Anyone can call themselves a “Christian”.
I read some posts Tuesday on LinkedIn from a man who wrote a series called “Gay Christianity: My Tsunami” The gist of the series conveyed this man’s change of heart from someone who adamantly denied a Christian could be gay, to someone who could accept a homosexual claiming to be a Christian.
The discussion drew a number of comments, including one from me. Members who commented focused their responses on homosexuality and all the myriad arguments and theories discussed and debated over the years on either side of that issue. These folks Tuesday were debating the theology of the issue. They were mostly debating the Biblical theology of sin and homosexuality.
But, I’m not going there.
In my comment I tried to persuade them that their focus was all wrong. They should be more worried about how they defined the term “Christian” rather than what their views were on homosexuals, sin and the Bible. According to some folks homosexuals can be Christians. To other folks all homosexuals are going to hell, they believe. Some Christians put their stamp of approval on abortion. Some people who call themselves “Christians” abhor abortion and join organizations in hopes of stopping it. Some “Christians” believe it’s okay to dance. Some “Christians” say it’s a sin. Some “Christians” believe women should not preach the word of God. Other “Christians” say it’s okay. Some “Christians” say Catholics are not saved and are going to hell. Some Catholics believe they’re the true church and the only ones going to heaven. Can Catholics be “Christians”? It depends entirely on how you define “Christian”.
Pick An Issue
Go ahead. Pick any social issue in our culture today. I can find just as many folks who call themselves “Christians” land on both sides of the issue you pick. And the funny thing is this: line up both sets of “Christians” across the table from each other. Both groups will swear up and down that they are right. And not only are they right, but the folks across the table are wrong and they are going to hell because they believe the way they do.
Editor’s Note: I’ve written about this Christianity business before on this blog. I’m including links to a few related blogs at the end of this post you may find interesting reading.
I’m Not A Christian. I’m An Authentic Follower Of Jesus
I no longer refer to myself as a “Christian” because, for me, I don’t know what that means. And no one I’ve talked to or read can tell me either. Can you legitimately call yourself something if you don’t know what it is? I can’t.
The term Christian, which originated as a harsh criticism of those who followed Jesus, has gained wide-spread acceptance in modern times for people who consider themselves saved. But getting past salvation the definitions I have heard or read are miserably inconclusive and fall abysmally short of describing me.
I think of myself as an authentic follower of Jesus. Now that I can wrap my arms around. For me, I can define authentic follower in four Bible verses.
When the Pharisees asked Jesus what the greatest commandment was, He told them, ” “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:37-39.
He said it another way in John 13:
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:34-35.
I wrap those two verses into one command: Love God, Love One Another.
I claim Galatians 2:20 as one of the verses that describes who I am in Christ.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
The other verse I claim as my true identity in Christ is Luke 9:23
Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.
Will these verses work for everyone. No. Are they adequate to describe a Christian? Probably not. But I believe they describe who Christ wants and expects me to be. These few verses are very specific and I can easily tell someone who I am by trusting these Scriptures in God’s word. I also use these verses to fulfill my responsibility Peter gives us in 1 Peter 3:15b:
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
I’m so blessed that you stopped by For His Glory today. Did you enjoy reading today? I’ve included some links at the bottom of this post you may find interesting. If you did enjoy reading, why not subscribe to my blog. It’s easy. Just go to my home page. In the top right corner click on Follow This Blog via Email. Then enter your email address. That way, you’ll get an email notification each time I publish a new post.
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The Trouble With The Christian Label
Baskin Robbins Christianity Part II
Baskin Robbins Christianity Part III
20 thoughts on “Can Homosexuals Be Christians? Sure They Can!”
I wish to make two points.
#1: If someone were to ask me if I were an evangelical Christian, I would answer, “Define ‘evangelical Christian’.” The liberal media seems to indicate that evangelicals are narrow minded right wing fundamentalists. In which case I would say, “I certainly hope I’m not.”
Others would say being an evangelical Christian is to be part of a practicing bible believing group of followers. In which case I would say “I certainly hope I am.” So “Christian” and “evangelical Christian” are open to definition.
#2: It’s high time professing believers take the log out of their own eye before they cast stones at others whose beliefs and feelings differ from theirs. We all need to do a lot less finger-pointing, and a lot more soul-searching. The sin of PRIDE (thinking we are saved and others are condemned) is every bit as sinful as adultery, homosexuality, or any other deviation you can name. “Judge not, lest YE be judged!” Only GOD knows who’s going where in the afterlife.
Your two points are remarkably accurate and edifying, and I could not agree with you more. You might enjoy this post from a guest blogger on my sight. Shannon has incredible insight into God’s truth and shares it in wonderful ways through her writing and poetry. Here is a link to her post. https://stevensawyer.wordpress.com/?s=immigration
Thank you for reading and posting such thought-provoking points for all of us authentic followers of Jesus to consider.
Ron, I understand the point you are making and yes we as Christians must take the log out of our own eyes before first. However, you are taking the Judge not lest ye be judged out of context. Matthew 7:2 continues the judge not by saying ” For with the judgement you pronouce you will be judged and with the measure you use, it will me measure to you.” That admonition was given because people were going aroung accusing others of what they also were doing. It is a prelude to the take the log out of your own eye first. We ARE called to have discernment and judgement. Paul himself judged certain disciples who were not following in the way of the truth and he named them. Paul judged Peter when he felt he couldn’t eat with the uncircumcised. Paul also tells us in 2 Timothy 3 to watch for those in the end times who will have a “form of godliness but deny its power”. He then says emphatically, “have nothing to do with them”. Now tell me, Ron, how do you have nothing to do with people who act like Christians but who exhibit no fruit if you don’t judge them? The key to judging is to never judge by your standards but by the word of God alone. If you don’t think someone is praying enough or going to church enough, that is your problem and you are not to judge. But, when you see people calling themselves Christians yet living every form of evil and even calling evil good, you are called to judge!
