Understanding Differing Perspectives Including the LGBTQ Community – Revisited

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!

47 comments

  1. I see the images on tv. I hear the rhetoric on social media. But honestly, anyone whom I’ve met who is part of the LGBT community, talked to in person, or with whom I’ve become friends do not fit the public perception of the ranting haters. I have always been treated respectfully. As for any love being unrequited (so, no 2-way street), I consider all the love that God poured out through Jesus, as He pours out to each of us every day, and how much of that isn’t returned to Him, as a model for how I am supposed to live. Love without counting the cost. Agree, disagree, no two ways about it, I am called to offer all the love and dignity others are due as children of God.

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    • Hi Tim, I’ve shared the same experience, yet there are some exceptions (not personally), who always seem to find their way into the media, regardless of which side of the fence one is on. Just because we may disagree with one another does not automatically mean that there is animosity or hate involved, on either side of the equation. “Potential” children of God are everywhere, and it would behoove us to be mindful of such. Blessings!

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      • There are no “potential” children of God. There are those that choose not to follow the path that returns them to God. There are those that will be judged harshly (and justly) at their due time. But all born into this world share the breath of God within them and ARE children of God.

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    • I agree people also need to understand that you are also born this way, for whatever reason the so call Christians of today feel that they need to beat this out of another person who may be part of the LGBT community. I understand some what I have a daughter who was a conjoin twin and after going thru genetic testing she is neither female or male. The bottom line we are called to love and not judge. If all Christians today welcome this community with open arms this world would be a better place. I have met some of these people in this community that are caring, loving and show mercy to another and not hate. As a pastor myself I will welcome all and never judge. Jesus told us to love our neighbors as ourselves and that is what I will so. I have also heard a Pastor from Texas that people need to shoot these people of this community. Lets stop judging and become more like Christ from the inside-out.

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      • Hi Eileen, we often forget how Jesus interacted with some of the Pharisees, Tax Collectors and Samaritans or how so many of us changed our perspectives; AFTER we became Christians. Just because I may not sanction their perspective does not mean that they are not worthy of respect or hearing of the Gospel. If such were the case, none of us would now be called “Children of God”. Blessings and thank you for taking the time to comment!

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      • The problem I do have Bruce is how so call Christians judge the LGBT community, people are born the way they are at times neither female or male these people need to look at the scientist of the information, and this knowledge was not around when the Bible was written. And by the way there are many books missing from it as well. Thank you for reading my message

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      • Hi Eileen, I had a sneaky suspicion my response didn’t totally fit your comment. With regard to being born neither male or female, I’m aware but obvious no expert, but I’m pretty sure that God knows. And the aspect of the missing books would probably be best dealt with by a post on your part perhaps, and I could respond! God’s blessings on you and yours Eileen.

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      • We are born through the breath of God, owed the dignity of being His children. Because of that, as a Christian, I need to reflect that dignity in my interactions with others.

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      • All and I mean all even the people who are in the LGBT community and disable people are born from God and therefore children of God. My daughter that I mention who is truly not male or female is chronically sick and has cancer. I loss her sister while carrying them and my daughter absorbed her sister, has two DNA inside of her body as well as some of her sister’s organ. Nice to meet you Tim

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      • I understand your comment is addressed to Tim and I am not trying to be disrespectful, but I am assuming you took the opportunity to read the recommended post authored by David Ettinger that I mentioned to Tim. I would be interested to hear your thoughts on David’s post. Blessings!

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      • If anyone wants to point fingers at the LGBT community saying it is a sin I am to say that they are wrong, All humans are created in the image of God and no one has the right to point fingers and call them sinners. What I have come to know with my daughter’s health and understand many people are born neither male or female and no Christian has the right to say who they should or not love.

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      • I hear what you are saying Eileen, with regard to someone who is born being neither male nor female biologically, I would have a tendency to agree with you and leave God to be the judge of that particular situation. That would appear to me, to be a biological condition that is beyond their control. If you are assuming that I am indicating that this particular biological condition is a sin, please know that I personally am not inferring that. It would also appear, however, that you and I might possibly differ on the acceptability of same-sex sexual relationships or same-sex sexual marriage and while I can appreciate your perspective, I personally would disagree with it. As I indicated at the beginning of this post, my intent was not to defend or argue about my personal beliefs but rather to indicate how interactions should be conducted, between opposing perspectives. At no time was my intent to cause offence. Hope this helps.

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      • If you are indicating that I have offended you, Eileen, rest assured that was not my intent. We actually got a bit off subject here, but I can understand and appreciate your concern. The whole point of this particular post is that disagreements should not necessarily produce animosity or anger, at either end, and that mutual respect be afforded to both parties, who hold opposing perspectives. If I have failed to do that, I offer you my apology. Take care and God bless you and yours.

