Friday, March 29, 2013

You Don’t Go To Hell for Being Gay

I feel like I’m living the Chick-Fil-A nightmare all over again.

Remember that? When hundreds of people went and stood in line for hours to buy a chicken sandwich to protest against homosexuality?

And I remember thinking “I wonder how many of those people will actually go and talk with someone who is gay this week? This month? This year? This decade? Hear their story, welcome them into their life? Love them? Share the gospel?” I’m guessing not a lot. I don’t know? I didn’t stand in line. If you did, tell me . . . how many of you have engaged in a conversation with someone who is gay since standing in that line?

Then this week, I scroll through Facebook and I see this:


And I just wish it would stop.

Because every time I see it, I think we keep dividing, we keep judging, we keep hating, we keep pointing the finger, we keep drawing the line in the sand of “you’re in and you’re out” and it breaks my heart.

I sat with a friend just a few weeks ago who is considering the things of Christ and asked her “what is the biggest obstacle preventing you from taking that step and placing your faith in Christ?”

Her answer: “I guess I just really struggle in knowing that Christians believe you’ll go to hell for being gay.”

And my heart split in two.
Because you know what Church?? That’s what people see. That’s where we’ve drawn the line in the sand. And it grieves me.

Because that’s NOT where Jesus drew the line in the sand. I struggled even writing this post today, on Good Friday, because I don’t want to take away from what we should really be meditating on.

But the reality is, today changes everything. When you understand today as a gift, a sacrificial gift, a death that we should’ve died, everything changes. Jesus becomes our hero!

God is a Rescuer. The reality is we’re all headed toward an eternity apart from our Heavenly Father because at some point in our life, we’ve rejected this gift.

When I understood that message for the first time, everything changed. I didn’t care about my sexuality, my possessions, my relationships, my career, my status, my looks, etc. I cared about knowing my Hero, my Savior, my Sacrifice, my King. I realized that I had my own understanding and my own way of doing life against the LORD’s, and that is the sin that leads to eternal separation from God.

And we still do the same today. We reject Christ by choosing our own way. By thinking that the God shaped hole in hearts can be filled by something else (sex, drugs, relationships, money, stuff, etc.) We’ve rejected it by exalting our understanding over the Living God’s. “I don’t like it so I won’t believe.”

So what if we started viewing the line in the sand that way? Not us vs. them, or gay vs. straight, or Muslim vs. Jew, but mankind vs. God, and God wins. He breaks the barrier down with The Cross and invites ALL to come. He invites us to His side through His death, the sacrifice of His son, the blood of the Lamb, and welcomes us freely.

That’s what today is all about. I used to be offended when people told me I was a “sinner” or “don’t you know Jesus died for you?” because I didn’t understand. I was a “good person” and who are these churchy people telling me I am going to hell?!

It wasn’t until I stopped listening to “churchy” people and started to get to know Jesus that I understood. I read about who this man was, the historicity of His life and death, and couldn’t deny the evidence anymore. And realized what they had been saying was true (though probably could’ve been said in a much better way).

So on this Good Friday, I hope you consider why this day is good. Because it’s the day when Love changed everything. It’s the day that represents ALL of the lines in the sand becoming a blur, all of our sin being blotted out, and the Door being opened to walk in right relationship with our Creator . . . forever.

To the broken, the lost, the hurting, the outcast, the confused, can I encourage you to look to Jesus? He is the answer.

To the Church, can I encourage to stop drawing lines in the sand and start building relationships with people who are not like you?

If there’s any stance I want to take for my faith in Christ, it’s the stance of LOVE. The stance of surrender to Good Friday, freedom to walk in the Hope that comes on Sunday, and a life that openly proclaims that message to any around.

"Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye." (Matthew 7:3-5)

"Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)

"Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:20-21)

Because really that's the gospel. The good news is that we don't have to live in torment, loneliness, guilt, shame, struggle, or oppression. Jesus died and conquered all of that. We just have to embrace it. We win by losing.

"Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?" (Matthew 16:24-26)


  1. Melissa, I appreciate your comments and agree with your perspective. At the same time, don't you think that we sometimes are required to take a stand on an issue? And when we take a stand on an issue, there are others who take an opposing stand.

    Those "=" signs that started this week were in the context of the Supreme Court's scheduled consideration of whether gay marriage should be legal in our country. Those who posted the sign have very strong convictions that gays and lesbians should have the same right to marry as heterosexuals. Should we choose not to take a stand on an issue such as this because it is divisive or because someone will label us as a hater if we don't support their view?

    The world rejects the Christian "speak the truth in love" approach when the truth is something that offends them (even if it is spoken in love). They label contrary convictions about what is right and true as being hateful. What do we do with that?

    Do you believe homosexual behavior is described in God's word as sinful? If so, the only option that I know of to avoid hell for them or any of us is to repent of our sin and submit to Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior.

    1. Hi Mike! Thanks for reading! I knew in writing this it would be controversial. I think because I did not grow up in the church, I have such a sensitivity to those outside of the church looking in and seeing hypocrisy. A friend asked "why do Christians oppose gay marriage and not divorce. Both are considered sin in the bible, right?" Ouch. Because it's true. And Jesus actually spoke out about divorce!

      I'm not saying we don't call sin, sin; or defend God's word; or preach the gospel, I'm saying let's not draw lines in the sand. Let's not point out the speck in our brother's eye while we have a log in our own (adultery-pornography-divorce).

      When was the last time you sat with someone outside of the faith and talked with them about Christianity? Or sat with someone who is homosexual and heard their story?

      I honestly hope and pray that as many people who are willing to "take a stand" are also willing to invite homosexuals over for a meal, develop a relationship with someone who is different than them, hear their story, share the good news, and love them! Don't you think THAT'S what we're called to as Christians? I think we have to start engaging culture in a much different way, that's all.

    2. I'm with Mike on this.

      Melissa, who said Christians don't oppose divorce? God hates divorce, those same Christias that are for divorce are usually the same Christians that won't talk out about the sin of homosexuality. Once you sugar coat one sin you have to sugar coat all sins. That's why people see Christians as hypocrites. If pastors would do their job and speak out about all sin instead of watering down the gospel so they could get a bigger congregation we would have less false Chritians in the Church and cut out a lot of the hypocrisy everyone talks abot.

      I'm putting Anonymous because I don't like the choices I have for the "reply as". My name is also Melissa

  2. love the article. as a christian who has some very close gay friends and family, this definitely resonated with me.

  3. Our job is to love people and share the good news and hope we have in Christ. I trust the Holy Spirit can handle the convicting part.

  4. For a long time I believed as long as I believed in God, I was saved. Now my church and the Internet says that homosexuality is in fact wrong, but like any other sin can be repented. I believe in God and I know that if he wanted to change me he could to anything. But if I become straight and marry a woman or whatever, is that sin too. It clearly States in the noble it is sin. You cant go into heaven with (sin.