I was so excited this week when I heard that President Obama rescinded “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell!” Finally, men and women can come right out and profess their love just like others. No more hiding their true feelings or pretending to be something they are not. Nope, they are free to express their true feelings any way they want!
I thought to myself, “Finally, Christians can be out and proud about their love of Jesus Christ!”
Imagine my surprise when I found out that DADT wasn’t about Christianity at all.
In all seriousness, I have heard Christians loudly decrying the recent repeal of DADT, and to be honest with you, I have mixed emotions. I have friends who are gay, and many of them are “in the closet.” I’m not sure why they chose a closet for a place to hide. Why couldn’t they have said “in the garage” or “in the pantry?” Why did it have to be a closet? Shouldn’t it have been “in the bedroom?” After all, that’s where the majority of the activity they are hiding happens…
I cannot imagine the pain of having to hide my love for my wife, of knowing that people look down on us for our relationship. Some do, but only because they wonder how a hottie like her got stuck with a lug like me! So my heart breaks for the pain of my closeted friends.
I believe that people should be able to serve the country they love. But that does not mean they need to show off or flaunt their sexuality. I am a straight male, but I don’t walk around talking about it. “Hi, my name is Jerry, and I am a straight male. Here are the sexual activities I enjoy…” Can you imagine the shocked look on people’s faces? Can you imagine how many barf bags I would have to carry with me? I also don’t need to have a parade where I dress in provocative straight attire and flaunt my straightness to enrage the non-straight crowd. Nor do I feel the need to have specific straight only TV shows to watch or music to listen to. As a Christian I don’t feel the need (or see the love of Christ) in picketing the gay pride parades or calling for boycotts of companies that extend benefits to gay couples.
As a Christian my heart breaks for my gay friends. They are good people who have a lifestyle that is contrary to God’s word. That doesn’t make them bad people. That makes them sinners just like me. God sees sin as sin. Sin separates us from God and disconnects us from the fellowship he wants to have with us.
Did you notice that I said that sin disconnects us from God? Sin does not disconnect us from the people around us. It’s not my job to judge my friends and the life they lead. It is my job to love them and lead them to Jesus through my actions, life and even words if it comes to that. I also cannot just act as if what they are doing is right, either. If they ask, and most of them don’t because they know my answer, I tell them that I believe homosexuality is wrong in God’s eyes. I say it with a tear in my eye and a broken heart, not with a condemning look and a voice that damns them to hell.
I started this whole thing off by insinuating that DADT applied to Christians. And for some, it does. They feel that they can’t really express their love of God in public. They feel that they have to hide their relationship with God in order to get along in this world. Nonsense! Be loud and proud! To misquote Act Up, “We’re here, we’re Christians, get used to it!”
I make no apologies for being a Christ follower. It makes me different, and sometimes I don’t fit in. That’s okay. Kerrie Roberts has a great song called Outcast. In it she says, “I’m not what they want/But let me tell you what/I know who I am/So just throw me out for not fitting in/I will stand my ground/And be an outcast.” What an incredible song! I will stand my ground, even if it means I’ll be an outcast.
If you are gay and take this as gay-bashing you are totally missing my point. If you are a Christian and feel that I am compromising my beliefs you are totally missing my point. I am asking Christians to stand up and be Christ-like, but do it like He did. He loved the sinner but hated the sin. Don’t get that confused.
Putting on my flak jacket… Jerry