“Nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be. It’s easy. All you need is love, love. Love is all you need.”- The Beatles
Today is a very emotional and tender post for me as I answer the last part of the letter from a Dad…
I want to understand the true message in your ministry, because I NEED to find my own peace in your message, and many who suffer with this need to find the salvation in your message. There is a strong message of love and acceptance, which is needed for sure, but the message ends there for me. And there is more to it than that; there just has to be. Your message, in stressing the love and acceptance, comes across as acceptance = license; tolerance = allowance; love = permission. This may not be the case, but I’m telling you, in reading your materials intently for the last 3 months, this is what is at least perceived. Intended or not, this result is fundamentally flawed as it is IMPOSSIBLE to align the license, allowance or permission of homosexual behavior with the teaching of Christ as it pertains to metanoia, living a Christ-filled life, and inheriting the Kingdom of Heaven. PLEASE HELP ME UNDERSTAND. — Loving my son forever, and weeping for his current pain and ultimate suffering, rejoicing that God’s love is perfect and there is hope through the blood of Jesus. Dad
Here is my answer to him – and to those struggling with the same issue…
Dearest Dad, I understand your heart for your son. Many parents are in your position, wanting to love unconditionally, but desperate to guide their children into the Christ-filled life. But that is exactly it!
The Christ-filled life is not afraid of people living authentic to their sexual identity! The Christ-filled life invites people into who they were designed to be.
Where homosexuality doesn’t fit is in legalistic and rule-based living. Religious teaching and churches that focus on rules must narrow life down to the bare minimum – not spitting on Sunday lest they make a furrow lest they be working and breaking a commandment. Rule-based living wears phylacteries – selected commandments – to represent their attention to the law, though the law is powerless to produce right living!
Rule-based living produces death.
So where do we go as Christians?
This is simple because Christ’s directives are simple. Not easy, but simple! When you’ve been taught forever that homosexuality will send people to hell, it’s hard to rest in Christ when your son is gay. But it really, truly is what he said! He never told us to use the scripture on each other. Never! Jesus is the fulfillment of the law; we must believe what he says about it!
It’s only by turning our understanding of the law upside-down that we’ll get to the heart of it and the freedom for which he set us free! But don’t be afraid of that – Jesus turned the law upside-down every time he opened his mouth! Really, truly.
You said: acceptance = license; tolerance = allowance; love = permission. But all of those conclusions focus on behavior instead of life in Christ. Look at it upside-down and you see that Christ was never concerned about behavior on its own but as it flows from a heart set on him. To look primarily at behavior is to not trust him to lead people as he wants.
I know you love your son. I know all of you with LGBTQ children love them, more than you can express. But your job is not to make sure they’re not gay. It never has been. Countless parents before have proven that will never work. Turn away from religious leaders, pastors, radio & TV show hosts – and even ‘well-meaning friends’ – who inspire fear and shame.
Turn instead to Jesus who offers love. And find support. You are not alone in this struggle. Many others have already been down the journey you are on.
I offer love, you said there has to be more. There isn’t! Love covers it! Jesus said so. Put everything else you know about this aside and look at Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith. Ask him to show you and he will! You don’t even have to trust your ability to hear; trust his ability to speak!
It’s a privilege to walk this journey with you. Keep the faith, keep trusting Jesus, and keep your eye focused on him alone. You will be amazed at what he does not only in your beautiful gay child but in you!
Love in Christ,