Monday, May 19, 2014

1. God Loves Homosexuals


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.

6 comments:

Arthur Sido said...

Along with that we must remember that how the Bible defines love and how God applies His love bears little resemblance to our cultural notions of "love".

Paul Hyder said...

Excellent start! When asked about this by my Sailors and Marines, my response is almost an exact replica of you comments. We must be using the same source?

Blessings,

Paul

Eric said...

Arthur,

Well said. As we engage homosexuals with the gospel, we should explain this difference to them.

Eric said...

Paul,

Thanks. When we start where God starts, not only will we be accurate, but also more compassionate. The homosexual community is a great mission field, with many ripe for the harvest if we are willing to do our part.

Aussie John said...

Eric,

Good thoughts! I have yet to meet a Christian who doesn't approach homosexuality, or any other sin for that matter, from a position of superiority.

When we realize that sin, is sin, and that there are no degrees of sin (I know the arguments which say God sees some sins as worse than others. A large amount of rationalisation!), we will find ourselves standing on the firmer ground of one sinner who has experienced saving grace, and that we are speaking to one like us, but not yet having tasted the grace of a most loving and merciful God.

Eric said...

John,

Thanks for saying it so well. We certainly need to show much humility when dealing with difficult issues such as this one.