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      • No Bruce I am not mad or upset at you, but at times the way people have treated my own daughter because she is chronically sick and has cancer hurts me. Others believe she has not faith or she is this way because of my sin and because of what we have found out that she is nether male or female, It scares her because so many would want to see her dead even doctors that it hurts. I enjoy having our conversation today, in between me writing my sermon for tomorrow morning Blessings to you my friend always

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      • I am truly sorry that you and your daughter had to be subjected to such callous intolerance, Eileen, and I can partially understand the hurt and anguish that this has caused, the two of you. It honestly scares me how cruel some people can be sometimes. I’m sincerely glad that I did not add to that hurt. God’s blessings on you and yours Eileen.

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      • God has protect me and both of my daughters, my husband was abusive for many years, (I was married 30yrs) after I found out also from a doctor that he father (my husband) was poisoning the oldest who is sick ( a doctor and hospital confirm it) I have a protection order against him and he was removed May 2. Our Lord has protecting us each and every day and it was a blessings for all of us to be in church as I preach today. There will be days that all we do is cry to come to find out he also has another name, but through it all God continues to walk with us. Thank you Bruce for your kindness it means the world to me

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  2. You said, “our society at large is now moving towards a perspective that is much more accommodating to differing perspectives”. I have to disagree. The woke agenda is being shoved down our throats in America. It harms those who believe the lies. I agree that we must love our neighbor, but sometimes loving someone means speaking the truth. Blessings, Bruce!

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    • Hey Cindy! I’m not sure what you disagree with. Do you disagree with the reality that our society is now moving towards a perspective that is much more accommodating to differing perspectives (subjective truth versus objective truth) or do you disagree with the methods by which this is being done and the consequences of it? If it’s the latter, I am with you. If it’s the initial observation, I’m thinking that is pretty difficult to deny, considering all the numerous changes that are taking place within our current society. I agree with you that we are to speak the truth but as you know, Ephesians 4:15 says “but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, that is, Christ,” Speaking the truth in love is not just what you say but also how you say it and the motive behind why you say it and a lot of times, those “little” qualifiers make a big difference on how it is received. Your thoughts?

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      • I guess what I’m saying is really a matter of semantics. You could say our society is becoming more accommodating to differing perspectives, but maybe we should say it is becoming more accommodating to NEW perspectives because actually free speech is in danger. In other words, if you don’t tow the line to liberal thinking, you are in danger. A good example is differing views on abortion. Just look at the attacks on Supreme Court Justices in the U.S. The average person is too intimidated to say what they really think because they will be called a hater. So although I agree with everything else you said, I think free speech is, sadly, becoming a thing of the past. I completely agree, we must speak the truth in love. I would never condone any kind of hate speech (of course), but I am troubled by the fact that our children are being brain washed to believe that sin is not sin. Isaiah 5:20 comes to mind.
        Woe to those who call evil good
        and good evil,
        who put darkness for light
        and light for darkness,
        who put bitter for sweet
        and sweet for bitter.

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      • I agree with you entirely, Cindy, and the subtleties of what is taking place are far-reaching in almost every aspect of our societies, both in the States and here in Canada. And “brainwashing” is a good choice of words because that is exactly what is happening. All we can do is try as best as we can, to demonstrate and voice the Gospel of Christ to this corrupted world. You have yourself a blessed day, Cindy and rest in God, He’s got this!

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    • People also need to try to understand that many never choose to be this way, my oldest daughter was a conjoin twin and I lost my other daughter in pregnancy and my daughter has two sets of DNA and extra organs and after more testing she is neither male or female, (she is chronically sick as well as having cancer) People need to try to understand people in the LGBTQ community didn’t chose this life style a lot of them are disable. Many white Christians feel it you do not look like them and act like them there is something wrong there is not. Too many don’t want to understand the facts that many doctors have come to know that there are more then two genders in the world. As Christians Christ calls us to love, simply love the way he did while he walk the earth. So why don’t we all just try to love someone who doesn’t look like us, a different race or whoever they choose to love, as are all created in God’s image. Blessings to all of you.

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      • She is not at the moment, however I Praise the Lord that I was able to get her to church (the first time in two years) to hear me preach. I do have a protection order against my husband who was removed from our home back on May 2 because he was poisoning her to get her money from social security (he was also abusive with me and our other daughter. In spite that she is so sick and has cancer. Even through we are on a difficult journey God continues to keep us safe and I thank Him each day. He was not anywhere near the church.

