Homosexuality and Where the Church Has Failed

I feel like I’ve backed myself into a corner. I feel like I’ve created a monster, wherein I casually debate hot-button or controversial issues on this blog, and thus people are expecting me to feed that monster. Truth be told, I don’t want to feed it. I want it to slither back into its cave and leave me alone.

But it’s not going anywhere.

I’ve debated in my mind over and over again about how, and if, I should address the issue of homosexuality and gay-marriage on this blog. I’ve had people write me and ask that I do. I have friends, whom I love, that daily struggle with this issue in personal and profound ways.

My knee-jerk reaction has been to write a divisive, controversial, button-pushing post on the subject, clearly articulating my views, and simultaneously pulverizing the opposition. I felt certain that if I did, it would cause a ruckus, but I felt ready for that response…or so I thought.

Thankfully, in the midst of feeling the need to respond to this news article, or that court decision, this legislative act, or that blog post, I stopped and did the one thing that always makes things clear…

I prayed.

And God spoke. He told me exactly what I was to do and exactly what I wasn’t to do.

And wouldn’t you know, God did not want me to engage in a cultural debate, at least not in the way I had assumed. He did not want me to “set the record straight,” interject my opinion, stir the pot, or be just another voice clamoring to be heard amid the deafening noise.

So, I listened and this is where I’ve landed, somewhere between grief and frustration. I find myself broken-hearted, physically wracked inside over the “gay-debate” raging within the church–feeling ill about the way in which homosexuality is discussed, handled, mishandled, twisted, and abused by all sides.

I find myself sifting through different emotions day after day, only to discover one thing is still true. One thing is still right. One Person is still the only voice I should be straining to hear…

It harkens back to the post I wrote about Mark Driscoll a while ago. Yes, I came to Driscoll’s defense, not because I agree with him on everything or because I even really like the guy, but because he is, despite what others would have you believe, my brother in Christ.

I asked a question then, that I believe, is perfectly reasonable to ask now: Are the so-called Christians who are writing, bashing, voting, hating, judging, and manipulating the issues surrounding homosexuality in the church, actually praying about these things before they act? Are they seeking God’s will before they engage in this debate? I doubt very many are.

Elizabeth Elliot once said (and I’m paraphrasing) that if every believer, instead of whining, complaining, or asking for another’s  advice would spend 2 days praying about that question or concern, they would undoubtedly find an answer:

“…do not speak about the decision to anyone but God for forty-eight hours at least. Just hold it before Him alone. Keep your mouth shut for two days. Pray. Listen. Seek his counsel.

Try this, too–sit before Him for fifteen consecutive minutes in silence, focusing your mind on the words of Psalm 86:11 (NEB), “Guide me, O Lord, that I may be true to thee and follow thy path.”

I think of this often. I think of this when I consider whether or not to write about something on this blog, especially something as difficult and emotionally-charged as the issue of homosexuality. I know God has something to say about it and I mean this when I say it– I doubt if hardly a one has solemnly prayed for the Lord’s wisdom and words before adding their own voice to the pack.

But what we want is to win. We want to point a-big-fat-I-told-you-so-finger at the other side. We want to prove them wrong and we’re willing to sacrifice Christ’s name and reputation to do it. It grieves my heart and no doubt it grieves His, as well.

It would not take much to know His will, His heart, His mind on this issue and for an issue as important as this, I think 48 hours is so little to ask…don’t you?

To be clear, I am not desiring to open up a debate on the issue of homosexuality in the church, so much as raise the issue regarding our quickness to join the debate versus our slowness to seek the Lord’s face in prayer. Do you agree or disagree with my observations?

image from here

77 thoughts on “Homosexuality and Where the Church Has Failed”

  1. I think you are absolutely right Nicole. While I may have my own opinions on the rightness/wrongness of homosexuality, I MUST have the right heart when I share them. To not have the right heart has me coming off as a bigoted, egotistical, “I am right about this and you are not” arrogant know-it-all. No matter what I believe, that sort of attitude is wrong. It also shuts any door of hopeful communication.

    1. Bill, well-said and I think you touched on such an important consequence–shutting the door to further communicate.

      If we truly have God’s heart then we should desire the opportunity to share His message above all others. It just seems that, at least on this issue, so many of us haven’t stopped to ask Him what that message entails.

      Thanks for commenting!

    2. Very good encouragement. We do need to pray before we engage such a complex issue, in & outside of the church. As a leader of a church I must be able to encourage those in our church in one thing…. How would Jesus address this issue? Scripture is clear. Jesus would love the person with open arms, and with grace instruct the individual to “Sin no more”. But we must also walk in a grace that allows them to walk through their sanctification. Do we have sin police watching our every move? Not engaging the homosexual community is unbiblical. Attacking the homosexual community is not Christlike. But straying from scripture & from Christ’s example of righteousness & purity is compromise. Much love family. Christ be with us all as we try to please HIM.

  2. Yes! Every issue, problem, conundrum, or choice should be handled in this manner. Thank you for being a calm and reasoned voice in this overly sensationalised discussion (argument?).

  3. So, so well said, Nicole! Thanks so much for posting this!!! Exactly my thoughts on the whole thing… Too many words have been spoken out of anger, like you said, on ALL sides. Thanks for your voice of peace in this controversy. May we let God guide all of us before we speak.

    1. Paula, gosh your comment along with others, makes me feel a bit guilty. I have certainly spoken about this issue out of anger. I’ve made jokes. Been mean even, but thankfully God stopped me from repeating those actions here on this blog.

      Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

  4. I remember an old Pentecostal preacher when I was kid who indicated that if someone had a beer (one) and got in a car wreck and died, then that person, though a Christian, would go to hell. That same pastor had an amazingly large gut due to the southern Pentecostal permissive sin of gluttonous consumption of sweet tea and fried chicken.

