PLEASE READ THIS ENTIRE ARTICLE BEFORE MAKING ANY JUDGMENTS.
Every year now, my beloved Chicago Fire host a night at Toyota Park called the Annual LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) Pride Night. And the motto that Pride Night was pushing was “Love Is Louder,” or more specifically, “Love Is Louder Than Homophobia”… (Translation: “It is unloving to openly disagree with a lifestyle that is proud to be homosexual.” Obviously, I have some issues with this slogan.)
It was one of those games that I am glad that I watched on TV instead of going to the stadium. It would be hard to believe the Bible, claim to follow the God of the Bible, and give my cheers to open and public sin. What I see in the Bible is that God’s design for marriage is: one man and one woman for life. According to Romans 1:24-27 and 1 Corinthians 6:9, there is no question about whether or not God approves of homosexuality. He doesn’t. And neither do I.
But (and this is a VERY BIG BUT), while active practice of homosexuality is clearly a sin, so is porn, divorce, and polygamy. In fact, these are all the same kind of sin: they are all distortions of God’s beautiful design for marriage. Porn is just as much a distortion of God’s beautiful design for marriage as actively expressing sexuality as a lesbian is; while a lesbian distorts it in a homosexual way, a porn-addict distorts it in a heterosexual way. With this in mind, I would avoid an LGBT Pride Night at Toyota Park just as much as I would a Porn Pride or Divorce Pride or Polygamy Pride night. This is not because I hate people who have committed such sins (or feel trapped in them or feel drawn to them more than being drawn to a group of people who don’t approve of them), and not because I think I am better (because I am the first to say that I am not), but because I cannot support open celebrations of clearly defined sin.
Let’s stop for a moment.
This is what I NOT saying: I hate gay people, OR God hates gay people, OR it is wrong to openly accept gay people, OR I will never show love to a gay person, OR divorce is always avoidable. I am not saying that at all.
This is what I AM saying: an open celebration of any kind of sin is wrong, AND I will not openly support homosexuality, or porn, or divorce, or polygamy, AND though it is sometimes unavoidable, divorce is still a distortion of God’s design for marriage.
Are you catching the distinction? Good.
The reason that I had such issues with Pride Night at Toyota Park was that I do not believe that it was the correct or helpful way to love people who are hurting (Yes, hurting. Remember that every choice is a result of previous circumstances.), or who are proud of their sins. They do not need encouragement to keep doing what they are doing, they need encouragement to run to Jesus. But unfortunately, Jesus is the last place they think to run because so often they are not loved by the church. In the church, we are so good at knowing who is wrong and who is right, but so bad at loving people regardless.
No, we shouldn’t openly support the LGBT agenda, but yes, we should individually love each person who claims to be gay. Why? Because everybody struggles with sin. As Dr. Christopher Yuan, a former homosexual, so elegantly put it, “The opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality; the opposite of homosexuality is purity.” And purity is something that even heterosexual people struggle with.
I long for the day when a gay person feels just as welcome to come into the walls of a church a divorced person does. I long for the day when the church will show individualized and intentional love to a gay person just as much as they will to a porn-addict.
I end with this challenge from John 8:1-11. When a woman caught in sin of a sexual nature was brought before Jesus, he responded to all the fierce accusations and pleas for her stoning with one line that will ring through the ages: “He who is without sin among you, cast the first stone.” Then he said to her, when no one stood up to condemn her anymore, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” It is this same challenge that I challenge you to ponder. Whoever is reading this who has never lusted after a woman or man, has never been divorced, has never been given over to gluttony, or has never been consumed with their own image can be the first to judge a gay person. But if no one stands up, we must accept the truth that our love for people who claim to be gay will always be louder than our theology, robust as it may be.
Love will always be louder than our theology because you cannot argue with the fact that Jesus died for you while you were still a sinner (Romans 5:8) and that Jesus will be happier with more people in heaven than how many people were correct about some points of theological minutia.