Kamis, 05 Maret 2015

Jesus Loves Homosexuals

Jesus Loves Homosexuals
By Brian Nixon, Special to ASSIST News Service
ALBUQUERQUE, NM (ANS – March 2, 2015) -- “Gay rights are human rights.” --Hillary Clinton,
“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge? We shouldn’t marginalize people for this. They must be integrated into society.” --Pope Francis.
“We had gay burglars the other night. They broke in and rearranged the furniture.” --Actor and comedian Robin Williams.
meetSkip SkipandLenyaAs the three quotations above show, there exist varied opinion on the topic of homosexuality -- one is serious (Clinton), one is subjective (Pope Francis), and one is silly (Williams). But what all three quotations demonstrate is that the topic of homosexuality cuts across political, religious, and social boundaries.
It's a very real topic discussed in the media, from pulpits, and in political campaigns across the United States and world. To some, the topic is a cultural grenade, exploding every time it is addressed. To others, it is a fundamental topic of human dignity and self-definition. For too few, it is a question of God's love for people and the boundaries He sets to protect and guide us.
The reality is that the subject of homosexuality—and the presence of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people—is alive and well in our culture.
Pastor Skip Heitzig pointed out in his booklet Jesus Loves Homosexuals, “According to statista.com, two in every 100 males, and one in every 100 female Americans, consider themselves gay or lesbian.[1]
The Williams Institute states that this number translates to roughly eight million 'adults in the US who are lesbian, gay, or bisexual, compromising 3-5 percent of the adult population.'[2]
Though some debate these statistics, the reality is that our society—and the world at large—has a population of individuals that are homosexual. This fact can't be denied.”[3]
You may be someone who considerers himself or herself gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. Or maybe you know someone who is struggling in this area. What they thought was a matter of coming to grips with their identity has taken them away from their identity in Christ, and they need a friend who loves both them and God's truth.
The fact is that the topic of homosexuality stirs great emotion—on both sides of the fence. For the Christian, the question isn’t what particular political party, actor, or news agency accepts or rejects the lifestyle, but rather, what is Jesus' attitude towards homosexuals? The answer is simple: Jesus loves gay people.
Pastor Skip reminded us that “the Bible is very clear on this point (see John 3:16). The fact is: Jesus loves people—all people: gay, prostitutes, thieves, adulterers, drug addicts, abusers—and you. This profound truth is at the very heart of the Gospel. Jesus was compassionate and merciful in His one-on-one interactions with people, and because of that, He was bold in revealing the truth.”[4]
Pastor Skip went on to state, “But before you draw any conclusions concerning my position, let me clarify something: I believe that the Bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin. And because of that, so do I; the act of homosexuality is contrary to God’s original purposes and plans. Stronger than any genes, inclinations, or feelings is God's truth, revealed in His word. Furthermore, I’ve read the criticisms of the position I hold; I’m familiar with the arguments in favor of homosexuality. You won't be surprised that I disagree with their conclusions:
“Yet sin does not necessitate a sinister attitude towards homosexuals—or anyone else caught up in a particular grievance against God. In fact, our witness to a lost and suffering world calls for pursuing God's truth with conviction, clarity, and—here it is—compassion. We all need God's tender mercies.”[5]
Define Homosexuality (from the Greek homos, meaning same, and the Latin sexus, meaning sex) is defined by Dictionary.com as “sexual desire or behavior directed towards a person or persons of one’s own sex.” The Merriam-Webster Dictionary adds a different dimension when it defines homosexuality as “the quality or state of being homosexual.”
According to this definition, homosexuality is not so much an act as it is a “state of being”; that is, one of the attributes of the person, part of a person's identity. For thousands of years, however, homosexuality was defined by its practice; identity politics is a fairly recent distinction, aided by current studies seeking to prove that there is a direct connection between homosexuality and genetics.
The Bible is clear in its discussion of homosexuality: it is considered a sin. Yet it is not the unpardonable sin. In a few references, homosexuality is grouped with other known sins.[6] Here are some of the more commonly sited Biblical references:
Leviticus 18:22: “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.”
Romans 1:24,26-27: “Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves…For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of women, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful.”
1 Corinthians 6:9-10: “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”
1 Corinthians 6:11: “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”
When developing a plan to reach a person struggling with—or engaged in—a homosexual lifestyle, Josh McDowell recommends the following approach to us as Christians:[7]
Here, the Christian should “strive to create an environment in which sexual issues—including homosexual feelings or practices can be confronted and discussed openly and sensitively.”
Quoting Stanton L. Jones, McDowell suggests “the key to compassion is to see ourselves in another, to see our common humanity.”
The Christian needs to help the person receive and acknowledge God’s love and forgiveness; communicate unconditional acceptance and love for the person clearly and verbally; guide the person to understand that God loves him or her; reinforce their positive traits and abilities.
Point the person to a proper understanding of Scripture. Enlist. McDowell states, “Take every opportunity to allow [the person] to make his or her own determination about effecting an exit from the homosexual lifestyle.”
Refer the person to biblical professionals and resources. With homosexuality gaining political and cultural momentum, chances are good that you'll have a chance to share the love of Christ with someone caught in that lifestyle. Jesus loves homosexuals; will you?
To learn more about the Jesus Loves People series at Calvary Albuquerque, click here: www.jesuslovespeople.com
To order Pastor Skip Heitzig’s newest booklet, Jesus Loves Homosexuals, click here: http://skipheitzig.com/
[1] http://www.statista.com/topics/1249/homosexuality/
[2] http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/research/census-lgbt-demographics-studies/how-many-people-are-lesbian-gay-bisexual-and-transgender/
[3] Heitzig, Skip. Jesus Loves Homosexuals. Connection Communications, 2015.
[4] Ibid (Heitzig, Skip. Jesus Loves Homosexuals. Connection Communications, 2015.)
[5] Ibid (Heitzig, Skip. Jesus Loves Homosexuals. Connection Communications, 2015.)
[6] See 1 Corinthians 6 and Galatians 5.
[7] McDowell, Josh and Hostetler, Bob. Handbook on Counseling Youth. Word Publishing, 1996. Pages 320-321.
Photo caption: Lenya and Skip Heitzig
Note: Please feel free to republish this and any other ANS stories with attribution to the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net)
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