    Some in the faith community’s quickness to get all hot and bothered about homosexuality is similar to Brother so-and-so’s concern over liquor. We fear giving up cultural ground more than we are concerned about finding God’s heart and mind. We don our ‘prophet’s cap’ when in reality we just don’t want to deal with wrestling with God in prayer.

    That said, I probably should pray some time this morning! Thanks for your piece.

    1. Brett,
      What a great anecdote and illustration! I love it and it speaks to well to this issue.

      You ended by saying: “We don our ‘prophet’s cap’ when in reality we just don’t want to deal with wrestling with God in prayer.” I think this sentence is one of the wisest and truest I’ve read in a long time.

      Thank you for sharing.

  5. I agree with your observations Nicole and I have experience with a brother in the church that came out of the homosexual lifestyle. I built a friendship with this gentleman that I will call Rick when referring to him in my comment.

    Rick lived a homosexual lifestyle for more than 20 years. He was a Catholic but in his own words, he was not born again. Then lo and behold, God does some amazing things in his life where Rick becomes a born again believer. Then you would think that this man becomes totally healed from his homosexuality and that life is fine and dandy, right?

    Wrong. I thought that once somebody comes to Christ that God takes away their homosexual desires. It turns out that it is still a struggle for Rick although in his own words, he says that his desire has decreased by about 80%.

    Everyday, Rick has to submit his flesh to the Lord and to die to himself and pick up his cross and follow Jesus. It’s not easy but it’s something that he does as obedience to His Savior.

    I just wanted to share this story to shed some facts with your readers on a commonly miss understood subject in the church. Blessings Nicole :-)

    1. Peter,
      Thank you for sharing this story. I have friends who have experienced and continue to experience the same struggles. It is both beyond-inspiring and heart-breaking to watch them daily reconcile their faith with their flesh.

      Far too many of us have only heard second hand stories, or been persuaded solely by the media, or factions of the church, or the culture, as a whole. When what we should be influenced by is the Holy Spirit and nothing less.

  6. Of all the responses I’ve read to this issue (including my own) this is the best. It addresses the real problem, rather than just symptoms. I love it. Thank you for being humble, and using your platform here responsibly. It’s not our own “wisdom” we should be sharing, but God’s, and it’s pretty hard to do that when if aren’t communicating with Him.

    1. Nikki,
      Thank you for the compliment. I do not take it lightly.

      I have to admit that what I really wanted to do was share my “wisdom” here. I wanted to influence people, change minds, turn hearts. It makes me laugh to think about. Do I really believe that I, little old me, could really have that kind of impact on an issue such as this?

      And why would I want to? That is the Spirit’s role. He influences a man’s heart. He changes minds. Not me.

  7. Truth be told I am one of those who has been thinking about the whole issue, having friends who are Homosexuals and those opposed to it is truly frustrating and heartbreaking. I can honestly say i’ve not been praying about but now that you have mentioned it, it has given me this desire to. I mean after all this people are God’s children and before I try and justify how righteous I am, I think like you said Nicole I should just seek God’s direction about how to go about it. Hate towards homosexuals I don’t have but sometimes I do get frustrate with them when I am around particular Christians who are just ready to bash or lash at them cause truth be told they speak some sound wisdom but at times I bet some have never even inquired of God on how to deal nor treat homosexuals.. This issue is by far not yet done.

    1. Tokelo,
      I so understand and have felt the same way, at times. I’m encouraged that you feel compelled to stop and pray about this issue. I think God will bless your decision and obedience to do so and offer greater opportunity to speak and share with those around you.

  8. What a difference it would make if we all prayed this hard before speaking, writing, or voting.

    It’s only recently that I’ve come to terms with homosexuality and the church. I’ve been a baptized Christian since for 11 years now, but oftentimes not be willing to fulling step into His embrace because it felt like a betrayal to the gay and lesbian friends in my life. I’ve seen one friend’s struggle with her family, and during our formative years, it was just heartbreaking. I’ve seen another friend, who knows how much I love him for him, become insanely distracted by the cross around my neck. While it might not be my own personal battle, fully embracing Scripture almost seemed like turning my back on my friends.

    The alternative? I ran from God. And that hurt, too. Ultimately I have chosen God and my gay friends, and in doing so am clinging tight to Him, and to everyone else saying, “So what?”

    It feels strange, I’ve found comfort. There needs to be so much more non-judgmental dialogue than we’ve ever had before. I want gay people to know that I don’t hate them, I don’t look at them differently, that I don’t judge them. I don’t see their sin any more than someone else. I everyone to know that since it’s none of my business–because it’s between them and God–that I choose not to see anyone’s sin.

    I want other Christians to know that I feel no need to thrust the Bible at anyone. I want relationships. I want discussion. For the woman who told me how she informed her gay loved ones, “I love you but I cannot support your lifestyle…” I want to tell her about how angry I am and that she is not bringing Christ’s love to her hurting family members. Then I want to tell her how to do better.

    That’s not to say that I know better. I’m not sure I do. At the end of the day, I feel embarrassed for some of my fellow Christian’s behaviors.

    Just… Dialogue and concern and prayer. Why can’t we have more of that?

