Yesterday I had a Bible Study with UCSI Sarawak Christian Fellowship (CF). This week we continue to the second part of the unChristian series on Thinking about Homosexuality. The purpose of this series is to challenge youths to think about real hard issues around us. Today was good and lively. I shared my stories encountered with this issue, they asked questions, we respond to one another and agree on the Scriptures. Here are Four (4) Basic Biblical Responses based on Mark 2:13-17 that I shared with them:
#1 With the Exception of Jesus, We Are All Sinners (Romans 3:23). One struggle with homosexuality, one with pornography. One with gossips, one with murderous-hatred. One with hypocrisy, one with doubt. Levi, the tax collector, money swindler; the Pharisees, prideful religious. Don't judge (with self-righteous attitude) someone just because they sin differently than you do. Knowing that we - Christ followers - are redeemed sinners, humble us.
#2 We Must Treat One Another with Compassion and Love. Every human being has dignity and made in the image of God. Jesus, in the Bible, has compassion for the people because they are like sheep without a shepherd. And what He did? He reached down to them, be with the people and love them unconditionally. Remember, Jesus eats with the sinners. If you cast away, avoid or reject those who are 'different' in sexuality from you, then how they can experience the love of Christ? Who will witness Christ's love to them? There is no discrimination in friendship. No boundaries, no walls. Talk and listen, really listen to understand. Be a friend and be a real friend.
#3 Stand Firm in the Faith: Accept Homosexuals Doesn't Mean We Approve Their Lifestyles. The Bible is clear on homosexual, and it is clear also that we don't have to be a jerk! Draw the line, you don't have to be confused or denying the truth. Hold on to the biblical standard. Be a principle Christian. I said this to my homosexual friend, "I'm straight and I deny homosexual lifestyles, but I'm still your friend. I want to be your friend." Jesus eats with the sinners. He was with sinners the most part of His earthly life. He was called “friend of sinners.” But do you think Jesus approved of their lifestyle? No! Jesus was able to stand firm in His Word and at the same time draw sinners to Himself. He remained holy, set apart. We MUST, and we CAN do the same. Only let the Holy Spirit lead you. Be firm and be kind are not opposed to one another.
#4 Finally, Change Is Possible! Homosexuality is not a simple issue - it is complex. We must know and acknowledge that. It's hard and very challenging for them. But again, nothing is impossible for God. I was blind, now I see. I was lame, now I walk. I was dumb, now I can talk. Change can be slow, gradual and hard. But it is possible. When Levi first met Jesus, he was a tax collector (leader of the sinners); then he follows Jesus, he became a disciple, then his life changed, and we called him now as Matthew, the gospel writer.
So, humble yourself, #1 Know that we are all sinners (or redeemed sinners); #2 Treat one another, regardless of their sexuality or lifestyle, with compassion and love; #3 Stand firm in your faith, don't deny the truth; and #4 Pray and trust that change is possible! God can do it.
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.