God and Gays – Make up your mind (Part 6)

All of these things [trials, temptations, tribulations] they are wonderful opportunities to confirm or deny our commitment to Christ. It is an opportunity to defy temptation and stand up for what is right, despite peer pressure (Matthew 10:32-33). We can make things easier or harder for ourselves. Either you are totally convinced that God’s way is right and worth living, or you are not sure and continually risk breaking; tormenting yourself and sending mixed signals and confusing signals (Matt. 6:24; 7:16). When you are at the crossroads, it is here or there. You cannot have both (Rev. 3:15). You should have made up your mind at baptism.

Will you honor your decision or break your vows? Those who have chosen to follow the Noble Path cannot afford to play with fire, flirt with death, or risk living on the edge (Jude 23; Zechariah 3:2). They have to learn to quickly say no to sin. “He who doubts is lost.” So they must be “caught in their tracks”. They know that it is now or never, do or die, and that nothing can compare to what God has in store for them (Hebrews 11:25-26; Matthew 13:46).

The fire of God will purify you or destroy you. The choice is yours. Will it become a great success or will it end in miserable failure (Mal. 3:2)? You might as well leave your lust in the dust, because everything in this world is about to end and a new world begins; therefore, God expects us to take notice and act accordingly (1 John 2:17; 2 Peter 3:11). Just as God has something in store for his saints, he also has something in store for sinners (2 Peter 3:7). Don’t worry, everyone will get their fair share (Rev. 22:12).

Use of available resources

Having a clear vision of the Kingdom of God and a sober vision of things to come, we can overcome every obstacle in Christ (John 16:33). But how can we keep our heads up when the whole world is crashing down around us (Luke 21:28)? Realizing that we are much closer to the time when God will pick up the pieces and start anew (John 6:12; Acts 1:6). But how can we avoid “losing it” while we wait (Rev. 3:11)? By being “baptized!” We must be immersed in the Word and saturated by the Spirit of God (Luke 3:16). That is the only way to be “in Christ.” That is an atomic statement. It is not meant to be just an empty spiritual cliché. It’s packed with POWER and ENERGY!

Our growth and development depends on how often (and to what extent) we take advantage of our available resources (Matt. 13:23). Only we can hold back or back down (1 Thessalonians 5:19).

We are authorized to exercise “veto power” over any unlawful thought or action. We must wield the Spirit of God (Romans 8:13) and learn to handle our lightsaber like an expert (Hebrews 4:12; 2 Timothy 2:15). We are commanded to seek and destroy (2 Corinthians 13:5; Ga. 5:24), and to follow our Leader wherever he goes (Romans 8:14; 1 Peter 2:21).

The flesh and blood of Jesus are our rations (John 6:47-63). The Word of God can energize us and his Spirit sustain us, but it must become our daily bread. Are we using what we have been given, investing our assets wisely, or are we simply wasting our “time and money” (Isaiah 55:2)? You have to use it or you will lose it (Luke 19:11-27)! We will really need this heavenly assistance to “walk on the waters” and not let our hearts sink within us, whenever we hear rude comments or insensitive comments from Christians, people who we hope understand our situation and appreciate our effort (Ps. 41:9).

God expects us to get out of our way, to forgive and forget, when we burn (Col. 3:13). He doesn’t want us to fall into the trap of arguing back and forth (1 Peter 3:9). We are to share Scripture, not exchange cutting remarks (1 Cor. 14:26; Ps. 50:20)! As Satan seeks to divide and conquer, may he instead find unity in diversity (1 Corinthians 12:12). Since we have such a high calling, let us not act below ourselves.

rising breads

Some Christians don’t know how to deal with homosexuality. Everything is new and scary for them. That is understandable. But now they have an obligation to learn how to handle themselves when faced with this problem. We must be patient with them and pray that they will be tolerant with us. We must not force them with “everything you never wanted to know about homosexuality!” They could get sick. Everyone grows at their own pace. Expect some “growing pains” along the way. We must accept and respect these facts of life and avoid sibling rivalry.

Meanwhile, we can try to make the best of a bad situation (Rom. 12:18). Don’t be critical, but be careful. Don’t trip anyone up or help them overcome their mental block (Rom. 14:13). This is the way of love: do not hold a grudge!

What about the victims of AIDS? Are they victims or did they knowingly endanger themselves? Should we befriend these social outcasts or let them lie down in the bed they’ve made? What about sympathy? Am I my brother’s keeper? Can’t I weep over the suffering that sin causes (Jeremiah 9:1)? Don’t these “lepers” need love? They are not necessarily worse than others (Luke 13:1-5). Time and chance brought them down (Eccl. 9:11). They need our prayers and tender loving care, not our cold-hearted stars. Also, if everyone who has sinned got sick, we would all be in intensive care! “Except for the grace of God, here I go” had better become our attitude. God showed his love for us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8).

