A Look At “Christian” Behavior Toward Gays
Homophobia: An exaggerated and persistent dread of or aversion to those sexually attracted to persons of the same sex, or those having sexual relations with others of the same sex.
Do “Christians” have an exaggerated and persistent dread of or aversion to homosexuals?
There are many people who do manifest a homophobic attitude toward gays, and that goes without question. But do “Christians” manifest this attitude? Are “Christians” homophobic?
First of all, it should be established what a “Christian” is. For, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)
A true Christian is one who not only accepts Jesus as the Savior, but also accepts Him as Lord and Master and lives according to the example and teaching of Jesus. He will, therefore, be Christ-like in his attitude and behavior toward the homosexual as toward any other of God’s children. “What would Jesus do?” is a popular question of the day, and is a good motto to live by. While hating sin, Jesus loved the sinner. How much? Enough to willingly lay down his own life in exchange for the life of even his own enemies.
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, [yes, even homosexuals], Christ died for us. …For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:8,10)
Secondly, it should be stated that no “homophobe” is truly a Christian, and no true Christian is, nor can be a “homophobe.” One characteristic automatically precludes the other. Notice what the apostle John says in 1 John 4:7-21. “God is love”, (4:8), and if we are to be Christ-like we will be God-like as loving and loveable Christians. And, “There is no fear (phobia) in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth, (i.e., the homophobe), is not made perfect in love. (4:18)
Study the context in which this is found: “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. …If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. …There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. …If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”
Thirdly, the attitude of the true Christian towards the homosexual will be one of loving compassion and concern. Since “perfect love casteth out fear,” the true Christian cannot manifest homophobia, but rather, “homo-agape” — affection, benevolence, a love without benefit to self. Of God’s two great commandments, the 2nd one is to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” The Christian’s love towards the homosexual is a self-sacrificing love, even as that of God.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:16,17)
The true Christian, likewise, in following the example and teaching of Jesus, is not to condemn the homosexual, but is to labor with self-less love that the homosexual might be saved from his sin. For the promise is given that Jesus “shall save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)
But even Christ could not, and can not, force the will. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, but He will not coerce anyone against his will, and neither will the Christian force his will upon the gay community. However, the Christian has every right, indeed a responsibility, to proclaim the good news that there is a Way Out, so that the few who are seeking may find it.
In the words of Jesus, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matthew 7:13,14)
Revisiting the opening question, “Why are ‘Christians’ so homophobic?”
In following the example and teaching of Jesus, the “Christian” will seek to save the lost. In pointing them to the Way, they are not manifesting “phobia” but “agape.”
“Christians” are not homophobic at all. They are “homo-agapic…”