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      • Eileen, I will keep you and your daughters in my prayers. I am sorry you have to deal with these problems. Keep trusting Jesus. He is the only way we can survive these things. I pray you have a blessed and peaceful day.

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  3. Well said Bruce. Your posts are right on. Way-to-go snaff. You are truly an inspiration to us all. Blessings Bro, John

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    • John! Be still my heart! And just so you know, snaff is actually spelled “snarf”. Yes, I know. Couldn’t help myself! I was just thinking about you this last week. I WILL give you a call this coming week. Trusting all is well and asking for God’s blessings on you and yours. (For those who do not know, John was the one that was instrumental in my becoming a Christian. We go waaaay back!)

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  4. I see what you mean here, Bruce. There definitely appears to be a double standard at play these days. I remember crying out to God once about a group of folks I felt were way in the wrong. I’m praying “What can be done about this Lord?” The answer came to me as a bit of a surprise. The Holy Spirit said the only way to reach these people is one heart at a time. Their hearts and minds are blinded by evil and sin. They need the light of Christ. One at a time.

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  5. Hi Bruce,
    It seems to me that civility, true tolerance, and mutual respect are in scarcer supply as our culture becomes more and more post-Christian (these values are rooted in an objective Christian world view and ironically seem to be foreign to subjective post-modern thinking). The internet also does little to promote these behaviors because there is no eye-to-eye aspect to the interactions. People tend to be more polite in person (at least if you are polite to them). As more and more of our lives are lived online, and as biblical Christianity becomes the smaller and smaller minority viewpoint (which seems like a matter of time on the current cultural trajectory), I don’t expect biblical Christianity and its viewpoints will be tolerated at all, let alone respected (especially on the internet, where censorship is so easily facilitated).

    Certainly people should be called upon to differ respectfully (as you have done), but this is only really possible between worldviews that support that concept. When an ideology seeks the destruction of all opposing views and ideologies (as some most certainly do), then civility is only possible for the person who can love their enemy, suffer unjustly, pray for those who persecute them, and entrust themselves to their Creator, knowing that He will one day make everything right. No other worldview can withstand the conflict and remain civil.

    Nevertheless we are still called to “do everything in love” including earnestly, respectfully, and caringly speaking a truth that will offend many, i.e. the biblical gospel. The good news is that the Lord Jesus presides over a kingdom that is increasing without end (it grows with every person who receives Jesus Christ by faith) – a kingdom of righteousness, marked by love, that will shatter every other kingdom (as in Daniel’s vision) and will last forever.
    Blessings to you,
    Craig

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    • Two in one day, you’re killing me! I agree, but unfortunately, those who speak the truth in love, much like Jesus did with the woman at the well in Samaria, are darn few in number. And the reason for that is that it is hard, very hard and we forget what the objectives of love are, and that love focuses on them, not us, in concert with the truth. Today’s discussion between myself and Eileen is a good example. It could have gone sideways very easily, but it didn’t. That’s God’s grace through the prompting of God’s Holy Spirit. What to say and how to say it, keeping her person, alongside truth, at the forefront. Listen to the hurt. Feel it and respond accordingly. It is so very easy to forget that. Even our Christian world view needs to be cloaked in compassion and grace for another day. I’ve learned by experience that one unthoughtful word can bring it all crashing down and I’ve had my fair share of failures. They do diminish as time goes by but what changes is how we hear and how we speak. My eyeballs are starting to glaze over, you’re a blessing Craig. Gotta run. Love you in Christ – Bruce

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      • You are so right. When we feel threatened it is nearly impossible to respond with real love. Believers in the West have become so accustomed to our wordly security that when that worldly security is threatened I don’t think we know how to respond properly. In principle we have surrendered all to Jesus, but in practice, perhaps not so much (and I think this is as true of me as it is of anyone else). This is where loving our enemies enters the picture. Again, not something that we in the West have much experience with. The Lord help us. He may be using the cultural turmoil to shake things up and refine the church, much to our challenge and discomfort. You live a good example, Bruce, and that is worth so very much more than simple abstract principle. I’m still in the school of grace and a fairly slow learner, I’m afraid. Praise the Lord that the Teacher is patient. Hope you are rested up from my commenting yesterday, LOL (Saturday WordPress catch-up day). Much love, Craig

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      • I agree with all of what you said, Craig. There is a big difference between knowing and doing and my track record was blotchy for more years than I care to recollect. I think I’ve become a bit more skilled at avoidance, which keeps the escalation factor down. Heaven knows, it definitely isn’t always easy. Ditto for sure on God’s patience. We had a busy day with four of our five grown-up children over at our place, so it was a good day. God’s blessings to you and yours, Craig. Much love right back at ya.

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