  9. thanks for approaching this topic with humility recognizing that there is so much more to the discussion. In trying to better understand the various facets of this issue, I highly recommend an article by Odd Man Out for an inside perspective:

    “Here’s my request for anyone who is committed to loving LGBT individuals with the love Christ demonstrates towards us, regardless of whether you think “love” means calling us out of the sin of same-sex relationships or celebrating them as beautiful and blessed: Please take seriously the weight of these discussions for our lives. When Christians talk about Amendment One, it’s not really about what laws they’ll enforce in North Carolina; it’s about whether God, in all his profoundly gracious and merciful love for me, might be calling me to wake up alone every morning for the rest of my life. When Christians talk about Obama’s view on same-sex relationships, it’s not really about any politician’s voting record; it’s about whether my affection for another man, regardless of his Christlike qualities that attract me to him, fundamentally falls short of God’s design for human sexuality and places me in perpetual conflict with the God whose approval matters more to me than anything else. When Christians talk about LGBT issues, they’re talking about LGBT individuals.”


    1. David,
      Wow, what a stirring and challenging passage you shared. Thank you for sharing the link. I will certainly read it in its entirety and hope others here will, as well.

      Blessings to you.

  10. Yeah, I tend not to pray as much as I should. Intellectually, I believe that “our prayers open us and others to greater movements, possibilities, and energies of transformation in the God-world relationship, specifically involving those situations for whom I pray” (Bruce Epperly, Process Theology: A Guide for the Perplexed).

    But in my heart, I don’t really believe all that. I guess that’s just the punk-rock cynic in me.

    1. Travis,
      I would challenge you with this (but remember this is coming from someone who also questions God’s goodness towards me):

      Why did Jesus pray? I mean, He is Jesus. God in flesh. Yet, when we look at the Word, we know He very often went off to have time alone in prayer. He escaped the crowds frequently to seek the Father’s will.

      If Jesus, the Son of God, needed to make time to pray, well then so should I. If the Messiah found it necessary to seek the Father’s will on an ongoing basis in order to do the Lord’s work, well then we need to do nothing less.

  11. Such a great reminder to me to stop & pray first!! I wont open a debate regarding homosexuality but I will say, that I will never forget the sobs of a close friend who had recently lost her brother to AIDS after years of struggling with his faith and homosexual desires. Her tears,however, at this moment, were not over the loss of her brother, but rather the rejection the
    church showed toward homosexuals. It was that rejection, hate, distain (call it what u want) toward the PERSON in this lifestyle struggle, kept her from her brother to church

    1. sorry I had technical difficulties that resulted in hitting submit before I was finished.

      As I was saying, this kept her from bringing her brother to church because she knew men would not embrace him (P.S. she had just heard a brother in Christ use the “F” word in regards to a gay male). This of course broke my heart for her brother because he was not only her brother, but one of her best friends and a father figure to her, being 10+ years older than her. This convicted me that I need to remember that ALL people need Christ and our tendency to chain people to their sin hinders us from loving the person regardless of it. We need not condone sin, but we also cannot allow our righteous anger for the sin itself affect our ability to love and respect the person involved. It seems to be a common misconception that those involved in homosexuality, do so with their fists in the air to God, but that is not so! They have a God shaped hole in their heart just as I did, and my past sexual sin, homosexual or not, is just as detestable to God as theirs. All in all it is our love that draws people to Christ not our condemnation. There is a reason Gay men and women alike stay away from most “church people”, they understand rejection from the church and it’s got to change. I think we just have a hard time balancing love without feeling like “enablers” (for lack of a better word).

  12. First of all, thank you so much for this blog, Nicole. Having been baptized again quite recently, (I strayed from the path for a few years, but re-dedicated my life to Him), it has been a wonderful part of my learning more about Christianity in a modern sense & how to handle being (as you so appropriate call it) “rejected” by most of society.

    With that said, this particular issue is extremely difficult for me as I work in arts and entertainment, and often in Hollywood/LA area. I have many friends who are homosexual, and most I first met when I was distant from God. Needless to say, it has been a struggle for me, and for some reason I haven’t brought it before God, which seems silly. I suppose it’s been because of shame or guilt. I realize now that the ONLY thing to do, is to ask for His guidance in prayer. I most certainly will. Perhaps right now… :-)

  13. I totally agree. My own opinion on this has not been completely formed yet. I thought it was, but like many worldly controversies, God has been asking me to let Him form my opinion, not what I think is His opinion. I also have been thinking that if we come across another brother or sister in Christ who has a different opinion, to leave well enough alone and let them have theirs, even if we think it is “ill informed.” ;-}.

    So basically, you are asking us to pray for the next two days about the issue and THEN get back with our, I mean, God’s opinion?

  14. I have to admit, when I opened this link on Facebook I expected a different story to flow out, similar to the one you thought you had… changing people’s minds, imparting your wisdom. But instead I found a call to prayer, and I’m so glad that I did. As a Christian who desires to be relevant IN the world, but not OF the world, and who also desires to see homosexuals (well, and everyone of course) come to Christ, I’m a bit confused about what I’m “supposed” to think or “supposed” to vote on this issue. I’ve felt pressured, mainly from myself, to have a dead-set opinion to post on Facebook/Twitter like so many other people are doing. However, I do know one thing; I’m supposed to follow the two commands Jesus gave us, to love God and love others. I do need to spend more time in prayer, but while I’m waiting for wisdom, I will exercise those commands, no matter who those “others” are, or their sexual orientation. I think if I asked any of the pastors at my church who are men of God what to do, they would probably tell me to pray. :) Thank you for this post, Nicole.

    1. Elizabeth, Prayer is important however so is obedience. We are to Love God and Others.. but I challenge you to examine what it means to love God. Loving God also means to love his Will and HIs Word and His righteousness and to adopt those views as your own. To tell you the truth, politically Im a Libertarian (which is to say Limited Government Intrusion) I think Gay people should enjoy all the rights Americans have without discrimination.. (im not sure were marriage fits in this..)

