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Romans 1:16–2:3
You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself (2:1).

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A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one (Genesis 2:24).

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How has the church at large responded to those struggling with same-sex attraction? How can God use your testimony to reach someone involved in homosexuality?

As my husband and I sat with our children at the 4th of July fireworks, two lesbian women sat nearby with their young toddlers. Expressive in their affection for each other, what they perceived as liberty, God’s Word defines as bondage. I remembered a young woman I had sat with a month earlier. Listening, I grieved with her as she shared her struggles. Longing for acceptance, her wounds had led her to homosexuality.

Today’s society tells us homosexuality is a normal part of being human, even defending one’s sexual orientation as predesigned by God. On the other extreme, stand those who define homosexuality as a sin more egregious than others.

While Paul teaches that sexual sin affects our bodies differently than other sins (1 Corinthians 6:18), any standard different from God’s brings spiritual death. Spiritual bondage to sin ensues anytime we choose to follow our flesh instead of what God has commanded in Scripture. If we worship the created over the Creator, we will live contrary to God’s design (Romans 1:21). With blurred vision, we view our sin as acceptable and even normal (vv.22,25).

Paul reminds us, however, “This good news tells us how God makes us right in His sight” (Romans 1:17). The body of Christ must lovingly choose to:

• Respond to homosexuality as we would any sin in our own lives (Galatians 6:1-2).

• Demonstrate how God’s heart of love can change and transform us when we call on His name (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

We’re surrounded by people who struggle with sexual identity. As living proof of God’s forgiveness, we must remember that only His grace and truth provides the path to righteousness.

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29 Responses to “sinners alike”

  1. F.O.C.U.S. says:

    Regina,

    I liked your words today – they struck the right balance between compassion, gentleness, tenderness and the need to be truthful about the effects of choosing sin (both temporal and eternal)
    A member of my team in work is living with his same sex partner and has done for years. I have no doubt that he feels much love for his partner. Do I consider him a friend? Yes, I do. I know that I can love him in Christ without compromising my stand for Christ. I would be a poor friend to him if I showed no interest in the person he has chosen to live with – I would also be an even poorer friend if I showed no interest in the eternal welfare of his soul. So, when opportunities arise, I try to speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15) much as the Lord Jesus did with any sinners he met during his earthly ministry. It’s a difficult balance but a necessary one.

    • Dear F.O.C.U.S.–thanks for taking the time to share. May the Lord give you continued wisdom and opportunity. God has placed His people in a hurting world for great purpose–to love others as He loves them and to be transformative agents of grace.

  2. Debi says:

    Some Christians seem to apply a “gradation system” to sin, which can dangerously allow us to overlook splinters and boards in our own eyes because we’ve created a lens that minimizes our own sin.

    Loathe the sin, love the sinner – every sinner.
    Right?

    Thanks for a great post & comments.

  3. anj1990 says:

    Thank you for this wonderful word today Mrs. Franklin, I hope that I will soon get the wisdom I need to witness to others as god would want me to :)

  4. mprez2006 says:

    VERYYYYYYY GOOD POST!! i am enlightened and humbled!

  5. bingkee says:

    Thanks for this reminder. Years ago, I used to work in an industry filled with homosexuals. They even have become my friends. But then I didn’t know how to tell them about God’s love because whenever I started, they’d ignore it and shut me up. Now that the Holy Spirit is in me , I pray that I am going to be more bold and courageous in telling them about Jesus.

  6. Soldier4Christ says:

    It is interesting when I think back to the time when Jesus walked the earth, and in His ministry He shunned no one. When others were saying, how can He eat with these people? Jesus was showing love and compassion to a dying world. He didn’t participate in activities that would be displeasing to His Father but rather kept it simple and showed that all were loved by God and that none were unlovable. Ours is not to judge people but ours is to love people. God will do the rest.

  7. Paul G says:

    Just before Jesus sent His 12 disciples on mission (Math 10) – we are told of Jesus’s compassion for the people for they were heavy burdened and has lost their way. Is this not the heart we too should pray for (a commpasionate heart for others) before we even attempt to minister to others.?

