5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Do Everything Without Grumbling
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”[c] Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. 17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
No, the above verses aren't about homosexuality. Usually on this subject, people refer to the 'clobber passages' (interesting name, huh?) But it is about how to be a Christian, and as I was reading it this morning, I found it applicable.
58% of Christians ages 18-24 call Christianity "anti-gay" and 79% of non-Christians in the same age bracket agree. So, this age group in churches is shrinking. About 1/3 choose to unaffiliate themselves with the church in general.
A 2011 survey by the Public Religion Research Institute shows 44% of white evangelicals aged 18-29 in support of marriage equality compared to only 12 percent of those 65 and older. (I don't know why the white part is pertinent but I don't want to skew or misrepresent the facts I read, so I'm leaving it.)
According to the same survey, nearly 70% of young Christians also agree that religious groups are alienating young people because of gay and lesbian issues.
Why is the church's primary message that is reaching people a message of "anti" anything? Why isn't it Christ's love? Grace? What are we doing wrong that we are most known for our rantings about politics, parties, policies and people?
I read recently that 84% of homosexuals were raised in a household of faith. Where are those people now? I don't see them in church. Why? Because the church has told them they can't be gay and have a relationship with the Lord. I'm glad that all of the things about me that people find unacceptable haven't kept me from a relationship with Him, or joining His church. Why don't we open our doors, our homes and our arms to all human beings, and let them work out their own salvation with fear and trembling like each of us had to, and let them live for Christ to the best of their ability like each of us do, and give them a shot of a faith filled life in a body of believers, instead of telling them they can't. By telling these children of God that they cannot be a Christian and gay at the same time, we have done our part to guarantee that they don't live for Him or make it to Heaven.
Are we showing humility in this area, or are we unmoving and overbearing? Are we being real servants to others and messengers of His gift of salvation and light? Are we doing things in vain? Are we grumbling and arguing and isolating?
Here is a beautiful article about a group of Christians who went to a gay pride parade without protest signs.
The goodness of God calls men to Him! Are we Christians known best for His goodness? No, I'm sorry to say, we aren't.
"Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples." John 13:35
PS. This blogger says some of the things I think in response to the question "What if you're wrong" more indelicately than I would, but makes some good points.