My mom is diabetic, and must test her blood sugar daily in order to regulate her medication. This keeps her alive. She does so by pricking her finger with a needle, drawing blood … but just a drop or two. I’ve witnessed this many times; and after regaining consciousness, I’m always inspired by her resiliency to endure this day after day.
I recently enjoyed an enlightening conversation with a good friend who expressed concern about another good mutual friend who happens to be gay. His concern focused on the spiritual questions surrounding homosexuality. Namely, is our friend, (whom we all know as a wonderful, exceptionally kind and loving person, who was baptized as a Christian decades ago) indeed “saved;” or is he on the outside looking in as it relates to Jesus? He was not asking in that judgmental manner which asserts that because our friend is gay, he could not possibly be a Christian … a claim that many in the church fervently uphold; but rather, with genuine loving concern. He asked my thoughts on the matter, and my answer was essentially this:
If indeed our gay friend is more alienated from God than the rest of us (non-gays), and if indeed (as I believe) we’re connected to God via the mystery of atonement by the blood of Jesus; then one must logically conclude that it takes more of that blood to save a gay person than it takes to save a straight person. I believe we arrive at this conclusion by assuming that the sin of homosexuality is fundamentally more egregious than other types of sin for which we ourselves are guilty. Please, before you hit SEND on that angry knee-jerk, beat-someone-over-the-head-with-the-Bible email; yes, I am aware of what Romans 1:26-27 (among others) says about homosexuality. These are gold-plated “go-to” verses for many who would make the aforementioned assertions regarding homosexuals. Unfortunately, they’re often yanked right out of their context (i.e. verses 18-32); which, in my opinion, clearly demonstrates that greed, envy, deceit, malice, gossip, slander, insolence (disrespect), arrogance, boastfulness, infidelity, disobedience to parents, and various general misdeeds such as refusal to love or extend mercy, and “godlessness” are equally damaging to one’s ability to affiliate with a holy God. And who among us (heterosexuals) has never fallen to one (or more) of these? And because “gay” is a sexual identification, who among us can honestly assert that we’ve never fallen to certain heterosexual sins such as fornication, adultery, lust, infidelity, etc.? Certainly not I. Furthermore, upon careful reading, it appears that all of these acts are the product or result of two fundamental sins … repressing God-revealed truth and exchanging allegiance from a true living God to a non-living man-made god(s) … aka idolatry (vss. 18-23). If I read this correctly, homosexuality is but one of many symptoms of the more elemental sins of truth-repression and God-exchange … not the actual disease itself. Nonetheless, many Christians have taken it upon themselves to treat gay people (fellow carriers of the Divine image) as if they themselves are the disease, and have banished them like lepers outside the city (or church) walls. And we wonder why they hate us … and why they think we (and perhaps God by extension) hate them?
This homosexuality issue remains an ongoing quandary among Christians today. But we could easily substitute homosexuality for any brand of sin that any of us believes to surpass the severity of our own. We often seem all too eager to assert that their sins (with which we do not struggle) are far more egregious than ours. And as such, logic dictates that it takes more of Jesus’ blood to cleanse their sins than it takes to cleanse ours. Of course, we don’t make that leap consciously. Who would dare to say such a thing out loud? But it is the subconscious product of our own misguided logical equation. To this we must ask ourselves, “Just how much of Jesus’ blood did it take to save me?” By virtue of the measuring stick we apply to others (i.e. homosexuals), many of us seem to believe that Jesus could have saved us in much the same manner that my sweet mom checks her blood sugar. But biblical history teaches otherwise. Apparently, Jesus evaluated my sins just as seriously as those of any gay person; because he shed the same amount of blood for mine as he did for theirs … and it was a hell of a lot more than a pinprick.
Randy, I appreciate your post more than you can know!
John 13;34 says ‘A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.’
It very well may be the hardest thing I have ever done….but I try to love everyone, even heterosexuals who hate me and try to keep me from God, because Jesus tells me I must.
Hi, Gayle. Thank you for the kind words. I’m very touched by what you wrote today … a little bit inspired, and also a little bit saddened by your pain. I do hope you’ll know that despite appearances sometimes, there are so many others around you who do “get it” on the idea that regardless of whatever our differences, we can always love one another as God does. I think it’s important to point out also, that we don’t have to agree with someone on every single thing in order to simply love and accept them. Lord knows, I don’t even agree with MYSELF 100% of the time. And who agrees with their husband / wife / boyfriend / girlfriend, etc. 100% of the time? But those areas of disagreement are never a disqualifier of the overarching gift of love for one another. This fact holds true on both sides of any question. I’ll admit that to my sorrow, I’ve often failed to love as I wish I had done. But we can always strive to do better. I’m honored to have you as a friend and sister in God’s amazing unlimited love and grace. Please stay nearby.
