This is a question that arises on both sides of the Christianity and homosexuality debate. There are those who have been raised in a conservative atmosphere, who really want to see gays and lesbians accepted within the Church; but they’re just not there yet. They don’t understand why God would have anything against LGBT’s—yet they find it challenging to change their core beliefs so drastically. And why? Because it’s been preached from their pulpit for decades. In their heart, they know what they want the truth to be. But the “what ifs” keep them from knowing. Many of these people simply adopt the “better safe than sorry” motto, and never take a clear stance on the issue.
On the other hand, you have Christians who are struggling with same-sex attraction everyday. Each Sunday, they cower in the pew, wondering if people can tell. Sometimes they even serve in some manner: a choir member, a musician, a teacher, a youth minister, a preacher. They serve because they love God. But they fear what others would think or do if they found out. They could be talked about, shunned, or even worse, fired. After pleading with God about their sexuality, they begin to feel His presence and His peace. ‘Perhaps it really is possible to be gay and Christian’, they think. And even after years of reaching this conclusion, the question creeps in: “What if I’m wrong?”
Unfortunately, I don’t have any black and white answers. As I’ve said before, my mission is not to change minds; it’s simply to foster meaningful and life-giving discussions on a topic that is all too often silenced. But one thing that I do know: God meets us where we are. Life is ever-changing, and so is our comprehension and understanding of things. If we ever reach a point where we think we’ve got it figured out, then we need to re-evaluate. Jesus came so that we could have life abundantly. He doesn’t expect us to be perfect, but to constantly strive toward perfection. He wants us to experience his fierce love and his undying grace. He wants us to explore our faith and arrive at our own Spirit-led conclusions. And the best part? For everything that we aren’t, he is! We must do our very best with what we’ve been given. What can be more Christ-glorifying than that?
There are plenty of things I don’t have right. And I’m willing for God to show me those things of which I constantly fall short. It’s a process, and that’s ok. The topic of homosexuality and the Bible is no different than any other. It just happens to be a hot-button issue in our culture. People have strong opinions… we all do! But we should never allow our opinions to keep us from loving one another.
So this year, join me in saying “goodbye” to the “what ifs”. Let’s replace worry with prayer, and doubt with curiosity. And as always, let’s move forward in love.