The Idolatry of Sexual Orientation

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 5.05.24 PMA few days ago I posted a blog where I asserted that one of the saddest lies of the modern culture is the phrase, “This is the way God made me and I cannot change.”

I made the claim in the blog that God loves us just the way we are. And because God loves us so much he will not leave us the way we are.

That is an absolutely true statement.

However, I think some clarification is necessary.

I am a Korean-American. This is the way God has made me. When I became a Christian, God didn’t change my Korean-American-ness. In fact, what God’s love will do is to help me become the best Korean-American follower of Christ I can be. And if God changed my Korean-American-ness to anything else, becoming or making me something other than Korean-American would be asserting that something was “wrong” with Korean-American-ness. In fact, it would be the same as saying that God had made a mistake in making me Korean-American and God’s love is now righting the wrong of my Korean-American-ness by making me something other than who I am.

That is both preposterous and highly offensive. And, thank God, just flat out wrong.

God will not make me white-American, black-American, or anything other than who God created me to be.

This is an absolutely true statement.

The problem we run into is when we make secondary identifications, primary.

It is true that I am Korean-American and that I cannot be anything other than Korean-American. However, my Korean-American-ness is not my primary identity. My Korean-American-ness does is not dictate what kind of Christian I am. My identity as a Christian shapes and informs what kind of Korean-American I am.

My identity as a child of God is primary. My identity as a Korean-American is secondary.

As a follower of Christ, my primary identity is as a child of God. If I allow any other identity (my Korean-ness, being an American citizen, being Presbyterian, a husband, a son, a brother, a heterosexual, a fan of the Seattle Seahawks, graduate of Pepperdine University, etc.) to become my primary identity, that identification becomes idolatrous and dangerous.

When American Christians make the “American” way of being Christian take priority over being Christians as Americans, such behavior and attitude is both ugly, dangerous, and un-Christian.

When secondary identifications become primary, it is a false and an inadequate understanding of who we are as Christ-followers.

The primary way in which we are to view ourselves and the world is through the lens of having become children of God and followers of Jesus Christ. This reality must be greater than any other reality and identification.

One of the problems with our society and our church culture is that we have allowed ourselves to come dangerously close to making our sexuality a primary identification of who we are as human beings. When one’s sexual orientation becomes the primary way in which we view our self-understanding, that skews our worldview.

The only way we are going to figure out how to be both gracious and truthful in finding a way forward in how we are to live with one another as sisters and brothers in Christ is as we see one another, first and foremost, as brothers and sisters in Christ.

If Jesus is your Lord and Savior, you are my sister, you are my brother.

Regardless of our sexual orientation or any other secondary identification, If Jesus is your Lord and Savior, in Christ we are family.

Now lets figure out a better way to be family together as God’s children than what the world has witnessed thus far.

Survival Mentality is Killing the Church

Screenshot 2015-04-23 at 11.48.20 AMIf the goal of your church or organization is to survive, you will fail to make the decisions necessary for your church or organization to thrive.

When surviving becomes the goal of your church, you will fail to made the decisions that will lead to new life and growth. In order to keep who and what you have happy, you will make the very decisions that will prevent you from reaching new people.

What you are currently doing is perfectly suited to keep your current people happy.

But that’s not why the church exists.

The church never exists to keep its current people happy. The church exists to reach as many people with the love of Jesus Christ. The church exists for people who do not yet know they belong in God’s family.

In order to reach people who are not currently being reached, you’re going to have to start doing things that you are currently not doing.

The natural bent of an organization is inward. However, the natural bent of the Shepherd is for the lost sheep, it’s outward…one more lost sheep, one more lost guy, one more lost daughter.

Survival is not the goal.

Kingdom impact, making disciples, growing disciples, reaching as many people with the love of Jesus Christ…that doesn’t look like survival…that’s LIFE!


The Saddest Lie in the World – This is the Way God Made Me, I Cannot Change

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 2.48.50 PMThis is the way I am. This is the way God made me. I cannot change.

Ever hear anyone say that?

If this statement is true, it would be the saddest thing in the world.

It is absolutely true that God loves every single human being just the way they are. There is absolutely nothing you and I can ever do to make God love us more, or make God loves us less. God’s love for us is wholly complete and perfect. God loves every single person, regardless of background, orientation, history, beliefs, and baggage just the way we are.

We don’t have to be anything other than who we are for God to love us completely and perfectly.

And…get this…God loves us so much, he will not allow us to remain the way we are.

God’s love for us will always transform us. Each of us, because of the love of God, will become more of who God created us to be. Each of us, because of and through the love of God, will be changed and become more like Christ.

Imagine if God’s love did not change us.

What an absolute shame it would be if racists remained racist even after knowing that God is the creator of all people.

What an absolute shame it would be if bigots claimed, God loves me just the way I am. This is the way God created me. There is nothing I can do to change me. What an absolute crying shame that would be.

What an absolute shame it would be for sinners to claim, sin is what I do.

God loves me just the way I am. I cannot change. God made me this way.

Thank God this is a false statement. Thank God this is not true.

Because no one is yet fully who we are created to be, because no one is yet fully all that we are meant to be, every one of us has the potential to change and be more of who we were created to be.

Because we are all sinners, because we all have areas that need to change, it is absolutely great news that God’s love will transform each and every one of us.

We will be more fully human, fully who we were meant to be, only as the love of God continues to transform us.

Yes. God loves you just the way you are. And, because God loves us so much, he cannot let us remain just the way we are!

Thank God!