Randy, I have spent a life-time in this struggle to understand. I have yelled and screamed at God and asked why me. I have tried to deny myself and all my natural instincts. I have tried to deny God and renouncement those who claim to make proclamations for God. In the end I have made peace with my God. My God loves me just as he created me, despite all my many flaws!
I am only sad it took me 49 years to arrive at this understanding and peace. BTW I very much enjoy your blog.
While we rationalize our own feelings, what about “judge not, lest ye be judged”, or “forgive us OUR trespasses, as WE forgive those who trespass against us”? I, for one, need our Lords mercy, and do not feel that I have any right to advise God who deserves deeper condemnation, or for that matter, salvation. Each of us have enough sins on our own doorstep, we have no right to cast the first stone. Love you dearly, little brother, thank you for making us think, and keeping our perspective.
Thank YOU, Cathy. It’s so great to hear from you … and so nicely stated on your part. Much love to you & yours.
Hey Randy, That is a well written post. My feeling is that any habitual sin puts us in danger of losing our right relationship with God. I know that you will NEVER hear this, but if you look at the scriptures Jesus said if you divorce someone and marry another you commit adultery in that relationship. Many people say that the only valid reason for divorce is adultery, but adultery was punishable by death in those days. I submit to you that the only reason for divorce is “fornication” in which it is realized on the wedding night that the woman is not a virgin. Remember, this was talking about men “putting away” their wives. It was imperitive for a woman to be a virgin or there was NO VALID MARRIAGE. Then, as Joseph was going to do, the man could “divorce” his betrothed as she already had a blood covenent with another. There is a reason there is a small amount of blood shed the first time a woman has sex; the blood covenant which is for life. Even in the Old Testament, if a woman was raped the rapist would either marry her or be killed, ended her commitment to him.
Why did I say all of that? Because I think one of the problems in our church is that we have many people, leaders included, who are living in adultery, through divorce and many other life-style sins as per your list for example. Can we be perfect every day? No. But we also have been given the Holy Spirit and the Word of God to keep us from living in the darkness of sin as a way of life; walking by the flesh instead of the Spirit.
I believe homosexuality is one of those lifestyle sins. God forbids it and you cannot just be forgiven once of it and continue to live in that state any more than a divorced person can pretend that Jesus did not say it was adultery to remarry and live with another while your previous spouse was still alive.
Keep those posts coming!!! They are very thought-provoking!
Cathy MACK (i noticed the last post was from Cathy MICK! How funny!)
Hello again, Cathy. Thanks again for taking the time, thought and effort to be a part of the circle. In the interest of brevity (and not wishing to consume all of my time and mental energy on questions and ideas that often bewilder and ellude me), I’ll only add this: everything that you offered here underscores once again the width, depth, and height of our unrelenting need to receive and give grace. Much love to you and the fam!
P.S. Cathy Mick is my sweet sister-in-law in Ohio. She was the best friend of my wonderful sister, Vicky, who went to heaven 9 years ago.
Excellent post. I appreciate your thoughtfulness and your loving approach.
Thank you, Laura! I didn’t see your comment until just now. I’m so thrilled
that you’re here … it’s been so many years! Much love … still.
Gayle, thank you again for sharing so openly. I’ve seen many others struggle mightily with this. I do not envy them to have such a fundamental battle within themselves and with a part of themselves that they did not ask for nor intentionally create. I’ve asked many friends, “who would intentionally set out to be gay, or ask to be gay?” The lifestyle and confusions would be so difficult, to say nothing of the social (and yes, spiritual) stigmas and obstacles. My heart goes out to you in the obvious battles. This is indeed a very difficult issue to take on. It might surprise you to know that, while not as nearly as hard as your path, the path of someone who stands up to simply suggest that we would do well to love you, accept you, and not disqualify you from the very grace that saves us from equally alienating flaws and sins, is a difficult one as well. There are definitely those who will blow back hard on us who choose to do so. I’ll add one more tidbit in the interest of full disclosure. I’m not suggesting that I, or anyone else who holds the view that we ALL have equal access to grace from God’s perspective, are stating that we agree with everything you’re about, or believe, or advocate, or do 100% of the time. That may not be the case, and is likely not the case. Heck, I don’t even agree with MYSELF 100% of the time. But disagreement on any issue or behavior does not absolve us of the opportunity to simply give love, respect, dignity, and yes, grace to a fellow traveller. Let us all do so every day. Much love to you & yours.
Homosexuality is sin, as is immorality of any kind, including heterosexual immorality. It doesn’t matter HOW we acquired our particular sin or bondage. For no matter what our sin problem is, the solution is the SAME for all: The Cross of Jesus Christ. Therefore, it is not a matter of whether your sin is worse than mine, or whether all sin is equally bad. It matters not whether I believe my sin was born in me — ALL sin is the product of being born in Adam. Rather, it is a matter of whether we come to Jesus Christ with our sin. The problem with homosexuality in the church today is that many are claiming that it is NOT sin. Accept that lie and you have no reason to come to Christ for freedom. Indeed, tell people that ANY sin is not sin and you eliminate the need for repentance altogether. Jesus said to proclaim the Truth. And the Truth is, homosexuality is sin, and the Cross answers it.
