Sunday, February 28, 2016

God Loves Us

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
1 John 4:16

I think oftentimes as LGBT Christians we struggle with our sexuality and our faith because we are too often taught that they contradict each other. This feeling makes us feel alone and unloved. However, it is only because we do not have faith enough in God to guide us along the correct path.  If we had faith in God's infallibility, then we would realize that God created us homosexual.  He would not have created us that way merely in order for us to fail, but it is human nature to have doubt, when we should look to God for faith instead.  

Philippians 3:21 says “He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself.” We may think that God does not love us or that we are unworthy of his love, but He wants us to be a part of Him. God loves us no matter what, it is we who have to accept that God is love and that he loves us. He will help take away the pain. There’s far more to life for us. Jesus will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him.

The Bible teaches that God created human beings in His image. This means that He enables us to have some understanding of Him and of His vast and complex design. Our human nature reflects some of God’s attributes, although in a limited way. We love because we are made in the image of the God who is love (1 John 4:16). Because we are created in His image, we can be compassionate, faithful, truthful, kind, patient, and just. In us, these attributes are distorted by sin, which also resides in our nature. We may believe we are unloveable, but God loves us all.

Originally, human nature was perfect by virtue of having been created so by God. The Bible teaches that human beings were created “very good” by a loving God (Genesis 1:31), but that goodness was marred by the sin of Adam and Eve. Subsequently, the entire human race fell victim to sin. The good news is that at the moment a person trusts in Christ, he receives a new nature. Second Corinthians 5:17 tells us, “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” 

Sanctification is the process by which God develops our new nature, enabling us to grow into more holiness through time. Second Corinthians 5:4 says “For while we are still in this tent, we groan under our burden, because we wish not to be unclothed but to be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.” This is a continuous process with many victories and defeats as the new nature battles with the “tent” in which it resides—the old man, the old nature, the flesh. Not until we are glorified in heaven will our new nature be set free to live for eternity in the presence of the God in whose image we are created.

Therefore, as LGBT Christians we have a further step, a further test, than most Christians.  We can follow the steps of salvation, but we must also have faith that God created us in his image.  We must have faith that God created us to be attracted to and love those of the same sex.  No matter what the flaws of man may be, or the sin that mankind tempts us with its doubts, we must be strong in out faith and believe that God made us who we are and know that He is love and that he loves us.


Michael Dodd said...

It was a most liberating moment for me when, one Saturday night in March 1970, I sat at Mass in St. John Student Parish in East Lansing, Michigan and realized that the arms Jesus had stretched out on the cross were stretched out to embrace me -- just the way I was. A spiritual director years later had me spend a long period of time in prayer, thanking God for creating me a gay man, and when I stood up after that, my life had changed again in a positive way. It is a lesson that we all need to learn over and over, and it comes to us in different ways and leads us along different paths.

However one describes the human condition, God loves us because God is God, and no other reason is needed. There is a minor theological tradition that, had there been no sin -- original or otherwise -- God would still have sent the Son to become human for us, not to die for our [nonexistent] sins, but so that the human and divine could be united as perfectly as possible in One, and that this union would be thus solidified for all who would share in that miracle.

PS -- There is also a story that God spoke to (I believe) Catherine of Siena and told her that he put her on earth among broken and sinful people so that she might learn to love the way God loves, not because it is due to others but because one is so filled with love that nothing else is possible.

Susan said...

A beautiful, heartfelt message, Joe. Thank you. Knowing you no longer struggle with the supposed conflict between being Christian and gay is joyful news. I hope more and more, others will come to this same truth.

And as always, Michael's further comments are greatly appreciated.

dl.miley said...

Very well said by all three of you. As I go through life and live life to the best of my ability, it is the love I give that makes me happy. It only takes a smile for someone that may help them have a good day. I do not feel the need, most times, to receive a smile to help me through my day but giving of myself is reward enough.

victor said...

Iam deeply gratsful toGod for his kindhelp throughout
my entire life.I have survivedeverything in my long life
time And yes religions are wrong to condemn sslove.
we need a direct approach to God to be happy