Here's some news I pass along with great relief (h/t Double Toothpicks
The prosecution appears to have been exhibiting anti-Christianism in bringing charges, but when I posted
on this when the charges were levied, I said that confrontational evangelism is not Biblical, and for good reason. When evangelicals shout gospel verses at gays (I have no idea whether Repent America was shouting or not; this is just a point, not a commentary on them) they do nothing to build the Kingom of God. Just as scantily clad, outrageous cross-dressers do nothing for the gay rights movement when they flaunt about in gay rights parades.
I doubt if anyone ever came to Christ by being publicly embarassed or angered by a self-righteous zealot shouting at them. And I also doubt that any Christian grows closer to Christ by turning a cold shoulder on gays.
Fortunately, the confrontational evangelists are a minority. A gay conservative Christian called Bill Bennett's
show yesterday morning and said conservative Christians give him less flack about being homosexual than gays give him about being a conservative Christian. This doesn't surprise me because any good Christian knows thatPaul didn't write the Romans and say, "All, except heterosexuals, have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." He said all, just all.
Yet when I told a Christian friend recently that I hoped to have a get-to-know-you cup of coffee with Gay Patriot West
soon, I got a "why would you want to do that" look. Why not? I'm a sinner, he's a sinner. He's no different than the adultress, the tax collector and the demon-possessed graveyard dweller Christ ministered to; nor am I.
None of us can be saved in any way but by grace; the trick is what we do with the rest of our lives after being saved, and this is where even tolerant gays have trouble with Christianity. I left behind many bad habits, including some lust-oriented ones, when I became a Christian simply because it became important to me to live in a way that would please Christ. It is important for Christian gays to repent from any sex other than the sex God deems unsinful -- between a married man and woman -- and that is understandably a very difficult leap for them to make, especially for those who are in long-term monogamous relationships.
I know gay men who have honored God's call to avoid sexual sin. Some settled for abstinence, some became comfortable with women and married. But those transformations took grace and time and were hard for these men to imagine when they first confronted their sin nature. The difficult work they did certainly deserves the respect and compassion of any true Christian.
And what of gays and Christians? Few have probably run into anything overtly hostile as Christians yelling, "Repent or burn!" at them, but they take our view that their lifestyle is a sin and our opposition to gay marriage as similarly hurtful or hateful. It's not, but it's hard to explain
why it's not.
Maybe this will help. Peter
, a friend of mine has an evangelical Christian church on Mt. Carmel
in Israel. Years ago, when his now grown-up daughter had her first day in an Israeli elementary school, she came home and said, "Daddy, they don't use plus marks in addition here!" Sure enough, being Jewish often means being anti-Christian, and many Jews simply didn't like the way the plus reminded them of the cross, so they changed it.
Many gays have the same feelings about us. They don't want to see our cross, or us. We remind some that they are sinning. We frighten others. And worst of all, for some we bring back the deep hurts caused by parents who went to church every Sunday, yet kicked their gay child out of the house when his or her sexual preference was discovered.
If we are to help gays accept conservative Christians, we can't change our beliefs and accept the gay lifestyle as OK. That's verbotin.
All we can do is believe and trust in Christ, show it through love and the admission of our own sins, and be patient, knowing that the best we can do is to model Christ's compassion.