I was reading an article today and a story at the end struck me. You might find it interesting too. The article is titled Downplaying the Sin of Homosexuality Won’t Win the Next Generation and was written by J. D. Greear.
The story was:
A number of years ago, a lesbian couple started to attend our church. After several months, one of the two scheduled an appointment with me. Through tears, she said,
I need some advice—I prayed with you a few months ago at the end of a service to receive Christ, and now I don’t know what to do. When I started coming to this church, I was so excited about the God I was encountering each week that I invited my wife to come with me. She researched you and found out this church believes homosexuality is a sin, and she told me, ‘There’s no way I am going to that church. If you want God in our lives, fine. Let’s find a different church. A church where they accept us.’ So she found a liberal church in Raleigh and we started to go there.
“After attending there for a month,” she continued, “I told my wife that God was not in this church. He was, however, at The Summit. So, we had a choice. We could go to The Summit where God was and they didn’t accept ‘us,’ or go to this liberal church where they accepted us but God was not. ‘Do what you will, but I’m going to the church where God is.’”
She asked for baptism and began the painful process of severing her marriage ties. Shortly thereafter, we baptized her.
Six more months went by, and I got a request from her former wife to meet. She told me,
After my wife was baptized, I finally worked up the courage to come and visit your church one weekend when she was out of town. When you introduced the subject matter for the morning, I couldn’t believe it. . . . I thought, ‘I knew it! This is all these bigots ever talk about. They are obsessed with us. I’ll just listen for 10 minutes and catalog all the hateful things he says so I can prove to my wife this is not the place for us.’
In five years, I’ve probably preached one message that was entirely and completely on the subject of homosexuality. That happened to be the weekend this woman chose to come.
She continued, “However, after 10 minutes, my column for ‘hateful things’ was blank, and I thought, #$%#! This is the most loving anti-gay message I’ve ever heard in my life. I’ve been attending or watching online every week since.” She broke down in tears and said, “I know this is all true and I want God in my life. What can I do?” A few weeks later, we had the privilege of seeing her profess faith in Christ in the waters of baptism. She said, “Thank you for not changing the message for me. It’s always been obvious, to both my partner and me, what the Bible says about this.”
This is the most loving anti-gay message I’ve ever heard in my life. What a conclusion! That, of course should always be the conclusion for those who have ears to hear what Jesus says to people through his word. We all of us need to be challenged on those areas of sin that are active in our lives. And we need to be challenged, because God loves us and wants us to have the best possible life in loving relationship with him (John 10:10). If that is what we want for others, then backpedalling won’t help them. We just need to make sure that they hear that our motive is out of love for them – that’s the hard part!