Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!Romans chapter 12, verses 14 thru 16; from the New Living Translation (NLT)
I need to begin today’s thoughts with a confession and a recognition. The confession is that I started these thoughts back in 2019, but didn’t finish them; that is, until this morning. The recognition is that I may lose some followers because of what I am about to write. I’m OK with that. After all, I’m not seeking followers of me. I am, however, seeking to help those who will be followers of Jesus. And that desire sometimes causes people to turn away from me. And my heart breaks for them because they have either chosen to follow the god of this world, or in some way I have failed to reveal to them the true Jesus. The later is mine alone to repent of and seek His restoring and empowering forgiveness.
I am reading a book that, well, honestly, I’m having a hard time reading. It’s deep and uses a lot of big words like mahogany. But I find that big words makes me study more. The book is Rules For Reformers by Douglas Wilson. Usually I love books that are easy to read and understand, something that I can read quickly. But this book…it’s making me think deeply. And here is what The Spirit is prompting me to write.
I want to apologize to the LBGTQI+ community. My apology to you comes out of the lies and half-truths that have been told to you. And please remember that a half truth is still a lie because it’s not The Truth! I have been reflecting and meditating on this hot topic issue of our culture and in our churches. This apology has come out of the wrestling arena that looks like a “no-holds-barred-cage match with multiple participants”. The result for me has been a mix of sobering reality and personal heartbreak. It has led me to a place of repentance and confession to God, and now to this culture we all live in.
First of all, I want to apologize on behalf of the Body of Christ. I apologize that some members of The Body have called you an abomination; as if you were one of a few people worse than the rest. It is detestable that you have been singled out for this word. The Truth is that all of us humans do and engage in things that are in fact, detestable to God. It’s called sin. Your sin is not worse than my, or anyone else’s sin. And our sin is just as bad as your sin. WE, you and I, are not detestable to God. We are all equally loved by God–pure, complete, and unconditional love.
However, and here is the other half of the truth, we have actions and attitudes that are detestable to Him. They are, in fact, detestable to Him because they are outside His Intended Design for us. These things, this sin, alienates us from God. He will not, and we cannot have a relationship with God as long as we embrace our sin. Thus, they are keeping us out of the relationship HE wants to have with us. The death of Jesus on that Cross wasn’t meant to take away the abomination of our preferred sin. But to reveal to us how hideous sin is to Him. And through faith in Jesus, He takes away the penalty and power that all forms of sin holds over us. In short, to help take away our desires to sin–and thus deliver all of us from sin’s dominion.
Secondly, I want to apologize to you that culture, society, and even science has taken away your true freedom. You have also been lied to in that culture, society, and even in some scientific circles, are telling you have that you have no choice with your life other than to live within your physical desires. They alone, bear the responsibility for any and all gender euphoria you may be experiencing. The proven science of biology clearly reveals there are two genders–male or female. There is a rare birth defect known as ambiguous genitalia which is a complicated thing. But it is just this: a birth defect. Not a “person” defect–but a biological defect. Something happened as the baby develops that causes this condition. But the 50+ forms of gender identity being passed out like candy? They are nothing but lies designed to keep you from your true God-given identity.
Labels are great for products. When I buy a can of pinto beans, I know I’m getting pinto beans. Not green beans, white beans, or even dog food. But I detest labels being put on people. I understand what it feels like to have the wrong label. Some have chosen to label me a divorced and remarried pastor; meaning I’m disqualified to do what God has called me to do. And if I had not admitted my sin, did not have the desire to never divorce again, and not put my faith and trust in God forgiving me and making me a brand new person, then I am disqualified. But that’s not what I chose to do. I confessed my sin–meaning I admitted it was wrong. I repented of that sin–meaning I do not want to ever divorce again. And I trusted God could and would take my broken mess of a life and transform it back into His image.
To the LBGTQI+ community, my hope and my deepest desire for you is that you find the liberty and freedom that only God provides. I pray that you will finally discover the wonderful person God created you to become. Not the person you feel like you are. Not the person you used to be. And definitely not the person that others say you are. And He provides that liberty and freedom to anyone and everyone who who longs to live life abundantly, joyfully, and fully–fully alive in Jesus–and not the chaos and death of sin. Yes, we are all sinners. But when we absolutely and unconditionally surrender to Him and His will–it just like Paul said it would be:
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!2 Corinthians chapter 5, verse 17 (NLT)