You wouldn’t know by looking that unrest is brewing at Freed. Maybe as you walked around campus listening to conversations around you, you might pick up snippets. Even Christian universities aren’t exempt from current events.
I think it was last year when Harding University’s Queer Press went public. Guess what? The same thing is happening here at Freed-Hardeman. The LGBT community is tired of staying quiet. So now we have Paperclips Press.
Have they done anything other than make themselves known? No. The only reason we know that they’re here is because of Twitter and their Tumblr blog (which was blocked by FHU’s network before it even went live). What were they met with? Judgement. Criticism. Hatred. Scorn. Disgust. Ridicule. Everything except the acknowledgement that they, too, are human, and they, too, are loved by God.
Christians are Homophobic. We can handle divorce - that’s okay, we say. It happens. Christians can deal with premarital sex. Kids do it all the time…there’s a baby? It’s okay. You’re forgiven. Abortion? You poor broken person.
Quick question here: since WHEN did Jesus minister to the unblemished? God’s church is a place for broken people, as Jesus was broken for us to bring us through the veil into the Holy of Holies. Jesus came, healing hearts, loving those who murdered him. The soldier who spat on Jesus’ face? Jesus loved him enough to die. The crowd of people that begged for a convicted criminal to be released over Jesus, the son of their God? Jesus said not a word, but took their crime upon himself, and poured out his love as blood.
I hate to break it to you, but sin is sin. The white lie you told to your mother about where you were spending the night? Sin. Having sex with your boyfriend/girlfriend? Sin. Having sex male/male or female/female? Sin. It’s not any more a different kind of sin than having black skin makes you a different species of human.
Okay, we get it. Homosexuality is a sin just like divorce, adultery, lying, etc. But you want to know something else? Homosexuality is just as much a sin as not loving.
That one command, in Matthew? You know what I’m talking about. “Love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind,” You also know what comes after: “and love your neighbor as yourself. On these hang the law and the prophets.” (Italics mine.) What that verse tells me is that before we can do anything else, we need to love. Love actively, extending our arms, hearts, and hands to those around us, just as Jesus did. I think of it as an umbrella. The umbrella, the cover from the rain, is love. Love first. Period. Okay, now, under the umbrella: all the “rules,” all the commands, all the laws, all the prophets, all the letters of Paul/Peter/John. Love covers everything.
If you’ve made it this far disagreeing with me, I applaud you. Next point: I am not saying love equals acceptance of sin.
Let me say it again, in case you missed the bolded, italicized letters: Love does not mean being okay with someone’s every action.
I do not have to be okay with homosexuality to recognize that the scorn coming from the majority of the student body is just as wrong as the homosexuality. Paperclips Press is right, God loves them, too. But God also loved the adulterous woman in the Gospels. What did he say to her? “Go and sin no more.” Jesus, our savior, told her accusers that if they had never done wrong, committed sin, that they could go ahead and stone her, as the law required. But you know what? No one could dispute Jesus’ point, no one could say they were perfect.
Those who struggle with homosexuality (and I recognize that not all struggle with it. Some are completely okay being homosexual; that’s not what I’m talking about.) have not come out of their lonely closet before because of the hatred. The broken people, Christian and not, who do not want to be “the way they are” need the support and help of their Brothers and Sisters, and they are not getting it! God placed His Church on this earth to be a haven to the broken. I NEVER want my attitude to keep a friend from coming to me for support in their afflictions. “If you’re gay, why are you at a Christian college?” is not any way to respond.
I recognize variant causes for homosexuality. I recognize sin. I recognize MY SIN. We are called to bear one another’s burdens, and my friends and loved ones, I am here for you as Jesus is here. Let my arms be His, my heart bleed as His does over your burden. We are all broken people, and His church is full of them. Quit pretending. You are not perfect. If you act like you are, you are just like the Pharisees.
I want my entire audience to know that while I do not support homosexuality, I do support my family in Christ. Please, if you need someone to talk to, I am willing to break for you. I will be Jesus to you to the very best of my ability. I don’t want any of my friends to hide who they are from me.
I am calling my fellow Christians to start acting like Jesus. Leave the judgement behind for you will be judged as you judge others. Hold people to God’s standard, but also recognize you are on the same level as everyone else. “There but for the grace of God go I.”
Why are we drawing lines, why are we turning our backs on those Jesus calls to Him? How is ANYONE going to know the love of God if we don’t show it?
So often we get into this mentality in which, if we are not at a mountaintop moment in our walk, we shut up and back down. We walk away from a fight, especially such a seemingly impossible task as raising up dead people to stand as the army of God. But when we are at the lowest, when we are in the valley of the shadow of death, God demands that we prophesy, that we see that even in the hopeless place, the Word of God prevails. And as we begin to speak it, every circumstance, no matter how dead it seems, will bend to meet the dream of God and stand to serve Him.” —Mattie Montgomery (via nonelikejesus)