Earlier today a relative of mine posted this story on Facebook about a Christian singer who came out of the closet last year. This relative has a good heart and her views represent the best Christianity has to offer. And the conversation that followed was as good as can be expected, really: Christians debating on how to be loving while not condoning a sinful lifestyle.

What to do? Some were demanding forgiveness and prayer and some were taking a clear stand against the sin, not the sinner. Blah blah blah. I know they mean well, but it makes me nauseous. It wasn’t about the actual person involved, but rather a conversation about the best way to promote Christianity while keeping god happy. The internal battle of the individual isn’t just secondary, it’s non-existent.

Stories like this should be proof that homosexuality is not a choice. It demands real thought from Christians, not just empty sentiments about how it relates to their own selfish god needs. Stories like this should make Christians feel empathy. It should make them ask themselves important questions:

What would it be like to have these feelings as a Christian?

Was god’s plan really for her to live a life of celibacy? What an overwhelming thing to realize at the age of thirteen!

…..All these conversations Christians are having about homosexuality…. How crushing that must feel to Christians like her. Of course she felt ashamed and like an outsider. I wonder who else around us might be feeling like an outsider in the church and dealing with a weight as big as this?

How can we change as Christians to meet their needs? Why are we failing them?

But no, there is no empathy. There is no love for people at all, just impersonal talk about right and wrong. Imagine what this woman has endured. As long as she believes god exists, she must believe her natural sexual impulses are off limits. How does one deal with that? What does it feel like to love god, have these feelings, and live in an environment that offers no understanding? No way to reconcile the two?

One Christian had a familiar suggestion: Well, pedophiles must deny their sexual impulses. What’s the difference? How sensitive and loving. I’m sure that would have been a comfort to her during her teenage years when she wanted to die. That is exactly what Jesus would do, I’m sure of it.

Why aren’t Christians more empathetic? Because empathy is impossible to achieve in this case without questioning the bible. The best of them will simply say love everyone and leave it up to god, but what kind of love is that? It’s avoiding the issue entirely. It doesn’t help the person who is desperate for direction, it is just a less cruel way of saying they aren’t good enough.

Maybe, just maybe….Christians got this part wrong. I know Christians don’t like to think that anything in the bible isn’t exactly what god intended them to know- but have they read it? There is a lot of weird stuff in there. Questioning church leaders of the past and their decisions about the bible doesn’t have to mean questioning god’s very existence. Couldn’t we just consider that for a moment?

And here lies perhaps the biggest problem I have with Christianity. They have already made up their minds about everything in the universe and they are no longer open to suggestions. Even when the conclusions they have drawn about the bible conflict with their god’s greatest commandment, they still won’t budge. They make it fit or simply ignore it. They will turn against each other in an effort to protect the decisions man, not god, set in stone.

Occasionally time and circumstance forces them to evolve. For example, using the bible to support a case for slavery in America isn’t as popular as it once was. That’s good news. And many other bad ideas previously protected by the bible have found their way to extinction in the name of progress and fairness. But it is always a fight that starts with Christians unwilling to bend. It doesn’t matter what they learned in the past, the bible retains its status as god itself.

How long before they evolve on homosexuality? How long will they claim that it is a choice? How long will they waste time on talking points instead of caring for those who are being traumatized by the belief system that raised them and then rejected them?

As long as Christians continue to demonstrate a lack of true empathy, love, and support even among their own- they will continue to be mocked and ridiculed for their hypocrisy. And they deserve every bit of it.

It’s 2015, Christians. If you really think it’s time to have the courage to stand up for god, then it’s time to have the courage to face the tough questions of how your faith has chosen to define him.

 

7 thoughts on “When Christians Do Not Love the Sinner

  1. I was always appalled by the old “pedophiles have to deny themselves” or even “it’s a sin just like anything else, drunkenness, murder, rape, etc.” What an insensitive and horrible thing to say! It’s basically equating a homosexual to a drunk child-raping murder! Even as a Christian I called people out on that. But I guess I was too liberal and open-minded for christianity. After all, look where that got me!

    Definitely a topic christians need to hear. Like REALLY hear. Nice work, yet again!

    1. My husband says this sounds like the Christian me talking. Just change “they” to “we” and I guess I’m a Christian blogger tonight…. But my thoughts have pretty much remained the same on this topic, which is how I know Christians can overcome this. I still know a handful of liberal Christians. Their existence helps me sleep at night 🙂

  2. I’m sorry to whoever commented here today, but when I went to read your comment on my phone it accidentally deleted it before I could read it. Feel free to post again- it was an error!

    1. (The following comment was recovered from my email from The Ancients….)

      You said: “It wasn’t about the actual person involved, but rather a conversation about the best way to promote Christianity while keeping god happy…”

      You have a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of God.
      1. Sin is a finished issue and every single persons sin is already judged. God is no longer judging sin, He already imputed all our entire lives of sin to His Son and judged Him instead of us.

      Like natural laws, spiritual laws cannot be violated without consequence. So the wages of sin is still death-brought on by the devil, as sin opens an avenue for him to enter and rob, steal, destroy and kill.

      2. It’s not a person’s actions or good works that makes God pleased with them. Faith is what pleases God. It’s all about whether or not you’ve put your trust in Jesus the Christ.

      Until you have a revelation of God’s heart which is all love, and why He would love man in spite of our continuous faithlessness you will continue to have hard legalistic and very incorrect knowledge and understanding of who God is.

      1. (To The Ancients)

        I think you are defending the Christian view against homosexuality, but that quote you used from my post threw me a bit. I meant there that too many Christians are not showing true compassion, but rather using talking points that make an individual’s feelings secondary. I’m not sure how asking for more genuine compassion for others means I don’t understand the nature of god.

        True, I do later say that Christians should rethink their definition of god, but obviously we will not agree here. It isn’t that I do not understand, it is that I have very much changed my position on the nature of god since losing faith. I no longer claim to be an expert on the nature of god at all.

        In fact, Christianity’s complete certainty that they understood the nature of god was perhaps the first thing that triggered the doubt that led to my atheism. Their inability to change position, even to the point of making the art of criticizing another’s sin a higher priority than compassion- that’s what drives me to write posts like this one.

        But thank you for commenting and sorry about the error 🙂

  3. This is where Progressive Christians disagree with more conservative Christians. Frankly, Progressives would say that same gender sex in and of itself is not wrong, and some would even talk about homophobia as sin. So, my questions as to whether there is a spiritual dimension or not has nothing to do with my views on GLBTQ folks. I do think one can be a good Christian, and support same sex marriage.

    1. Yes, I also think one can be a good Christian and support same sex marriage. I know many Christians who are able to do this, and they are often the most giving and loving Christians I know.

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