This weekend I will speak on one of the most controversial topics of our generation. Jesus never spoke directly about homosexuality. He did talk about marriage. He talked about sin. He talked about relationship with God. He talked about grace. Depending on your point of view, you will focus in on one part of His teaching to justify your viewpoint on this issue.
Since Jesus did not speak directly to the issue, we must look at his ministry holistically to determine how he would respond to Ellen.
First, you have to decide if homosexuality is the result of sin entering the world or if it’s part of God’s plan? For me I’ve done a lot of research and have come to the conclusion that homosexuality, like greed or envy or lying, are all part of a fallen humanity. Paul says that we “were born into sin” (Romans 5:12). Not every Christ follower agrees with that statement, but that’s the first question you have to wrestle with.
Second, you have to ask the question, can a homosexual be a Christ follower? This answer is a little more tricky. Jesus said that anyone could to come to Him (Matthew 11:28-30). Paul writes that “while we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). If we deny entry into relationship with Christ based on how someone chooses to live, then we are all in trouble. We get stuck if we think people of a certain lifestyle can make it but others of another lifestyle can’t.
Third, if you believe homosexuality is part of the fall, if you believe that a homosexual can become a Christ-follower, the third question if you have to wrestle with, is how does someone live out their faith when they struggle with any sin?
The answer to this one is to watch how Jesus interacted with everyday people, not the religious who thought they were sinless or those who were anti-Jesus, meaning they want to live however they want to live regardless of his teachings. But what about honest people who are really interested in being in a relationship with Jesus – how did he treat those people?
While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:15-17 NIV)
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:1-10 NIV)
Action: Read these two stories and jot down your thoughts. I will blog on these Saturday.