Understanding Differing Perspectives Including the LGBTQ Community

LGBTQ_SymbolsThis post is NOT about whether you view homosexuality as being sinful, it primarily is about differing perspectives that are held by some within our society regarding homosexuality.

My personal understanding, is that according to God’s Word in the Bible, homosexuality is a sin, just like adultery is a sin or fornication (sex outside of marriage) is a sin. Now I am acutely aware that there are some who disagree with my “understanding”, be they Christian or a non-Christian. We disagree, we adhere to different perspectives or world views. I’m also aware that there are some main line Christian Protestant denominations that are changing their perspective with regard to homosexuality. Be that as it may, I don’t happen to be of that particular persuasion. Now I’m deliberately not going to quote scripture verses in this post because as I initially stated, the purpose behind this post is NOT to make a case whether homosexuality is a sin, but rather how my actions as a Christian, who does believe homosexuality is a sin, should be towards those who hold perspectives that differ from mine and ultimately I would hope, vice versa.

The difficulty that I have and I’m going to try to be as honest as I can, is that it seems to me that the manner in which we (that would we as in some Christians who believe that homosexuality is a sin) address and treat those that disagree with us, can for some, differ significantly, when dealing with people in the LGBTQ community. There are a number of reasons why this may happen and I’ll address some of these reasons shortly.

If I’m talking to an atheist, who doesn’t believe in God at all, not to mention, that Jesus is God’s Son, does that preclude me from being their friend? I don’t think so. I spent 35 years in the military and an additional 20 years in the civilian workforce where I worked with a good number of people who don’t believe in God or adhere to my Christian beliefs. That didn’t stop me from liking them as a human being and enjoying their friendship. When my family and I lived on military bases, we went to Church on Sunday and enjoyed the fellowship of other Christian believers. We also held Bible studies in our home and once again, had fellowship with a close circle of Christian friends. However, there were sporting and social events scheduled throughout the year where we socialized with others who did not hold our Christian faith and moral values and to my recollection, my Christian beliefs and moral values did not hinder me or my family from enjoying the interaction with others. Generally speaking, people did not go out of their way to ridicule or demean my faith and I did not go out of my way to ridicule or demean their differing perspectives. There was an element of mutual respect in play that the vast majority of us had little difficulty in maintaining.

However, that was then and this is now. The moral values within our society are rapidly changing. Same sex marriages are now relatively common and from what I can ascertain, our society at large is now moving towards a perspective that is much more accommodating to differing perspectives than when I was in my twenties, over fifty years ago. The philosophy that a lot of people now follow is “live and let live”. I can understand that, I don’t necessarily agree with it because I think that Christian moral values are more conducive to a stable environment for the family unit and my perspective of God’s plan for humanity, but once again, that is my opinion or my personal understanding. I have no right as a citizen within our society to force my religious moral values or beliefs on other citizens within our society.

That being said, this is where some of those aforementioned “reasons” start to come into play.

The LGBTQ community in the city that I live in are not shy. We have our annual Gay Pride Parade and there are numerous social activities aimed at the LGBTQ community. A significant number of Protestant Churches now accept the LGBTQ community within their congregations. Short story is the LGBTQ community is much more visible these days than in days gone past and I’m sure there are many who say that this is a good thing. I personally don’t agree with that, because of my Christian moral values and God’s revelation for humanity as stated in the Bible, but once again, these are my religious views or my religious perspective.

And what our children are now being taught in schools, with regard to acceptance of the LGBTQ moral values or standards are also changing. For those of us who hold differing perspectives, that strikes a cord which I would hope, can be appreciated, regardless of which side of the differing perspective you are standing on. I’m curious as to whether those within the LGBTQ community can see how those who hold a differing perspective might see the values of the LGBTQ community being imposed upon those within our society who do not adhere to their perspective. We really need to try to stand in the shoes of each other and consider not only our own perspective but also the perspectives of others. That doesn’t mean we need to change our perspective or our values but it does mean that we should be able to see from the other perspective. Jesus told the Apostles to follow Him and He would make them fishers of men. You don’t get many live fish coming to the surface when you are throwing hand grenades over the side of your boat.

What I do find difficult to comprehend is how, when articulating to others within the LGBTQ community why I hold a differing perspective, my response, which is based on my understanding of God’s Word, which should fall under Freedom of Expression rights, can be deemed by some as hate speech. Considering that in Canada, where I live, the Supreme Court has recognized that the Charter’s guarantee of freedom of expression is not absolute. It has upheld restrictions on forms of expression that it has deemed to run contrary to the spirit of the Charter, such as hate speech, given that the purpose of such expression is to prevent the free exercise of another group’s rights. I would think that another group’s rights would include both that of the LGBTQ community and those Christians who adhere to a differing Biblical perspective.

