Confessions of a Presbyterian Minister:
I was born this way, will you love me anyway?
Is it possible to be born with a condition that pulls so strenuously upon your heart that it seems uncontrollable? What do you do when your very nature ends up causing embarrassment and feelings of shame and heartache? It seems impossible to pinpoint the origin of these urges and inclinations, but they are always present and you know they are very real. And they not only impact you, but your friends and family, too.
That’s my life story. Almost all of the chaos that I have experienced, and all the anxiety that I have felt, and all the relationships that have been damaged, can be explained by this one predisposition. And what makes the story so tragic is that there isn’t a doubt in my mind that I was born this way.
I am a sinner. That’s precisely the diagnosis that the Bible makes about my heart and yours.
I am sure that such a confession will be extremely offensive to most folks. Sin is always offensive, because it says that the chief problem of the human condition is the human heart (Jeremiah 17:9).
Sure, we will admit that we sometimes do things we shouldn’t, but we are remarkably adept at rationalizing away our sinful thoughts, words, and behaviors. We like to think that our problems come from outside us—that the root of our struggles is psychological, sociological, or environmental. But that’s not really the case. Our greatest problem is our heart—it’s sinful and we were born that way.
This is what makes the Gospel such a sweet, sweet message. God’s grace and goodness reaches down from heaven to people born in that condition. And when the goodness of God leads a sinner to repentance (a turning from their sin) and enables them to believe upon Jesus Christ for salvation, God removes all of the guilt and shame of their sin. Did you get that? All of it—past, present, and future—all of it!
And God doesn’t stop there. When God saves a sinner (someone born that way), He causes them to be born again. He gives them a new heart and makes them a new creation. There is new life in them and that is accompanied by new desires and passions.
Now listen carefully, that doesn’t mean that there won’t be intense struggles between our old way of life and the new. The Bible describes this internal conflict as a war and as far as I know, war is never easy. But God promises to be with us and strengthen us in this day-to-day battle.
And what undergirds and motivates us in that daily battle is His love. Despite the condition that we were born in, through Jesus Christ, we have become the objects of His unfathomable and everlasting love. Wow!
Now let me take a moment and address what you thought this article was about in the first place.
There seems to be incredible pressure upon churches to change their stance on the issue of homosexuality. I am not sure what motives are behind this, but I suspect it is the desire to be accepted by the broader culture. Nonetheless, it is a terrible mistake that brings with it the potential for devastating eternal consequences.
Regardless of their motives, or how well intentioned these folks are, it’s an act that is devoid of biblical love. You heard me right. It’s hard to imagine a more unloving act than telling the homosexual community that their sin isn’t really sin. By telling them that, they are being cut off from the source of God’s saving love.
The Bible never instructs people to celebrate sin. We’re commanded to turn from it (repentance), and turn to Christ (by faith). That has to be the loving message of the church because that is the loving message of God’s gospel. (Those of you who tell folks to remain in their sin and all will be well, do you realize how hurtful your message is? Read Luke 17:1-2)
Additionally, the church is called to love, support, and encourage those who struggle with the sin of homosexuality. We need to treat them with the same patience and tenderness we have toward everyone else in the church who battles against sin. Remember, we were all born this way—as sinners.
You can join us for worship at Rose Park Christian School at 10:30 AM and 6:00 PM.
556 Butternut Dr.
Holland, MI 49424