The issue of gay-lesbian-bisexual-transgender “rights” is ever present in our societies and in church, so I plan to write on it from time to time. But I want to say a few things up front. First, I completely agree with and support the United Methodist position as documented in our Book of Discipline:
Homosexual persons no less than heterosexual persons are individuals of sacred worth. All persons need the ministry and guidance of the church in their struggles for human fulfillment, as well as the spiritual and emotional care of a fellowship that enables reconciling relationships with God, with others, and with self. The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and consider this practice incompatible with Christian teaching. We affirm that God’s grace is available to all, and we will seek to live together in Christian community. We implore families and churches not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends. We commit ourselves to be in ministry for and with all persons.
I must admit that I was predisposed to hope that the Bible would not state the homosexual behavior was sinful. However, after careful study of the Bible, there is no way to come to that conclusion. 100% of the verses mentioning homosexual behavior label it as sin in the strongest possible terms. 100% of the verses referring to God’s ideal for marriage and sexuality refer to a one man / one woman covenant marriage. And 0% of verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way. Biblically speaking, this is not the grey area some want to make it out to be.
But that doesn’t mean we should treat gay people unkindly. We are all sinners in need of a Savior. When I meet someone who is gay, I don’t try to change them. I just try to build a relationship with them the same way I would with anyone else. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to share the Gospel with them if they haven’t heard it yet. If they ask me what the Bible says about it, I tell them the truth. But I don’t grandstand on it.
Note: The acronym GLBT stands for Gay-Lesbian-Bisexual-Transgender. I sometimes add an “X” and refer to it as GLBTX because it is just a matter of time before something new is added. My guess is “P” for polygamy in 2008.