Yet some members of the LGBTQ community are quick to identify our perspective as hate speech, yet when some members of the LGBTQ community voice their perspective, which is in opposition to mine, their criticism is not labelled as hate speech. Considering that the qualifiers for “hate speech” are supposed to apply equally to all groups, I find this perplexing. When I discuss a differing perspective with an atheist, I don’t hate them, nor do I hate people within the LGBTQ community when we discuss our differences of opinion.

To the best of my memory and knowledge I have never treated anyone who was gay differently than I would treat anyone else. In fact, as I see our society change and as I take to heart the teachings of Jesus, wherein He says we are to love God with all of our minds and hearts and love our neighbours as ourselves, I go out of my way to ensure that I am polite and render any assistance that I can, should the situation warrant it. No different that I would treat anyone else. From my perspective, tolerance is a two way street.

What I do find missing from this equation is the element of mutual respect. Mutual respect by Christians who do not hold the same moral values as the LGBTQ community and vice versa. Lots of people have differing perspectives, that does not automatically mean that they hate one another and to infer that is not only insulting but dishonest. And finally, for one group to throw that label on another (irrespective of which group it is) is not only unjustified but totally counter productive.

I lied, I am going to quote one scripture, Romans 12:18 NIV “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About

Disciple of Jesus, married to Peggy, with 5 grown up children, 7 grand children, ex-Canadian military and residing in beautiful Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. a.k.a. "Papa"

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Posted in Apologetics, Faith, Witnessing
22 comments on “Understanding Differing Perspectives Including the LGBTQ Community
  1. Amen. Well said, Bruce. If we could all just have that attitude of “mutual respect,” we just might be able to have a dialogue, and we could all learn something. It’s hard to learn anything while screaming accusations. (Love the Scripture. I suspect many people, of whatever persuasion, can agree on that.)
    A book you might find interesting is “Love Is an Orientation” by Andrew Marin. He takes a simple but rare approach to reaching the LGBT community: He LOVES them, then leaves the convicting to God.

    Like

  2. Jeff Rab says:

    Very well said, explained and written, Bruce!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve found that when a person a Christian has known for a while is found to be gay, that aspect of them takes center stage in the Christian mind. All of a sudden they’re just “GAY”. Other aspects – favorite sports team, college deliberations, personal story – fade into the background in an instant. This doesn’t help us see them as a whole person, and it doesn’t help our witness to them.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. dettinger47 says:

    Excellent job with a difficult topic, Bruce. I totally agree from top to bottom!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Candice says:

    I agree wholeheartedly. We have a professing lesbian in our family, who also professes Christ as Saviour, and though it’s heartbreaking, we continue to love and respect her, and we pray that God will reveal His truth to her.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Stephen says:

    I find it odd that out of one side of self professing christians mouth, they will state that we can never stop sinning. We sin with our thoughts and deeds and we need forgiveness daily. Yet out of the other side of their mouth, they expect gay people to repent and stop being gay. It’s very double minded one could say.

    You state Bruce
    The philosophy that a lot of people now follow is “live and let live”. I can understand that, I don’t necessarily agree with it because I think that Christian moral values are more conducive to a stable environment for the family unit and my perspective of God’s plan for humanity,”

    And then you state
    “Yet some members of the LGBTQ community are quick to identify our perspective as hate speech, yet when some members of the LGBTQ community voice their perspective, which is in opposition to mine, their criticism is not labelled as hate speech.”
    So basically, the fact that gay people disagree with your statement should be considered hate speech? They should just accept that their beneath your belief on who they are and what they can accomplish? But if they don’t, it’s hate speech on their part?

    You also state
    “I’m curious as to whether those within the LGBTQ community can see how those who hold a differing perspective might see the values of the LGBTQ community being imposed upon those within our society who do not adhere to their perspective.”
    Not sure I get this one. Has anyone tried to force you to be gay? Also, can tell me the day you chose to be straight? How long did you consider being gay before you chose to be straight?
    Or they just simply wanting to be accepted as human beings and you’re not happy about that.

    I can assure you, in my daily life, I hear far more religious christians whining then I do LGBT people.

    Not sure why you play into this garbage Bruce. No where in the 4 gospels is it recorded that Jesus worried about this stuff. His main concern was self professing, self righteous hypocrite wolves and snake.

