By Marilette Sanchez and Lyss K.
This post was co-written by my dear friend, Lyss K., a New Yorker with a passion to see the church trained for effectiveness in this generation.
I’m told you are a homosexual. Is it gay? Is it practicing homosexuality? Is it you’ve switched sides? I don’t even know how to say it.
First, I need to apologize. We, your brothers and sisters in Christ, have presented you with a religion with standards that we can’t possibly live up to. Instead of trying to fix you from the outside in, we should have been introducing you to a Person.
To quote one of my favorite theological books, The Jesus Storybook Bible, “Now, some people think the Bible is a book of rules, telling you what you should and shouldn’t do. The Bible certainly does have some rules in it. They show you how life works best. But the Bible isn’t mainly about you and what you should be doing. It’s about God and what he has done.”
It’s my deepest desire for you to truly encounter the Person of Jesus Christ, just like the woman at the well.
Unlike many of the others Jesus touched, the woman at the well did not walk away with new legs or with the instant ability to see–she walked away with a refreshed soul. Her five marriages, each which she thought would satisfy, only left her empty. Her live-in boyfriend was not doing the trick, either. But then, the water of eternal life, Jesus, filled her up in places she didn’t even know existed. And when her spirit was healed, she was able to forgive and be forgiven by those who had once rejected her–in other words, she got relational healing, too.
God hasn’t changed the rules of holiness. We like to make up our own version of Scripture to justify doing anything we want. Whenever something in the Bible seems inconvenient, we fire back: “I don’t feel led by the Spirit to obey that verse,” but we tend to forget that our God is both holy AND loving. So if He tells us to do or not to do something, it is always in our best interest. It’s the ultimate Father Knows Best moments of advice, given by the Father that designed the whole system.
The truth is God has designed us for sexual fulfillment–relational fulfillment, too–in marriage. And by “marriage” I mean the union of a man and woman sanctioned by God, and consecrated through the lifelong vows they commit one to the other. Don’t believe the lie that God didn’t make marriage to fill you up. He did. He made it that way. You have a desire God gave you that cannot be filled by anyone but your spouse. God gave you the desire, but he uses the marital partner he designed for you to fill it.
This is why I have a hard time with many of us Christians being lenient about accepting premarital sex and divorce, yet we single out homosexuality as a top-tier sexual sin.
Any time that sex gets out of context of self-giving love in the context of marriage, it becomes misconstrued and warped from its true purpose, which is to be a picture of Christ loving the church sacrificially, wholeheartedly and never selfishly. Even in marriage, it is possible to use sex as a means to gain pleasure at the cost of being selfless towards one’s spouse. And even though “technically” sex is within marriage, it’s being warped by our sinful nature into something it wasn’t purposed by God to be.
Sorry that we, your brothers and sisters have deceived ourselves into thinking that just because we sin differently, we’re better than you. In reality, there are no levels of sin, because God has said all sin is evil. And we all fall short.
My issue is that we keep hearing that there’s no need for a cure because there is no problem.
There is a song, a hymn called “The Balm of Gilead.” Here is the chorus: “There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole. / There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin-sick soul.”
To not call sin, “sin” is to ignore the wounded and tell the sin-sick soul there is no cure. I’ve felt the Spirit’s desperate cry for you. Compassion won’t let me accept the substitute when I’ve seen the real deal.
It is impossible for me to accept the patterns of sin I see in those I love because I cannot ignore the wounds beneath the surface. To use the example of chapped lips, if you keep licking your lips, the pain gets worse. Your solution to the pain only provides a momentary relief and eventually increases the dryness. Only the lip balm will provide relief. The longer that you don’t deal with your pain, the more likely it will grow and define how you treat others. When your pain is too great, you become completely desensitized to how you treat other people and even yourself.
I want you to be healed in your spirit as the woman at the well was healed in her spirit. I can’t help but see the desert of your soul. And I cannot accept any solution that claims to slay your thirst while secretly dehydrating any water that remains. But know this, God will not stop loving you. He will not stop calling out to your soul to return to Him. Jesus will not stop being your friend and your brother. And neither will I. Because I am a sinner and Jesus transformed my life. God loves you too much to let you stay broken and wounded. Just like He loved me in my sin-filled world, but He wouldn’t let me stay there either. Don’t you want the same refreshment? Don’t you want the same reconciliation? Come to the Water, friend.