  15. Im sorry, I have to disagree with your approach in this topic. Its always easier to turn on those who represent the “establishment”… and while I agree with your observation about praying prior to acting and not using hate filled speech towards the Lesbian and Gay community.. This post provided nothing more then a examination on what the Church is doing wrong (done all too often) which is very common since we are sinners. Although the approach that many in faith are taking can be labeled as “wrong”.. their conviction remains correct. If all believers were to renew their minds in the word of God and allow the fruit of the Holy Spirit to represent the tactic, we would still remain at a undeniable truth.. SIN .. Homosexuality is represented as sin in both the old and new covenant.. under grace and law.. And if their was any example given to us in scripture about what our position on Sin should be, I would think it would be as clear as this:

    1. Love the Sinner
    2. Be clear what the Sin is and call it exactly what it is (in a truthful and loving manner)

    I suppose many christians find this topic a struggle because they have compromised the articles of our faith and formed intimacy with individuals that perhaps we shouldn’t have. Just remember before we make this a political issue or an issue about gay marriage.. this is a biblical issue of Sin. We should be willing and ready to defend what we believe at all times with the correct attitude. Im just shocked that scriptures position was not defended in this post.

    1. Carlos,
      It seems that you have missed the point I was trying to make. My intention was not to choose sides or “defend” my position. I know exactly where I stand on the issue of homosexuality and gay-marriage, for that matter. However, upon prayer, I was directed by the Lord that I should not use my blog as a platform to engage in this cultural debate.

      Jesus did not engage in cultural debates. When pressed, He would answer questions about say marriage and divorce, but even then His answers were counter-cultural and often left people asking more questions.

      I know what scripture says on the issue of homosexuality. I also understand both sides of the argument, but that’s just the point–I’m not interested in yet another argument or debate on this topic. I am interested in the people of God beseeching Him for wisdom, guidance, and discernment–wherever that may take them.

  16. Nicole,
    Blessings to you and grace from God as you approach this topic. You have stated so well what not only the church has done (speaking in generalities and knowing it isn’t everyone) but myself as well. Praying and seeking Gods council before we speak isn’t always my first approach, and at times I feel that we tend to pray for direction, but according to or desired result and our already formed opinion. If we can just be still and listen, wow. And when dealing with issues that seem to touch people so deeply that is certainly what we need to be doing. I truly feel that when we take the time to pray and seek Gods spirit we will find more love than hate. This we need to do in all things.

  17. I think it is extremely rare to take a stand where you say something like this. All sides will jump on you snd say, “Don’t you care about right and wrong?” And maybe that is where we, the Church, have screwed up. We are more in our positions than the One who makes our positions possible. We care more about right and wrong than love. I just don’t see these positions changing peoples hearts.

  18. I have prayerfully considered responding to this. As i have been praying about this specific topic, myself. And i went to Gods Word. Although i agree (that we should pray) and understand what you are saying, (as I went to Gods Word & prayed too).
    I also think it is important that we not have double standards. I saw another of your blogs on the topic of divorce & it wasn’t stated the same as this.
    In that, you said, “God hates divorce” That’s true. But, God hates all sin.
    Just because homosexuality is the sin right now that is all the rage, doesnt mean we shouldn’t call it what it is. Or be afriad to say it.

    I, in no way am advocating being unkind or hateful or mean about this. Or running around pointing fingers. I am just wanting to be loving about it (Gods love).
    People are going to be offended.
    We are sinful & the gospel is offensive.

    Just like when Jonah called the Ninevites to repentance, and they repented, and because they repented, they escaped Gods judgment. Or the woman at the well, Jesus told her she had 5 husbands and told her to stop sinning. That would be considered offensive today.

    Please don’t think, i think i am super holy or am trying to be arrogant. I struggle myself with sin every day, And i want to be delt with gently too. :) Gods love is a refining love. Sometimes it feels amazing, sometimes it doesn’t feel good AT ALL. But His love is good & perfect.

    Thanks you for all you do. God bless.

    Mark Cahill responds in such a graceful way. Watch “Pride goes before destruction” You can watch it on you tube. I pray God gives me courage and love to speak the truth in love. http://youtu.be/14dFuQhjQbc

  19. Nicole,

    One of the reasons I love your blog is your willingness to address issues that are difficult or controversial. I for one know that I struggle with wanting to jump into a debate without praying about it without seeking the Lord without determining if that is something that will edify Or would world tear Someone down. Over the years, the Lord has taught me a lot about holding my tongue and thinking about what I had to say and when I had to say it there is a time there is a place for debate that time in that place should be dictated by the Holy Spirit and not by when we want to have the debate. failing to follow the Holy Spirit’s direction when addressing any sin, whether that be homosexuality or any other sin that you choose to think about causes us to not be as effective in our witness to others. On a slight tangent, this is not limited to just send but is also limited to other matters that we debate within the church.
    God has given us one of the most powerful tools that we can have prayer, the ability to enter into the throne of Christ to the very presence of the maker and creator of the universe and we fail to use this powerful and immediate ability in our daily lives. Nicole keep following the Holy Spirit and keep writing this blog and edifying your brothers and sisters in Christ. PS up for debate, almost anytime. :)

  20. As always a voice of reason. I like how you were careful not to tip your hand so to speak. You didn’t give anything by way of endorsement to either side. Tough to do but smart. It keeps the topic of this post the topic in the comments as well. What you’re saying here is universally applicable in Christian “Hot-button” talking points. It is also Godly, biblical and right.

  21. Thanks Nicole!

    I am someone that grew up in the church and found it extremely difficult to confess my struggles with homosexuality to anyone because of the extreme biases surrounding this topic.

    On more than one occasion, I sat through a service where a preacher actually seriously suggested that homosexuals were people God created to practice His wrath on; that they were beyond redemption, and destined for Hell.

    Obviously as a young boy, and even as a young man, that was something that I couldn’t reconcile with the Bible I read everyday. Thank God that I continuously reached the conclusion that I too fell amongst the sick for whom the physician had come.

