The following post is a response to this comment found on social media:
"Being GAY is not a CRIME. And it is not a SIN.: Stop using God to justify your prejudice. Religion is about Loving one another, You're just looking for an excuse to hate."
If someone were to simply take a few hours out of their life to carefully examine what other people believe before misrepresenting it, it may go a long way toward solving needless conflicts in our world, even before they arise. Instead of claiming the moral high ground by dictating what others' beliefs are all about, it might be worth reading about what others actually believe. Christianity is starkly different than what you assume it to be.
Let's consider some of the presuppositions of the author of this meme.
1) The author presupposes that Christians believe they deserve heaven, while sinners like these gay people over here, deserve hell. How do I know that the author holds this presupposition? Because the entire meme is an attempt to paint Christian's as prejudice and hateful, believing themselves to be morally superior to gay people ... an attempt to paint Christians as a people who God accepts because they are morally decent but a God who rejects gay people because they are not.
First of all, let me attempt get some things out of the way here. I do not deserve heaven. Christians are not more deserving of heaven than atheists or gays or any other kind of sinner, even a little. Being heterosexual does not earn someone a ticket into heaven nor is it a means of obtaining God's favor. In fact, if a "professing Christian" claimed that God favored them more because they are morally superior to gay people, then the professing Christian is clearly a fake. Such a person does not even understand the most basic facts about the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are all ill-deserving - equally worthless in our sin. Only Christ can save any of us. No hope for any person on this earth without Jesus rescuing us from our sin.
Is homosexuality a sin? yes, you might want to check that out (1Cor 6:9; 1Tim 1:8-10; Rom 1:18ff). So are gay people going to hell, then? Yes, of course, but their problem is not their homosexuality (that is just a symptom of the the universal disease of mankind), but rather their corrupt heart, which is no different than mine. All people on earth are born captive to sin, corrupted in their nature and none of us can ever be righteous enough to earn God's favor since God demands holy perfection. So is everyone is going to hell then? Yes, they are, unless by the grace of God, they understand and believe that God, being great in mercy, has opened the only way of escape from the coming judgment that we all deserve. That way to be reconciled to God is Jesus Christ, who lived a perfect life and and made a sinless sacrifice for sinners on the cross. His death fully absorbs the wrath that sinners like me deserve. In other words, none of us is ever good enough to reach God. We are all dead in sin until, by the sheer grace of God, we are made alive in Christ (Eph 2:5). A hetrerosexual, for example, still has trouble with lust, adultery, gossip, deceit, envy, covetousness, backbiting, jealousy, lying... No one is righteous, no, not one (Rom 3:10).
Personally, the only reason I can come up with as to why God chose me, and not someone else, is that by scraping the bottom of the barrel, He could display that if a corrupt, thieving, disgraceful sinner, such a as I, can be saved from His wrath, then anyone can. As I reflect on my life, it is clear to me as the noon day sun that, as bad as homosexual behavior is, my sins far, far outweigh theirs. But God, being perfectly just, does not grade on a curve. Even the smallest sin is worthy of death.
Lets talk about some of the other presuppositions in these statements:
2) The author of the meme declared that "being gay ... is not a sin". How do you determine what is sin? According to this statement, the author not only believes in the concept of sin but claims to know what actually constitutes a sin. But to declare what is, and what is not, a sin would require a person to either directly know God's mind or to be God Himself. This is because specific sins are properly defined as "a deliberate disobedience to the known will of God." Question: Does the author know God's will?
Further, to say that "being gay is not a sin" is a bold claim to have inside knowledge of humanity's nature and purpose in this world. it is a claim to know with certainly that the body is not exclusively designed by God to be paired with the opposite sex. How do you know that? It is a claim that those professing sympathy for the LBGTQ agenda are objectively right about this and Christians are actually breaking God's law and committing sin over this. The question then arises, how do you know that acting upon same sex attraction is not a sin? Where did you get this information? What authority do you have for making such an absolute statement?