  8. Ciera says:

    I have a question on this. Why exactly is homosexuality considered a sin by the church? I understand that (1 Corinthians 6:9-11) condemns it but I also know that in many other places new testemant books condemn women as teachers as well. And yet we do not consider this wrong, even though it is explicitly stated. I feel this is interpreted as hypocritical by others and think we should have a firm basis as to why we are going to consider this a sin.

    • dbomega says:

      Although we allow ourselves to have different interpretation of the Scriptures, we do not have the right to question what God has call sin. God is not asking for our opinion, The rebelation the Spirit give you is what will come to light some day. Our opinions don’t change the facts.

    • Dear Ciera,

      Good question–The Romans 1 passage is one that we must deal with as it clearly outlines homosexuality as something in contradiction with true worship. Verses 25 tell us,”They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.”

      Notice that Paul deals first with the replacement of God, as Creator, with the created. We do this very thing when we try to “redesign” God’s design. We take our desires, our fallenness, and place them above His Lordship.

      Paul continues in Verse 26 by saying, “That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men . . . ” This is not a cultural issue but a basic definition of truth–notice that Paul explains that these behaviors are a turning away from “what is natural.” I think this is where the church has had great difficulty in ministering to those who have same-sex attractions. In our terminology, we call it “unnatural” while to the homosexual, the love he/she has for the same sex “feels” so natural.

      I think restoration for any sin issue begins by our understanding that to hold the Word as the infallible Truth, we cannot define or interpret the Word by our feelings (our desires, inclinations or experiences). Rather, the Word must transform our minds and our hearts (Romans 12:1-2).

  9. prayerful says:

    There was a time in our history when Ephesians 6:5 was an important verse. Now, we either interpret it figuratively or dismiss it outright; but there was a time when the verse was used to support the real practice slavery in America.
    Paul’s words were often spoken by preachers around the south to chastise blatantly abusive slave owners and/or correct wayward slaves. The aim of the preacher: create a godly form of slavery that had gentle masters, obedient servants and love at its core.

    There is only one problem: there is no such thing a godly form of slavery. Love does not inform the relationship between slave and master–it destroys it. The flame of love can only flourish in the oxygen of freedom. That’s of course why God gave us freedom. God’s gift of our freedom is an expression of God’s love.

    Our contemporary vision of homosexuality is a lot like our historical approach to slavery. Just like there were zealous slave owners, drivers deeply invested denying the humanity of slaves, there are contemporary zealots who call gays and lesbians abominations and directly or indirectly support all manner of evangelical violence to get them to change their behavior.
    They are scary, to be sure, but there are some who are scarier: the graceful bigots.

    I say graceful bigot, because like godly slavery, it is an oxymoron. Grace and bigotry cannot exist together: Grace is the position that there is nothing in Heaven or on earth that can stop God’s acceptance of us, while bigotry puts up all sorts of requirements on that acceptance. These graceful bigots tell us that the way God made some folks is wrong, but that we should love them in spite of that. Grace teaches us that we should love them because of that; grace says that to love them for who they are is to love God.

    Mrs. Franklin, I really enjoy your devotional readings. I look out for your reflections and those of pastor Williams, regularly. Both of you have really compelling, Spirit-filled devotions. This devotion, however, is less rooted in the Spirit than it is in the flesh. Zealous or graceful, bigotry is not God’s will for God’s people.

    • Dear Prayerful,

      Thank you for raising some challenging questions. You are correct in pointing out that for many years, slave owners used the Word of God to justify their own sin. To interpret the Ephesians 6:5 passage as God’s stamp of approval on slavery is to misread the rest of scripture as well. After all, Jesus came to fulfill the prophecy given in Isaiah 61:1. If we go to Matthew 4, though, twisting scripture to justify one’s own agenda began long ago.

      I must raise a concern however at your interpretation of scripture that says, “Grace is the position that there is nothing in Heaven or on earth that can stop God’s acceptance of us.” I absolutely believe that NOTHING can stop God’s love for me–Romans 8:38-39. Grace, though, is not grace unless it beckons for change (John 8:11). Jesus neither condemned the woman caught in adultery nor did He leave her as He found her (caught in the bondage of the sin of adultery).

      As I shared with Ciera (comment above), I do not believe we can walk away from the Romans 1 passage and say that homosexuality was forbidden in the New Testament church but accepted by God today.