    And thank God for a few wise men, that I was able to open up too, who believed in me, and in Christ’s ability to use even me. I have sometimes said, I know Christ has accepted me, but I am pretty sure His Church would rather I don’t show up.

    I still don’t like to share this with fellow believers, but I feel sorry for the hundreds and thousands of other young people that may well give up, or give into the whole ‘God-is-Okay-with-the-gay-lifestyle’ philosophy, just to try and deal with their pain. They, like me, did not choose to be attracted to the same sex. That doesn’t make it right, neither does it make them any different than all the others struggling with heterosexual lust. The Old Testament punishment for both was the same: Stone them to death! Christ offers the new covenant solution. Forgiveness, The Power of the Holy Spirit and …ahem… community. But I guess many of us may have to do largely without the community part. That is where the Church fails the Gay community.

    But I have become convinced that if Jesus, stood on the sidelines of a Gay Pride parade, He would be so Heart-broken that He would pick up a sign that says “we are worthy of love” and join the march, and would probably turn to the gay man right beside Him, and say: “I understand your pain, you are loved, for you I died, so that you could be freed, forgiven, accepted, empowered in victory, loved, and connected in community.” And it would be Jesus accepting Him for who he is right now that would start the glimmer of hope, that he didn’t need to live like this.

    1. To my brother in Christ,
      I am so sorry that you were ever told that homosexuals were created to take on God’s wrath. It breaks my heart.

      You are right, I believe, that the church has failed to offer safe community to those struggling with homosexuality. We are uncertain of how to do it and wanting to do it right, so much that we freeze and instead do nothing.

      I think your picture of how Jesus would respond is probably pretty right on. He would not cast anyone aside, that is for sure. He would offer hope and new life…and that is the thing that each and every one of us are after.

  22. Wonderful blog, I can see many Christians who are struggling with the issue. The main point is that we listen to Christ when we present our options. As one who accepts homosexuality as a normal state of being and not an illness or human flaw, it is important to be able to speak civilly with those who think otherwise. Too often the militants on both sides of the fence, destroy the conversation.
    Wonderful blog. I’ll bookmark it!

  23. Awesome blog, Nicole!
    I especially love the part when you said “Are the so-called Christians who are writing, bashing, voting, hating, judging, and manipulating the issues surrounding homosexuality in the church, actually praying about these things before they act?” And I think you’re right that most of them don’t.
    I see so many things being posted on Facebook about homosexuality. Many of them, I tell myself to ignore because I don’t want to end up saying the wrong thing or being another outspoken dummy who ends up making myself and others look bad. But sometimes, there are certain posts I just can’t ignore, and I feel compelled to comment on them. When that happens, I pray for God to give me the right words to say.

    I’m so glad you did a guest post on Sammy’s blog today; now I have another great blog to read!

  24. Hm. I will opine thusly, as I recently had this conversation with my bride’s mother.

    If anyone can find for me, in The Scriptures (and you can use any version you wish, no worries), where God my Father has changed His mind about homosexuality and how He looks at it, I will recant my position on homosexuality, since my position is His.

    By the way, I really like what you’ve done with the place. ;)

    1. Shoot. I realized I really didn’t nail my point down. Let me try this again:

      I do not need to pray about homosexuality and my response to it, since it is already laid out for me as a covenant son within The Scriptures and through The Spirit. It is not an issue I can disagree with my Father about (can you imagine being a believer and disagreeing with God?…yeah, me neither) no matter what secular culture and secular emotionalism seeks to have me believe.

      There. Now I know I made my point. Thanks for reading!

      1. Donald Borsch
        I think that you are missing the point, the point is as I read understand it is not if homosexuality is wrong or right. The scriptures tell us it is wrong. But that we react differently towards this particular sin than to other sins and should use prayer and the Holy Spirit to guide us how we are supposed to respond to it.

        1. Vagabon,

          Nicole was pointing out we should first pray to see what our Father would have us do about homosexuality, instead of knee-jerk a reaction. I get that. I opined that I do not need to pray about it, so to speak, because He has been very specific about His feelings and will towards homosexuality. Since I endeavor to walk as Jesus walked, following His Father’s words and guidance in all things, I will likewise accept His mindset on homosexuality.

          Nowhere did I infer that homosexuality was right or wrong of my own accord or intellectual grasping. My Father’s position on homosexuality is my position. Take that for what you will. I simply do not pray about how to react to homosexuality, since there is no reaction needed other than what my Father’s reaction is. Again, take that as you will.

          Thank you for your input, Vagabon!

      1. Whatever he told you is all lies, lies I tell you! :) It was…refreshing…to speak to your guy again. I get the distinct impression that he really likes you, but don’t tell him I told you. Shhhh..

  25. Well said, Nicole. People want to fight and people want to win, and what we all forget is that there are real human beings with real feelings getting slaughtered in the middle.

  26. Thank you so much for this article. Truly a breath of fresh air. I could not agree more, not that my opinion is worth anything anyway, but that it is a biblical approach to the spiritual warfare we battle against daily. Thank you again, and I will be praying with you Sister! God Bless!!!

  27. Nicole,

    I’ve been seeking this issue since I read your post, and I would like to pose this question:

    What if you titled this post as-
    “Murder and where the church has failed”
    “Pedaphilia and where the church has failed”
    “Thievery and where the church has failed”
    “Adultery and where the church has failed”
    “SIN OF CHOICE and where the church has failed”

    I mention this because it seems that sin is sin, and God our Father does not look at them any differently, but instead we, as The Body, have allowed society to make us believe that the sin of homosexuality is an issue that deserves our tolerance and understanding. The proof is in the fact you even wrote about it.

