On Monday, I wrote a post for Connie Jakab over at Culture Rebel. It was a brief post and just a retelling of my story of porn addiction, masturbation, and same-sex attraction. Some of you have already read the long version (page 10), but if you haven’t feel free to check out the short version here. As a follow-up to my story, Connie wrote a piece called God is not trying to “fix” gay people. You can check out the original on her blog or read it below. What are your thoughts?
Do you think that you interact with and respond to gay people in a God-honoring way?
What makes it difficult for you to do so?
As a follow up to the brave 23 year old girl who posted yesterday about her struggle with her sexuality and lesbian porn (which you can read about here), I feel the need to express the idea that God is not trying to “fix” gay people or people struggling with their sexuality.
He is not mad at those who either struggle or engage fully in a gay lifestyle
He doesn’t wish for anyone to live in shame.
He hasn’t left them.
He doesn’t want to fix them.
He isn’t calling us to fix them either.
How do I know? Because God doesn’t come at us from a place of condoning our shame, but pursuing us with relentless love. Think of how Jesus responded to anyone the religious people brought to Him, who they considered sinners. Jesus didn’t speak judgement on them, but was moved with compassion towards them. He didn’t call out their sin, He called out their best and then called them into life. The intention of His heart towards them was wholeness and freedom.
That is the same way God wants to move on the hearts of those broken by shame and guilt. He doesn’t want to fix, He wants to make whole. He wants there to be freedom from shame, because shame is crippling.
There’s a big difference between saying, “God wants to set you free” (aka: fix you) to, ”God wants you to experience freedom.”
There’s a difference between believing God wants to help someone so they can “become worthy”, and looking at them knowing they are already full of worth. What difference would knowing this make in the way we speak and relate to others?
What was Jesus’ purpose in His desire to bring people to wholeness? ”God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.” (John 3:17 The Message) His motivation wasn’t birthed from judgment, but love. He wasn’t moved by pity as if to say, “Oh you poor souls…”. No, He was moved by compassion to come along side.
I received Brad Jersak’s book, “Kissing The Lepar” in the mail today. I finished 80% of it already. I want to conclude with a couple of quotes that stood out from the book (check out the book here)
“Getting our eyes repaired from religious and cultural prejudice so that we can see Jesus in others, especially the least of these. In God’s eyes they are not the least, not the lost. But the world, and too often the church, has treated them that way.”
In regards to a bisexual woman who was inquiring about attending Brad’s church and what they thought of her lifestyle, he replied: “I’m not going to quote Bible references at you. No doubt, you’ve heard them already. I’m going to use you as my reference point. If you feel that your bisexuality is sin and bondage and if you think you need to walk through repentance and deliverance, I’m willing to walk with you. If you feel that it’s a type of brokenness, a symptom of past abuse that needs inner healing, I’m willing to walk with you. And if you feel that God made you this way and you just need to know he loves you and that we won’t reject you, I’m happy to walk with you. My job is not to be your judge. My job is to help you hear God’s voice and to feel His love.”
I love how Brad responded. How many pastors respond this way? How many churches? What safety could a response like this bring to the hearts who are expecting rejection and judgment? I believe when we can get to a heart like this and beyond the striving notion that we are called to “fix”, we’ll see a love and unity like we’ve never experienced.