A Letter to Evangelicals Regarding Homosexuality

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I make only one request. Please read this post in its entirety before making comments.

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I thank God for all of you. You have been faithful in spreading God’s message throughout the world.

Moreover, you have not been bashful about the nature of Christ from His miraculous birth to His bodily resurrection.

In fact, you understand better than anyone through how you practice your faith that there is no shame in the Gospel. It is the power of this Gospel that unites us as brothers and sisters in Christ. We all believe in the power of the Gospel to transform the lives of those who believe.

You more than anyone have believed in this message as you have been faithful in carrying this message across the world. What’s more, this has been the very foundation of Evangelicalism since it began.

The narrative you have preached emphasizes how much sin displeases God. In fact, there is perhaps no greater sin than when truth is shrouded by wickedness. This is oftentimes obvious and yet we all shroud truth through our rebelliousness. The biblical narrative tells us that God has revealed Himself through all of the beauty we see around us. And yet, throughout history we have chosen to worship idols, such as power, greed, sex, etc. Even ancient Israel, who knew God, made Him out to look deceptive by turning to the worship of these same idols. As a result, it appeared that God gave up on all of humanity.

In one sense we are all prodigal children. We have squandered what God has given us, we have lived lives in selfish rebellion and at times, perhaps many times, we have cared not anything for God. The message we preach is the hope that accompanies our return to the Father.

All around us there is sin. In our day and age we see all sorts of wickedness. People are greedy, hateful, sexually immoral, untrustworthy, self-absorbed, etc. You are right in thinking that sin should anger us. In fact, does not God’s justice require death as the ultimate penalty for a life lived this way?

Part of the message we preach is how destructive sin is. We oftentimes replace the longing we inherently have for God with other idols. We also know how sin does not add, but takes away from our humanity. For we preach that we are only truly human when we are living in Christ and preaching His glorious message.

However, brothers and sisters, you have no right to condemn others because you are just as bad, just as wicked as those to whom you preach against. When you stand on your bully pulpit and are telling others how sinful they are, you are doing nothing but condemning yourself. The message you preach is a message for you to hear, not them. For the message they are to hear is the message of God’s love, and hope for a restorative humanity and a beautiful life filled with the hope of Christ.

You freely judge others even though you are not the judge. As such, you will be judged and punished by God in the same way you have judged and punished others. Don’t you understand that God is kind, tolerant and patient? Do you not remember the love that God expressed towards you? Does this not mean anything to you? Repentance is experienced through the love of God, not the judgment of man. You do NOT represent Jesus when you preach this message.

Like the religious leaders of Jesus’ day you are blind and stubborn to this fact. What’s worse you should know better. As a result you are not progressing the cause of Christ, but you are simply storing up God’s judgement that will one day be unleashed upon you.

One day God will judge everyone. Eternal life will be given to only those who are doing good and seeking to honor and glorify Him. But God will pour out His anger against those who wish to simply live for themselves.

You who call yourselves Evangelicals claim to have a special relationship to God, which you boast about through your condemnation of others. You claim to know what God wants. You claim to know what is right, simply because you have been taught God’s Word. Because of this you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind; a light for people who are lost in the dark. You are certain that you can instruct the ignorant because you are certain that God’s Word gives you complete knowledge and truth.

Well then, if you teach others, why don’t you also teach yourselves? You tell people it’s wrong to commit adultery, and then you go and do the same. You go around and tell others how they are supposed to live and then go around and do the opposite.

“It’s no wonder the scriptures say ‘the Gentiles blaspheme the name of God because of you.’” (Romans 2:24)

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It is my belief that if Paul were writing today, Romans 1:16 – 2:24 would look very much like the aforementioned letter. What’s more, what you intend to use as judgement for others is written as judgement towards you for your lack of Christ-like behavior. Do you have to accept behavior that you deem sinful? No. But you also have no right to judge as though you come bearing the full weight of God’s authority.

We are told by Christ, Himself, that the purpose of the Christian life is to love the Lord with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself (Luke 10:27). Brothers and sisters, you have many neighbors who are not feeling the love of Christ through your actions.

How are you testifying to Christ’s love within the homosexual community when you refuse to serve them? Are we only to serve ourselves? Christ did not serve Himself, rather He made Himself a servant to others.

