How do we decide and discern God’s will for us today?
The answer is found at the heart of the Christian faith: Jesus Christ. We ask the question: What would Jesus do?
How do we know what Jesus would do?
We have to study the four biblical gospels of Jesus to best know what Jesus would do. We have to look at what Jesus said and what Jesus did. Let’s look at Jesus in light of the present rules people have placed against gay people.
The most important thing Jesus lived and taught is found in Mark 12:28-31. Jesus was asked a question by one of the teachers of the law of Moses “What is the most important commandment?”
Jesus answered with two commandments: love God and “love others as much as you love yourself.” Jesus said, “No other commandment is more important than these.”
In other words, the Son of God says love trumps human laws. Love is the essence of God’s true law.
What does it mean for us to love LGBT people?
Loving a person means we value and respect them and do not treat them as second class Christians. Loving LGBT people as much as we love ourselves means we allow them as many rights and privileges as straight people. We allow them to love a partner and get married just as straight people are able to love a partner and get married. We allow them to provide leadership in our churches just like straight people.
Jesus reveals what this love for all looks like by his stories and his life. Jesus has a special passion for those who are not treated as first class citizens. He reaches out to help the outsiders. He welcomes in those who are excluded and oppressed. This can apply today to the LGBT community who are often excluded and oppressed and treated as second class outsiders.
The stories about how Jesus welcomes and includes the outsider are many.
Jesus tells the story of a banquet in Luke 14:15-24 in which the host tells the servant to go out into the streets to bring in everyone to the party who is poor or crippled or blind or lame. Jesus heals an “unclean” leper in Luke 5: 12-16. Jesus reaches out to women in Luke 7:36-8:3. Jesus tells the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10: 25-37. Jesus reaches out to a tax collector in Luke 18: 9-14 and 19:1-10. Jesus welcomes the children in Luke 18: 15-17.
All of these people were considered second-class by the people of Jesus’ day. They were all excluded and oppressed. But Jesus loved them and treated them as equals.
Jesus had strong words for those who focus on the supposed sins of others. He talks about this in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7:1-5. He emphasizes our need to deal with our own problems and sins. He would not want us to “judge gay people”.
The biblical God loves people in the LGBT community. The biblical God calls for everyone to love those in the LGBT as much as they love themselves. This means we are compelled to advocate for their equal rights and equal treatment.
Lord, help us love.