John 3:18

Can a gay person be Christian? How about a transgender, or anyone else drawn to or identifying with a non traditional gender? Questions like these are some of today’s lightning rod issues, frequently alienating younger generations who see rigid interpretations as exclusionary and unyielding. Yet what God says is so much more than the binary interpretation we tend to attribute to Him, so understanding God’s heart—and vision on this matter—is essential if we want to be whole.

“There is no judgment against anyone who believes in Him. But anyone who does not believe in Him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.” (John‬ ‭3:18‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

God—not Christianity, but God Himself—divides humanity into two camps: those who believe what He says and trust in Him explicitly, and those who doubt. Doubt what? Any of a number of things—that He exists, that He is who He reveals Himself to be, that He is capable of bringing about whatever He chooses, that He loved humanity so much as to live and die for us so we can be in right standing before Him. Most of all, that He is fully capable of taking me—with whatever misery, disfunction and pain I have—and healing me; making me forgiven, accepted, and complete as a human being, in Christ. How? Through the activity of the Holy Spirit in us as we trust less in ourselves and more in Him and His ability to accomplish His plan in and through us. But we have to believe Him; we have to trust Him explicitly.

“But without faith no one can please God. We must believe that God is real and rewards everyone who searches for him.” (Hebrews‬ ‭11:6‬ ‭CEV‬‬)

So these questions are a red herring; they distract and divide. The question is not, “Does God accept me?” It is, “Do I accept Him?” More specifically, do I believe that He is who He says He is and really has the power to do everything He says He will? Because it is my response to God that places me in one camp or the other. God does not exclude anyone; He accepts all who do not reject Him—who believe Him:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (John‬ ‭3:16-18‬ ‭NIV)‬‬

And: “…God our Savior…wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy‬ ‭2:3-4‬ ‭NIV‬‬)

And if I believe He exists, that He is who He says He is, that He is powerful enough to heal me, and that He loves me enough to do so—then I will remain in Him; I’ll keep close to Him and others who believe Him so I can learn and grow and become the man or woman God means me to be.

So, can a gay person be a Christian? Can they come to Christ? How about a transgender, or anyone else drawn to or identifying with a non traditional gender? Yes, they can, but the real question is what is more important to you—Christ in you, the hope of glory, or anything else; any other identification that conflicts with God’s work in you and threatens to become an idol in your life—because we must not only trust Him; we must trust Him completely. God accepts us, but we have to continue to trust Him, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭NIV‬‬)

Where God is concerned, there are two groups of people, but it isn’t straight people whom He loves, and gay and trans people whom He hates; it is those who believe God—that He’s everything He says He is and is fully capable of accomplishing everything in us He promises—and those who don’t believe Him. It’s not something we cannot change or are born into; it’s something we make a conscious decision about, by choosing to trust the goodness of God through Jesus—by believing.

Without Him, we’re all broken and damaged and forever remain so because we can’t self-generate our own healing. Jesus, however, is life; He is healing; He is goodness and love and ultimate acceptance. He restores us to a position of living with God in this life and after it; He gives us an existence that transcends death!

“After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: ‘Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.’”) John‬ ‭17:1-5‬ ‭NIV‬‬) (prayed right before Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion)

Dear Lord Jesus; my Lord and my God; Heal me! Amen.

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2 Responses to John 3:18

  1. Charlie says:

    I don’t see why we need an intermediary to communicate with the divine. As for us who are gay and trans, we were made in the same image as straight people. If you try to use reproduction as an argument why we shouldn’t get married, then old and infertile people shouldn’t marry, either, and people of reproductive age should be tested before allowing to marry.

    My great-father produced a wise family saying. The Bible is the greatest book man ever concocted.

    • Hi, Charlie. May I address each of your comments individually?

      “I don’t see why we need an intermediary to communicate with the divine.”

      I agree; we don’t need an intermediary, but Jesus isn’t—He’s God Himself, and Him we desperately need Him:

      “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,” (1 Timothy‬ ‭2:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬)

      This verse calls Jesus a man, but that’s to emphasize that He was born human—He really wasn’t some kind of spirit or something. When Philip asked Him to show them the Father, He said, “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.” (John‬ ‭14:9-11‬ ‭NIV‬‬)

      “As for us who are gay and trans, we were made in the same image as straight people.”

      I agree. Humankind was originally made in God’s image: “Then God said, ‘Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.’ So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis‬ ‭1:26-27‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

      Yet after humankind sinned, the subsequent generations were no longer in God’s image, but in the image of their parents: “He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them “Mankind” when they were created. When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth.” (Genesis‬ ‭5:2-3‬ ‭NIV‬‬)

      There is some part in all of us, though, a residual memory (if you will) of what we were created to be, of what we were meant for, that recognizes there has to be more; that we were meant for living with God and knowing and living Him and being loved and accepted by Him.

      So it doesn’t much matter how you identify—straight or gay or trans or whatever—none of us, apart from the forgiveness and “right-making-ness” and acceptance we have in Jesus, is like God anymore…

      “If you try to use reproduction as an argument why we shouldn’t get married, then old and infertile people shouldn’t marry, either, and people of reproductive age should be tested before allowing to marry.”

      Again, I agree. The reason we shouldn’t marry the same sex is because God says not to:

      “Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable. Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled.” (Leviticus‬ ‭18:22, 24‬ ‭NIV‬‬)

      In Romans, it explains the process of falling into moral sin; when we reject God and want nothing to do with Him, He gives us up to whatever it is we insist on doing. But it’s not His plan for us; it’s not what’s best.

      I’ve heard the argument that I can’t understand or relate to the struggles of gay people, but I am thoroughly convinced our inclinations are gradual and conditional. Sometimes we grow up gravitating toward the same sex, sometimes the other sex, sometimes mostly one way but maybe a little the other way too. But the thing we need to realize that our sexual activity is but one small aspect of who we are—of our lives. Yet how we respond in this aspect reflects our heart towards God in general, and will, in time, impact who we become even more.

      If we reject Him in this, will we reject Him in other ways too? If He’s not really God and doesn’t really know how I should live, why should I obey the laws of my country, why should I not cheat, or steal or even kill I I think it’s important and can get away with it? I’m not saying refusing God in one way makes us do every other wrong thing; I’m just saying telling God He doesn’t know and has no authority in one aspect of my life is setting a bad precedent for every other. Either He is God and is my Lord over all my life, or is He really my Lord—if I get to pick and choose what He controls.

      But because God isn’t a concoction of the human mind—because Jesus really was born a human, and died for us so we can be forgiven and accepted and told us s everything—we’re not making up a religion; we’re either accepting Him or pushing Him away as He is…

      “My great-father produced a wise family saying. The Bible is the greatest book man ever concocted.”

      My grandfather turned away from God too, because he couldn’t understand how good God could allow such evil in the world, but he was also the one who cried out in horror at the moment he died.

      What your grandfather said is an oxymoron; if it’s concocted, it’s not great, because it claims Jesus is God born a human, and if that isn’t correct it’s a lie:

      “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

      Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

      The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John‬ ‭1:1, 3-5, 9-14‬ ‭NIV‬‬)

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