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    • Bruce says:

      Well Stephen, I hardly know where to start. With regard to sin, say like murder for instance, is it possible for a person to murder someone and then become a Christian, become a child of God and consequently stop murdering people? Yes it is, does that now converted person still sin infrequently in thought, word or deed? Yes he probably does but the sins being committed are not one and the same. All Christian are in the process of being made holy, while at the same time, they have been sanctified by faith is the shed blood of Jesus for their sins, which basically means it is a progressive changing walk. If the Apostle Paul did figure that he had reached perfection, I’m pretty sure that applies to you and I. So what we are talking about is a change in lifestyle, a change in focus, a change in purpose and an alternate source within us (the Holy Spirit) progressively changing us into the image of Christ. It is a life long process and quite frankly I don’t think it ever ends while we are housed in these bodies. Is it double minded to ask people to stop being gay. No,, just as it is expected that a murder would stop murdering people. Difficult, I’m sure it is, probably very difficult because it would involve a complete lifestyle change. Difficult but not impossible because as Paul states, he gloried in his own weakness because when he was weak, then in and through the spirit of Christ living in him, he was strong.
      With regard to hate speech, the answer is no, neither should be labelled as hate speech if its only an exchange of different perspectives that is being discussed. When either of the two parties chooses to slam the door and accuse the other of hate speech, they are no longer discussing but now accusing, which is wrong.
      And no Stephen, no one has ever tried to force me to be gay but on the other hand, neither have I tried to force someone to be straight. Discuss, yes, force, no. And of course they want to be accepted as human beings, I would assume that everyone wants that.
      You state that you are not sure why I play into this garbage and that no where in the Gospels is it recorded that Jesus worried about this stuff. Really, Jesus stated that marriage was to be between a man and a woman. Is that garbage? Jesus told the woman caught in adultery to go and sin no more, is that garbage? Jesus said that he came not to do away with the Law (OT) but to fulfill the Law, which He did perfectly. Is that garbage too?
      Am I to assume that you figure being gay is not a sin that one needs to stop practising as a lifestyle if one asks Jesus to be their Lord and Saviour? If you do then you and I have a different perspective. I used to be a fornicator, I stopped. I used to drink excessively, I stopped. But most importantly, I used to rely on my own judgement to set the course of my own life and I stopped that too. It all doesn’t happen over night but it does happen if you are seriously asking Jesus to be your source.

      All I was asking for in this particular post was for everyone, including Christians and members of the gay community to treat one another with respect and be willing to hear opposing perspectives and then go from there. If they reject my understanding there isn’t much I can do about that except pray for them and ask God to show them mercy and change them like He changed me. In the interim I am asked by God to treat them with consideration and respect. No I would not insult them and I would hope that they would not insult me. Because we may have differing perspectives does not mean that I should treat them any differently that I would treat anyone else. God’s standards are holy because He is holy. We’re not talking about what goes into a fruit salad here. Short story is there are major sins which need to repented of and turned from and from my perspective, God’s Word in both the Old and New Testaments tell me that homosexuality is one of them. If you disagree, so be it. We disagree. Blessings.

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      • Stephen says:

        But what about your choice of sexual orientation? When did you choose to be straight?
        As for Jesus and the woman caught in adultery, it was the religious people who brought her out to be stoned. And what about the man caught in adultery? Where is he? Jesus didn’t go around telling sinners to straighten out. He did call them to follow Him. But the truth is, He called out those who judged themselves better than others. Religious people believe they’re better than others. It was those people who Jesus confronted. Can you name one samaritan that Jesus rebuked?
        And comparing murder to being gay? Seriously? There is nothing in the 10 commandments about being gay.
        Now back to my question. When was it you decided to be straight? How long were you attracted to men?
        This post of yours is garbage and trying to justify it by invoking Jesus’ name is pretty sad Bruce.
        Be a man and quit your whining. You want to be offensive for YOUR beliefs, expect to be called out on it. It might not be hate speech, but it sure as hell will be offensive to those trying to live THEIR lives.

