20 February 2010

Question of the Week:
How to Treat Homosexuals?

by Anne Lang Bundy

"Do not be angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be."
~ Thomas A. Kempis

Q: How should the church treat homosexuals?
(from Anonymous)

First, God does not hate anyone. God is love, and no matter who you are, He loves you.

"The church" is people—people who have given themselves to Jesus Christ and received forgiveness of their sins through His blood, which pays the death penalty for all sin.

The authority for Christian belief and conduct is the Bible. [Next week's Q&A will explain belief in the Bible in greater detail.] For anyone who trusts it as God's Word, the Bible provides both the Creator's rules for how to live and answers for every question life poses.

The Bible says God created humanity, and created sex as the good and healthy means to not only reproduce human life, but also to bond together a man and woman in the vital relationship of marriage.

Homosexuality, or sexual acts between members of the same sex, cannot be marriage because God instituted marriage and defines it otherwise. God calls homosexuality an "abomination" (
Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1:27) because it perverts His original intent for sex.

But before you take that thought too far, consider that there are other, non-sexual acts which are so offensive to God that they are also called an abomination. Look at this passage from Proverbs 6:16-19 (NKJV):

These six things the LORD hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren
[or, in a community].

The Bible therefore challenges us to understand exactly what might be defined as "abominable" sin. It also explains in Galatians 6:1-2 (TNIV) how to treat people who exhibit sin:

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Here is how I apply all that to today's question:

• The Bible's Number One commandment, in all circumstances, is Love.

• Christians must be mindful that every one of us has been guilty of sin which is an abomination.

• Any individual's primary problem is not one particular sin, whether it's homosexuality or pride or stirring up discord. Every person's first need is understanding that they need Jesus to save them from all sin.

• Concerning people who come to church, we should distinguish between: 1) people who come to church to visit, who are asked to respect us, but who don't understand our Bible's "house rules"; 2) newer believers, who need time to learn the house rules; and 3) those who have been around long enough to know the Bible and be expected to live by it.

• When people who have established themselves as part of the church display open immorality, Christians of sufficient maturity are obliged to address it, and to do so with the empathy which views sin as a burden. In cooperation with God's Spirit, we should sensitively work to help people see sin as a burden to themselves—reminding them of the cost for Jesus to carry its full weight to the cross—and help them find greater freedom from sin’s burden, with rebuke if necessary.

• Did I mention that the Number One rule for treatment of all people, whether outside or inside the church, is Love?

I'd like to close with an apology.

To homosexuals, and to every person who has been hurt by the misguided Christians who remember that sin is abominable but sometimes forget that love is far greater ...

On behalf of my fellow Christians, I admit we are wrong when we get our priorities out of order, or when we attempt to address sin of anyone else before we adequately address our own sin. I confess that we struggle against our own abominable sins, including sexual sins. I ask you to forgive us and be patient with us as we grow to be like Jesus our Lord and learn to live like He asks us. God loves you more than you can possibly imagine. I also love you, very much, as do a great many Christians who remember the importance of love. Please give us the opportunity to better learn how to show you that love.

© 2010 Anne Lang Bundy
Image source:


  1. Bless you sis for sharing your wisdom, love you.

  2. Your apology is so wonderfully humbling. I echo that. What a perfect post Anne.

  3. I like your apology, Anne.
    And "carry each other´s burdens, and in this way you will fullfill the law of christ" accompanies my husbands and my life for over 18 years now.
    And more people shouldn´t act like "all are equal, but some are more equal".

  4. Well done. Have a blessed day.

  5. Thanks Anne -

    For some this is an emotional topic. One thing is for sure, being same-sex attracted, homosexual, will not keep you out of heaven any more than being heterosexual will get you into heaven. What is required is repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.

    Our common ground is this: We are all sinners, we are all incomplete if we are not in relationship with our Creator as he intended the relationship, we are all in need of forgiveness ... And, we all need each other. Our faith is played out in our relationships.

  6. Concerning the sign in that photo, I'd like to repeat here a comment that I made on my blog.

    I cannot think of a more wrong statement for any Christian to make than the words on that sign. The fact that people who call themselves followers of Jesus could hold such a sign is a grief to God and a grief to me. However sinful homosexuality is, it is not as great a violation of the first and second commandments as that sign is, so say nothing of taking the Lord's name in vain.

  7. well.. I have to disagree with your opening statement that God does not hate anyone. Jacob he loved.. Esau he hated. However it is beyond our purview to know who he does or does not love or hate. All sin is forgivable except for one and that one sin is certainly not homosexual acts.