How can Christ be present when you refuse to shop at a business that is run by or supports homosexuality? Did not Christ go and eat with tax collectors? Was the fact that He ate with them in some way contributing to the dishonest practice of tax collecting?

Please for the sake of Jesus Christ will you begin showing love to this community? Yes, even people you disagree with. For if agreement was a prerequisite for love, then God would have never revealed Himself to begin with.

For we are told that it makes no difference what you do or say, if you do so without love, you are nothing. For those who think they are loving others, we are given a beautiful definition in 1 Corinthians 13.

Love is:

Patient.
Kind.
It is not jealous.
Boastful.
Proud.
Rude.
It does not demand its own way.
It is not irritable.
It keeps no record of being wronged.
It does not rejoice about injustice, but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
It never gives up.
Never loses faith.
Is always hopeful.
And  it endures through every circumstance.

 

Amen!

  • Jen StainAddict Helsel

    If there were someone walking on railroad tracks, unaware that a ten was coming around the bend, would it not be the most loving thing to tell them? To shout? To point. To insult, and shock, if it gets their attention. To make signs. And, if all else fails, and there is time, to running tackle that person off the tracks. They might be bruised and irritated, but they’d be alive enough to sort it out later.

    This is the allegory I was given add a child, raised in evangelicalism. Fear. Fear of hell. Terror at all of the people going to hell. Bewildered that I served a God who would create people whom he knew, in all his omniscience, would not believe and would burn in hell for all eternity. So much fear. Love was always mingled with fear.

    Fear makes love ugly and abusive. There are just so many problems with the “repent, or burn in hell for all eternity” on all sides. And this idea that evangelicals spout, that these ideologies that make God appear cruel, are simply our inability to understand God’s great, and apparently very complicated, love. I call bullshit. Love in the Bible isn’t quite that complicated.

    Hell, as evangelicals now understand and preach, is a concept that wasn’t in the Judaic scriptures at the time they were written. That came later as the Church was increasing it’s power over less educated masses.

    Until we drop this fear, and quit filling in the mysteries with horror stories used to gain power and influence through terror, we will never be able to truly love our neighbor, love ourselves, or truly love God.

    • https://ericsenglish.com/ Eric English

      First, I should mention that the intent of this post was to interpret Romans 1 and 2 (the passage often used to bolster anti-homosexual beliefs) in its proper context, which is in reference to believers, not non believers. I say this because the rhetoric in the first part is not as much mine as it is Romans – the goal being to stay authentic to what is being stated in the text.

      However, to your point about how Evangelicals have used fear as a way to scare people into heaven, I agree. However, we should be careful to not throw the baby out with the bathwater. The biggest problem for Evangelicals has been their theological methodology (based on a misunderstanding of biblical authority). This has lead to a really backwards way of reading and thus understanding scripture. What I see most often happening is a confusion between the secular and the sacred.

      For example, most of scripture is not directed toward the unbeliever, but the believer. When we use words like “sin” we are using theological terminology that is part of the language of the Church, not the secular. Moreover, the secular does not have the context for understanding what is meant by “sin”. So why we use sin as the foundation for sharing the Gospel is a puzzle. Perhaps worse is that Evangelicalism uses the idea of sin as a primary communicative concept for testifying to Jesus. Again, it’s all backwards.

      I say all of this to say that just because Evangelicalism has used or communicated something incorrectly does not necessitate that the idea itself is inherently incorrect. This is a dangerous rabbit hole that one can find themselves in quickly.

      Ultimately, this is why I don’t view myself as something antithetical to Evangelicalism as much as I do a corrective. Taking backward ideas and making them straight. 🙂

  • Christy

    While I agree with the core of what you are saying in this article, I am struck by your harshness. You quote, “You freely judge others even though you are not the judge.” However, you are doing the same, by judging the Evangelicals. When is judging okay, and when is it not okay?

    • https://ericsenglish.com/ Eric English

      Christy…Thanks for the note. The first part of the polemic is taken right out of Romans. Most of the first part is simply my application of the Romans text to evangelicals. If you read Romans 1:16 – 2:24 you will see what I mean. The point of the passage (often used to condemns the practice of homosexuality) is actually written to condemn first century Christians and their attitude towards those who practiced homosexuality (among other things). 🙂

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