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      • Bruce says:

        Stephen, obviously you are saying that being gay isn’t something that you can choose to not practise. Can one choose to not fornicate? Can one choose to not commit adultery? Can one choose not to steal? They are all choices. And regardless as to whether the people only brought the woman who was caught in adultery to Jesus (yes the man was also guilty), Jesus still said neither do I condemn you, go and SIN no more. The issue was about adultery being a sin, just like practising homosexuality is a sin and the accusers wanting Jesus to condemn her. And you and I both know or you should know, that the first time Jesus came was not to judge but there will be a second coming and there will be a judgement. Sin is the breaking of God’s Law and the issue is who pays the price that our sin demands, ourselves or Jesus? In 1 John 1:7-9 the Apostle John says “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” All sin is unrighteousness and homosexuality is considered by God as a sin, right up there with adultery and fornication. Show me one scripture in the whole Bible where God in the OT or Jesus or any of his disciples said that practising homosexuality was fine with God. Yes, you’re right, there aren’t any.

        Jesus did indeed have much to say to the scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees about their trust in following the Law when in fact the spirit of the Law was being totally ignored, not to mention that none of them did perfectly follow the Law. The issue wasn’t that the Law was wrong but that they mistakenly assumed that they were meeting the requirements of the Law, which in fact no one can do. Murder is a sin just like homosexuality is a sin, sin is sin, period. That was the comparison.

        The 10 Commandments, in Mark 10:19 Jesus lists SOME of the 10 commandments, note the repetition of the words “you shall not”. The 10th commandment says “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.” The norm, should you wish to marry, is that your neighbour is married to a wife. The issue with regard to homosexuality is about God’s plan for marriage and sexuality. And yes, Jesus did say that marriage was between a man and a woman. He did not say that marriage was between a man and a man or a woman and a woman.

        And then we come to the last part of your response where you state, “This post of yours is garbage and trying to justify it by invoking Jesus’ name is pretty sad Bruce. Be a man and quit your whining. You want to be offensive for YOUR beliefs, expect to be called out on it. It might not be hate speech, but it sure as hell will be offensive to those trying to live THEIR lives.”

        Hardly know where to start on this one either. Aside from the insulting verbiage, the last line is what really caught my attention. Correct me if I am wrong but I thought that when we get baptized we are symbolizing our dying and being reborn anew to God. So it’s not OUR life we now live but we now live in Him. Romans 6:1-18 via the Apostle Paul covers that pretty extensively.

        So let’s see, it’s clear that you didn’t like what I wrote in the article. According to you it’s garbage and by using Jesus’ name it is sad. By stating what I did I am not a man and I’m whining and you state that it will be offensive to those trying to live THEIR lives. THEIR lives, did you catch that Stephen? Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t that the whole point?

        You and I have exchanged differing thoughts on a number of issues over the past, yet I have not deliberately tried to insult you that I am aware of, nor have I ridiculed your intent. I would appreciate it if you would try to do likewise. Blessings.

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      • Stephen says:

        So how long were you attracted to men before you decided to go for women Bruce?
        You’re really missing the point here Bruce. Your post is not homosexulatity being a sin. Your post is about expressing your view that there is a gay agenda and that gays are bad people who will never be as good as you unless they do what you believe they should do.
        The fact like act like you don’t know what’s going on here is either comical or sad. But I’m not sure which one it is yet.
        So once again, straight or gay is a choice according to the gospel of Bruce, you haven’t addressed most of my points but in Ravi Zacharias style tries to change the subjects.
        How long were you attracted to men Bruce?
        “The Pharisee was standing alone by himself and he was praying these things: “God, I thank you that I am not like other men: extortioners, oppressors, adulterers, and not like this Tax Collector” perhaps while you’re at it, you can justify why this scripture doesn’t apply to you Bruce.
        Quit your whining Bruce. The rest of these people commenting on your blog are all baptist. I’m not here to stroke your ego.

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      • Bruce says:

        Stephen, I can only assume that because I’ve never been attracted to men from a sexual perspective, you are telling me that I obviously don’t know what I am talking about. Using the same logic I can assume that I shouldn’t talk about anything that I haven’t experienced. Do you speak from first hand experience on the homosexual issue Stephen? I never asked you to stroke my ego, what I asked for in this post is for respectful dialogue from differing perspectives to be heard without resorting to initiating accustational insults. I understand your position. We disagree. Enjoy your day.

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  7. Wally Fry says:

    Well done Bruce

    Liked by 2 people

  8. lynnabbott says:

    Thoughtfully, graciously and well-expressed, Bruce. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. […] a recent post of mine that dealt with discussing differing perspectives regarding the LGBTQ community, while maintaining […]

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  10. Cindy Dawson says:

    Bruce, Your post brings to the forefront the fact that it is a new day and time. We (Christians) will have to seek God as never before on how to live out our faith in a world where our beliefs, even when spoken with gentleness and love, could be considered hate speech and send us to jail. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. God be with us as we traverse this new world.

    Liked by 1 person

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