‘Hate the sin, love the sinner.’ At least that’s what many Christians are told to do when they come across individuals with lifestyle differences that are incongruous with Christian faith.
But how do we respond when someone in sin asks if Jesus really does love them? When they ask if Jesus can look beyond their sin, sin that friends, family, and society, as a whole is not willing to discuss? Avoiding the question or apathetic reluctance to dialogue isn’t doing any good, in fact its only making things worse.
Recently, I read an mind occupying New York Times article entitled What God Wants reviewing the book, DOES JESUS REALLY LOVE ME? A Gay Christian’s Pilgrimage in Search of God in America by Jeff Chu. Though the article, written by Dan Savage, is not favorable towards Christians, I can not help to think that Chu’s research highlights the significantly importance conversation that Christians need to join.
The genesis of Savage’s article is to make a point of showing the deficient refrain throughout Christianity with the accusation that Christians choose not engage in the conversation, because they have not reasonable solution. If his accusations are true, he may have a point. But our position can’t be disclosed if we are not engaged in the dialogue.
Personally, the issues of related to homosexuality and particularly same sex marriage is more about economic and less about personal equality. If we look closely we will see that this is the way political systems are choosing to address the topic.
Whatever the viewpoint upon homosexuality, Chu’s question is worthy of an answer.
How does a Christian respond when they are confronted by the question of whether Jesus loves the homosexual? Even more so, what is the proper response when there is a recognizable face affixed to the question? Many pastors know the reality of this question, because they’ve sat with a person asking this very questions.
CS Lewis wrote, The Problem of Pain in attempt to reason why humans must experience pain and suffering in every day life even though they have a meaningful relationship with God. Consequently, many theologians have throughout history abandoned the faith because they were unable to come to terms with God’s permissiveness of pain and theological conclusions that are not rational.
The choices of these men and women have lead to abandoning a particular religious faith and it’s theological framework as opposed to continuing to participate in such a way that issues are ignored rather than addressed. Perhaps, humans must go through such experiences to bring growth? The pains of growth alone are worthwhile teaching moments. Otherwise, growth without pain is not really growth at all.
There are questions that need to be discussed. And the Christian voice needs to be heard. What is important is not whether our answer is deemed by society as right or wrong. What’s important is that we are present to be a part of the conversation.
As Christians we should ruminate the issue of homosexuality. It should burden us so much so that we are led to deep moments of prayerful soul-searching and theological reflection. We need to talk about it amongst other Christians and also be willing to talk about the topic with persons outside of the faith. We need to be present so we can give an answer the question; does Jesus really love them? And if not, who does he really love?
What are your thoughts? Is Christianity doing enough to engage in the conversation about homosexuality?
How do you respond when a homosexual asks if Jesus really does love them?