  8. http://www.gotquestions.org/jacob-esau-love-hate.html

    i am not sure that we can really understand God's Love.

    yet, i think that we can know in our heart how we are to Love.

  9. FYI - FaceBook removed my link to this post. So much for free speech ...

  10. Thank you for this post, Anne. So well written and from the heart!

  11. Great post. Thank you for it. I'm glad you addressed the point that we aren't supposed to say the behavior of someone who chooses open immorality is to always be silent about it. Too often when I see an "apology" related post the apology is "I'm sorry I thought you were committing a sin." You painted the entire picture very well.

  12. David,

    Jesus taught us to love our enemies, love our neighbor as ourselves, and to honor parents. He also said, "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple." (Luke 14:26) I see such contexts mentioning "hate" as a hyperbole to compare extremes. Our love for God must be so great that love for others looks like hate in contrast. God's love for Jacob was so great that His rejection of Esau was hatred in contrast.

    The Bible abounds with verses referring to God's love for mankind, and His reluctance to see us suffer. The God of the Old Testament is the same God of the New Testament. His love existed even in the era when He directed warfare, as evident in verses like Lamentations 3:33:
    For He does not afflict willingly,
    Nor grieve the children of men.

    or in Ezekiel 33:11:
    'As I live,' says the Lord GOD, 'I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways!'

    I'm willing to be proven wrong, but I don't see God hating any of the people He has created.

  13. nAncY,

    I'm grateful for that link. I'll make it a point to spend some time on that site. I don't pretend to have perfect knowledge of the Bible, and I'll readily admit what I don't understand. God's love certainly falls into that category. His love defies all possible reason—but it is also startlingly real and inexplicably broad.

  14. Denise, T, Patty, Bridget ~ I'm grateful for your love and support.

    Thera, when we are all measured against Jesus, how could anyone see themselves as greater than another?

    Jason, I've caught flack in the past for saying all truth has a balancing truth. It isn't always easy to paint, but I do believe truth isn't truth when it's not the whole truth.

  15. Great post Annie,
    As a Christian of almost 20 years, I usually feel more like I'm in the same boat as the "vilest" sinner. I'm often too busy trying to remove the giant plank from my eye that I wouldn't dare try to remove someone else's speck OR plank. Less judgement and more love is my goal. FYI, that sign offends me more than homosexuality.

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  17. Anne -

    I think David's comment (And, thanks David for commenting) brings up an important question for a future Question of the Week. ~ Does God love certain people and hate others?

    This is an important question for seekers to have answered. Many are afraid to approach God because the enemy has whispered in their ears that God does not love them.

  18. Beautiful post, Anne. So well-stated.

    Abominations to the Lord? I point to my own self first. Pride? Yeah, I've had it. Feet that run to do evil? Been there. Hands that do violence? NO, but I've had ugly thoughts. Homosexuality is but one more sin, as you so deftly pointed out. Who among us is free from sin?

    We are all sick with the disease of sin and there is only one cure: Jesus Christ. He alone can atone for ALL sin, including homosexuality, in His way, in His timing, according to His perfect will and plan.

    I stand with you in being sickened by that sign. The words are ugly, an affront to my eyes. Imagine how the Lord feels about those words, so boldly emblazoned for the world to read. I've half a mind to go to a gay rally and hold up a sign that says, "God loves you". I'm sure that's been done--at least, I sincerely hope so.

    God bless you all this weekend.

  19. Erin, Gwen, Clare ~ Thanks for sharing an attitude of love. The Lord will always bless it in greater measure than it's given.

    Bud ~ Glad to have you stop by.

    Russell ~ I added the question you suggested to the pile.

  20. Anne, well-written and thought-provoking. I keep thinking about how young the girl who is holding the sign, how sad. Who is teaching her to spew hate instead of showing love like your post? What's interesting is I believe she is wearing a Phelps Phan tee-shirt, which Michael Phelps, fell from grace for awhile for his indiscretions. Thanks for sharing where our hearts should be!

  21. JoAnne ~

    I suppose this sign might anger God. But more than anything else, I think His heart is deeply grieved by people who claim the name of His precious Son—the One showing the greatest of all love—who not only hate, but do so in His name.

    If I could, I'd hold in my arms every single homosexual to whom that sign was targeted, weep with the Spirit's sorrow I feel, and tell them of the very great love God has for them.

    "Let he among you who is without sin cast the first stone."

    I know my sin. I'll cast no stones at homosexuality, but only speak of the forgiveness available through Jesus Christ. And if it is accepted, only then might I dare say with great compassion, "Now go and sin no more."