    Would you write a bog post about a murderer? Would you write a blog post about a pimp who traffics teenage girls as sex slaves? Would you write a blog post about a car-jacker? So why is homosexuality an issue the church needs to “deal with”, and the rest of the sins of men are not? Where did it become fashionable and culturally-relevant to allow society to dictate to us, as God’s Body, to adjust our conversations to engage them in being more tolerant of their sins?

    You know you have my respect, and this line of questining is not directed to you with vitriol. But I believe it is high time we looked realistically at the sins of the world and stopped trying to assuage them by becoming more culturally and socially accepting of them because the world tells us we need to since we are Christians. I mean, really, who is the world to tell us anything about how we should and should not be?

    Looking forward to your response!

    1. Donald,
      I don’t have some lofty or theological response to your questions, except to say that I addressed homosexuality specifically because it has specifically been on my mind. Not only that, it has been the centerpiece of thousands of online conversations as of late. Not only that, but I have been engaged in my own conversations with people outside of this blog, who are struggling with same-sex attraction and are searching for answers.

      I wrote this post after a conversation with one such individual. I wrote it as an emotional response to what I see as a growing divide in the church. I actually cried as I wrote it because I thought of the pain and hurt my particular friend has endured, both in trying to reconcile their faith with their sexual attraction and at the hands of would be believers.

      So yes, this post could have been titled any number of things, but choosing to highlight homosexuality does not lessen the need (nor my acknowledgment) of the other ongoing trials and failures of the church, nor should it.

      1. “Not only that, it has been the centerpiece of thousands of online conversations as of late.”

        Indeed it has, and it shall be. But did you get the gist of what I was inferring? The Body is being brought to task in a secular environment regarding homosexuality as a societal norm, but how can the world being secular understand the spiritual?

        You mentioned this issue is one you are entreating in your private life with another person. This is wonderful. How could anyone say that you are being foolish or silly for doing so? Surely, I am not or would not.

        But it would be horribly ignorant if we pretended that The Body is not being forced to acknowledge and accept homosexuality for fear of being persecuted as ‘bigots, homophobes, (insert current flavor-of-the-month insult here)’ by the world. This issue is one that is being thrown at us by the world and we are being forced to respond. This should not be so. At what point do we, as The Body, ever need to defend Jesus or answer for Him? (I’m not talking theological debates here, I’m talking being required to answer for Him against accusations, as though He could not do this on His own!) I have yet to find that in The New Covenant.

        Anyhoos, listen, the point I was seeking to make is an uncomfortable one. The Body tip-toes around homosexuality because the world has us scared of it due to persecution and vilification and blah blah blah. But what about murder, thievery, greed, lust, etc, etc? Apparently these issues are not that important to the world and do not make for amusing debates with The Body on a social/political scale. No one would defend a murderer, but the moment you or I say anything about homosexuality being sinful, the war is on.


        No worries,Nicole. You are making your point rather well.

      2. Dear Nicole,
        I honestly think if we allow ourselves feel the pain of our friends struggling with same sex attraction, we will be more empathic and that will greatly influence our interceding for them before the Father.

        However, no matter how genuine, our sympathy alone cannot bring the much needed deliverance that our friends desperately need. Like any other struggle, nothing happens until we surrender it to Jesus. For your friend to be free, he/she needs to come to Jesus in total surrender…not trying to juggle faith with same sex attraction. And guess what? Jesus has never failed. There is NOTHING He cannot deliver from. Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever!!!

        So instead of just sympathizing we our friends, we owe it to them and to God to point them to JESUS.

        1. I agree. We owe it to anyone, whether homosexual or not, who doesn’t know Christ, to point them to Him. This is a given not to mention a commandment.

          I’m certainly not suggesting we pray and then leave it at that…

    2. One thought Donald, because I think you are being honest in your questions: Jesus was never one to let society dictate the way He treated people. He said things like, “He who has no sin can cast the first stone.” How has the church let down pedophiles and murderers and prostitutes and homosexuals? By defining and rejecting them for their sin. I’m no better, and they need a Savior just as badly as I do. When I start seeing absolutely everyone through this lens, I’ll start to see just what Jesus was setting out to do: showing us our need for His sacrifice. What is sin? Using illegitimate ways to meet legitimate needs. We all believe the lies that the sin we choose to make us feel better will work, when what we really need is to bow down and worship the God who created us and submit to His will, no matter who we are or what we have done.

  28. We are to love the Homosexual but not support the sin. We are not to beat the Bible over the heads of Homosexuals but demonstrate our love for them through our actions and lifestyles. Honey is a much more appealing ingredient than Vinegar….but, Vinegar also has its uses.
    The Bible is replete with examples of Saints who were persecuted for being a follower of Jesus thus, it is clear that one can not have it BOTH ways. Only one of Jesus’s Disciple survived to old age. The rest were executed for the Faith so what does that tell you? Appeasement has never worked with those determined to do what it is they have determined to do. Early Church members were mistreated, maligned, cursed, imprisoned and often murdered yet, we have a Church today that avoids any issue that might cause discomfort. Some of the greatest atrocities of the 20th Century were committed because the Church choose to either compromise or remain silent. Canada is an excellent example of what can happen when Christians do nothing to defend the Faith. Scripture deemed negative to Homosexuals has been declared “Hate Speech” in some area’s and Pastors have been arrested for preaching such passages during Sermons. In order to please our Father, we must stake a firm stand regarding the issue. Jesus handled most sinners with love and compassion but NEVER compromised his Fathers commandments. Homosexuals must know that they can discuss the issue with Christians in a loving manner w/o being slammed but they must also realize that Christians can not and must not attempt to dilute Gods word just to appease.
    The problem in America as well as most of the West is that the Church, as a body, has been silent or condescending on the issue of Homosexuality and same-sex marriage or has outright acquiesced. Homosexuality was described as an ‘abomination” in the sight of God….and I doubt that Gods opinion has changed. All of us must give an account of his/herself eventually so it behooves us to remember that when dealing with Homosexuality.
    This statement will probably get me a serious “put-down” but so be it. America is STILL a land where one has the right to his/her opinion……somewhat….

