The Great Homosexual Lover

This video is terrible for two reasons. Reason number one: the man is a very poor communicator. Reason number two: the man is absolutely filled with hate and misrepresents both what the church and Jesus is supposed to be about.

At one point he references Obama and says “I’m not going to vote for a baby killer and a homosexual lover!” Umm…I’m not sure if he realizes that Jesus was and and is a homosexual lover. No, I’m not going to write about whether or not I think Jesus is okay with a homosexual lifestyle because I think that this is arguable from both sides and from different angles…and that’s just not what this blog post is about. What IS NOT arguable is that Jesus loves all people, even and especially those who have been marginalized in society (which clearly includes the GLBTQ community). Those who have been forced to the fringes are those who early on were most drawn to the church, they were the ones who filled the crowds who followed Jesus, they felt drawn to Jesus and Jesus people.

I see no need to spend time calling out the people in this video because obviously the preacher and the backwards people who were cheering and clapping his hate-filled speech are not accurate representations of what Jesus people should be like. It would be like spending time and energy trying to argue against the Westboro Baptist folk–it’s both a waste of time and a waste of argument because there’s not really anyone in their right mind who needs to be swayed to disagree with them in the first place! So to spend time arguing against Pastor Charles Worley feels wasteful.

I do, however, think there’s reason to pause and remind us Jesus followers (and those who question what Jesus followers look like) that Jesus was and is a lover of all peoples regardless of race, sexual orientation, moral compass, sex, or economic status and that we are invited to do the same. It is so often easy write people off, to find reasons to be unkind, or–more likely–to find pretty sounding ways of treating people who are different from us with less dignity and respect. The whole “hate the sin love the sinner” phrase is one example of what I believe is a “pretty” way to treat people with less dignity. To look me in the eyes and tell me glibly that you hate what I do but are willing to still love me comes off patronizing and does not in any way feel like an act of love. I’m not suggesting you must like all people’s behaviors, but that phrase has an arrogant superiority to it that I believe is hurtful. It is especially hurtful because it usually emerges outside the context of relationship. Had Jesus’ first words to Zacchaeus been “Hey little man, I hate the way you live your life and your probably going to hell…but because I’m nice and loving I’m still willing to go out for coffee later with you. What do you say?” Zacc probably wouldn’t have hung out with him as he did. Instead Jesus not only treated him with respect and dignity but also showed and received hospitality from him. While Jesus did later invite Zacchaues into a new way of living, Jesus didn’t really live into that phrase “hate the sin love the sinner”. I just don’t see a reason to even use it. It feels arrogant, invasive, hurtful, assumptive, and just plain ol’ not nice. But I digress from the point…

Plain and simply: Jesus loves people. If you don’t vote for “homosexual lovers” then you’d find yourself not voting for Jesus. If you’re someone who wants to lock people up and drop food off via an airplane you’d probably not be in the same voting block as Jesus. If you’re someone who uses a stage, microphone, or pulpit to invite people into hateful living then I’m certain you’d be worshiping at a different church than Jesus. Jesus loves all people…

…now if only I were able to master doing the same…


8 thoughts on “The Great Homosexual Lover

  1. oh my word YES! a thousand times yes. thank you for this, from the bottom of my heart. why can't people GET this? it's just so very basic. thank you ryan.

    also, MAJOR TIMES INFINITY thank for addign the Q to the end of LGBT. that Q is SO important. the need to recognize the Q will likely save countless teenagers from suicide (i'm not being dramatic, if anyone wants more information on the Q, let me know, i have a great resourse for you).

    and finally, i'm lucky enough to belong to a church who GETS this. i'll brag a little by sharing this link. i can brag, cause we didn't do it. God did…. (you may have to copy paste, but ryan i just know you'll get it)

  2. I did the whole Christian thing for many, many years…I walked away from Christianity about 3 years ago for a lot of big, confusing reasons – a major one being the way Christians treat the LGBTQ community. (I realize that's a broad overgeneralization concerning Christians, but in my experience, the Christians I have dealt with have been hateful and hurtful – to say the least)
    I have soooo many friends who identify themselves as LGBTQ, and my heart literally breaks when I hear of all the horrible things they've been put through because of other people who don't value them and have a genuine hatred for them just because they like the same sex. I have no idea if God even exists but I wholeheartedly believe that if He does exist, He loves people such as Pastor Charles Worley with the same all consuming passion that He loves every other human on the face of this planet. ……And that's what really chaps my ass!…That God (this being that a lot of Christians use as an excuse to condemn other humans) not only loves LGBTQ people as much as he loves Charles Worley or Westboro Baptist, but that He calls Christians to do the same. Love everybody. No matter what. Love everybody. Especially your enemies. I don't get it. And I don't like it. I guess that's a small part of the reason I left Christianity, I just want to hate the people that are mean and hurtful. I want to hate people like Charles Worley and Westboro Baptist.
    I was trying to think of a pretty way to wrap up this comment, but I can't think of anything else to say except that I hope one day the Church takes a good look at the hurt they are spewing towards people who are no different than themselves and learn how to love without an agenda.

  3. The declaration of theology is that in knowing God, we know ourselves as we should become. Knowing Christ is knowing God. Christ did not condemn those who were "sinning" as such, but the hypocrites who declared themselves to be mature and others to be sinners. Some of the Fathers evidently thought that spiritual maturity would lead believers to overcome sin, whether they understood it or not, so they occasionally advised that one should shut up and let God do His job, rather than trying to bring conviction on or accusations against others. If we build our models of grace on the grace of God, then grace must come before perfection, knowledge of our personal sins will be imperfect, and reconciliation will be a process. This is a trustworthy saying, Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I (and not those in the LGBTQ community) am the worst." Sometimes faith means letting God take charge of our sister's or brother's sins as well as our own, even when we really want to be in charge of everything.

  4. This is one of the best posts you have written. Thank you for being bold in your faith, and showing who and what Jesus stands for.

  5. I have a hard time relating to male gays, but, what this preacher said is down-right creepy. The heaven he is aiming for is probably about as fun and loving as a Muslim Paradise without the sex.

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