Today I want to address men and women with a homosexual orientation everywhere. You've been on my heart for ages. Two recent events in the media brought this subject to a head for me. You may have seen them and read them and "tutted" or shook your head. Hear me out - here they are for those who have missed them;
I got an email shortly after I shared my story from a gay guy within SGM who like me kept his struggles a secret because of fear. He felt that only gay Christians have the right to speak to the gay community because only they understand. I'm not sure I quite agree - the power of the Gospel by the Holy Spirit can come through anyone set free by grace. But I saw his point. It's quite hard to listen to someone like Al Mohler tell me what I should and should not do when he is happily married and presumably shares his bed every night. I on the other hand sleep alone and feel so utterly lonely sometimes.
So this is what I wanted to say to gay men and women everywhere;
1. You've got every right to be angry with us because we've made out that we're better than you (even if we say we're not).
2. You've got every right to be angry with us because we've made out your sins are worse than others (mainly ours).
3. You've got every right to be angry with us because we've not told you the full truth and glory and wonder of what Jesus Christ accomplished at the Cross.
4. You've got every right to be angry with us because we've made out that you must get saved and commit to a life of miserable celibacy and all you've got to look forward to is heaven when you die.
5. You've got every right to be angry with us because we've told you the only thing that matters is that you become "straight" if you get saved - not that the only thing that matters is you building a relationship of intimacy and love with the One that loved you so much He died for you.
6. You've got every right to be angry with us because we haven't come out to you and told you this message. We've sat behind passages in Leviticus and Romans and pointed the finger from afar - because we're afraid of what we don't know.
7. You've got every right to be angry with us because we've behaved utterly un-Christlike in our attitudes to you. We've stood at the side of gay Mardi Gras marches tutting or worse screaming "Sodom and Gomorrah!" while Jesus Christ would be walking and marching with you dispensing signs and wonders and miracles - healing you of AIDS or any other disorder that you may be suffering with.
There are many other things I could say - and could expand on each of the points above. But I hope it conveys my heart. Until we start owning up to our mistakes and where we have allowed prejudice and biogtry to cloud "what Jesus would do" - then we're never truly going to see the lost coming in. No matter how missional we may be. And I should point out that my friend Ursula and I discussed how the gay community is just one of many the church has problems accepting. What about prostitutes? What about pagans and witches? What about paedophiles?
Jesus went and sat in the homes and ate and fellowshipped with such people in Israel (tax collectors and prostitutes were a Jewish equivalent). What are we doing? I think people such as Dave Bish and others who work with students have an utterly key role in reaching and taking the Gospel to those who need it before they leave university and get swallowed up into normal working life. I can't help but wonder what would happen if there was a revival among the gay community. Where would they go? What churches would lovingly welcome them and accept them with open arms?
Something's got to CHANGE!
By the way - as always all comments are allowed and welcome - but comments from legalists that even smack of homophobia will be deleted. You've had your say - for 2000 years. It's grace's turn!