  29. Sorry I’m so late on this one…brilliant brilliant brilliant, Nicole!!!! This is the exact thing I have been struggling with for a while, and you nailed it. We are to love our neighbor as ourselves. I don’t think that means using hate speech against anyone who God has created. The church must love and love well. The Holy Spirit convicts people of sin, and I will be happy to leave that to Him. I will follow your words of wisdom…pray first and then pray more and then stop before saying a word. Jesus loved lavishly and I want to do the same. Thanks for this…a great challenge!!!

  30. Hi Nicole, while there is nothing wrong with “sitting before God” for 48 hrs. Why be like Balaam asking God what He already made clear. The Word of God is clear on homosexuality. What’s the confusion?

    We definitely should sit before God on how we approach this issue…but sit before Him to know His mind on homosexuality? I think not!!!

    Do you sit before him to know His will on adultery? stealing? child molestation? I think not. Sin is sin.

    A lot of us don’t understand the corporate effect of a nation embracing homosexuality as an acceptable life style. The punishment is going to be national. We need to understand the reality of the wrath of God.

    The Christian in adultery is not better than the Christian in homosexuality. They both need to repent.

  31. I was attending to this church, the Journey, in New York. let me explain myself: I love Jesus, He is my lord. while attending to this church I asked a pastor if I can be an active member of the church, I told him I was gay, and he Told me no, you can not be an active member of this church, and then he thanked me for asking, because other gay people have just joined, and they have been in the uncomfortable situation of expel then out of the church.I took their rejection as if God himself have rejected me. Now I drink every weekend, sometimes for the whole week… I have failed in all my classes at college, I just don’t care anymore about nothing. And I am convinced God might hate me, and that is killing me, because I love him, and I just can not understand why He does not love me back…. thank you pastor for rejecting me in the name of Jesus Christ, you have done so much … and the devil is so happy.. you wouldn’t believe.. however there is an small part of my soul that still believes the Lord might have love me just the way I am; that he is not interested in my homosexuality as much as letting me know that he loves me, no matter what, that Jesus died for me too…But honestly, I dont know, I have been rejected so meany times, that I have come to the conclusion that they are right, and i am wrong, and God hates me, and he loves me no more.

    1. Chris. Jesus loves all Sinners.. so much so that he voluntarily gave his life up. He took your sin and bore the full punishment. He did this because you were unable to do so on your own… We as humans are incapable of being holy or just. (Rom. 3:10)

      This is sacrifice is given to us by his Grace. However the caveat is being fully convinced that we are depraved species… we are unholy people divorced from God’s righteousness (all of us gay or straight). This is why we follow Jesus because not just my sin.. but my thoughts and intuition are marked and stained by sin. All of my trauma’s growing up, cultural influences growing, parental mishaps have all had an impact in forming me. There is a 50% chance good things were learned and 50% bad things were learned that contradicts the Bible.

      So this is why the Apostle Paul says we are bond slaves to Jesus. We make a voluntary choice to serve the one who has paid our bond. We must make a voluntarily choice to believe him not our selves. Him over the media, Him over popular culture. If we choose to believe ourselves over our God we become our own God. Here is what God says:

      Rom. 1:18-23 =

      For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth [l]in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident [m]within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not [n]honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and [o]crawling creatures.

      v.26,27 – For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is [r]unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing [s]indecent acts and receiving in [t]their own persons the due penalty of their error.

      There is no entrance to participate in the Body of Christ without Repentance. Coming to Jesus believing that homosexuality is permissible and pleasing to God because of the learned reason this world presents is equal to showering arrogance to a God that already established it as sin. Our job is to Repent or Change our Mind about sin and trust him… not just to save us but to tell us the truth about all life.

      I truly hope this did not reach you as judgmental, but loving truth in your search for redemption.

    2. Chris, God does NOT hate you. That is final, HE loves you very much. Go to Him and talk to Him, He will answer you. Blessings!!!!

  32. I would agree that we should be prayed up before engaging in any debate biblical or not. That being said, As Christians it is our job to show the love of Chridt through the truth of scripture. Homosexuality is a deadly sin as many others but for the sake of this thread, I will stay on topic. The church has weakened because we allow our carnal emotions to get involved. Love is teaching what needs to be taught regardless of what a person may think. By nature we hate God but if a person desires to know the TRUE God of the gospel, then they will gladly welcome the harsh convictions. That being said, its important to reveal Gods love without being hypocritical. Bottom line is that sin is sin and there is no justifying it. True believers need to grow a spine and preach the gospel. Yes, it will most likely cost our lives but never our souls. This evil carnal God hating world needs hard honest and direct preaching. Lukewarmness and justification will get you nowhere.

  33. Hi Nicole,

    I’ve followed your blog for a while and must say that your posts are always so heart-felt. Sometimes I laugh and sometimes I come close to crying. I think that it is a very loving thing you are doing for the Christian community, especially for young Christians like me in their twenties trying to navigate this crazy world, trying to live uprightly in a society that ridicules us for our morality.

    I’ve never commented before, but I felt it on my heart to comment here. I wholly agree that we as Christians need to think before we speak. None of us are sinless or blameless. And all of us struggle with certain sins. For one person, it could be lying. For another, it could be lust. At the end of the day, it is all sin and only God can change our hearts.

