Homosexuality and the Church

It’s the big elephant in the middle of the sanctuary….a question that has plagued the pews for centuries.

How should we handle homosexuality in the church?

For some reason, homosexuality seems to be the super-sized sin. Compared to others, it always seems to hold top billing. But does it? Is it really worse than murder? Adultery? Envy?

Of course, Christians will say no, reciting the age-old mantra, “a sin is a sin.” But actions speak louder than words, and our actions as a church appear to be a little more damning when it comes to our gay brothers and sisters. We tend the shun them or delegate them to certain roles. We don’t mind a person of “alternative lifestyle” directing the choir, but don’t even think about stepping into the pulpit.

Wedding bells, you hear? Not for same sex couples in a Christian church. The stigma for gay Christians is paralyzing to their development and growth in the word and the church. We don’t put this kind of scrutiny on anyone else? And Lord knows heterosexuals have probably done things that would have gotten them stoned back in the day. But they’re welcomed with open arms. Homosexuals, proceed with caution.

Here’s the problem. This isn’t the example set by Jesus.

When Jesus met the woman at the well, he knew all the sins she had committed and the sins she would commit in the future. He didn’t judge, and he certainly didn’t condemn. Instead, he reminded her of the generosity of God and the ever-flowing waters of life…the never-ending opportunity for God to renew.

We need to have a renewed spirit when it comes to addressing homosexuality. We need to stop considering it as the sin above all sins. That’s just an excuse to lessen the guilt we feel about the sins we commit. It’s a way to feel better about our bad behavior… to have a sort of moral high ground over our gay and lesbian friends. It’s like saying, “I may be a liar, but at least I’m not gay.”

Let’s be clear. There are no levels of sin. We ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. But like all of Jesus’s disciples, we are instruments to be used for the building of the kingdom, despite our shortcomings. Instead of focusing on labels and lovers, let us focus on the love of God and sharing that love with those who need it…straight or gay.