Straight away, I must mention that the open letter from my friend has occasioned an incredible response. It touches a nerve right in that amazing third paragraph. If you want to know why that letter has been linked, reprinted, and repeated so often, the answer is there. “To those of you who would change the church to accept the gay community and its lifestyle: you give us no hope at all.”
It is counterintuitive. The reader would expect this gay woman to plead for the church to accommodate itself to the times. But she doesn’t do that. Rather, she sees herself as a sinner and reaches for the bracing, redemptive, and cleansing blood of Christ rather than the lukewarm saliva of evolving culture.
I think there is some controversy over whether we should call this woman “a gay sister in Christ” as I have called her. When Justin Taylor posted her letter, he referred to her simply as “a lesbian.” In my view, the author of the letter is clearly a sister in Christ, even though she is still in the gay lifestyle. The more I think on the matter, the more certain I am. My whole life, I have been guilty of a variety of sins. Sins of ego. Sins of putting myself first. Sins of abusing my body in order to obtain pleasure (as with chronic overeating). I think of others who can pass through 50 years in a church with obvious sins of treating others badly without ever incurring displeasure of other church members or having a church discipline team visit them.
Homosexuals in the church, even those in the lifestyle, are in no different position than many of us are. They are sinners who are sinning. So, too, are the Christian college students having sex and still coming to church or any of the other people in the church who have sin in their lives. The definition of a Christian is a person who proclaims that Jesus Christ is Lord and sees him as his/her only hope for salvation. That definition does not entail being without sin. It seems to me that my anonymous friend is clearly in the fold. Indeed, she may be very close to God right now because she is so aware of her sin and so clear in pinning her hopes for deliverance in this life and resurrection in the next upon Him. May we all examine ourselves and our plight so carefully and accurately.