Who am I? Maybe the most important question in the history of questions and the most difficult to answer for a majority of this world, especially a majority of the world between the ages of 15 and 30. Everyone just wants to fit in. They want to figure out what their purpose is and how to accomplish it the fastest way possible and retire. Now, please do not misunderstand, this is not the case for EVERY human on this planet, rather a majority.
In starting this post, it was mainly to discuss the issue of gay marriage when that was all anyone could talk about a few weeks ago. However, it has turned into a post about our identity. Before you get into the meat of this post, I want to let you know that I am totally aware that some of you may not agree, some of you may dislike me afterwards, and some of you will be hurt or offended. That is NOT my goal. My goal is to just simply state the truth. My opinion and your opinion are irrelevant when it comes to the Word of God. I am not going to try and convince you to believe a certain way or shove my beliefs down your throat. I have had to deal with this issue in real life and this post is maybe just so I can vocalize and write out my thoughts.
Back to the question, "Who am I?" You can be whatever you want to be! That's what America preaches, that's what I was taught growing up. Anyone else? I have news for you, you can be! Here's the danger in that as Christians, we get caught up in what and who am I verses what and who does God say I am and the Word teaches me to be. Being a Christian comes down to a choice you are so blessed to be able to make. Do I believe the Word of God to be truth or do I not? Well, I do believe it so that is where I am coming from.
I was going to spend time telling you why I think it's not okay to be a homosexual actively living a lifestyle that portrays that while also claiming Christianity. I was going to tell you why I think a woman with another woman or a man with another man is absolutely NOT okay and give you the scripture to back it up. However, I am not going to do that. I am going to pose a question. And as of right not, I'll quit playing politics too.
The Question: WHO ARE YOU?
Here are a few verses from the passages I will be referring to:
2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, news things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. HE MADE HIM WHO KNEW NO SIN TO BE SIN ON OUR BEHALF, SO THAT WE MIGHT BECOME THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN HIM.
If you love Me, you will keep My commandments
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have ben buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead throughout the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.
BUT NOW having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord
If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.
Romans 12: 1-2
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, SO THAT YOU MAY PROVE WHAT THE WILL OF GOD IS THAT WHICH IS GOOD AND ACCEPTABLE AND PERFECT.
…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
Or 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 effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
1 Peter 1:6-8
In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
1 Peter 1:13-16
Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”
(There are other scriptures as well, I will attempt to post all of them, but I might miss a few)
So here's my beef:
We have made being a homosexual in America an identity. The problem, as Christians, is that anything other than Christ is absolutely NOT our identity. I began thinking about how I have heard over and over and over "this is the way God made me."
All of our nature in the flesh is sinful. We are born into it. And I am not about to get into the whole "baby" conversation. I am however going to just say that we all fall short, ALL! That is the way we are made, apart from God in our sin, and in our flesh. Sadly, a large number of Christians in the past few generations and even this one (I can't speak for other generations because I haven't read up, but the past few I have) have turned people who thought they were "gay" or "homosexual" away and even turned that into an identity by way of separation from the church by shunning them or telling them how horrible they are, or even being so wigged out by it that they couldn’t even shake a “homosexual” PERSON's hand. When in reality we should be lovingly showing them, that while we do love them, we have a responsibility to show them why Biblically and with the word that a lifestyle conducive to that isn't okay. We put people who have those desires in a box and don't want to deal with it. We make them feel like they are in a box. I regret to say that I am even guilty of this in my past, before I knew what the Word said about it and before I truly knew what it was to love people (which I'm still learning).
I feel like we do this with more than just people who think they are homosexuals. We do this with poor young girls who take that awful step in their adolescent years and sleep with a boy and everyone in her high school finds out, then she becomes a “slut” or a “whore.” After hearing that for so long she just breaks down and lets that become her identity. It is such a vicious cycle. We do this in other areas as well, but to broken people who are openly struggling with a sexual sin and having an identity crisis we are especially stranding them out there alone to handle it because we are too afraid to deal with it and bear their burdens with them. I am not saying EVERYONE is guilty of this but I feel that we have given the enemy a foothold in this specific area of life and it’s got to change.
I say this because as the church we have a responsibility to tell people about Jesus and how they can find their identity in Christ. We also have the responsibility out of love to call other Christians out when they are openly living in sexual sin. Not because we want to tell them what to do, or that we think we know better, but because He says to daily take up our cross and follow Him and to find our identity in Him. Not in what the world so often tells us we ought to find it in. It should be because we see the sin and hate it for them. How can we say we love them if we aren’t willing to help them, even if it means an uncomfortable conversation that may lead to a lost friendship? Do we not have enough faith to know that God is God and if He calls us to be a voice of reason for a friend, will He not be faithful to do immeasurably more than we could even ask Him?
Please don’t think that I’m saying life is just roses and peaches when you are following Christ and giving up your life to gain Him. He so clearly says that we are to SUFFER here just for a little while on this earth in the same manner that Christ suffered. But that suffering here on earth, just for a little while, produces perseverance and makes us holy because He is holy. Let’s just be real, when your nature is sinful and instant gratification, becoming holy is a hard process. He compares it to walking through fire so that everything that is not good in us is burned away until only Christ remains.
Also, please don't think that I am pretending to understand everyone's struggles or pains, etc. I could never, but Jesus can and He says that there is nothing that He can't handle, so lay it at His feet and trust Him. He can conquer all sin, no actually, He has already conquered it. We just have to give it to Him.
As Christians, we are to be obedient children, we are to put away our former lusts, i.e. any sexual sin, no matter what sex we feel “attracted to.” We are to live our lives in a manner that is worship to our King, as a holy and living sacrifice. Can I just say, He is so faithful when we do! As Christians, we have a promise that His ways are better and higher and greater than anything we could ever even imagine; THAN ANY HAPPINESS WE THINK WE CAN BRING OURSELVES. Galatians 6:8 says, “For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but to the one who sows the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. I don’t know about you, but I do NOT want to reap corruption. I’m just saying.
So, again, my question is: Who are you? Are you a chosen daughter or son of the King ready and willing to lay down your life so that your identity can be found in Christ? Or are you living your life in order that your happiness trumps anything else and your agenda is above all others?