Monday, August 6, 2012

My views on homosexuality.

This morning someone I recently met asked me the question "what are your views on homosexuality?" We had a good conversation about that, and here's the gist of what I said.

The starting point of any conversation about homosexuals is to know and believe that God LOVES homosexuals. Just like He loves everyone else. That's very important to understand. John 3:16 says that God loved the whole world - no exceptions. Us Christians, as God's children, MUST accept people as they are(Romans 15:7). It's equally important to understand that love & acceptance do NOT mean approval.

A good parent loves their child, but that doesn't mean everything the child does is acceptable. It would be very unloving for a parent to let their children do anything they want and live any way they want, without correcting them. Because they love their child, a good parent wouldn't let their child play in traffic, play with a hot stove, eat whatever they want, stay up all night, etc. So - God, our Heavenly Father, would NOT really be loving if He approved of everything we do.

The things we do that go against God's principles & rules (which He gave for our own good) are called sin. Things like lying, cheating, cussing, hating, murder, over-eating, and yes, living a homosexual lifestyle. Those things, even though they may seem right to us and they feel good, will ultimately hurt us in the end (Romans 6:23).

The problem with sin is that it distorts and deceived every person (Romans 7:11) - especially our sexuality. When we are tempted to lust after someone - whether a person of the same sex or a person of the different sex, that's a distortion of how God intended us to use our sexuality. Both of those attractions just works themselves out a bit differently. Both homosexuals and heterosexuals desperately need Jesus. We both need a Savior - and His name is Jesus Christ.

Through Him, we can be freed from the power of sin and we can overcome temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). He is our only hope for life. Through Him, we don't have to follow our sinful urges. It will be hard, it will be lonely, but it will be worth it to obey Jesus. People won't always understand it, but it will be worth it all when we go Home to Heaven and Jesus locks eyes with us as He says "Well done, good and faithful servant."

I love homosexuals - AND everyone else - because my Father God does. Homosexuality does not define a person. God does, and for all of us who have been adopted as His children by putting our faith in Jesus, He calls us all His favorites. That means that we are not liars, cheaters, and homosexuals. We are dearly loved, handmade creations of God Himself - who struggle with the sin of lying, cheating, and homosexuality. But our sin does not define us. Our relationship with Jesus does. 

At Del Sol Church, we love homosexuals. And liars. And cheaters. And prostitutes. And drug addicts. And the prideful. And over-eaters. And everybody else, regardless of their sin struggles, because God does. We are not here to judge or point fingers. And we WILL speak God's truth from the Bible to those sin issues - doing so with as much love as we can.

I want my church to be a place of grace & second chances - for homosexuals, and for all other people.

What do you think of my response?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My beef with boycotts.

So as pretty much everyone in America knows, Chick-fil-A supports Biblical values and traditional marriage. Which is about as shocking as McDonald's supporting Big Macs or Coca Cola supporting Cokes or the Michelin man supporting Michelin tires. But, I digress.

So in response to that "surprising" news, I've seen two responses. One is to boycott Chick-fil-A, calling it an intolerant and hateful company. The other is to endorse CFA and encourage thousands of people to go eat there today as a way to show their appreciation for the values they hold.

Earlier this summer, JC Penney put out a print ad featuring two men portrayed as homosexual dads playing with their son. Again, there were two responses - one group of people called for a boycott, another group praised JCP as being progressive and tolerant.

Name a company and it's likely they support gay marriage - Starbucks, Home Depot, Ben & Jerry's, Google, Boeing, Disney, and a plethora of other companies do. And while they are hard to find, some companies like CFA, Cinemark, ExxonMobil, and Walmart. So Christians (usually) call for boycotts of companies that support gay marriage, and most other people call for boycotts of supposed intolerant, hate-filled companies that oppose gay marriage.

So can I just call a time-out and ask why we're boycotting? I mean, does that really work? Has it ever? Take Chick-fil-A. While the gay-rights community have called for protests and celebrities have vowed to never eat there again, Christians have rallied and CFA had a record breaking day of sales today. And while Christians called for a boycott of Home Depot and Starbucks, they're doing quite well. Are you gonna stop using Google and not fly in a Boeing airplane anymore? Or not shop at Walmart anymore? Lotta good that'll do.

It's pretty clear that boycotting doesn't work. So why is that our first reaction?

Condemnation is easier than conversation, that's why. (Thank you to Perry Noble for that insight. And for making it rhyme.) It's easier to say "Forget you" to someone who believes different than us instead of taking the high road. If the homosexual community is really tolerant, why don't they fill up Chick-fil-A restaurants and tell them they tolerate the different opinion of the company. And why don't Christians shop at JCP, get coffee at Starbucks, and eat Ben & Jerry's ice cream?

My biggest beef with boycotting is who it hurts. It doesn't hurt the company; it hurts the employee. If you go into a Chick-fil-A, JC Penney, Starbucks, Home Depot, or Walmart - do you really think those employees work there because they're so proud of their company's values? Or because the company is so tolerant or intolerant (depending on how you see it)? I would highly doubt it. I know someone who works at Chick-fil-A and I know several people who work at Walmart. I've known people who work at Home Depot and I know a guy who works at Starbucks. All of them were not working at their places of work because of the company's ideals; they were working there to provide for themselves and their families.

When we boycott, remember who it hurts - the company, not the employee. And let's be honest - boycotting  doesn't work. It's a lousy way to do things because its fighting "hate" with hate. No way around it.

If we boycott anything, let's boycott boycotting.