Masturbation: is it right or wrong? He is the lesser of two evils, but he is still evil. Didn’t Jesus say that if you’ve desired someone, you’ve already had “sex” with that person? Sex is mental, not just physical. Isn’t masturbation often accompanied by explicit fantasies? What is the difference between them and dirty movies or dirty magazines? Don’t they all add fuel to the fire? Aren’t you tempted to comply? Doesn’t it weaken your will, surrender your determination and ruin your spiritual day? Isn’t lust like a drug: intoxicating and addictive? There is no “time out” for a Christian. He asks God for help in this area and knows that he will receive it. He learns to resist sin, not God.

Same person, different perception

Homosexuality is here whether we like it or not. I have been all over the world and I have seen that it is everywhere. We can’t just wish for it because it won’t go away. Pretending it doesn’t exist isn’t fooling anyone but yourself. We have to face the facts, regardless of how uncomfortable they may make us feel.

As stated in the “Family Network” section of “Better Homes and Gardens” (when they published my November 1992 letter/issue): You may be a parent or friend of a lesbian or gay man. Don’t pretend if you have; just remember that nothing has changed about that person except your perception of him or her. Treat them according to her personality, not her sexuality. Perhaps you would deny that it could ever happen in your family or intrude on your circle of friends. Don’t fake it if he does. It’s not the end of the world. The sun will continue to rise and life will continue. Maybe you are not sure about your own sexuality. This much is for sure: everything you have ever loved or enjoyed about your friendship or company remains the same. Don’t be mad if they didn’t tell you. Such anger would only justify their fears of being “found out.” Maybe they didn’t want to risk losing your friendship. It obviously means a lot to them. Express your disapproval of their practice, if necessary. But reject it, not them. Is that asking too much? Life is too short to allow misunderstandings to arise between us. We are encouraged to be reasonable; not engage in emotional debates or heated discussions (Isaiah 1:18). Let’s avoid such distractions in the front row. Remain cool, calm, and collected (2 Timothy 2:23-25). Build bridges, not walls. Make your point and leave it.

a big happy family

So there, now you have it. What the Bible really says about homosexuality. I guess I did something right as I get complaints from both sides: the Christian and gay communities. It just goes to show that you can’t please everyone! Some say I’m too tough; others say I’m too slow. Everyone at least clean something. Others are initially discouraged, but are later encouraged to make the necessary changes in their lives (2 Chronicles 7:8-11).

Some might even smell, “I told you so.” If so, they have missed the point. Those prejudiced preachers may deliver the same basic message, but their style and tone of voice is not like the Father’s (John 10:1-5). This little brochure is a “love letter”, not hate mail! Not everyone who tells the truth has the right attitude or motivation. “A truth that is told with bad intentions overcomes all the lies you can invent.” We must help gather, not disperse; encourage people to come to Christ, not to shut up their heels; to make it easier, not harder, to repent (Acts 16:16-18; Philippians 1:15-18).

“He only deserves his life and his freedom who conquers them anew every day” (Goethe). May we become stronger and more deeply appreciate our deliverance, making sure we never take it for granted (Deut. 5:15). Caution cannot be stressed enough. We have to be very careful not to fall back into our old rut, going nowhere (Gal. 5:1). We cannot afford a relapse into sin that would only send us into a tailspin (John 5:14). We must be homosexuals in recovery, improving and strengthening ourselves (2 Timothy 2:26).

it’s a daily struggle

If Christ gave everything, His everything for this relationship, can’t we at least sacrifice a little? Is sex really that important or is it worth dying for? I know he feels good, but he won’t feel so good in the Lake of Fire! May your love for God be greater than your lust for men (Isaiah 56:4-5).

The Jewish proverb that “every beginning is difficult” is true. But that old saying not only states a fact, it offers us hope that things will get better with time. They do. We just have to hang in there. Climb Jacob’s Ladder one run at a time. Don’t give up when God hasn’t! I know from personal experience how difficult it can be, but I also know that it is worth it. I wouldn’t have given up on John, my ex-lover, for God’s sake if I didn’t believe what I’ve written! I went through hell, at first, really wondering if there is an afterlife, a resurrection, if Jesus is the Christ, if homosexuality is incompatible with scripture; What if he was completely wrong? How could I find another lover like that, etc.? But I have survived and become stronger. I don’t take my beliefs for granted, I know they are true!

Old habits and ways of thinking can be replaced. New habits and ways of doing things can be ingrained. The divine nature can begin to replace our human nature, because God can and does heal minds and bodies! He is familiar with broken hearts and unhappy lives and can fix them (Matt. 11:28). We can be made complete in Christ. He wants us all to become “One Big Happy Family” – the Kingdom of God.

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