Identity Crisis

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1234202_766438165028_1791408816_nThere’s been a huge identity crisis going on in our world. Not just in the world but in the church too, and I feel like part of the problem is coming from us in “the church”. For a long time, many in the church have put people on pedestals causing many to be shocked by sin, almost to the point that people feel afraid to even admit that they struggle with different sins. For too long, people have felt as though they need to put on a mask to even go to church or they will be judged un-rightly. Often this judgment is even worse for leaders as they are often put on the biggest pedestal of all. Yet, we often forget that the whole message of the gospel is the fact that we were deserving of death for our sins and yet, Jesus died for us WHILE we were still sinners and that our testimonies lie in His goodness and nothing that we’ve done or earned. Some of us have walked with God for a while, but have forgotten where we started on our journey. We’ve forgotten that while sin may be pleasurable for a season, it is absolutely miserable to feel as though God doesn’t care for us. It is that sin that makes us feel that we’re enslaved to something that is often a huge burden. We often act like the older brother of the prodigal son. It upsets us when God saves someone who clearly didn’t deserve His forgiveness, forgetting that we too never deserved it. This realization has been causing a rift among Christians. We oftentimes forget to extend the same grace to those who are in the place we just came from. Maybe you’ve never been guilty of that, but I know I have.

As wrong as I have been, I’ve been having an even harder time with so many Christians accusing others in the church of being unloving for calling a sin a sin. I feel like the church should be the safest place to be open and “come out” of whatever sin we’re struggling with. There, one should be able to get help from others who have been forgivensometimes for the very sins or temptations others are struggling with. I feel like Christians should be the most transparent and open and honest, and not be afraid to ask the most questions. These questions should lead us to seek; and when we truly seek God, we will find Him. I’m all for that. God’s all for that.

I’m all for loving everyone. God is love. The Bible tells us that the two greatest commandments are to love Him with all our heart, soul, and mind, and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. We’re even told to love our enemies and do good to those who hate us, persecute us, use us, etc. As far as the Bible’s concerned, we’re not off the hook when it comes to loving any person. However, I never thought that calling sin what it is would be considered hateful and that defining someone by their sin would be considered graceful and loving. If anything, if someone were to define me by all the sins I’ve struggled with, I would feel discouraged, hurt, and hopeless. And if something in my life was causing a separation from God, I would hope that a loving friend of mine wouldn’t be afraid to point out what I was unaware of. All of us have struggled in some way or another. We’re all undeserving of God’s love. Right now, there’s been such an identity crisis going on that it’s understandable why the amount of people struggling with homosexuality and transgender issues seems to be on the rise. Why are so many struggling with these identity issues?

There are plenty of reasons for this. First, what used to be thought of as innocent child’s play and curiosity has now led many parents to believe that their child is gay. In an attempt to show love, they have accepted this belief and spoken it over their kids. Secondly, there are many more kids who are being raised in broken homes or who have been physically or sexually abused. Some are belittled at a young age for being “different” than what others consider the norm. Others feel undesirable among the opposite sex. Many are tempted with same sex attractions. Many don’t know how to have close friendships with boundaries. The media’s lies definitely haven’t helped, etc. (Not all of these things will lead to someone struggling with homosexuality. These are just some of the things that can clearly lead to that struggle and temptation and are clearly causing an identity crisis).

It’s really sad that so many are growing up not knowing who they are. Those same kids are being defined by their struggles and a lack of understanding on our part. For a long time, if you were to say to most Christians that a person is born gay, they wouldn’t have believed you. It was clearly a chosen lifestyle.

Somewhere along the way, many of us have accepted the notion that people are born gay.  I’ve actually heard some Christians who use the argument that we’re born sinners that I addressed yesterday so they guess some people can be born gay. There was a huge article written and shared by a Mormon (I think?) that was spread widely in the past year or so. He said that although he’s married to a woman, he knows he’s gay because he’s attracted to men, yet has never acted upon those attractions.  Obviously, there’s a difference between being tempted, entertaining and lusting after those thoughts, and acting upon them. As I addressed yesterday, if being tempted alone made someone a sinner, then Jesus would be considered one. Yet as the Bible says, Jesus was tempted in every way, yet was without sin. Being tempted just means we’re human. I always wonder if the people spreading the article would consider someone a liar who is tempted to lie, but has never lied?

When Christians use the same lie that people are born gay, we are only contributing to the bondage they are in. If God created people to be born gay, then it would be wrong for Him to ask them to go against their nature. The question then becomes, what is natural? What did God plan from the beginning? Is homosexuality what He had in mind for anyone?

Genesis 1:27, Genesis 5:2, Matthew 19:4, and Mark 10:6 all say that in the beginning God made mankind male and female and Genesis 2:20b-25 goes on to say:

~*But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.

And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place.  Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.

