What the Church Gets Wrong About Homosexuality

(REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun)

At a time when discrimination and hate are running rampant, believers must stop lashing out in judgment and begin a dialogue of compassion, acceptance and love for those struggling with gender identity, according to author Gerri Edwards. Edward's son Ryan struggled with gender identity before passing away in 2016. She chronicles their story in her upcoming book, Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment.

Edwards believes this should be Christians' time to shine.

"Jesus wasn't afraid of the unlovable, untouchable or misunderstood. Christ led by example, showing that we are called to love, not to judge. We forget that not extending a giving, loving hand to one who is hurting is a sin as well and can be very damaging," she said.

A recent study found LGBT youth were five times more apt to attempt suicide than their heterosexual counterparts. She cites another study that found that more than half of all transgenders in America face bullying at school and harassment at work. A whopping 63 to 78 percent suffered from physical or sexual violence.

Though some Christians seem quick to show compassion for those struggling with other issues, the LGBTQ community is often shunned, Edwards believes.

Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

"The act of homosexuality is a sin. It is very clear in the Bible. Here's where we get it wrong: An adulterous affair is no different than the act of homosexuality to God. Yet, Christians are often more accepting of the adulterer than the homosexual."

Our culture is to blame, according to Edwards.

"Society labels you when you are different or don't go along with the norm. Those who struggle with gender identity are tempted by the cultural message that you must seek validation from society and not God. They need to realize that nothing will validate them until they accept that their identity comes from Christ and the power of what He did for them on that cross."

Edwards points out that struggling with gender identity doesn't diminish a person's value. "God has used every strange and odd character He could find on the earth for His purpose. What makes you think He is going to use what is familiar? There are so many people, young and old, who are hurting because no one has accepted them for who they are."

If you have a friend or family member who is struggling with gender identity, take heart Edwards says. "Surrender your expectations and give it to God. Love them just the way they are. They need your love and support because the world is eating them up. You don't need to have all the answers. That is God's job, not ours. You don't have to understand everything, you just need to walk in His ways. Our identity is in Christ. Once we begin to pursue understanding, I believe God can get in there and change hearts and minds," she said.

Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

Help Charisma stay strong for years to come as we report on life in the Spirit. Become an integral part of Charisma’s work by joining Charisma Media Partners. Click here to keep us strong!

Dr. Mark Rutland's

National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL)

The NICL is one of the top leadership training programs in the U.S. taught by Dr. Mark Rutland. If you're the type of leader that likes to have total control over every aspect of your ministry and your future success, the NICL is right for you!

FREE NICL MINI-COURSE - Enroll for 3-hours of training from Dr. Rutland's full leadership course. Experience the NICL and decide if this training is right for you and your team.

Do you feel stuck? Do you feel like you’re not growing? Do you need help from an expert in leadership? There is no other leadership training like the NICL. Gain the leadership skills and confidence you need to lead your church, business or ministry. Get ready to accomplish all of your God-given dreams. CLICK HERE for NICL training dates and details.

The NICL Online is an option for any leader with time or schedule constraints. It's also for leaders who want to expedite their training to receive advanced standing for Master Level credit hours. Work through Dr. Rutland's full training from the comfort of your home or ministry at your pace. Learn more about NICL Online. Learn more about NICL Online.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
Charisma Leader — Serving and empowering church leaders