How Should We Respond to Gender & Sexuality Issues?

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America is undergoing another sexual revolution. Gay marriage has been legalized in all fifty states, and transgenders are now allowed to align publicly with the gender of their choice. These changes are causing confusion and conflict among Christians.

Some Christians support homosexual/transsexual rights. They endorse gay marriage and approve alternative lifestyles. Others condemn homosexuals and transsexuals. A small group even conducts a “ministry” of hateful picketing!

As we decide how to respond to gender and sexuality issues, we must remember that Jesus is our example. The question isn’t, “How should we respond?” The question is, “How would Jesus respond?”

The Bible teaches us the proper response to whatever is happening in our culture. It shows us how Jesus responded to the issues of His day so we can respond appropriately to the issues of ours. It instructs us to be people the Word in the midst of the world.

So how does it advise us in light of our present situation? How can we respond biblically to issues of gender and sexuality?

Compassion ≠ Compromise

The American church hasn’t shown much compassion toward homosexuals and transsexuals. This is because we fear compromise. We think being compassionate toward them means compromising what the Bible says about gender and sexuality. But Jesus shows compassion without compromise.

In John 8, a woman “caught in adultery” is brought before Jesus. Her accusers ask Him for permission to stone her. He famously says, “Whoever is without sin may throw the first stone.” After her accusers leave, neither does He condemn her.

At no point in this story does Jesus compromise what the Bible says about adultery. He shows compassion without compromise, and He calls us to do the same. You don’t need to compromise your position on gay marriage or transgender bathrooms! But you do need to show compassion to those who are hurting or confused.

Constitutional Rights ≠ Biblical Rights

Constitutional rights aren’t the same as biblical rights. Laws will be passed and the Constitution will be amended in ways that go against the Bible. We must take a firm stance against issues biblically while recognizing when we cannot do so constitutionally.

Take gay marriage for instance. Biblically speaking, homosexuals do not have the right to marry. But constitutionally, that is difficult to argue. We must remember that America is governed not by the Bible, but the Constitution. And it will reinterpret the Constitution in order to give its citizens more rights.

Some Christians mistakenly try to conform the Constitution to the Bible. They forget that society changes constitutional law to conform to the sinful nature. And they fail to understand that only the Spirit can change the sinful nature to conform to biblical law.

Orientation or Salvation?

We approach homosexuals and transsexuals the wrong way. We usually say, “You’re gay; be straight!” Instead of saying, “You’re a sinner; be saved!” This reveals that we care more about their sexual orientation than their salvation.

Instead of converting people to your sexuality, convert them to your Christianity. Bring them to Jesus and let Him deal with their sexuality. Preach the gospel to them the same way you would to anyone. Give them the same opportunity to respond in faith and repentance that you would give anyone.

Jesus doesn’t need you to convince someone to be straight before He can save them. There are no gay sinners or straight sinners; there are just sinners, and He can save them all.

How do you think Jesus would respond to issues of gender and sexuality? Leave your thoughts with a comment below!

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13 thoughts on “How Should We Respond to Gender & Sexuality Issues?

  1. Reblogged this on sistersreachout and commented:
    Zack handles this topic very well. I want to share it with you, my readers. I hope this helps you take a compassionate and Biblical stance with all who still need the Lord. Bless you all, Debbie

  2. Thank you for sharing a great post on a touchy subject.. I feel Jesus would speak the truth in love.. He showed tender compassion to those in sexual sin.. or any sin.. but also commanded “go and sin no more” so I believe He was saying, do not keep this as your lifestyle..

  3. I love your thinking on this topic Zack. This is one I struggle with and the compassion without compromise approach is so perfect. But of course so is Jesus, so it makes sense and I love your reference to John 8. Keep up the great work!

  4. “Instead of converting people to your sexuality, convert them to your Christianity”.
    Therein lies the litmus test doesn’t it? All too often Christians do not offer love and compassion,but rather a rush to judgement and condemnation. Were Jesus here on earth I believe his response to these issues would be one we’ve seen before. “He that is without sin among you…”

    • I think He would also say, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:3) We act like heterosexuality is the answer to our problems, yet many of us overlook heterosexual sins (porn, masturbation, unbiblical divorce, etc) in our own lives! Heterosexuality is good and pleases God, but it isn’t the answer; Jesus is the answer. And we ALL need Him to cleanse us of our sins.

