Ummm…. this is one tough topic to preach on. Today, I tackle the subject of homosexuality and the bible. Tune in and be sure to listen all the way to the end… Need prayer? visit my.oswegochristian.com/pray to post a request.Subscribe to our podcast on your phone to automatically have new messages downloaded weekly: in iTunes (http://my.oswegochristian.com/iTunes) or Android (http://my.oswegochristian.com/Google)
MEMORIZE: Romans 13:14SCRIPTURE STUDY: Luke 14
DISCLAIMER: This subject matter is of a much more sensitive nature than what I would normally preach. We acknowledge that not everyone is going to be comfortable… OPENING ILLUSTRATION: So, when our kids were younger, one of the first things they learned to do was lie. This works out well for a kid, doesn’t it, you can eat a cookie, look your mom in the eyes and tell her you didn’t do it and you both still have your moms love AND a cookie! it’s genius. Except for one thing. It breaks trust, right? I mean, that’s how we have taught our kids not to lie, and if it breaks trust, then it’s not very loving. And that’s why lying is a sin, it’s the opposite of love, it’s selfish. Every sin is like this. Murder – not loving, stealing – not loving, gossip – not loving… God is love, so anything contrary to love is contrary to the heart of God – it goes against His very nature and His created order. You can choose not to believe this, but eventually, it will catch up with you, right? -you take advantage of people to make a little more money, eventually people will write you out of their life -you ignore your kids to be focus on your own desires, like playing ONE more game of candy crush – it’s crushing your relationship So, if this is the logical case, breaking love breaks a relationship with God, then let me ask you a question If the Orthodox view of Christianity is that homosexuality is a sin How do you reconcile it with that concept? Actually, I have a friend who was a very committed Christian when we were in high school. He is still a very committed Christian but has decided to engage in a homosexual relationship. I messaged him years back and asked him to help me understand… He sent me an article that laid out the exact same argument I just laid out in front of you, as well as reasons why every passage that we think blatantly discusses homosexuality in the scripture are taken out of context. I read the article and thought, I think the average Christian would walk away from this, swayed to change their stance if they stood at a biblical level. Today, I’m not going to refute all of his arguments about taking the scripture out of context, I will share a link on Facebook that does a great job of that. Because I want to answer the main complaint, the logical question… How can it be wrong if it’s loving – because he waited to have sex till he was married and he is now married in a homosexual relationship that is monogamous… B He would argue that his relationship is more God honoring than half the people his age sitting in church today who were having sex before marriage and are not really committed to each other. B What do you do with that? B Why is the bible opposed to homosexuality? To answer this question, we again have to go back to the beginning… before we get to this answer, I need to tell you why it’s not wrong Homosexuality is not wrong because -it’s gross -it’s weird -it makes you uncomfortable There is something much deeper going on here – and when you make it about those things, you just hurt people… – Go back to genesis Genesis 1:27-28 27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Three times in the book of Genesis: Mankind (man and woman) created in God’s image to be fruitful and increase in number. (Genesis 1:27-28, Genesis 5:1-3, Genesis 9:6-7) The issue with the homosexual union is that it is a distortion of the primary directive God placed in the human heart – to bear God’s image and reproduce that image. It’s not unloving to another person, it’s unloving toward God because it is a misrepresentation of his image. Two men and two women CANNOT adequately reproduce the image of God in the same way a healthy, loving, heterosexual relationship can. Why can’t they? Because it is contrary to the way God created us – it is a bending of our purpose and identity. ILLUSTRATION: Jenni and I have been doing some remodeling to our house. One of the things I’m notorious for when I’m using my drill is seeing a nail that sticking out and trying to hammer it in with the butt of my drill. Can I tell you a secret? It sometimes kind of works – but it was not meant to work that way. My drill is GREAT at putting screws into wood. Not driving nails. My wife is able to give a part of the image of God to my kids that I will never be able to give, and I don’t believe any other man – no matter how effeminate he is could give. I am able to give a certain level of confidence to my children that my wife just simply cannot give. It’s interesting to me because Hollywood knows this – even though they try to convince us otherwise. Think about just how many movies there are where kids are longing for a relationship with their dad… A homosexual encounter is an attempt to unite parts of the image of God that were never intended to be united. As we talked about last week, the sex act is more than just an animal instinct – it is the means by which we are united to another human in the image bearing relationship of marriage Phew, everyone take a breath… I want to close with answering two question: 1. How should we treat people who struggle with homosexuality? 2. What should I do if I’m struggling with Homosexual thoughts and feelings? B 1. How should we treat people who struggle with homosexuality? Ummm…. like people… but if you want a better answer than that, we should look at Jesus and what He said… Luke 14:12-14 12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” I love this, Jesus is actually at a party with a bunch of religious people – so when He’s saying this, He’s pointing out their hypocrisy at hanging out with those who make them comfortable. Jesus says, when you party – invite the people who are on the margins Do are very few people who are as marginalized as people who struggle with homosexuality and gender dysphoria. I believe Christians should flip the table and instead of being shocked by the LGBTQ lifestyle, we should start being shocking with the way we reach out in love to that community. Listen, I’m going to say this and it may be a revelation for you What Jesus wants is for that person to surrender to Him and find their identity in Him. He will deal with their sin, just like He deals with yours – with gentleness and grace. My gut is that for most people who are struggling with Homosexuality – Jesus may be more interested in healing them of the hate in their heart and forgiving those who’ve hurt them – those sins may be more important to Him than the blatant one you see on the surface. 2. What should I do if I’m struggling with Homosexual thoughts and feelings? First of all, can I just say, I’m thankful for your bravery to stick through this sermon and my heart breaks for you and the tension that must be inside your soul. I understand how sad, and frustrating, and cooped up it must feel.. Here are a few thoughts… 1st – It is not a sin to be same sex attracted and experience that as a temptation. The sin is in the act. So, I would tell you what the scripture says about temptations 1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. Romans 13:14 (ESV) But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. Galatians 2:20-21 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” God may not remove the temptation, but He is faithful. The problem is, our world says, “If you are attracted to it, it must be ok to indulge in it.” ILLUSTRATION: But we don’t do this with other temptations. If someone is tempted by alcohol as an alcoholic, we don’t tell them, “Well, go drink more”. We say, “stop drinking and stay away” 2nd – you need to find someone safe you can tell so you are not alone in this battle You can talk to me or Jo Lynne 3rd – you need to start to learn to center your identity in Jesus, not in your sexuality. Galatians 3:26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith When you accept Jesus – he changes your identity… You become His – that’s why what Paul said about being crucified in Christ is SO important – it’s how we identify with Him… CLOSING ILLUSTRATION: When we did foster care one of the things that became incredibly obvious to me through that process was that part of the reason you love your kids is because they bear your image – they reflect your personality, your temperament, everything about you. You can see yourself in them. But our foster son, I couldn’t see that – he felt like a stranger. But that was at first. Because, we decided he would be our son no matter what – that we would love him and walk through life with him. Even now, we still stay in touch since the system moved him. He’s coming to visit us soon. We loved him and still love him, because he’s ours and we chose to love him. I know you may be sitting there and feeling like you are unloveable, but I can guarantee you this – you are not unloveable to Jesus… You just aren’t. Because He chose to love you and give himself for you. He died to have a relationship with you – right where you are so He could take you to where He knows you can be. Don’t miss that opportunity today!