You are exactly right, Marianne. I really appreciate your comment. We get in trouble and we don’t glorify God when we take scripture out of context. Thanks again.
Two points: #1 ~ If someone were to ask me if I were an “evangelical Christian,” I would answer “Define evangelical Christian.’ The liberal media seems to indicate they are right wing narrow fundamentalists, in which case I would say “I certainly hope I’m not.” Others would say it means being a part of a practicing, bible believing group of followers, in which case I would say “I certainly hope so.” So “Christian” and “evangelical Christian” are open to definition.
#2 ~ It’s high time professing believers take the log out of their own eye before they cast stones at others whose feeings are different than theirs. We all need to do a lot less finger pointing and a lot more soul searching. The sin of PRIDE is just as much sin as that of adultery or homosexuality or any other aversion you can name. “Judge not, lest YE be judged.” Only GOD knows who’s going where in the afterlife.
One who follows Christ must turn away from sin. 2 Timothy 2:19 says, “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (KJV).
Of course, that doesn’t mean we will never fall. But we are not to purposely continue to live in sin and think that’s okay. Hebrews 10:26-31 says, “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
We don’t need to condemn our brothers and sisters who are caught in sin, but we are instructed to humbly confront them and teach them. “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted” (Galatians 6:1).
It’s to save us from the bondage and deception of the devil who tempts us to sin. The Bible says, “Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother” (1 John 3:7-10).
Anyone who has truly accepted Christ has His seed in them. We must encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ to allow God to water that seed by spending time with Him in prayer and studying His Word. As that seed grows our desires began to change and we want turn away from sin and follow His Word because we start to see how His commands are really for our benefit. God wants to protect us from sin because He knows it leads to death and destruction. So no matter the sin, adultery, homosexuality, pride, dishonesty, or gossip, we should never rejoice in doing those things because we are new creation, created to live holy lives pleasing to God, doing as Jesus did.
“You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.” Galatians 5:13
Wow, sorry I wrote a book here, lol! Great topic for discussion. Thanks so much for sharing! God bless:)
1 Corinthians 6:9-10: “Do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, 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 Christ…”
There are blessed truths here! It doesn’t matter what you were… there’s a cleansing. Open to all, including homosexuals and adulterers!
Should we write a special dispensation for homosexuals and say, “No, you don’t have to be cleansed. Come on in to our church.” If we welcome them here on earth and they are sent off with the goats in hell, have we done them any favors?
Thank you for your comments. I appreciate your timely reply. I’m sure your thoughts have merit and foundation in Scripture. However, my blog post had nothing to do with the debate about homosexuality. I said in my post I would not go there. My comments were directed at the label “Christianity” and “Christian”. If you would visit my blog and read the posts under “Baskin Robbins Christianity” I believe you would get a clearer picture of my purpose in writing those posts and this one as well. Thank you again for taking the time to comment, and again, your thoughts, in my view, have merit and foundation in Scripture.
if one is an authentic follower of Jesus, one who believes John 3:16, trusts in the shed blood of Jesus only for salvation, we are all still sinners saved by the grace of God. st Paul said that he still does things he should not do and also doesn’t do the things He should do. My point is that being a true Christian does not mean being sinless. we should not use God’s grace to sin, but we all still do. we will have our basic sin nature until we die and go to heaven. So, all true Christians are sinners, but all sinners are true Christians.
Marianne, you are so spot on. Oprah is a prime example of tons of Christians out there today who paint their own picture of what believing in Jesus as Lord and Savior means. And, yes, sin and our free will will remain until we meet Jesus. Great comments. Thanks for sharing.
John, I believe you meant to say, in your last statement, “but all sinners are NOT true Christians.” That would be consistent with the teachings of Jesus, and I’m sure that’s what you meant.
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughtful comments. God bless.
Yes, that’s what I meant to say.
A lot of things were done in the name of “Christianity” but were far from it. As Proverbs tells us, there is a way that seems right to a man but leads to destruction. Oprah calls herself a Christian yet believes that it is absurd to believe that Jesus is only one way to the Father. That is why Jesus said that the road to life is narrow and only FEW find it!
“Christian” and “Follower of Jesus” should be synonymous but sadly today they aren’t. Because of sin, man has decided what is sin and what isn’t sin. Rather than referring to God’s Holy Word on the matter of sin, man has looked into his own deceitful/sinful heart (Jer 17:9) to determine what is sinful. Due to this practice, today, the term Christian can mean anything that man wants it to mean. In light of this revelation, yes, it is perfectly acceptable for a Christian to be a homosexual.
Very sad, but, as you say, very true. Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Scott.
You are EXACTLY right. “Christian” and “follower of Jesus” should be the same. But they’re not. Thank you again. Great insight.
Very good points…anyone can say they are a Christian. Who really knows what that even means anymore? I think you picked some good verses to help explain how you feel. Weren’t the first Christians known as People Of The Way? As in “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life”.
Yes, Dawn, they were called that. The ones who called them Christians were the Sadducees and Pharisees who were legalistic hypocrites. It was the same as someone using the N word today, or some racial slur. Thanks for the comment.
Interesting thoughts and considerations.