What makes someone a good Christian? Or how does someone know if they will go to heaven? The answer to that can be complex, yet so simple.
Should it matter the gender of the person you love to be a good Christian? I don’t believe it should. For some reason, it is indwelled in believers’ heads that you have to be married to the opposite sex to earn a place in heaven. If you’re gay, you’re going to hell. Why would something so negative be taught, when the Lord is so loving and gracious? Why does who we love, dictate our place with God? I don’t think it does. I don’t think the Lord thinks that either.
Some people in the LGBT+ community have stayed away from God because they are afraid of judgement. A lot of them have probably been taught that you can’t be gay and a Christian. “You can’t have it both ways,” as I hear a lot. But why not? I believe you can.
The Lord would never shun his children because of who they feel connected to. He welcomes everyone with open arms. In fact, He wants us to have relationships and love one another. “Love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15:12). Love is a common theme in the Bible, if you didn’t know that already.
There are six passages in the Bible that can be referenced to homosexuality. They are also known as “clobber” verses. I’m not going to get into them because there is no need for me to justify each one. I will mention though, that the word “homosexual” is a mistranslation. Check this link if you want to look into it further. That being said, the Bible is the truth. It’s His Word. There is no doubt in my mind about that, but people should be informed.
The way to come to God, is to be led by God and only God. We need to trust that He knows best, because He does. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11). Have reassurance in His Grace and power. He knows what our journey will look like.
God knows what we need, to live a life closer to Him. He wouldn’t set someone on a path of despair and confusion. Look at Matthew 6 where Jesus talks about the birds. “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.” (Matthew 6:26). We are more valuable than birds. The Lord takes care of all His creation. He wouldn’t manipulate someone to a road of sin. The enemy does that.
One of the worst things someone could do, is think they know more than the Lord. That’s the sin. The sin isn’t loving someone. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5). In the book of Judges, it talks about all these people who did awful things and committed sinful acts. We read in the book that, “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.” (Judges 21:25). Those things happened because they didn’t have someone that could be a model to them. They thought they knew better than the Lord and did whatever their hearts wanted. That’s not a way to live. Surrendering your life to God is the only way to live.
Jackie Hill Perry is a preacher who talks about this subject and has had a personal experience to having same-sex attractions. She said in an interview, “My heart has been the problem the entire time. My primary idol is not my sexuality, my primary idol is me. I assume that my way and my feelings, my affections, my thoughts, are wiser than the word of God.” He knows the truth. He is the truth. If we let our heart control us and not the Lord, that’s when we fall into a pit of sin. It’s not the Lord’s doing for those actions.
For those people in the LGBT+ community, it’s about looking to God for guidance and relying on Him. If we repent, ask the Lord to reveal our hearts and ask Him to help us with any doubt, confusion or worry we might have, He will answer. Remember, in His freedom, we are free. We just need to communicate with Him.
No one wants to change for anyone, but it’s best to be open to letting the Lord take over. He puts people in our lives that are supposed to be there. A good friend of mine said, “we don’t change for people. It’s God who made us and loves us and molds us into who He wants us to be.” Rest in that. Rest in the Lord and follow Him.
Something I have heard people say in the past is, “I need to be straight to be a good Christian,” that relates to the previous point about trusting God.
Bridget Eileen Rivera is a writer, speaker and educator. She is a huge advocate for LGBT+ people in Christianity. I read her story and many things she said stood out to me, but one specific quote grabbed my attention. “We don’t follow Jesus by becoming righteous. We become righteous by following Jesus.” Adding to that by saying, “You can’t perform the Christian faith. You grow in it.” Beautifully said.
It’s not about the certain dos and don’ts of Christianity. It about learning from God. He teaches us and shows us who He wants us to be. The Lord helps us grow closer to Him so we can be more like Jesus. Bridget also asks the question, “What if the Christian life isn’t about living a sinless existence but actually about following Jesus, whatever that means and wherever it takes you?”
Following Him should be our priority.
Now, let’s talk about identity. We live in a culture where people label themselves. The problem with that, is that we are letting how we feel, determine who we are. A pastor at my church said in a sermon, “as you self-identify, your worth and value changes by the day… What you desire becomes your identity.” The thing is, our desires can’t be trusted, so why label ourselves on that?
We live in a world where pronouns are everything. If we don’t get them right, people will get offended. My pronouns are She/Her/A Child of God. We are all children of God, but that’s my identity. I don’t want to be known as anything else but a child of God. My worth and who I am can only be found in Jesus Christ. God made us in His image. He specifically designed each and every one of us. Find hope in that. “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27)
We need to be driven by Him and see our worth in Him. Sometimes it’s hard, but we need to realize the difference between the enemy’s voice and God’s voice. If we feel anger, hurt, hopelessness, confusion, disheartening to our hearts and don’t feel peaceful, when hearing something or doing something, it’s the enemy taking over. If we feel grace, joy, tranquillity and His loving presence, then it’s God. He is the One that gives us love, peace and all the other fruits of the spirit.
We can only get total fulfillment out of God. People and things on earth, give us temporary joy, and that’s the problem. We get so consumed with things in front of us that make us happy, when really the only thing that can always give us full joy, is God Himself. We can’t be absorbed with the distractions of this world. For it be a car, house, clothes, people etc.
If we do find ourselves in a relationship, yes, it should be “one flesh”. What does one flesh mean? Simply, it means two people coming together through Christ. If we follow the commandments and love one another through the love of the Holy Spirit, then that’s an acceptable and healthy relationship. It shouldn’t matter the gender of the person; it should matter if we are loving each other through the love of the Lord. That’s what makes “one flesh”.
Too many people in the queer community live in constant inquisition, let alone trying to figure out where they fit in their faith; waking up some days feeling great about their relationship with the Lord, yet other days finding themselves lost and far away from Him. They are wondering if they can still be accepted by God and go to heaven if they are attracted to the same-sex. That’s a horrible way to think. That needs to be changed. NOW.
These things shouldn’t even enter people’s minds. Phrases like, “you’re loved by God, but you need to be married to a man to go to heaven,” shouldn’t be said. That is putting more doubt in people’s heads. That doesn’t help their relationship with the Lord. It gets them more terrified if they actually believe it. That being said, our faith shouldn’t be about our sexuality. It should be about knowing Him, trusting Him and loving Him.
It should just be about loving Him, right? There’s no need for people to slander each other for our differences. Another thing my pastor said was, “we can disagree but we can’t divide.” Amen to that! Everyone can voice their own opinion, but it shouldn’t make people hate themselves and want to step away from their faith because they feel judged. We need to come together, love one another and love the Lord with our whole being. We need to unite together in His love.
There’s so much more to say about this topic, but I pray that the world gets a better understanding of the subject, no matter what we all think. I pray God shows us all the truth. I pray He shows us our hearts. I pray the Lord helps us do better at loving each other. I pray that instead of judging one another, we embrace one another. I pray that we are driven and guided by Him and not the distractions of this world. I pray that we all see His love and presence. I pray that we come together in His name.
I asked a question at the beginning of this, asking what makes a good Christian. If we want to know and want to know what we can do regarding this topic, I leave everyone with this. “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37-39).
Take heart in His Grace. Take heart in His mercy. Take heart in His holiness, goodness and righteousness. Take heart in His immutability and impeccability. Take heart in His love.