A 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.