  5. My initial visceral response on the Constitutional Rights ≠ Biblical Right was towards protection of the 1st amendment (freedom of religion) at all costs including a supposed right of “refusal of service”. I have since amended that position. That was validated when several weeks ago I had the privilege of having a great conversation concerning this issue with one of our Deacons. We concluded; if you are a Christian Baker, Photographer or a Catering Hall owner follow the law; do not refuse to provide your services – instead be extravagantly generous, bake the best cake, provide the best photography and video service and the best party you are able to do. Remember, God loves each and every one of us; it is our privilege to share that good news. That is best achieved through action. In Matt. 5:45 and Proverbs 25:22 (Rom. 12:20-21) we are taught that the sun shines on all of us and rain falls on all of us the same and we are to do more not less. We don’t serve a Political agenda, we serve a Jesus agenda. Jesus himself said “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners” Thank you Zack for such a well thought-out insightful article.

  6. Hey Zack, great article. The phrase “compassion does not equal compromise” is easily remembered and contains much truth. Also, we shouldn’t look to government for our standards of morality and shouldn’t be surprised at the sinful things in which it’s involved. However, I strongly disagree with this statement: “Some Christians mistakenly try to conform the Constitution to the Bible.” I think it’s not a mistake for Christians to attempt to conform our government to the Lord’s will; in fact, political passivity should be frowned upon – a sin of which I am personally guilty and trying to change, though it’s difficult to keep up with the multitude of complicated facets of contemporary politics. Christians should ardently strive to honor and serve the American government because I believe it is in fact the best human government on the planet at the moment. The Bible tells us to honor and fear the government because they are agents of God’s wrath on earth and they do not bear the sword for no reason (Romans 13).

    • I go on to say, “They forget that society changes constitutional law to conform to the sinful nature. And they fail to understand that only the Spirit can change the sinful nature to conform to biblical law.” Do you disagree with either of these statements? If not, how can you fail to recognize the futility of “attempting to conform our government to the Lord’s will”?

      Do not confuse my statements with “political passivity.” I am very politically active, just not for the United States government! Jesus says, “My kingdom is not of this world…But now my kingdom is from another place” (John 18:36). Paul says, “Our citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20). Does Scripture ever enjoin us to be involved in worldly political affairs? Are there any examples of Jesus, the apostles, or the early church doing so? No. They devoted themselves to advancing our true Kingdom by preaching the gospel. This is the only way to “make America great again.”

      Jesus’ kingdom and lordship are superior to the American government. It is to Him and His kingdom (the church) that my patriotism and political activism are pledged. It would be helpful for you to read a few posts I’ve already written on this topic:

  7. Of course people will try to change the government for evil! But it is not futile to fight for justice! What if the founding fathers of America sat on their hands and said, “Welp there’s nothing we can do about the government that’s oppressing and exploiting us.”
    Secondly, the Bible refers to Cornelius as a good man. He was politically involved! He served in the Roman government as a soldier who maintained civil order. Without the government protecting your free speech, we might live in a dictatorship that censors articles like yours!
    I’ve read your other articles and heard your sermon about politics. Obviously Jesus’ kingdom is superior to earthly kingdoms. But political passivity and political pessimism about earthly government are not going to solve anything.

    • You misunderstand me. I’m not saying we shouldn’t fight for justice. Like the prophets of ancient times, it’s the church’s role to hold the government accountable for maintaining a just society. I’m also not saying that everyone who serves in the government are ungodly or irreligious. I simply said it’s mistaken to try to conform the constitution to the Bible because it simply won’t happen.

      Again, don’t confuse my statements with political passivity. The only way to “make America great again” is to restore a strong Christian presence. I am politically active in God’s kingdom so we can gain an influence over worldly kingdoms.

      And it isn’t politically pessimistic to say America is not the nation of God; it’s biblical.

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