Today I would like to introduce you to a new guest blogger, Marcella Franseen. Marcella is  a contributing writer at Counseling Solutions where this post was originally featured. 

I am a Christian.
You already know, then, where I stand on homosexuality.
I believe it is sin, just as I believe all sex that falls
outside God’s definition in the garden of Eden is sin. God defines the context
for sex to be enjoyed as one man and one woman in union before Him.
Therefore a man shall
leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall
become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not
ashamed. – Genesis 2:24-25 (ESV)

The definition of marriage or the context of godly sex is
not the point of this article, though. My point is how I will relate to those
who act out their sexuality in sinful ways. I’m speaking of homosexuals.
People are easy to hate when they are clumped into
groups:  Jews, blacks, homosexuals,
conservatives, liberals, Evangelical Christians, Muslims, etc. When we put them in a group, we can make sweeping and
general statements to define them. We can forget their individuality and their
humanity. We can forget how much we have in common.
Your neighbor is gay!    

Bear with me as I attempt to use a rather cheesy example to
make an important point. Let’s say a homosexual or lesbian couple moves next
door to me.  I am no longer
dealing with a defined group of people, but two individual human beings. Two
people I have more in common with than I don’t have.
Let’s say this couple is interested in keeping their grocery
bill down and eating healthy so they decide to plant a garden. Because they
just purchased a home they don’t have a lot of extra cash and show up at my
door asking to borrow a few of my tools in order to get started. What do I do?
In disagreement with their lifestyle, do I slam the door in
their face? Maybe I’m better than that so I politely lie, saying I do not have
the tools they need? If I have a Christianized heart, I will kindly loan them
the tools.
Modeling the Gospel
to Gays

But if I truly grasp a pure understanding of the Gospel, I
may go even further (Mark 10:45). I may offer to help them plant their garden.
I may get my hands dirty in the soil with them, share gardening tips, cold
lemonade, even a laugh or two.
Maybe in sharing my tools and time with my homosexual
neighbors, I will also get to share my relationship with Jesus. Not in a
self-righteous, “I have Jesus and you don’t” kind of way, but sharing Jesus for
the sake of Jesus.
  • Because He is wonderful, and kind, and sufficient.
  • Because He is greater, more magnificent, than any earthly
    relationship or love we could ever experience.
  • Because He is life and hope and love itself.         
  • Because He is the only Savior.

He is the image of the
invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were
created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or
dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for
him.

And he is before all
things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body,
the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in
everything he might be preeminent.
For in him all the
fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself
all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his
cross. – Colossians 1:15-20 (ESV)

Real love is exposed
in disagreement

Real love isn’t exposed in agreement. On the contrary,
loving those who agree with us is really only loving ourselves. There is no
merit in that (Luke 6:32-36). It is a type of love which requires no effort, no
lack of selfishness, no understanding of God’s love.
But God shows his love
for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8
(ESV)

Real love shows up before there is any common ground. This
is the love God has shown us. This is the love Christians should have for
others, regardless of who they are, a love that for Christ’s sake transcends
any enmity, lifestyle, race, sex, or group identification.
Now the tax collectors
and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the
scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” –
Luke 15:1-2 (ESV)

Unlike the Pharisees and scribes, Jesus did not expect
people to “clean up their act” or make themselves worthy before He included them
and showed them mercy and kindness. He loved first, sitting down, eating, and sharing fellowship
with those society considered the lowest of low. We see this example of love
throughout the New Testament.
When Jesus prevented the stoning of the woman caught in
adultery He did so knowing she was guilty of the sin she was charged with.
(John 8:1-11)
When He showed respect to the Samaritan woman at the well,
He did so knowing of her adulterous past and current adulterous relationship.
(John 4:9)
When He healed the sick and raised the dead, He did so
knowing the sinful nature of the people He was healing and raising up. (John
11:43)
When He shared a meal with the tax collector, He knew the
heart of each of them. (Matthew 9:10)
Are undeserving
people drawn to you?

