Why I Love the Gay Community by Lisa Hunt-Wotton
The last post I wrote personally on this topic was more an outline about the topic of Homosexuality itself, the differing views that are held and where people sit on the continuum of opinion. You can read it here: Homosexuality a Chat.
This time I am coming at it from a personal level. I will not really engage in the theology or scriptural debate over this because there are plenty of theologians who can do a better job than me. I’ve put a lot of thought into this and have watched and heard many different opinions. I have watched loved ones rejected and castigated over this topic so I take it very seriously. This post comes from the basis of what I believe as a Christian. From the very core of who I am and who I believe Jesus to be. It’s as simple as that.
Studying Theology in College we were asked to make a personal mission statement. We were asked to write out the ‘non-negotiables’ for us as followers of Christ. What we would live or die for. So much of what I am about to say is measured by that.
I have lived the life of a Christ follower for as long as I can remember. Much of my life though obscured by trauma and abuse has had one clear and golden thread. The friendship, love and acceptance of Jesus. He is as close to me as a brother and it is from His example that I endeavour to lead. This is what I know of Him.
I have received a love deeper than the ocean itself and that love is from Jesus Christ. Therefore how can I withhold that same love and acceptance from another fellow human being?
Jesus sets out His mission statement in Luke 4 where he declares the reason that He came to the earth.
To open the eyes of the blind
To bring good news to the poor
To pardon prisoners
To set the oppressed free
This statement caused such fury that the elders in the synagogue wanted to throw him from a cliff. I’m not sure that much has changed today. You can read it in Luke 4: 14 -30
My sisters and brothers in the gay community are imprisoned and oppressed. They are marginalised, rejected and despised, often by their own families, communities and nations. How can I indulge in any behaviour that causes more oppression to them. The good news is that they are loved and accepted for who they are.
Jesus entire ministry was directed to the marginalised and the outcast of society. His ministry is to love. He tells us to love our neighbour as we love ourselves. The story that is given to explain who our neighbour is describes one of the most hated people of the day. A Samaritan. Yet this is who Jesus says is our neighbour.
In Mark 12 Jesus reinforces the Shema, the most important prayer in Judaism, which says that we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind and strength. The He adds to the Shema a new command, to love our neighbour as ourselves. In Luke 6:31 He instructs us to treat others the way that we would like to be treated.
When I look at these commands how can I reject, exclude or minimise the validity of any other person based on their sexuality or belief system? Jesus also instructs me not to judge unless I would like to be judged the same way. It seems pretty clear to me – I will leave the judging and decision making up to Him, it is my job to love.
In the last article that I wrote I asked a question at the bottom of the page.
Is there a totem pole of sin?
Is there a list of sins somewhere in order of least to worse. If there is I have not seen it. IF we assume for a minute, as some of you do, that homosexuality is a sin, then why do Christians put it at the top of the totem pole. As I understand it ALL have sinned and come short of Gods glory.
Jesus says in Matthew 15:19 “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.”
Adultery, sex before marriage, theft, swearing, lying, deceiving, drunkenness are all listed and I know plenty of Christians who have done some or all of these. Interesting isn’t it that they are all allowed to be members and leaders in Churches. They are all welcomed and affirmed and forgiven. Often over and over again.
My point is that none of us are without blame. Yet why are some excluded and some included. Who makes the rules?
Wendell Berry says it far better than I ever could.
“Christians of a certain disposition have found several ways to categorize homosexuals as different as themselves, who are in the category of heterosexual and therefore normal and therefore good,” Berry said. What is unclear, he said, is why they single out homosexuality as a perversion.
“The Bible, as I pointed out to the writers of National Review, has a lot more to say against fornication and adultery than against homosexuality,” he said. “If one accepts the 24th and 104th Psalms as scriptural norms, then surface mining and other forms of earth destruction are perversions. If we take the Gospels seriously, how can we not see industrial warfare — with its inevitable massacre of innocents — as a most shocking perversion? By the standard of all scriptures, neglect of the poor, of widows and orphans, of the sick, the homeless, the insane, is an abominable perversion.”
“Jesus talked of hating your neighbor as tantamount to hating God, and yet some Christians hate their neighbors by policy and are busy hunting biblical justifications for doing so,” he said.
“Are they not perverts in the fullest and fairest sense of that term? And yet none of these offenses — not all of them together — has made as much political/religious noise as homosexuality”.
As I finish off I can hear friends of mine saying that I have taken the safe ground. As I have reminded us time and again on this blog, it is not my job convince you of anything. This blog is a social justice platform to hold sane and mature conversations about the topics that matter. In this article I am hoping at the very least that you will look at the plank in your own eye before pointing out the speck in anyone else’s.
Jesus ministry is one of inclusion, liberation, vision, freedom, kindness, mercy, peace, gentleness, goodness, meekness, faith and love. Therefore these fruits of the spirit are the yardstick that I endeavour to use to measure my interactions with others.
Have I been kind? Have I been inclusive? Have I acted mercifully and graciously? Have I been loving? Do I leave peace in my wake or heartache?
If I say that I follow Christ then it is because I believe in Him and what He taught. He has taught me and continues to teach me how to love and for that I am forever grateful.
The greatest of all of these is love.
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