Sunday, September 1, 2013

Along the way ... for the week of September 1, 2013

I have been thinking, praying, and studying lately concerning a fully Biblical response to those who live with same-sex attraction.  My heart goes out to those who live with same-sex attraction and are looking for a proper way of honoring God with their body.  (see I Corinthians 6:18-20)

As I was thinking, praying, and studying this week, God led me to consider Jesus; Who He is and What He is like.

I know that Jesus is God because the Bible tells me so. (See John 1:3, 14; 8:58, Romans 9:5, etc.)
and God reveals Himself in Exodus 34:6-7 as "the LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, and abounding in love and faithfulness ..."  So since Jesus is God, Jesus is compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in love and faithfulness ...

But Jesus was also "obedient to death - even to death on a cross" (Philippians 2:8)  Jesus was obedient. He did what God said to do even when it caused him pain; even when he had to suffer.  Yet Jesus remained obedient no matter what.

Therefore, as those who are called to be like Jesus, we must also be filled with compassion and grace and be slow to anger and abound in love and faithfulness, and we must be obedient; even if we have to suffer to do so.

So what does this have to do with people who struggle with same-sex attraction?

First, we who do not live with this attraction ought to be compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love toward those who do.  Second, all who are called God's children through true faith in Jesus are called to obedience, even if it means we have to suffer.

Consider two other verses.

In Hebrews 4:15 we read of Jesus, "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet he did not sin."  So if Jesus was "tempted in every way" could we possibly imagine that Jesus felt the temptation of same-sex attraction?  If He did, the Bible says He was tempted, yet He did not sin.  Jesus understands.  I don't understand, but He does.

Also in Romans 8:18, Paul writes, "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."  What "sufferings" was Paul referring to?  It is quite possible that besides physical suffering for the sake of the gospel, Paul also understood the "suffering" of dealing with temptation and learning to be obedient.  And it was those "present sufferings" that Paul said were not worth comparing to the "glory" to be revealed.  So although we may be asked to suffer by saying "no" to temptation and being obedient, we are promised that the "glory" is not worth comparing to the "present sufferings".

I know this does not solve the issue, especially for those who live with same-sex desire, but these are some of my thoughts on the issue.  And this is by no means "the last word" on the subject.  I am however interested to know what you think.  But please, as you comment, remember that we are called to be "compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love" just as we are called to obedience.  Thank you.

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