Grace for Gays
Tonight as I watched the television movie called ‘Prayers for Bobby” I again entered into a place of many emotions and many uncertainties. It is a true story of the Griffith family, and specifically their son named Bobby. Bobby battled with same sex attractions and held them secret for years, fearing his religious parents would not understand and might even reject him. He was right, they did not show him any compassion and eventually he could not endure the inward struggle and he jumped off an overpass, timing his jump to collide with a tractor trailer.
I completely admit that the Scriptures and the obvious physiological distinctions make it clear that God’s design was between a man and a woman. But what is not so clear to me is how we as the recipients and sharers of God’s grace should interact and reach out to those who cannot deny what they feel. Who would choose to force themselves into that attraction at the expense of losing your family, your church, and eventually your life?
I have no idea why that lifestyle seems to have become more prevalent in today’s world. Perhaps it is because most had to suppress it in former generations, or maybe it is because the continuing revelations of Adam’s sin are becoming more pronounced in these last days. I do not know, and neither does anyone else. But I do know that pat answers are easy and safe, and I also know that the church has for generations relied on our systematic theology, confident in the fact that we all agree on this particular sin.
It is exactly that safe haven that has kept us from a dangerous journey to hold open the door of grace through Jesus Christ, and allow the Spirit to move where He desires. I have been a Christian for 34 years now, and I know one thing for sure – everyone is a practicing sinner, and everyone practices sin they know is sin and sin they refuse to admit is sin as well. To be sure there are homosexuals who are now living a heterosexual existence, some with growing families and some are even preachers. To what extent they battle those same sex attractions probably varies with the individual, but I am sure many do.
But what kind of inward torture would drive a person to jump in front of an oncoming truck? Have we no compassion, and can we show no sympathy for their situation or are our theological positions enough to insulate us from experiencing their pain? And exactly what requirements are necessary before one can believe on Christ for redemption? How many sins do we have to forsake before we can approach Him, and must we be aware of how God views the entire catalogue of our sins before we can become a legitimate believer?
And during this movie, and I’m sure a scenario that is lived out in thousands of cases, Bobby heard his family and others refer to gay people in the most demeaning and unloving way, his grandmother even suggesting they “line them up and shoot them all”. And these people claimed to be believers and followers of Jesus. And the lineage of these callous people continues today with a complete array of invectives ranging from “Sodomites” to “bath house deviants” and all the rest. And we have to ask ourselves this question, are grace, mercy, and love incongruent to our Biblical beliefs about sin? I do not mean just informing a gay person about his sin, but exhibiting those spiritual fruits to someone in spite of their lifestyle.
No one should practice sin as a believer and follower of Jesus Christ. But I have come to this conclusion, only practicing sinners will enter eternity under the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. My heart grieves to watch a 20 year old young man leap to his death because he has been rejected by almost everyone he loves and within that experience he has come to violently hate himself.
That surely cannot be New Testament Christianity.