This is the first post in my series entitled Ten Thoughts on Homosexuality. When I use the term "homosexual," I'm referring to both males and females who are sexually attracted to people of their own sex.
My first thought is this: God loves homosexuals.
Theology must begin with God. What God thinks should always determine what we think. Frankly, what we believe matters not at all if it does not stem directly from what our Creator believes.
We can learn much from God about God himself. In Exodus 34:6-7, God describes himself to Moses, saying, "The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation."
We can learn much from the above passage. One key is that God is "abounding in steadfast love." We will return to this passage later in this series, but for now I want to point out God's description of himself as a God of steadfast love.
In the New Testament (I John 4:8), we read that God is love.
When we study the gospel accounts we encounter Jesus Christ, the most loving person of all time. Jesus routinely went out of his way to show love to all sorts of people. All these people were sinners, like you and me. Jesus showed compassion by talking to and caring for many, many different people. For example, in John chapter four Jesus encountered the Samaritan woman at the well. Christ broke several different social customs by talking to her. He showed her love despite her sin.
It's important to note that Jesus never left people in their sin without confronting them about it. This, however, does not mean that he didn't love them. Rather, it showed his love. Also, Jesus' harshest words were not for the sexually sinful; instead he aimed those at the religious leaders of his day.
The God of the universe is also a God who loves people. It's clear that he loves sinful people; if he didn't, then he wouldn't love anybody. God does not love sin, but he does love people who sin. That is a key difference.
Since God loves sinful people, we can safely conclude that God loves homosexuals. This must be our starting point as we think through this issue. How God thinks must directly determine how we think.
It is a profound thing that God loves homosexuals. This will be the foundation for the remainder of this series.