My heart is burdened. More than once in the last week the topic of how harsh Christians are on the sin of homosexuality has risen to conversation. I fully support holiness and holy living. In fact, I believe in its message so much that I am pursing ordination through a denomination that places great emphasis on holiness. However, I must take the time to reflect that even though we preach holiness, we strive for holiness, and we believe holy living to be a crucial step in following Jesus Christ.... I can't help but remember that holiness cannot be pushed on people, people much chose it....
In other words, people must choose for themselves not only to accept Christ but to follow Him.
Acceptance and daily following Him have so often been put in the same sentence that today's church seems to believe that if you accept Christ than you are following Him. That merely faith is good enough. It is indeed good enough to save. It is indeed good enough to be justified. It is indeed good enough to be baptized of the Spirit. But is faith alone good enough for being a true follower of Jesus? To truly follow Jesus I do firmly believe that faith is the start but it should lead to good works much like James 3 teaches.
But this blog isn't focused on correcting the sin of homosexuality, instead it is focused on the Christian who focuses so much on that one sin that they are willing to miss the opportunity to see Grace at work. If we find out or know someone who is attracted to the same sex, Christians statistically withdraw themselves from the friendship. They won't associate with "those people" and they have even been known to not bake cakes for them. But I want to speak of my own experience here.
I worked for a short time at a call center. My team lead was an amazing young woman who knew how to do her job very well. She was put in charge of the team that would take escalated calls. I was on that team. One day, after working with her with her for a couple months I found out she was a lesbian. I was a bit shocked. She knew I was a Christian and I knew I heard her talk about her faith in Christ, too. I remember she asked me how I felt about it and said these exact words, "ummm I don't agree but I love you." And I sat down and went on about my day and didn't let it effect our friendship or the way I thought about her. It did change the way I prayed for her. Now, she is straight and still waiting for that dream man to come, however, she is passionately seeking Christ like never before. And this is when I learned a valuable lesson.
If I drew the line in the sand and stepped away from her because of that. If I had nothing to do with her because of this one sin... I would have totally missed the grace that was going to shine in her life and the realization that she was living a sin... and she stopped. Now, you could be thinking "sure... that won't happen much though, they don't usually switch." But I think you would be greatly underestimating the prayer and the love that was poured out on her behalf, not only from me but I know she had prayer warriors in her court all over the place.
I have learned that I shouldn't underestimate what Christ can do in a person's life just because of how bad the sin may appear. Or whatever sin it is. I firmly believe that Christ can do good works in a person's life, that all can come to repentance, and that all can be equipped to follow Him. Yes, the timing for those things depend on the person. But I will NOT limit God. I will not draw a line in the sand to who I am going to love, whom I am going to share the Gospel too, and who I think is worthy of the cross. I do not want to miss the grace in every situation, or every life. No matter the sin, no matter the sinner.... Christ can redeem, sanctify, and make holy.