I’m going to ask you to think for a minute – of the first big lesson God taught you as a Christian. Maybe you became a Christian so long ago you can’t remember, but I’d love to hear from you if you can. Mine was this: Homosexuality is wrong.
Why would God choose to focus on that? Well, before I was a Christian, I was very into Queen – the rock group, for anyone who doesn’t know. By ‘Very into Queen’ I mean in the Queen Fan Club, went to conventions every year etc. In fact, I was so into Queen, it seemed almost criminal to disagree with anything its members said or did.
Freddie Mercury was publicly bisexual, so when a friend told me on the phone one night that homosexuality was wrong, I didn’t want to grasp it. I said: “You tell me where it says in the Bible and I’ll believe you”. I was sincere in this. As a new Christian, I hungered to know more about God, and I knew His Word (the Bible) was true.
“I think it’s in Romans,” she told me, but that wasn’t enough; I wanted to know exactly where.
Still living with my parents at this point, we went and bought a concordance from our local Christian bookshop. (A concordance is like a dictionary; you can look up a particular word or phrase, and it’ll tell you where to find it in the Bible.) I asked Mum to look up “Homosexual”. There are other passages that talk about homosexual behaviour, but for the actual word homosexual, she only found one reference. It was in 1 Corinthians, and it was the phrase: “Wicked homosexual offenders”.
Wicked … homosexual … offenders. I repeated it to myself. Then I thought: Hang on. If that’s what God thinks, then homosexuality really is wrong!
Even in those early days, God was asking me to make a choice: Carry on, as in my old life – putting Freddie Mercury first, or change and put Him first?
If there are any homosexuals reading, please remember this: God loves you. Deeply. But, as one of my friends would regularly say when praying out-loud: “You love us as we are, but You love us too much to leave us as we are, so You choose to change us”.
Very wise words.