I am back to blogging after a few weeks off. It has been a great but busy few weeks.
We have been focused on the views young people outside the Christian faith have of us as Christians. This week the focus is on the view that 91% of young people have and that is that Christians are antihomosexual. These young people think that Christians are against homosexuals. They have heard Christians say things like "God hates gays" or 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina are judgments by God on homosexuals. Then they think that all Christians agree with that.
I want to know how Christians that disagree with these kinds of statements should respond. How do we respond to the issue of homosexuality the way Christ would? I do not believe God hates people. I believe God loves all people, and as Christians we are called to communicate that message.
One of the troubling statistics in the book unChristian by David Kinnaman is that only 1% of Christians respond to homosexuality with prayer. I believe prayer is the first place we should go and so I want to encourage more of us to be praying as a response to homosexuality. We need to be praying for God's guidance on this issue and any other issue with this kind of complexity. We need to be talking with God about the direction we take to respond. Through times of prayer God will help us to see the situation with his heart and mind.
We also need to be praying for those personally facing this issue. I need to be praying for my brother, who is gay. I know some of the struggles and difficulties he has faced and I know he needs prayers for strength and peace. I need to do better at remembering to lift him up in prayer. We also need to lift up family members of homosexuals as they wrestle with the emotions and reactions. We can lift these people up before God and this response can hopefully bring a new spirit into these situations.
I also want to encourage us after having these conversations with God to talk with people about this issue. Let's have open communications about our struggles and difficulties. Let's ask questions to get better understanding instead of making assumptions. If we will truly listen to others we can grow in our ability to respond appropriately.
Above all, we need to respond first out of God's love and grace and not out of condemnation. I think only through love and grace can we communicate God's care for all people. Let's talk about it.