      May the Lord continue to teach us both as we wrestle with the truth of His word. Blessings.

  10. desiree21 says:

    hi everyone this post was very good it touched me and opened my eyes to accept everyone for who they are and to love them no matter what their sexuality interest is.

    im barely starting to go back to church and getting back to having a relationship with god but it does get hard for me because i get tempted and fall into sin but im praying and im having faith that god will protect me and help me.

    its just there is a problem im facing and i need help. im trying to overcome being a lesbian. i know that its a sin and im trying to give that lifestyle up i just need guidance

    • Dear Desiree,

      You have taken one of the key steps in growing in the Lord–getting connected to other believers who can challenge and support you as you seek to serve the Lord.

      I recommend Anne Paulk’s book–Restoring Sexual Identity. It’s a powerful read, and it helps in breaking down some of the factors that shape how we understand our sexual identity. As one who was involved in the homosexual lifestyle, Paulk offers real life wisdom.

      You can also find some good resources online with Exodus Ministries.

      I will be praying for you.

  11. avertedmouse says:

    I have something in my mind that bothers me a lot.

    Is liking the same gender as yourself is a sin as well? Or being in a relationship with the same gender is a sin? How should we judge this?

    There are many people who likes or love the people that is the same sex. So,is this also considered a sin?

    • Dear averted mouse,

      In Genesis, God created man and woman (and as an earlier reader pointed out, this also means that He created the man for the woman and the woman for the man). I do not believe Scripture supports same-sex dating or marriage relationships.

      Since your question was somewhat open ended, I do want to make sure to say that scripture does not forbid friendships between same sexes. However, we are to be wise in any relationship in which we engage–that it is God-centered in its connection and healthy in its expressions of love.

  12. maryanne_intia says:

    God bless you for posting this.I have a new friend (and he’s a new christian). He has leukemia,stage 3 i think. We prayed him over at our church and I believe that God has healed him completely. Just recently,he had some tests and he found out there’s an infection in his blood,I know that he feels so depressed…I believe that God healed him,and there is a purpose to all of these…you see He is a homosexual,he is in a relationship with the same sex…Praise God because He’s using me to help this friend of mine who’s physically and spiritually sick.Your post helped me to share God’s word and love to him more. I hope you could help me pray to God that he will change and repent of this sin. just recently,he already told me that he wants to let go of this but just don’t know how or where to start. Can you give me some advice on this?Thank you and God Bless!

  13. jeff olson says:

    Regina,

    Great post!!!…somehow I never saw this until now.

    maryanne_intia,

    It’s great that you are showing compassion to your friend without condemning him. That’s probably the most important gift you will offer him.

    A good book for a man who struggles with feeling same-sex attractions is You Don’t Have To Be Gay by Jeff Conrad. Along with helping a man better understand what their sexual feelings for men are ultimately about, it also tells the powerful story of how one man who left the gay lifestyle reached out with grace and truth to another man who was still in it. The man in the book who was still in the lifestyle is Mike Hailey, has since left the gay lifestyle and is part of a ministry called Love Love Won Out (www.lovewonout.com). Speaking of Love Won Out, you may wnat to suggest to you friend that he take in one of their conferences.

    Hope that is of some help.

    • maryanne_intia says:

      thanks! jeff,I will recommend it to him. God Bless!

    • maryanne_intia says:

      Hey guys!Just want to post about the friend I am talking about,the one with stage 3 leukemia.

      God is truly our healer! My friend,Ronan is now COMPLETELY HEALED from Leukemia!!! He had multiple tests and it showed that He was completely cleared from all the traces of cancer and even the infection on his blood!!!Praise God for His goodness and mercy! Hallelujah!

  14. maryanne_intia says:

    Hey guys!Just want to post about the friend I am talking about,the one with stage 3 leukemia.

    God is truly our healer! My friend,Ronan is now COMPLETELY HEALED from Leukemia!!! Praise God for His goodness and mercy! Hallelujah!

    He is now in the process of turning back from his old ways as a homosexual,I know God has already set him free from all illness – including this. I pray to God that my friend will completely turn his back from this. Please pray for him.Thanks God Bless!!!

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