As we trace the story of the Samaritan woman at the well, we’ve seen God’s legitimate concern proceed any condemnation, him contrast his way with the world’s way—showing that we all are in need of grace, and this might be the most critical point. I wrestled with how to address this topic. You’ll notice that up to this point, I’ve barely quoted any verses directly related to homosexuality. I did that intentionally because the church is bombarded with the attack that we are against everything, so let’s talk, as we finish up the story
Not About What We Are Against, but What the Bible Is For (John 4:19, 23-26) 19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet… 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” 25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” 26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”
As Jesus finishes up his interaction with the Samaritan woman, he leaves no mystery surrounding what she needs. He leaves no doubt as to what is missing. There is only a gap between what was and what is based on the divine power, identity, and hope of Christ washing us clean, justifying us, renewing us through His Spirit. Let’s be clear, the Bible is abundantly clear that homosexuality is a sin, 3 places in the OT, 3 times in the NT, expressing a rejection of that lifestyle. Some advocates of homosexuality work fastidiously trying to reinterpreted these verses, others like to point out Jesus never directly condemns the lifestyle but instead of focusing on what Jesus was against, what was he for: (Matthew 19:5). When addressing another hot button issue divorce, the people have used divorce for expediency, jettisoning God’s way for their own, and Jesus reveals God’s plan for marriage—Haven’t you read the Scriptures? Jesus replied. “They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female.’ And he said, ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together…(They start arguing about why Moses seemed to say it was okay) Jesus replied, “Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended. He confirms the uniqueness of male and female, that 2 become one united in marriage for life. Jesus affirmation of true biblical marriage must lead us to reject whatever confronts it: adultery, premarital sex, polygamy, orgies, bestiality, pedophilia, and yes homosexuality. Everything unbridled eventually leads to our undoing. God created marriage so that it could be a place where sex is protected, enjoyed, where commitment is solidified, where a greater witness to the world can be shared—a picture of Christ and the church.
Sin is sin, but then what? R. Albert Mohler writes “…Homosexuals are waiting to see if the Christian church has anything more to say after we declare that homosexuality is a sin.” Evangelicals have unmistakably communicated the diagnosis, yet refuse helpful discussion because “it’s a dirty issue” – as if there are “clean sins.” In 2007, The Barna Group released research results showing that “…91 percent of young non-Christians and 80 percent of young churchgoers” believe Christians display “excessive contempt…towards gays and lesbians” and claim “the church has not helped them apply the biblical teaching on homosexuality to their friendships with gays and lesbians.”
After giving his life to Christ, Christopher Yuan was in for quite a ride of twisting and turning. He still had homosexual tendencies and desires—no question. He was still facing the rest of his young adult life in prison. He didn’t have a lightning bolt moment where suddenly his urges went away, but he didn’t have a different type of transformation. In a rare turn of events, Christopher Yuan was offered a deal from the federal government, in a remarkable time frame—he stepped out of prison with his new found Master—he decided to learn about the Lord—going to seminary, getting his doctorate, and his new road came with a daring choice. At that conference in Decatur, IL, with thousands watching on, he explained that at the end of the day he had to make a decision about where his identity would come from: He told the crowd my identity doesn’t come from my sexuality, it comes from Christ. He decided that he choose singleness, not as a curse, but to conform to the likeness of Christ. That each of us have to choose who we are going to serve first and foremost.
God has always worked through broken people who are willing to choose an identity in Christ first. If you get a chance pick up the book by Christopher Yuan and his prayer warrior, his mother Angela Yuan call Out in A Far Country do it! Christopher went from being a prison to becoming a professor at Moody Bible Institute. Leading others to Christ as he himself found Christ.
Instead of condemnation—we get a glimpse at real transformation.Instead of just an outlook on homosexuality, we find a decision point for all of us.