Homosexual and More
A recent imbroglio in North Carolina has set the blogosphere on fire. The video of a Baptist pastor's solution to getting rid of sexual deviants was applauded by his church and now defended by some church members. His solution was fence them, feed them, forget them. This is a great case for not needing to say everything that's on your mind especially when the camera is rolling. But apart from being incredibly stupid, it is clearly non-Christian. The Jesus I follow castigated religious leaders for their hypocrisy yet he demonstrated compassion for sinners. Where in the video do we see Jesus? What we see is pandering and bluster!
Don't get me wrong. I believe that Scripture roundly condemns sin, including the sin of homosexuality and other sexual practices which are opposed to God's design for man and woman. However we can easily be fixated on particular sins that we forget that these sins do not define the person. When we call someone a homosexual (or fornicator, adulterer, etc.), we need to remember that they are much more than that. For that reason I try not to call people homosexuals who engage in homosexual practices. By saying that I am not winking at their lifestyles and saying its okay. I don't go around calling myself a heterosexual. I am of course, but my sexuality, although part of my identity, does not fully define me as a person. I am more than that.
Why might this be important? When we label someone as a homosexual it becomes easier to forget that they are an individual created in God's image, an image distorted by sin, but nonetheless someone for whom Christ died, someone loved by God, someone in need of redemption, and by extension, someone in need of a loving witness to the gospel. We don't provide that witness by spewing hatred and disgust. We don't adorn the gospel of Christ by wishing that sinners of any stripe be rounded up into concentration camps and allowed to die out.
When I hear people speak like the Baptist pastor did I wonder if they have ever had contact with those practicing homosexuality. I do almost every day. As a prison-based therapist I deal with all kinds of deviant and criminal behavior. I am not blind to their sin and their actions. Neither am I blind to their need of a Savior. Yes, I work with men who call themselves homosexuals. I disagree with their lifestyle choices and they know it. But I also hope they know that I care deeply for them for Christ's sake, for the gospel, that I love them as my neighbor. They are more than homosexuals. Like others, they are men in great need of a great Savior!