In Chronology

Written by Peter Blanch

With all the news and chatter about same sex issues that are current in our media, 

I thought perhaps we could reflect on the same sex issue from a personal point of view.

 

A good place for us to start is to consider how people define themselves. When I personally think of people, I don’t think of people first and foremost as being ‘gay’ or ‘straight’. But for many people who are involved in practicing same sex relationships, this is the dominant category of how they define themselves. As christians, the primary category in which we think of people is either Christian or not yet-Christian. 

People either love Jesus or they don’t yet love Jesus. They are either “in Christ” or “out of Christ”. We view people this way because this is the way God tells us to – 2 Corinthians 5:11-21.

 

This is a helpful starting point because it points us to a persons greatest need. A persons greatest need before God is not determined by their sexual orientation – it is determined by their attitude to Jesus. When we share our faith with someone who calls themselves “gay” we need to be clear that same sex behaviour is not the core issue, it is but a symptom. The core issue is our attitude to Jesus. If a practicing gay person stopped being in a same sex relationship today, but didn’t turn to Jesus, it would make no difference in their relationship with God. It is only turning to Jesus that makes a difference in our relationship with God. The core issue for any person – whatever their sexual orientation – is always: do you love Jesus and are you willing to live under his rule?

 

Same sex behaviour is one symptom of rebellion against God, just like sexual immorality by heterosexuals is – just like greed is – just like pride is. Each of these expressions are a symptom of the core disease – our rebellion against God.All of us sinners have the same disease – but each of us exhibits different symptoms.  What we need to address first and foremost is the core disease. 

 

I think it is worth noticing that many Christians have not always been helpful in this matter. Many christians focus in on the symptom of practicing same sex relationships, rather than the core issue of rebellion. It is odd that we so easily do this, for when evangelising others, we rarely focus on their greed or jealousy before we get to the core issue of rebellion against God. We always tend to see the greed, or jealousy as secondary issues that need addressing once a person has repented and is now, as a forgiven person looking to live Gods way. Why don’t we do the same with those in same sex relationships?

 

We need to keep reminding ourselves that what a person needs most is to change their mind from rebellion against God to submission to God. This is what it means to repent: changing your mind over who is the ruler of your life – from yourself ruling your life, to God ruling your life.  It’s all about saying sorry to God for your rebellion against him, asking for his forgiveness through Jesus and now, having changed your mind, seeking to live with Jesus as your King.This is first base for everyone no matter what their symptoms of sin. We need to remind ourselves of Acts 17:30 – that ‘God commands all people, everywhere, to repent.’ This command is for all people – whether they are male or female, young or old, gay or straight. We also need to remember that “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son.” That ‘world’ includes people from every nation, every culture, every faith and every sexual orientation.

 

However, what we must also know, is that when a person repents and comes to Christ, then every aspect of their life, without exception, is required to live under Jesus rule and reign. His ‘rule’ extends over our sexual behaviour, just as it extends to every other area of our life. God is crystal clear. He has made sex to be expressed in the life-long marriage union between a man and a woman. This expression of sexuality is actually best for us – who could know better than God how we should use our bodies? After all, He is the one who created them. 

 

I realise that as a church leader I have not talked openly enough about the struggle it is for those who feel same sex attraction, specifically for those who struggle within churches. Jokes and snide comments between believers have meant that Christians who battle with same sex attraction have felt rejection and isolation. This should not be the case – churches must be places of genuine encouragement and help for people no matter which symptoms of sin they are battling with.

 

For those wanting wisdom as they seek to love Jesus and battle with unwanted same sex attraction, I am more than happy to talk and pray with you – can I also direct you to a great organisation called “Liberty Christian Ministries”. You can find out more about them at: 

www.libertychristianministries.org.au

 

Peter Blanch

 

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