I wasn't going to do this - I swore I wasn't - but with all of the continued hype from the "Same Love" performance at the Grammy's to Bizzle's response and now swirling rumors of a come-out marriage ceremony during the Super Bowl Half-Time Show, I have to say something.
To Christians: We all - for the most part - agree that homosexuality is a sin. We all can agree - for the most part - that those who live a lifestyle of sin most likely aren't saved and their eternity is in grave jeopardy. We also can agree - for the most part - that God is love and we are to demonstrate Christlike love in every word we speak, every action we execute and in every relationship we develop.
We know that while we were still sinners, God loved us (Romans 5:8). We know that love is a verb; it is what we do (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). We know that it is not our place to judge non-believers (1 Corinthians 5:12). We know that when dealing with our enemies, our response should always be love (Mark 5:44).
My question then, fellow Christians, is when did it become okay to sweep love under the rug and to be judgmental?
Love is not compromising or lying about our stance. Love is what we do. Love is not just what we say, but how we say it.
I accepted Christ into my life when I was 23-years-old. In the years prior to my salvation, I refused to become a Christian because of the hypocrisy that I witnessed and experienced from the very ones who called themselves saved.
As a teenager, I struggled with boys, gossip, and other sinful habits. Instead of being embraced and guided onto the right path, I was shunned, judged, and socially disregarded. I found myself often asking, "Where's the love? Why isn't anyone helping me?"
As a result of my experience, I associated with agnosticism and wanted nothing to do with anyone or anything related to Christ. It wasn't until I realized that there are a lot of people misrepresenting who He is and that my relationship with Him is independent of those people that I said, "Okay, I'll give Jesus a try."
Has it ever occurred to you that maybe - just maybe - we have put homosexuals through the same experience? Instead of loving them, we are mean and hateful. No, not every Christian is like this, but some Christians and groups like Westboro Baptist Church make it seem that way. A single observation or experience with one Christian can formulate how he or she views all Christians.
Did you know that gay teenagers are five times more likely than straight teenagers to commit suicide all because of the lack of love they receive in every day life (Pediatrics journal)?
Of 32,000 high school juniors, 21.5 percent of the gay students showed suicidal tendencies while only 4.2 percent of straight students showed suicidal tendencies.
These are souls lost forever that we're talking about here. If anyone should show these kids love, it should be us - Christians - because the fact of the matter is that Christ does love them and their sin of homosexuality is no greater than anything we have done or still doing, for that matter (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 and James 2:8-13).
My issue with Bizzle's response is that while it is not hateful or mean-spirited, he is attempting to speak spiritual truth to people who can't comprehend it (1 Corinthians 2:14). I agree with everything he says, but, then again, I'm a Christian. In my opinion, a message of, "Hey, not all Christians hate you," tied in with the gospel of Jesus Christ would have been much more effective. Instead, he comes off to the gay community as homophobic and whatever backlash he receives is - well - on him.
There are plenty of Christians who may read this and say, "But, I'm honestly not judgmental or hateful," and that can very well be true. To you I say, keep up the good work.
The point is to Christians as a whole. One apple really can ruin the whole bunch and apparently we've done enough damage in this generation and generations past to where homosexuals feel hated by Christians. We have to do better when it comes to demonstrating Christlike love.
To homosexuals: Just because a Christian - or anyone else for that matter - disagrees with homosexuality, that doesn't mean that they hate you. Stop throwing up the victim card so quickly. It's really not fair, quite hypocritical and a little weak, to be honest.
I am baffled by how many times a Christian is asked, "How do you feel about gay marriage?" with the intent of making them out to be a bad guy when he or she responds, "I disagree with it." I'm sorry, did you expect another answer? Again, just because someone disagrees with gay marriage doesn't mean they hate you.
In college, one of my good friends was a woman who identified as an agnostic lesbian. She didn't even believe that gays should be united under marriage. She believed that gays should create their own thing. Is she hateful?
That is my issue with "Same Love." In the song, Macklemore portrays all Christians to be hateful gay-bashers and that's not an accurate portrayal of who we are.
Also, by continuously comparing the fight for your rights to the civil rights movement of the 1960's is lame. No, it is not the same thing. I am certain you have heard this time and time again, but - for the record - gays were not enslaved for four hundred years nor could black people hide the fact that they were black (unless they were of interracial heritage or fair-skinned, but that's a different story).
When I was a copy editor for UMKC University News, I wrote a story on the counter-hate Christians on campus experienced from the gay community. This was during the aftermath of the Chick-fil-a statement. In that article, I stated that I disagreed with homosexual marriage as it is originally a God-ordained union and should not be redefined. Doing so would disrespect not just Christians, but other religious groups, as well. I also stated that I was completely okay with civil unions. Give gays the same rights under a different title, the same belief my agnostic lesbian friend held. Everyone wins.
In response, one particular reader compared my idea with the separate-but-equal laws. While I understand the logic behind that comparison, the fact of the matter is that separate-but-equal was not abolished because the government suddenly developed a love for black people. Separate-but-equal laws were abolished because they hindered the economic growth of this country. The laws also prevented white-owned-and-operated businesses from growing past certain levels of success because blacks could only support their own. That said, please don't try to negate the idea of civil unions with the separate-but-equal argument because it just doesn't fly.
Comparing what you are trying to achieve to the black experience, the Jewish experience, or any other racial justice movement is simply inaccurate. Yes, what you are trying to achieve is a civil rights movement, but so was the women's rights movement. However, all three - racial, gender, and sexuality - are not one in the same. To lean on the leg of other civil rights movements kind of down plays the significance of yours. Stand on your own two legs.
Lastly, forcing your agenda on people is exactly what you don't want Christians to do to you. So, why do you do it? Beating up on Christians for standing on their biblical stance is exactly what you don't want Christians to do to you. So, why do you do it? Besides, there are several other groups of people who disagree with homosexuality, too. So, why do you continually pick on us?
If a love is a verb, then hate is a verb, too. Yes, there are Christians out there who are hateful in the literal since of the word - and I apologize on their behalf - but you have to ask yourself, "I am contributing to the problem by being counter-hateful or am I contributing to the solution by respecting other people's views?"
To everyone: I'm so tired of the media pinning us up against each other and we feed right into it. We have to decide to agree to disagree, to live by the golden rule (which just happens to be a bible verse; see Luke 6:31). We can love each other if we choose to. We should be able to respect each other and live harmoniously together, but it's going to take both parties to take the first step.