Heterosexuals & homosexuals are all marred image bearers

Love Into Light

This is a great word from Peter Hubbard’s book Love Into Light: The Gospel, The Homosexual And The Church on why there is deafening silence in churches today concerning the issue of homosexuality. Please read carefully and weigh his words with the words of Scripture not personal preferences, opinions, or thoughts. God’s Word is the authority that takes center-stage in his book and subsequently this post.

Misunderstandings of homosexuality

  • Creation – they are not like us
  • Fall – their sin is not like ours
  • Redemption – they are defined by their sin
  • Restoration – they don’t change

Truth in Jesus

  • Creation – we are all created in God’s image.
  • Fall – we all have turned aside
  • Redemption – we get a new identity in Jesus
  • Restoration – we hope in future grace

Reality #1 – Homosexuals are like us: we are all marred image bearers

  • If we are true followers of Jesus, we cannot move toward someone struggling with same sex attraction in mercy and compassion—as Jesus would—while still viewing them as “abnormal” or unclean.

Reality #2 – Homosexuals have turned aside: All sin is twisted

  • The Apostle Paul described homosexual acts as “contrary to nature” (Romans 1:26). However, he was emphasizing that homosexuality is a physical illustration of our spiritual condition. The bodily inversion reflects our spiritual inversion. We are all made in the God’s image, but through birth and choice we have all turned aside. The image of God is distorted and perverted. Like spiritual zombies, we are “Dead in the trespasses and sins…following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air…carrying out the desires of the body and mind (Ephesians 2:1-3). We are victims swept along by abductors, marketers, demonic forces. This is why homosexuality or bitterness or anxiety does not feel like a choice. We have been drafted by strong forces and engulfed by painful experiences. We suffer. But we are also villains. We are “carrying out the desires of the body and mind.” In other words, we are doing what we want to do. This is who we are. Our stories vary in details as the fall leaves vary in color, but we are made of the same stuff (25).

Reality #3 – Homosexuals can find a new identity

  • We, the image-bearers of the King of the universe mislabel ourselves “alcoholic,” “loser,” “workalcoholic,” or “homosexual.” But God refuses to leave us to worthless labels. “For our sake He made Him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus absorbed our sin on the cross and rose again so that we could “put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). The gospel of Jesus is not an invitation to do better or try harder; it is a death certificate that unfolds into a new birth certificate, providing us with a renewed identity! The image of God that was marred in the Fall is revived in Jesus. We have been killed in Jesus’ death, burial in Jesus’ tomb, and raised in Jesus’ resurrection. When we turn from our sin to trust in Jesus, our old self no longer defines who we are and what we do).

Reality #4 – Homosexuals and Heterosexuals Hope in Grace Together

  • The Christian life is a call to live life with other men and women; we live in community. We stand together in grace and we also struggle together. Old cravings still pursue us and wait to once again lure us away from Jesus. If “change” means that the homosexual will never hear the voice of homoerotic desire, then maybe metamorphosis is delusional. But what fornicator, thief, or liar who has turned to Jesus never expects to hear an invitation back to lusting, stealing, or deceiving? In light of this reality, we encourage one another daily to set our hope fully on the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:13) and we understand that our current struggles are not the final word!

[1] Peter Hubbard, Love Into Light: The Gospel, The Homosexual And The Church (Greenville: Ambassador International, 2013), 23-28.

 

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