Hi, Nathan! I’m so glad you found my blog and took the time to read and reply. It’s great to
have you in the family! How did you find me?
As a very brief reply to your offering, there’s no suggestion in the post that “sin” is not indeed
sin … only that grace is equally available to all of us. I’m so glad that God doesn’t entrust me
with the burden of adjudicating the nature of the sin of others. That’s a load that’s much too heavy
for me, and probably one that I’d end up using as a weapon against others if I were not extremely humble
and reverent with it. That would most likely result in me driving injured souls away from the very source of
that healing grace that we’re all dying to access. One other thing I might offer … there are MANY great
reasons other than just our sin to come to Jesus for freedom. Yes, he is the propitiation for our sin,
but he’s also many other things, one of the greatest of which is the fact that he’s the very epitome of
grace and acceptance. He was harrassed almost constantly by very religious people for his affection for
and affiliation with those who were deemed as undesireable “sinners” (i.e. prostitutes, despised tax
collectors (who robbed people blind), adulterers, fobbers & thieves (as on the cross next to him), etc.,
etc., etc., … and worst of all, someone as lowly and sinful as I).
I hope you’ll come back again soon, bro! Please feel free to send me a facebook request, too. I
like knowing who our folks are. God bless!
How much Jesus blood is shed for the sin of
…having sex with a woman on her period, or even touching her?
…cursing one’s parents?
…eating shellfish, pork and some birds?
…for wearing mixed fibers?
…for cutting the ends of beards?
…for wearing women’s clothes if you’re a man, or men’s clothes if you’re a woman?
…for working on the Sabbath?
How much Jesus blood is shed for NOT killing
…women who’ve been raped but don’t cry out loud enough if they live in a city?
…those who work on the Sabbath?
…women who were not virgins on wedding night?
I cannot figure out if more Jesus blood is shed by priests who haven’t had their testicles checked, or by those who haven’t take the time to check priest’s testicles.
And let’s say a guy, me for example, blasphemes the Bible, says “it’s half crap”, and I offered to drive to a public place for the stoning the Bible calls for.
Which sheds more Jesus blood, my blasphemy, or those who are more cowardly than sheep, and will not do as the Bible commands them?
You’ve written some good stuff in the past, Randy.
This is not good.
Your belief, that “we’re connected to God via the mystery of atonement by the blood of Jesus” is junk.
There is no mystery. It’s made up crap by those who promote symbolism over commandments.
I’ve read the comments before this one, I have one more last question,
Why are Fundamentalists so purposefully ignorant, so intent on spreading purposeful ignorance?
These are the most inflammatory comments I’ve made, but this post and some of the comments warrant them.
If I’m banned from commenting again, I don’t care.
You have to do better, my friend.
Rick … if the time stamp on this thing is correct, you’re either an insomniac (which I truly hope not), an extreme late-nighter, or a very early riser (which would be kinda cool, actually). In light of the fact that I interpret your question here to be more rhetorical than literal … if not a bit antagonistic; and in light of the fact that to thoroughly address all of it would take volumes for which I frankly don’t have the time (nor sufficient expertise to do it all proper justice), I’m going to simply refrain. As for your suggestion about being “banned from commenting again,” I’m not sure where that’s coming from; as I certainly have not ever suggested such a thing. Feel free to continue to be a part, bro. You’re welcome here.
As to whether this piece is good or bad … I suppose that’s wholly in the eye and mind of the reader. And for your part, I thank you for reading … it honors me greatly.
And lastly, I’m definitely not a mind reader. And as such, cannot divine the motives of any “fundamentalist” who might wish to comment … nor for that matter (assuming I surmise correctly), of any agnostic.
I enjoyed this piece very much. From our talks, you know my history so there is no need to go into it here. For myself, I have been given free will to make any decision I desire. At this point in my life, and at age 51, I have to make choices that will affect my life here and beyond. In MY heart, while I know I was born gay, it is my decision at this point, to step away from that part of my life, and more fully develop other areas of my soul for others. This is my choice and I realize there will be others who have different views and ideas. My capacity and DESIRE to help others is stronger than any other at this point, and this is my choice. I am thankful for many things, one of them being your friendship and understanding. Life is not easy. We are faced with obstacles every day. I will always be a gay person, but one who has made the decision to turn away from the sexual part of it. My only desire is to have a real relationship with Him. I did what I wanted the first part of my life. Now, I will do what He wants. Thank you as always for your kind words.
Wow, Paul … I’m inspired by your courage, and your depth of insight. Thank you for shining your light today. Grace is … well, to borrow a word … amazing.
Please come again soon, bro …