Every week. Twice on Sunday. We do the dishes and take out the trash Saturday night. Starting on Monday, I make a habit of talking about it with the kids. We count down the days until it happens again. Our friends share our fondness. When the day finally arrives, the sound of alarm clocks goes off early to give us plenty of time to ready ourselves. There’s delight for what’s about to happen. As it kicks off, people are smiling, shaking hands, and hugging. Everyone takes part. Honest gladness fills the building – after all, a whole week has gone by! Singing can be heard from outside the walls, not because of loud instruments, but from exuberant voices directed to the One they adore. A man steps in his place at the front carrying a book, and heralds with sweet conviction truths from the Almighty. Today is a holiday. A gift of rest given by a King who comes to meet with His subjects. He imparts other gifts, as well. It is a blessing to all.
Although, I have every confidence in your ability, dear reader, to deduce what event I described above, I’ll pose a question so that we have a way forward =). What kind of event can this possibly be? A Christian church service. Incredible as it sounds, true believers can relate to every word. For the Christian, there is no better place to be than at church. There is love for it because the King of Kings, the Savior of sinners, meets with His people there.
Living in Arizona, I know Summertime has begun when I look at the distorted view of the distance as heat waves pulsate from the black street. But there’s another Summertime clue, a yearly reminder that June is Pride Month. Businesses, local governments, the nation and the Western world seem bent on joining the celebration. This June I asked myself, “What do I love?” The answer may be found 1 and 2 paragraphs earlier. Were I to ask this question to people aligned with the LGBTQ+ movement, the answer would be obvious, wouldn’t you agree?
Those who have joined the ranks of this movement adopt a different kind of lifestyle. They run in the same circles. Patron businesses either designated for them, or at least ones who lend vocal approval. Parades are held to celebrate the deeply held beliefs. They are passionate about all this. And there is love for it.
You celebrate what you love. Every person is like this. I am a Christian, therefore I love my God. This has a direct impact on my beliefs and how I live. The same can be said of a person who considers himself LGBTQ+. He chooses to love a person (or persons) outside of the traditional and Biblical understanding. This has a direct impact on his beliefs and how he lives. So then, a Christian and an LGBTQ+ person have something in common: each person celebrates what he loves. He makes choices based on what he loves. His life is therefore impacted based on what he loves.
“Just because I disagree with you doesn’t mean I hate you. We need to relearn that in our society.” Morgan Freeman is attributed with saying this, and I wholeheartedly agree.
Here is my turn to state a disagreement: I disagree with the LGBTQ+ movement and the lifestyle choices that accompany it. Note, however, I do not hate people who consider themselves within it. Quite the opposite: I love my LGBTQ+ friends. Please hear me out. As a Christian, I must obey God rather than men. The Bible is God’s Word where He lays out His expectations of us, including human sexuality. The Lord gets to do that because He is the Creator, and we are His creatures.
Jesus came to save sinners. He came to save all kinds of sinners. People like me; people like you. Christians started out with the need to be saved, just as LGBTQ+ people need to be saved. Why do we need saving? Because we have all sinned; we have broken the expectations and requirements God has of us. He has made Himself known, and He has made His Law known to everyone. As Judge, God will hold us accountable. Additionally, we all begin as sinners because Adam (the first man) sinned and His guilt is considered to be ours. Therefore, even if we kept God’s requirements perfectly from here on out, it would not undo the stain of guilt upon us. As sinners, we are traveling full speed ahead toward our own destruction, sinning daily.
If we die with the guilt of our sins on our conscience, we will be found guilty before the Lord and sentenced to pay for our sins forever in Hell.
Friends – both to my LGBTQ+ friends, and to all – there is good news for sinners like us. I am pleased to write this a second time: Jesus came to save sinners. He is the second Person of the Trinity, who at the appointed time took on humanity as a second nature. He did this to live a sinless life, which we could not do, and to die on a cross as a substitute for sinners wherein He paid the full price for the sins of everyone who would believe in Him. On the third day, He came back to life and promises to give eternal life to those who turn from their sins (repent) and trust in Him alone for deliverance. Though you may die, you will live again, just as Jesus lives.
Each June I see the Pride flag hanging from businesses, and promoted on websites. Seeing additional rainbows produces compassion rather than hate in my heart. Allow me to sincerely say to my LGBTQ+ friends: know that I love you and care about you because of my Christian faith. God has saved me from my sins, which is the reason I know He can save you from yours. I’m here to tell you: there is a better way to live. It’s always right to obey the Lord.
Just this morning I heard Pastor Ed Romine say this: “The Bible says: if God is for you, it doesn’t matter who is against you. But the opposite is also true. If God is against you, all the nations of the world being for you won’t help on that great Day when you stand before God.” Amen! So come to Jesus Christ today because He can fix your brokenness; He can save you from God’s wrath; He can make you an adopted son or daughter in His family; and He can give you eternal life that will never fade away.
“It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all” (1 Timothy 1:15).
Thanks for journeying with me,