The Catholic church has long been very adamant on it’s stance towards gays and gay rights so the recent comments by Pope Francis came as somewhat of a surprise when he offered up some lukewarm support of the gays in general and basically stopped short of condemning the practice of homosexuality. Instead, he stated that he is not in a position to judge gays.
I agree 100 percent with many of his comments. When you think about, who really has the right to judge someone for the way they live? Only God has that right. One of my favorite passages in the bible is John 8:7. “For he who has not sinned, cast the first stone.” We all are sinners and sometimes I wish people would look in the mirror and evaluate their own lives before making a judgement on a certain group of people. If I condemn a gay person for his lifestyle and then turn around and cheat on my wife or girlfriend, I am being a total hypocrite!! I find way too people are hypocritical when it comes to sexual sin. We all have certain shortcomings. Sure you may have never cheated on your spouse but have you ever looked at porn? A good many people have including many very supposedly clean and moral people.
The Pope’s comments about gays really brings to light how we as a society and churches should handle the gay population. Anybody or any church that is struggling on how to handle this issue should simply think of what Jesus would do. Would Jesus totally shun anyone who is gay and not accept them? Absolutely not!! If you ever studied the life of Jesus in the bible, you would find that Jesus spent a lot of time with sinners and was even criticized for it by some of his followers. Jesus loved the worst sinner just as much as he loved the best saint. I believe based on the examples of Jesus that we should treat any human being with complete dignity and respect.
One of the things that the Pope said was rather interesting. “If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them”. I often wonder how someone who accepts the Lord and is homosexual can feel good about their sexuality. It clearly states in the Bible that homosexuality is a sin and how can you continue to live that kind of lifestyle if you clearly accept the Lord? The same holds true of many pastors or church leaders who are gay. It is a huge contradiction for someone to preach to me about the word of God yet live a sinful lifestyle. Those homosexuals who have totally accepted the Lord should not feel comfortable with their sexuality.
I hope the Pope’s comments will at least somewhat soften the resentment that many people have regarding the Catholic church’s stance on gays and lesbians. Judging people is a sure way to offend and turn people off. The role of a good church is to bring people in, not turn people away. I believe gay and lesbian people should be accepted into our society like any other human being. Christians and churches need to love them but not love their sin.