How I overcame ‘homophobia’
I admit it. I used to be, what society would call, “homophobic.” In my college years – to my regret and shame – I even wrote a public letter “coming out of the closet as homophobic,” in a mocking way and was copy-catting and parroting the (bad) example of a radically fundamentalist pastor.
Today, by God’s grace and by following the example of good pastors, I am no longer afraid of homosexuals. This does not mean, however, I am not afraid for homosexuals. Let me explain.
As a Christian who believes in the Bible and God’s standard for sexual behavior, I cannot take part personally or approve of sex outside of the male-female, one-flesh union of marriage.
This standard does not just leave out homosexual relations. It leaves no room for adultery, pre-marital sex, cohabitation, pornography, prostitution, polygamy and more.*
Throughout history and especially these days, this timeless standard that God Himself set down for our own good, does not win us friends. C.S. Lewis said this of the Christian moral standard of sexuality**:
“Chastity is the most unpopular of the Christian virtues. There is no getting away from it: the old Christian rule is, `Either marriage, with complete faithfulness to your partner, or else total abstinence.’ Now this is so difficult and so contrary to our instincts that obviously either Christianity is wrong or our sexual instinct, as it now is, has gone wrong. One or the other. Of course, being a Christian, I think it is the instinct which has gone wrong.”
In the Christian worldview, anyone who lives outside of these standards not only risks the fearful wrath of God in the Judgment Day, they risk the effects of a self-destructive behavior.
That, in the end, is my fear for homosexuals and others living in sexual brokenness and sin. I fear for their well-being in the here and the hereafter.
Asserting and defending this viewpoint is increasingly hard today, but if we take this viewpoint as Gospel-truth then we must, for the sake of truth and the good of others.
Real love, as the saying goes, warns of dangers ahead. Only a person who doesn’t truly care for you would not speak the truth in a gracious way.
Yet that last element, loving grace, was what I was missing in my sinful, homophobic attitude. I was trying to defend what I saw as right but in the totally wrong way. God, by His grace, is changing my attitude on this issue, but without changing my “latitude.”
In other words, I cannot change my – or rather our – principles, because they are not mine to change. I will, however, year by year, change and improve my approach and hopefully grow.
If you are reading this and self-identify as a homosexual, know that Jesus loves you and died to pay for your sins (and mine), all to reconcile us to God and make us whole and His.
Yes, Jesus loves you and wants to make you more like He is.
Please forgive my former homophobic attitude. Because of Jesus, I love you too, and I strive to become more like Him day by day.
*In Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6 and other places in the New Testament, the Apostle Paul clearly lists various sexual sins, which includes homosexual acts. While some rightly point out that Jesus did not address homosexuality, our Lord did affirm the entire moral code of the Old Covenant and also challenged the divorce culture and polygamy and inherently the notion of same-sex unions by teaching that God’s plan for marriage is displayed in the pre-fallen Garden of Eden Union of Adam and Eve.
**Quote taken from Lewis’ masterpiece, Mere Christianity.