Evangelicals, you're the ones choosing sin

07/17/2017 12:15 pm ET

Hey there. We need to talk about homosexuality and the sin that you keep choosing.

I imagine you’re feeling pretty worn out by the fight over your lifestyle choice. I get it. Urges are hard to overcome. Sometimes even when we know the right thing to do, the thing we want to do feels way better, at least in the moment. But in the long term, you have to admit, it hurts you and the people around you. There are lots of stories that prove that, if you’re willing to look past your feelings.

I get that it’s hard not to react when an organization like World Vision or a pastor like Eugene Peterson change their minds about this. We like to know that the people we’ve trusted are on our side, and it feels pretty gross when it turns out that they’re not. It makes us want to fly our flag even higher and shout even louder. It makes us want to double down on our sin. But we must fight those impulses. We must not allow our sin natures to get the best of us. We can choose a better way.

I know what you want to say. It’s not just feelings, the Bible says it’s okay! And sure, if you just look at a couple of passages out of context, it certainly might seem like the Bible wants you to just do what feels good. But we can’t just pick and choose what passages we want to follow. And the overarching theme of the Bible tells us that what you’re choosing is a sin.

Maybe you don’t even believe that it’s a choice. Maybe you think that this is just how God wants you to behave. But I can tell you, it’s not. Your choices are just that – choices. You can choose something different. I’m going to tell you a few ways you can choose something better for you, and better for the world by choosing something other than your fear and prejudice against LGBTQ people.

  1. Read something that challenges your beliefs. I recommend Torn by Justin Lee, God and the Gay Christian by Matthew Vines, or  Changing Our Mind by David Gushee. If we’re not open to hearing from the people we are sinning against, sometimes it can be hard to see our sin. Listening to the words of those who are calling out our sin can be a big step toward confessing and making a change.
  2. Pray about it. Really take time to examine your heart before God about your fear and prejudice against LGBTQ people. God promises to forgive our sin when we pray.
  3. Go to church. Not just any church – look for an affirming church. Go and see how God uses LGBTQ people in the Body. Listen to a gay pastor preach. Take communion with a transgender woman. Discover the ways that the LGBTQ community is enriching the Church and join with them.
  4. Repent. It’s hard to admit that we hold prejudice and fear in our hearts, but when we believe that we can determine who is really a Christian based on their gender identity or who they fall in love with, that’s what we’re holding onto. The Bible tells us the perfect love casts out fear. When we repent of our fear, we can love. Jesus said that people will know we are disciples by our love. Repent and turn to love.

It may be a lot to take in. Maybe it wasn’t even what you were expecting. Know this, choosing not to sin in this way will cost you. You may lose friends and family, you may lose prestige, in some circumstances, you may even lose a job. But we can make that choice. We can turn away from our sin, and turn toward freedom. We can turn away from fear, and run toward love.

It’s your choice.

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