None of these people deserved His goodness or His kindness
or His miracles, but He gave Himself to them anyway. People were drawn to God
and away from their sin, not by the harsh, judgmental example of the Pharisees
and scribes, but by their encounter with the person of Jesus Christ.
Is this not the very way salvation came to you and me? Did
God not love us first, when our hearts were dark with sin and undeserving of
His love and grace (1 John 4:19)?
No one will ever be saved or sanctified by my self-righteousness–only
by God’s grace, but my self-righteousness can hinder the work of Christ. The
only hope for the world is the person of Jesus Christ. This is where Christians
and homosexuals have important common ground.
We are humans created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27).
We have sinful hearts separating us from God (Romans 3:23).
We have an invitation to accept the forgiveness of our sin
through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (John 3:16).
Having done so, we all have the opportunity to grow in
holiness and sanctification (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
Ironically, homosexuals and Christians also have the
privilege and common ground of being despised by certain groups in this nation.
Pastor Charles Worley would like to round-up all the homosexuals and put them
in a prison camp as blights on society.
Frank Schaeffer would like the CIA or FBI to round-up all
the Christians and put them in Abu Ghraib as terrorists. Due to the poor
economy, maybe they could place us all in a prison camp together. If so, I should allow my homosexual bunk mate to choose
which bed he wants first. Maybe they would rather sleep on the floor than near
a Christian. In that case, I should offer to take the floor.
A call to shine
brighter

I’m not saying as followers of Jesus, we back down from the
inerrant authority of the Word of God. This isn’t a call to worship love
between people in place of the holy God who is love. This isn’t an argument for erasing parts of the Bible to
make following Jesus Christ more culturally acceptable. This isn’t an article
about the need for Christians to lose their “saltiness” or “hide their light
under a bush” (Matthew 5:13-16).
The Bible is clear that homosexuality is a sin, as well as
every other perversion of God’s plan for sex, i.e. adultery, fornication, rape,
etc. Lying to homosexuals, or anyone else caught in sexual sin, is not loving
them (Colossians 3:5).
On the contrary, this is a call for Christians to ramp up
their saltiness, to shine even brighter. The more our culture hates us, the more
we should love it. The more the culture demands our death, the more we should
be willing to die (Luke 6:27-36). Isn’t this the very mind of Christ–that of a
servant?  (Philippians 2:6-11).
Follow the Leader

Because I am a follower of Jesus Christ, the world may clump
me into a group labeled, “Evangelical, right-wing, conservative, homophobic,
misogynist, bigot.”
It can call for my silence, my suffering, and my death. But
the truth is I am an individual. And in Christ, I have a choice. I can choose
to plant a garden with a homosexual neighbor. I can choose to show them kindness and love and respect,
even if they do not show it in return. I can choose to share with them the one
thing I value above all else, my relationship with Christ.
Will it cost me? Quite possibly. Will I do it perfectly?
Assuredly not. The point is Christ freely gave Himself to me. In Him, I am free
to give myself to others, to choose to love and to pay whatever price that love
demands.
The ultimate victory over all that is horrible and messed up
about this world came through the Son of God, Jesus Christ, in love and in
righteousness, laying down His life for sinners, for the very ones who rejected
Him, shamed Him, and killed Him.
If we would live like Jesus, we must be willing to share in
that love and in that cost (Hebrews 12:2-3, Philippians 3:8-11). The answer to
my title question, “Why should I make friends with homosexuals?” is because
that is what Christ did–He became your friend (John 15:15).
 Marcella Franseen has been married for 13 years and has
three children. She knows the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to save,
heal, and transform a person’s life because she has experienced it herself. She
and her family currently reside in Greenville, South Carolina. She has served
as a pro-life center volunteer, Center Director, and currently as a facilitator
for a post-abortion Bible study called “Forgiven and Set Free.” She’s
passionate about the sanctity of life from conception to the grave and equally
as passionate about the grace of God, through Jesus Christ, for those who have
chosen abortion or are involved in the industry. 

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