As a pastor in the San Francisco area, when I travel around the country I am often asked how I handle the homosexual agenda that, in their minds, is coming out of the woodwork. I often get the sense that people think homosexuals are like boogie men creeping out of our gutters and air vents ready to devour and corrupt our children. I think some in parts of our country are watching one too many films or TV shows about zombies or vampires (though they are admittedly hard to avoid these days).
The reality, however, is that I do interact with homosexuals, and when they find out what I do for a living they tend toward thoughts such as “You think I’m going to hell because I’m gay.” Unfortunately, they have been taught to think this either from harshly worded screams or poorly written signs and websites. However, as a Bible-believing, conservative pastor I’m here to tell you, “No, your being gay is not sending you to hell.”
Let me explain.
By being a practicing homosexual, you are no more destined to hell than the faithful church goer who tithes 15% of his gross income and shows up at every church potluck and Kirk Cameron movie night but has not truly accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Yes, yes, I know – you knew there was a catch. But that last part is so significant. Sin and rejection of Christ leads to hell and any sinful behavior or lifestyle is an effect of sin.
I do enjoy spending time with my gay friends, but I would not be a true friend if I didn’t tell them the truth of what the Bible teaches. Unless you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, have repented of your sins, and confess and believe that Jesus died for your sins and rose again on the third day, it doesn’t matter if you’re gay or straight, prince or pauper, Steve Jobs or Steve the janitor – without Christ you are doomed. To put it another way, being a heterosexual does not give you a one-way ticket to heaven despite what some antagonistic so-called Christians would make you believe.
Ultimately, these truths reside in the heart and soul, so one cannot look at a person and know for sure whether he is a Christian or not, but the Bible does give us a clue that is analogously called fruit. Lack of fruit is one of several indicators that someone may not be a believer. Lifestyle homosexuality is one sign of lack of fruit as is someone who claims to be a Christian but has unrepentant hatred for gays.
James 2:10 says “whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.” So, ultimately, a homosexual lifestyle is no more evidence that you are a sinner than that white lie you told when you were 5. You’re not going to hell because you’re gay, your going to hell because you are an unrepentant sinner.
Unfortunately, many Christians as well as the media’s portrayal of Christianity as a whole has misled society. God doesn’t hate you nor do I, but God hates sin. In fact, I truly wish more homosexuals would come to my church.
I’m not here to try to be a friend to the homosexual community, make anyone think homosexuality is okay in God’s eyes, or make an apology to gays for the way the church has treated them for generations (as I neither associate myself with these people nor am I in a place to represent the entirety of what society thinks is the “church”). I’m just here to tell it like it is and “like it is” is gospel truth.
On another note, if you are a Christian who likes to write hurtful things on signs and protest activities like gay pride parades, please be sure to let me know…so I can picket outside your house protesting your hatred and pride.