Last Tuesday evening, I heard a portion of a radio show on Focus on the Family called How Should We Respond To Homosexuality (you can listen to it here).
Joe Dallas, a former homosexual, gave a powerful message that I felt like was well worth listening to. Here are some of his points: Homosexuality is absolutely an abomination, a horrible sin, yet we are called as Christians to boldly love them anyway. He gave practical examples of ways to show our love and concern for their souls. He argued that until we do that, they are not going to listen to our message of a savior. They desperately need a savior but hostility will never win them over. He did mention that righteous anger is absolutely appropriate, but he demonstrated the difference between righteous anger and hostility.
This immediately made me think back to a few days before when I had been riding behind a car with a bumper sticker that read, "Instead of being born again, why don't you just grow up." That made me so mad. The verse about blaspheming things they don't understand came to mind. When I pulled up next to this car, I looked over to see what such a person looked like who dared have such a sticker on their car. Unfortunately, instead I ended up glaring hatefully at them. While listening to Joe Dallas speak, it occurred to me that no one has ever been won to Christ by being glared at. It is right to feel anger that someone would scorn and trample God's command to be born again, but it is also right to demonstrate love anyway. Now I don't know what that looks like sitting at a stop light, but glaring at them is certainly what it doesn't look like. Righteous anger is being jealous for God's glory and his word. Sinful anger is being personally offended that they are insulting Christians, and therefore insulting us, and thinking, "Just you wait and see who's right about this." Righteous anger grieves for a lost soul, prays silently for their salvation, seeks to show them that the love of Christ is bigger than petty social spats of left versus right.
He also made an excellent point that I felt like applied to other issues besides just homosexuality and helped address some of my Christian and politics questions. First he said, do you know what a sociopath is? A sociopath is a person who has absolutely no conscience. They will do whatever is expedient for them. If it is helpful to them to be nice to you, they will be nice to you. If they decide you are dispensible or in their way, they will kill you. You would not want a sociopath babysitting your children.
Likewise, a state without a conscience is a sociopathic state. Such a state will do anything that is expedient. It will allow the killing off of its offspring, it will allow the "speeding up the death process" (killing) of its burdensome elderly, it will harvest and manipulate and experiment with human embryos because of the scientific possibilities, it will condone any and every sexual perversion that does not damage the state too much. Whatever is convenient, it will allow. And what is the consience of the state? The church of course. And so we cannot allow the church to be silenced in the political process. To throw up our hands, to give up, to not press on to be the conscience of this land, is to give our children and our grandchildren over to a sociopathic state. We must show our love and concern for the souls of the homosexuals and the abortion doctors and yet we must never stop fighting against their causes.
Whew, this is a fine line to walk. And if we don't have clear thinking and teaching on these things, we aren't going to be able to walk it. Our pastor mentioned in a sermon a couple of weeks ago that the far left has a much different idea about evangelical Christians than they do about Jesus. Why is it? Perhaps partly, he admitted, because they misunderstand the true Jesus. But could it also be because of our hostility towards the lost that Jesus lacked? This is what Chris is always so good at emphasizing when talking about the Christian and politics, that we must not let politics put a barrier or a hurdle in front of the gospel. When the far right becomes synonymous with the gospel, where do sinners turn when they realize their need for a savior?