    But I think we need to be careful that we are not so overly distraught about how our words may come across that we fail to speak at all.

    There are definitely examples in the Bible of God-fearing men who let their own idea of holy vs. unholy cloud their judgment or make them act out of fear and anger. Take Peter for example. He sliced off the high priest’s servant’s ear with a sword out of anger for Christ. Jesus told him to “put away” his sword.

    Sometimes we Christians are like that. We see the “sin” flag wagging around and we pounce on it without thinking first.

    But other times, we are recognizing sin for what it is and there should be no fear or shame in doing so.

    For the homosexuality issue–it is indeed a hot-button issue. But that should not deter us from speaking the truth. It sounds like you have close friends who are in this life-style and/or are trying to come out of it. For those individuals struggling, I have no condemnation toward them. I am a sinner too.

    But I think many Christians are more so angered not by these individuals struggling, but rather by the liberal gay groups and activists who attempt to force the gay lifestyle on society to be accepted as normal and without sin. I don’t know if you follow the gay pride parades, etc. that take place…the plethora of homosexual groups trying desperately to influence teenagers and children. All of it is perverse. I don’t believe God condones this behavior at all.

    There will be times we will have to stand up and speak the truth. And we can’t be afraid. It was Jesus who overturned the tables in the temple. And it was Paul who freely told the church to put out the sinner because “a little leaven leavens the whole.” (1 Cor. 5)

    We are the salt and light of this world. What good has salt if it loses its savour (Matt. 5)? What good has light if it is hidden under a bushel?

    These are my thoughts.
    God bless :o)


    1. Jess I agree whole heartily. In Eph. 4:5 Paul says to “speak the truth in love”.. not omit the truth because of love. But I must say I also understand the counter view, I spent most of youth watching the likes of John Hagee scream at the homosexual and not speak to them.. bash them and not engage them.. He was speaking truth without love. However, in our postmodern Olsteen approach to faith we have swung too far to the other side of all love and no truth.

      Thanks for your comment.

  34. If the argument (can I call it an argument?) is that we need to share the message of Jesus with homosexuals, I am totally down with that and couldn’t agree more.

    If, however, the argument is that we need to welcome and embrace homosexuality as a means of giving them the message of Jesus, then let us also embrace and welcome murderers, pedophiles, rapists, abusers, and the like. I’m sure no one would have an issue with that, would they?

  35. I believe you are correct in the way you handled this subject. Though, the Bible is very clear on God’s stance on the subject. Praying is definitely the answer. Like you, I really don’t know how to approach God’s feelings concerning this subject in an tactful way that would not yield animosity. The only time I tend to rebuke someone, typically, is when they use the name of the Lord for their own personal gain or in a severely callous manner. It is definitely a subject that one needs to pray about. Just my thoughts.

  36. I didn’t get through all the comments so I’m not sure something similar has already been said, but what has helped me be less fundy-like on many issues 1) listening and simply saying “hmm” and listening some more

  37. Oops… Prematurely hit publish

    2) learning to be more concerned about the conversation being more about redemption than proving I hold the right and therefore God’s position

  38. Nicole, thank you very much for the words. I’m one of those coming out of the lifestyle, its hard, but with God on my side, it’s worth it. One wish I do have is that EVERYBODY who came out in a manner of speaking, will shout it out. Some are very scared to make the change in there lives be known to others.

  39. I was going to respond to this immediately after reading but thought it best to wait 48 weeks, like you said. But then I re-read and realized you said “48 hours”. Doh!

    There is no difference between my gay uncle and my pre-saved self. To treat him any differently than my un-saved mother would be antithetical to love. My uncle knows that Christ has saved me, so the church has done a MARVELOUS job at letting him know I hate him (sarcasm font, please).

    It appears I conduct more damage control than I do exhibiting what Christ has done for me and how He loves those I encounter.

    At the risk of being cliche-ish, I’m constantly reminded that I’m not the 4th member of the Trinity in either occasion: suffocating the un-saved to the point of them sprinting as far away as possible OR trying to corral them back into the pasture.

  40. I came across this article earlier today and the title caught my attention. I am a gay man. im not a church member as of now. I grew up in a fundamentalist church. It was not an unusual thing for members of that congeration speak in tongues, have foot washings and use blessing oil. Women wore there hair long, didn’t use make-up or wear pants. Secular music and television was ground upon. Im sure this type of church would seem strange to a lot of people but this was my experience. Speaking of experience I do not speak for all gay men I can only speak to what I know to be true. I knew for certain what i was I guess around puberty nut none of my first sexual experiences were consensual. I’m can’t say for certain that those experiences caused my homosexuality. I just don’t know. I am certain that this abuse caused other problems because I have had life long battles with mental illness, hospital stays, psycotropic drugs are nothing new to me. I accepted Christ when I was 19. It was in my home church. My thinking at the time was that if I reached out to Christ that everything would be ok and that he would fix what was wrong with me. My church taught that homosexuality was caused by something demonic. Months went by I didn’t change and really thought it was because god was still not pleased with me. I mustered up all the courage I could and I went to my minister for help. I told him I was gay and I asked him what I needed to do. We prayed together and he said he would keep praying and that I needed to pray without ceasing because my soul was in jeopardy. That next Sunday the message was about homosexuality. He read scripture and of course he injected his own personal distaste for the subject I felt aboutvi inch tall I wish I could have melted into the floor. Some of the things he said was so horrible that I never went back and still haven’t. Over the years I have tried other churches but never stayed for long because I never felt comfortable. I do pray and read my bible as for being gay most of the time I don’t act on it but there are times when I get lonely ” yes a desire for sex is mixed in with that” I have given in to usually with a lot of regret after. If this makes me a terrible person then I’m guilty. I wish there were easier answers but there aren’t any

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