And Adam said:

“This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.*~

First off, the Bible makes it pretty clear that He created man to be male and female, and that a man and his wife-woman shall become one flesh.

Genesis 1:26-28 says:

~*Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all[b] the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”*~

Second, God tells man to be fruitful and multiply. Can homosexuals be fruitful and multiply?

In Ephesians 5:25-33 it says:

~*Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body,[a] of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”[b] This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.*~

Third, not only does it share about husbands and wives/men and women becoming one flesh again, but also states how our marriage is supposed to be a picture of Christ and the church (which I agree, very few marriages look like today). Satan hates anything that is a picture of Christ’s love for the church, and it makes sense why marriages are under such an attack today.

But really, what does the Bible say about homosexuality in particular? I know many say that the verses stating that homosexuality is an abomination in Leviticus don’t qualify as they were mainly written for the Israelites and how not many people follow all of those laws anyway, so let me use some others.

Romans 1:18-31 says:

~*For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality,[c] wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving,[d] unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.*~

How are God’s invisible attributes clearly seen since the creation of the world and understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead (what many refer to as the Trinity though it’s never mentioned in the Bible and the Godhead is mentioned three times)? Why would God say that people are without excuse because of this? What are God’s invisible attributes clearly seen and understood by the things that are made SINCE the creation of the world? Remember, Genesis 1:26-28 says:

~*Then God said, “Let Us (the Godhead) make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all[b] the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.*~

In other words, man made in God’s image- male and female, being fruitful and multiplying, filling the earth and subduing it, and having dominion over every living thing that moves on the earth should clearly show His invisible attributes and His eternal power and Godhead since the creation of the world and it is understood by all that is made.

For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

What does natural mean? Some definitions from Merriam-webster.com says:

-existing in nature and not made or caused by people : coming from nature
-not having any extra substances or chemicals added : not containing anything artificial
-usual or expected
-based on an inherent sense of right and wrong <natural justice>

a : being in accordance with or determined by nature
b : having or constituting a classification based on features existing in nature
-implanted or being as if implanted by nature : seemingly inborn
-having a specified character by nature

I could go on. If it wasn’t clear enough, a man and a woman’s body fits together naturally. Our God- our Creator, created us in a way we naturally fit together. It says that

~*…God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts (not love as many argue), to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen*~

And that BECAUSE man served the creature rather than the Creator, He gave them up to vile (evil) passions. What is a picture of those evil passions?:

~*For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust (not love) for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.*~

If God made nature and everything that is untouched by humankind is what is inborn and natural, and God made man in His image, male and female, then how could He have created people gay when it clearly says that goes AGAINST nature?

It goes onto say that God gave those who did not retain Him in their knowledge a debased mind to do those things which are not fitting (and lists all kinds of wrong-doings), but goes on to say, who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

Does God ever say that homosexuality is deserving of death besides in Leviticus twice and a few other times in the Old Testament? Here are just a couple of the times, though there are more.

1st Corinthians 6:9-10 says:

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals,[a] nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”

1st Timothy 1:9-11 says:

“knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.”

Sodomite: a person who has anal sex with another person : someone who practices sodomy

Clearly, God is opposed to homosexuality. Clearly, it goes against what He intended. However, does that mean people who have chosen a homosexual lifestyle are without hope? Absolutely not! Ist Corinthians 6:9-11 goes onto say:

~*Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals,[a] (some translations even say those who practice homosexuality-showing that it is a choice once again) nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.  And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.*~

There’s hope! First off, since people aren’t born gay and it’s unnatural unlike being born as a man or woman, black or white (God’s variety is a beautiful thing!), He can lead us back to what He had intended in the beginning. He can and wants to wash us and sanctify us and justify us in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of God of whatever sin is separating us from Him– and yes, one of those is homosexuality. Should we love homosexuals? Certainly! Like I said, we’re not off the hook to not love anyone. If anybody should be best at loving homosexuals, it should be us because we should know how undeserving we are of love and should be the most grateful. However, like I said, I don’t find it loving to ignore the fact that someone I care about is heading down a path that leads to separation from God and all sorts of other consequences. I also don’t find it loving to say they don’t have a chance to head down the right path because they were “born that way” and will not continue to speak that lie over them. And I most certainly don’t find it loving to define someone by their sins or struggles. If that person has asked for forgiveness, as far as I’m concerned, they’ve been clothed with Christ’s righteousness and God now sees Jesus when He looks at him/her. And did He not create us from the beginning in His image?

R.A.D.

About R.A.D.

My name's R.A.D. No really, those are my actual initials since I married my hunk of a hubby on 7/7/07! I'm a mom of 5 (4 on earth & 1 in Heaven) who has a lot of creative outlets, but my main ones that you'll find on here are art, poetry, writing, & interior design! So take off your shoes, relax, & enjoy your stay at my pad!