I Don’t Know Where I Stand, but I Support Gays

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Before you start throwing stones, please read this carefully, and hear me out. What I’m going to say is likely to upset many on both ends of the spectrum, but I want you to at least understand what I’m saying if you’re going to disagree with me.

I don’t know where I stand.

Everywhere I look, I see people who appear to be absolutely certain that they know whether homosexuality is acceptable in God’s sight. I’m talking about fellow Christians—brothers and sisters in Christ who are equally committed to living out his love.

And you know what? They completely disagree with one another.

There are some on the far right who do little more than throw out proof texts, regardless of context, remaining certain that homosexuality is an abomination to God.

Then there are some on the far left who continually speak of love (rightfully so), but seem to gloss over the many difficult texts that appear to portray homosexuality as falling short of God’s ideal.

And then there are a few nearer to the middle who honestly and carefully wrestle through these things, digging into the context while also keeping God’s love at the forefront. This is where I want to be, but even here, everyone seems to come down on one side or another. Preston Sprinkle and Matthew Vines are two fine examples of these committed Christians who, despite their extensive studies, have ended up on opposite sides.

The issue is complicated further by its intensely personal nature. Being gay is not a choice; it’s an identity that defines the way a person feels. So if I condemn homosexuality and I’m wrong, then I’ve condemned the identity of countless brothers and sisters—for nothing! I’d be telling them to deny who God made them to be.

On the other hand, if homosexuality is sin—if it is a result of the fall, displeasing to God and harmful to humans—then how could I condone it, knowing that it will lead these brothers and sisters to their own self-inflicted suffering?

But here’s the thing. I just don’t know. I’ve read the likes of Vines and Sprinkle and many others; I’ve studied the Bible thoroughly on the matter, examining context and keeping God’s love at the forefront; I’ve tried as best as I know how to put myself in the place of others and interact with those who disagree; I’ve heard many really good (and really bad) arguments on both sides; and I just don’t know what the truth is.

Sure, I have some thoughts, ideas, and opinions on the matter. There are some lines of reasoning that make more sense to me than others. And at times I lean more in one direction than the other. But this issue is simply too important to just pick a side.

Here’s what I do know.

1. God is love. Love is the essence of who God is. Love defines God in every way. Through the cross, Jesus demonstrated that God’s love is universal and unending. If homosexuality is a sin, then God doesn’t love gays any less for it. And if homosexuality is not a sin, then God doesn’t love gays any more for it.

2. Our primary mandate is to love others. The entire New Testament, from start to finish, is saturated with the call to love others. Love is so essential that Jesus said the entire law hangs on it, and Paul said that the love of neighbor fulfills the entire law. There is nothing more important than love.

3. Jesus never tried to save face when loving others. He was more than happy to be associated with sinners. He didn’t care if his opponents accused him of endorsing sin; he was too busy loving people. He ate and drank with thieves, prostitutes, and adulterers; and at times, he did so without even calling for their repentance. He focused on loving them first and foremost. Their repentance happened naturally.

4. If homosexuality is a sin, it’s no worse than any other sin committed by Christians every day. It’s no worse than pride. It’s no worse than gluttony. It’s no worse than nationalism. It’s no worse than idolatry. It’s no worse than sectarianism. I could go on, but you get the idea. If I have to separate from my gay brothers and sisters because of their homosexuality, then there are precious few people I won’t have to separate from—including myself! If gays are automatically excluded from the table of Christ, then Christ is dining completely alone, and he has been for 2,000 years.

Whether homosexuality is or isn’t a sin, my response to it should be the same: love. I need to love and support gays in the same way I love and support heterosexuals. I don’t support gays because they’re gay any more than I support heterosexuals because they’re straight. I love them all because God loves them all. I’ll allow the Holy Spirit to convict where conviction is needed.

I choose to support gays because if I must err, I would rather err on the side of love. This does not mean I affirm that homosexuality is pleasing to God. I have to be honest and say that I don’t know whether it is or not. But I do support gays as my equals in every way. And as far as it relates to our secular government, I support providing gays with equal access to the same privileges we all enjoy.

I’m inviting my fellow Christians to join with me. Whatever you may think about homosexuality, choose to make love the priority.