Cultural Clashes: Homosexuality

This is a subject of which has only grown in furor between those who support homosexuality and alternative lifestyles and those who oppose them. The battle lines have been drawn and you are either on one side or the other. It appears as though the middle ground has been ripped out from underneath the general public. Both sides have painted the other in the worst possible light, erected their straw men, and created an arsenal of red herrings. Where does this leave the average person who doesn’t necessarily feel a strong inclination to one view or the other? Often it leads to a rash and uninformed decision. So is there a way to a middle ground on this issue? To that we now turn.

The paint brush is broad when it comes to both sides, but I think that is truer of those who oppose homosexuality. They are often labeled as homophobes, oppressors, and religious zealots. While this is certainly true of some on this side of the fence, it is certainly my experience that this is not the case with the majority of those who oppose homosexuality. However, I don’t think Christians truly know how to appropriately respond to homosexuality in the culture. I think this is because they feel as though the homosexual community is cramming this lifestyle down their throats. Right, wrong, or somewhere in between doesn’t matter because that is the perception. So the Christian community in general responds in kind rather than being able to take a moderate approach to addressing this issue.

What are some ways Christians can better approach this topic? For one, I think we need to quit thinking that we have a right to tell homosexuals how they can or cannot live their life. What Christians are called to do is speak the truth in love. We are honor bound by the Scriptures to tell homosexuals that the life they are choosing to live goes against God’s Word and desire for their life, but we are not required to make them abide by it. However, I think Christians are completely justified in asking homosexuals to be sensible when expressing affection in public, just as I would like for heterosexual couples to do. I am not trying to advocate some sort of double standard. I find it extremely distasteful to see a heterosexual couple being overly affectionate by doing things like making out in public. In the same way, I don’t like to see homosexual couples doing this either. In my observations, it seems as though homosexual couples are more prone to these types of inappropriate displays of public affection. Again, that is just my opinion.

Many times, the homosexual community also feels put off by the religious side of the culture because they do not feel welcome. We as Christians are called to love homosexuals. What do I mean by this? If you are having a barbecue at your house, don’t be afraid to invite someone who is a homosexual. Their presence there is not going to cause you to sin by osmosis or anything. It allows you to demonstrate that you appreciate them as a person and care about them and, therefore, builds a relationship and a foundation for future discussions about their lifestyle without their feeling as though you are judging them.

This has been born out in past discussions I have had with homosexuals. They understand our religious convictions, but they see an incongruity with what we claim to be and how we live out those claims. Imagine Jesus for a moment. Think about the short glimpse we have into his life as recounted in the gospels. He regularly reached out to those who were considered to be on the fringe of society although he didn’t give approval of their sins either. For example, when Jesus encountered the woman at the well she was certainly a social outcast for many reasons. She had been with many men and was living with a man out of wedlock at that time. This was utterly and completely unacceptable in that society and often resulted in a type of shunning by the community. She was also a Samaritan while Jesus was a Jew. These were two groups diametrically opposed to one another and they didn’t acknowledge the other even when around each other. This is reflected in the woman’s question to Jesus after he asked her for a drink of water. She asked him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” Even though the social convention was such that he should have avoided her, Jesus used it as an opportunity to reach out to her with the truth.

I think this is where we are at as a society. Both sides have allowed the social convention shape the debate and prevent the two sides from engaging in a productive discussion to reach a middle ground where we can coexist with one another while respecting each others position.

I would like to hear your thoughts on this. However, do not use this as an opportunity to bash or advocate a position as this will result in your comment being deleted. I want a productive discussion and not more of the same rhetoric.

What are some other ways Christians can reach out in love without compromising on our own position? What are some things homosexuals can do to promote a healthier interaction?
What'd you think? 


1 Response to "Cultural Clashes: Homosexuality"

  • Kyle Says:

    Olon,
    Thank you so much for this article. I have been, as you know, looking for truth to real life situations and what the Bible says about them. So many Christians are quick to condemn homosexuals based upon their lifestyles vs reaching out to them and build a friendship with them. Like you said, Jesus didnt come and hang out with only good and holy people. He went after those in need and as a follower of Christ, he is my example on how to serve the Father. With Love. I welcome my homosexual friends with open arms and no different than any other friend. Not because i approve of their lifestyle, but because I love them and will not tell them that they do not know how to love like so many try to tell them.

    I have always gone back and asked the question that became so popular in mainstream culture years ago what would Jesus do? If Jesus encountered a homosexual Samaritan (which is equal in penance to an adulteress) would he pick up a stone to put them to death? without a doubt NO! He would not. He would however ask them to eat with him so that he can tell them of Gods love for them. And let that mustard seed grow when God calls their name.

    God has a plan for each one of us. Not to harm us but to to lift us up. I find great comfort in Jer 29:11, and though we sin and SHOULD be put to death for the sins we commit, I am testimony that he does forgive. Like so many other Christians i should have been dead a long long time ago. But I have been forgiven by the Grace of God, and will continue to lead my life by his calling and will continue to share this message of love