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An Open Letter to my LBGT Friends and Neighbors

An Open Letter to my LBGT Friends and Neighbors

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling on June 26, 2015 has changed everything and nothing for Christians. For churches that have already capitulated on this issue the matter is settled. For Christians who oppose the issue, the matter is far from settled — it's only just begun.

Since the ruling I have read both pro and con responses to this historic action. One article basically read, "When will Christians get the point and move on? Same-sex marriage is now the law of land. These Christians don't get it." I respectfully and kindly disagree. We do get it, all too well. My fear is that you don't and may never. Or, at least you don't get Christians like me, per se. Let me explain.

First, what you may not get about biblically committed Christians is that we are called to be good, law-abiding citizens, just like you are, to the degree that our basic biblical beliefs and citizenship concur. Gladly, most of the time Christians can function in civil society without violating our conscience.

However, there are times, and they are rare, when a Christian's theological commitments will not allow him/her to compromise those commitments. This is one of those occasions. Why? Because we believe Scripture teaches that homosexuality is wrong, unnatural, and sinful, that being gay is not the new black — skin color cannot be changed, being gay is a preferred choice, sexual desire gone awry; to date, no scientific evidence proves that being gay is organically caused — it is a lifestyle choice.

Even if a 'genetic link' is discovered (I'm sure one will be eventually identified) as one cause among many for a person's sexual perversion, this does not warrant abdicating the biblical position on human sexuality, sexual sin, or same-sex marriage. Instead, it is an opportunity for us to revisit the doctrine of original sin and its impact on our relationship with God and the created order.

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In other words, the curse of sin impacted everything: 1) Adam was cursed, 2), Eve was cursed, 3) Satan was doomed and cursed, and 4) even the organic structure of creation was cursed (Genesis 3). So, even if we find the DNA map that supports homosexuality, this doesn't mean the map is reflective of God's design for creation. No wonder creation groans for redemption (Romans 8:18-25) and that there will be a new heaven and a new Earth in God's redemptive future (Revelations 21).

The struggle with all kinds of sexual sin, a struggle all of us have, does not warrant a redesign of God's plan. Instead, it calls for surrender to God's Gospel and God's pattern for our sexuality, a surrender and a pattern that can only be accomplished with biblical instruction and the all-sufficient aid of the Holy Spirit.

Further, we believe that marriage is exclusively heterosexual and that there is more to marriage than "being with the one you love." Marriage is a reflection of the character of God. And, we believe these truths not to be obstinate, but to be obedient to God's Word.

Second, in the end, Christians do not abide by the laws of the land alone; we abide by a higher law — God's law, revealed in Scripture. Again, especially in America, the laws of men and of God have, for the most part (except for issues like slavery, etc.), been able to peacefully co-exist. When they do not, Christians must make a choice to follow God's law and bear the consequences of their peaceful, civil disobedience, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. reminded us.

The Court's ruling made every Christian in America a potential law-breaker. If we have to endure the plundering of our property and resources (as we have seen with the many well-known stories of Christians potentially losing their businesses, etc.) due to our stand on the Gospel and marriage (Hebrews 10:34), we will not be the first to undergo this kind of persecution. Peaceful, civil disobedience may be the order of the day, knowing that the church has often done best when it is marginalized the most.

Third, in many ways, strangely, I have felt a great sense of liberation since the Court's ruling. I have felt a degree of liberty to freely and lovingly speak my mind to people of all walks of life. In fact, I have learned this from you, the LGBT community. You have been unafraid to "come out." So, this ruling has given me a renewed freedom to "come out" as a Christian who believes God's Word, affirms marriage as between a man and a woman, and who offers the life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ to all sinners, especially me. Thank you for this reminder in being unashamed.

Fourth, while there may be a few angry, bitter Fred Phelps types out there, most Christians are not angry — disappointed, yes, but not angry. We have been reminded that the anger of man does not accomplish the righteousness of God (James 1:20).

I am not angry at you. You are a sinner just like me. I am praying that an army of loving, truth-telling believers will rise with Gospel in one hand and mercy in the other. Both of us need truth and love.

Fifth, the Court's ruling, I believe, I hope, has awakened a "sleeping giant" called the Church. Thank you LBGT community for provoking an otherwise slumbering, complacent church. We have much to answer for — hypocritical, theologically lazy, truthless and loveless Christianity. Thank you for being a part of God's plan to awaken the Church to rise up and embrace the truth of God's Word and the life-altering Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Finally, while you may not "get me" and I may not "get you," let us agree to disagree agreeably. Let us be neighborly and friendly. I know you'll be trying to persuade me to embrace your position. Trust me, I will make every effort to winsomely and persuasively share with you the Gospel that calls all sinners to repentance and that, in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the death of death and sin has been announced to every repentant sinner, both you and me.

Sincerely,
Kevin Shrum

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