of the animals for life's
    major questions,, when you can point to another issue solved by animals then that argument holds sway. Scooby doo doesn't count.

    Marv Nelson said...

    @Jen M Thanks for the additional insight, I too have homosexual friends and they know my views, but also know I love them...it doesn't have to be a contention among us if we simply treat each other as normal humans.

    @Lori H, thanks for your input too, glad to hear what God is doing through you, even if it gets tough we are the light

    @neatr_natr great points!

    @anonymous Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, it's tough because you chose not to disclose your ID, in blogging its helpful for us to know if I know you or not. If we know each other, please feel no fear to disclose to me personally (marvin.nelson@acac.net) if you fear your views will be judged. It's good to work on these things together. If I don't know you, thanks for stopping by and adding your thoughts. I will disagree with you on homosexuality being found in most species, that fact as far as I have researched is simply not true. In most species, there simply wouldn't be a "need" or a desire for it. I would go back and check that research you've done and email me to show me, so if I am wrong I can admit it. You are right, I hold to a strong Biblical perspective, I believe the Word of God is infallible and is God's love letter to us on how we are to live...not for "religious" reasons but because He, the creator designed us and he left a manual on how we work best. It's about spreading God's love through the message of Christ's death and resurrection, and His death was needed because of our sins. All sin is sin at the foot of the cross, my sin is as bad as anyone's sin, so I am no better and would never claim to be better. God's love is what drew Christ to the cross, but if all we say is God loves you and leave it there, we have missed sharing the whole Gospel.Lastly, God, in His word clearly says: God is love 1 John 4:16, so if you do not know God, you do not know Love.

    Courtney Grondziowski said...

    Pastor Marvin, this could not have come at a better time! I was just talking with some friends of mine, and they were suprised, me being a very conservative Christian, that I support Gay rights. Here's my point: God created all of us in his own image, died on the cross for all of us, and loves all of us. So why should I judge someone for their imperfections, when I am imperfect too? A sin a a sin, one is not "worse" than the other. Now, I do believe that homosexuality is a sin, and the only way to heaven is asking for forgiveness of those sins. What the church should be doing is embracing this sin, and accept their flaws, just as Jesus accepted the flaws of us. In fact, I think this issue expands further than homosexuality. We as the church, should not condemn those who are broken and in need of God's love. The Bible calls us to be more like Jesus, loving and accepting of those who have sinned. Whether it is homosexuality, stealing, or premarital sex, we as the church should step out to embrace and not shun those people in need, because we all struggle with things in our life. So thanks for posting!