3) The meme is a claim to know what God's revealed will is FOR OTHERS - a universal truth. This means it is not expressing a mere opinion or preference but an axiom which is a claim to know what is universally true for all people at all times. In this case, it is a claim that anyone who believes that homosexual behavior is a sin, is outside of God's revealed will and are themselves sinning (hateful, prejudicial).. And given that California is in the process of banning all books that disagree with secular orthodoxy in this matter, it would appear that many in the California legislature think Christianity is even a sin or a crime. So much for the first amendment. How is this not an attempt to establish these views as the state religion?
4) The author presupposes that the reason Christians call same sex attraction a sin can only be due to due to prejudice or hate. I can't even begin to state how wrong this assertion is. And can only speculate that such a view was formed by years of absorbing the American news media - who somehow made the 40-member Westboro Baptist church world-famous, and then perhaps wrongly assumed that all Christians really believe this. No, we don't. It may be counter intuitive to you but theologically conservative Christians believe it would actually be UNLOVING to exclude gay people from the gospel call, while simultaneously declaring it to everyone else. We're all sinners, me especially ... and to even consider excluding one group because some people object to their being saved, would be the most hateful thing I could imagine doing to them - for it would certainly lead to their damnation. We don't want "gay" people to be damned, but to be saved. You seem to think it is hateful to call them sinners in need of Christ, but we think it is hateful not to. There are many persons on our churches which struggle with same sex attraction, yet are now so, so thankful to have been freed by the gospel and belong to a community which accepts them, in spite of their struggles. There are no people unworthy enough to be excluded from the gospel. It is meant for sinners, not righteous people. Dr. John MacArthur once said,
"God's plan for many homosexuals is that they come to salvation. There were former homosexuals in the Corinthian church back in Paul's day (1 Cor. 6:9-11), just as there are many former homosexuals today in my church and in faithful churches around the country. With regenerated hearts, they sit in biblical churches throughout the country praising their Savior, along with former fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, thieves, coveters, drunkards, revilers, and swindlers. Remember, such were some of you too."
It is no fun to be called a bigot or hater and be misrepresented in the media in our culture. But we love you too much to let that stop us from telling you the good news that all who trust in Jesus Christ will have their sins forgiven. No amount of ridicule or shaming will stop us from loving you. Jesus came to liberate the captives from the guilt and power of sin... and we were all captives.
5) The author declares "Religion is about Loving one another." What is love? What does this assertion mean? How do you know your definition of love is true? Jesus defines love by His own self-sacrifice to rescue sinners from sin and its consequences. He loves us so much that he was willing to die rather than see his own suffer under the wrath of God. Christianity is not moralism, but redemption. The reason for all the suffering and death on this earth can all be traced to sin, to original sin and to our personal sins. Jesus came to overcome sin, to overcome death. He did not come to simply accept us as we are so we could continue in our wretched state, but to rescue us from it. The gospel is not only offensive to gay people but it is an offense to us all. If not, we haven't heard it right. But sometimes being offended may be the best medicine.
6) Moralistic "Christians:". Theologically orthodox Christianity has beliefs that are at odds with cultural or nominal Christianity. Much of the confusion perhaps arises due to people who are not Christians who actually do use God to feel morally superior to others. And these groups become the focus of the news media. But the gospel of Jesus Christ critiques self-righteousness as much as, or even more than, other sins. To understand God's law and the gospel is to be stripped of all hope in oneself, to be humbled before God and to never lose the wonder of the great mercy he has shown us. Loving someone else does not mean to celebrate their sin, but to bring them to God who will, by grace, make us into the human beings we were originally meant to be.
But Jesus Christ has fully absorbed the just punishment for sin in His death on the cross for all who trust in Him. Do I declare the good news to you because of hate? NO, I say it as a fellow sinner who deserves the same justice and am pointing you to where you can find forgiveness. I want you to live. He does not require you to change and clean up before you go to him, but by his grace, you go to him for rescue from sin and He will change the disposition of your heart to love the things He loves.
Note: This meme is clearly no isolated opinion. There is now such a significant number of secularists who make these kind of assertions (such as followers of organizations like NPR on Facebook), that this meme is probably worth responding to. The recent piece in the New Yorker about the "creepy infiltration" of Chick-fil-A of New York City" because of its "pervasive Christian traditionalism" reveals that these opinions are becoming more pervasive in popular culture.