As expected, within hours of my newest book becoming available online, the hate-fest began, with some of the craziest charges yet, including a reference to my allegedly “rigid Ayatollah-like scripture rants.” (I kid you not).
But should be we surprised? Those who are on the wrong side of the Scriptures often respond with venom and anger, and we must overcome their hatred with truth and love.
The book of which I speak, Can You Be Gay and Christian? wrestles with the challenges faced by those who are same-sex attracted and want to follow the Lord, putting the reader in their shoes (by quoting from many of their writings), raising their objections to the traditional understanding of the Scriptures on the subject of homosexual practice, and seeking to find the balance of grace and truth in ministering to those who identify as LGBT.
And while I am 100 percent sure that God does not endorse or bless homosexual practice or acts, I am equally sure that He has a tender place in His heart for those who struggle with these issues in their own lives and who have a desire to serve and love Him.
And the more I have read the books and listened to the stories of “gay Christians” (sometimes face to face) and the more I have prayed for them, the more my own heart has been broken, and I trust that brokenness will be apparent to readers of the book.
At the same time, I don’t expect that to stop the haters from hating—which is something very different from an honest reader differing with the contents and conclusions of a book—so it’s good to be prepared for the onslaught before it comes.
All of us who stand for biblical truth, which is the ultimate expression of love, can expect attacks like this.
To be perfectly clear, though, getting maligned and mocked online is hardly persecution. Obviously! I have washed the feet of a martyr’s widow in India (I had previously laid hands on her husband and commissioned him in ministry) and stood at the funeral of one of our ministry school grads who was killed by Muslim terrorists.
Some of my colleagues have been shot, stoned or tortured, and I have preached overseas when militant, armed Hindus came onstage, took our equipment and shut down our meeting.
So, having someone post a nasty review of one of my books neither demands a pity party nor an entrance into Fox’s Book of Martyrs. (No, it does not qualify as persecution when someone unfriends you on Facebook either.)
Personally, when I’m mocked and maligned for doing good, I am blessed and encouraged by it. Plus, there’s no way you’re going to tackle controversial issues without having some people love you and others hate you. It comes with the territory.
But I share some of this “review” here—ironically, the first one on the book, unless it gets pulled by Amazon or by the reviewer—just to illustrate what we can expect when we speak the truth in love regarding homosexual practice. (To be perfectly clear, the issue is not whether someone can have same-sex attractions and follow Jesus if they resist and renounce those attractions. Of course they can. The issue is whether someone can practice homosexuality and follow Jesus at the same time, and the answer is of course they cannot.)
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: Charisma News