“God made you like this…be happy with who you are”
That statement uttered by Pope Francis to a gay man has made the Pope a hero of the entire LGBT movement.
But, Pope Francis stands not as a hero but someone who stands in opposition to the Roman Catholic position, the collective wisdom of the Church Fathers, and more importantly, the very Word of God itself.
Of course, this isn’t anything new from the Pope. He has demonstrated quite clearly that being of the people, is better than being of the Word.
The Pope’s statements affirming homosexuality are dangerous and extremely blasphemous. To say, “God made you this way” to a man who is living in rebellion, a slave to his passions is to call the very character of God into question. The Bible says that sin does not come from God nor does temptation (Jas. 1:13). God is holy, good and within God’s very own nature, there is neither shadow nor change (Jas. 1:17).
Sin is birthed out of the human heart, not God (Matt. 15:19). The human heart is deceitfully wicked, so wicked in fact, that we cannot even grasp its depravity (Jer. 17:9).
The Bible calls the act of homosexuality a sin and unilaterally condemns it. For example, in 1 Corinthians 6:9 says, “Or do you not know that unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality.”
Pope Francis was not loving to that man, instead, he was deceiving him and obscuring the power of the gospel.
That man was not happy nor could he ever be happy with who he is and many recent studies of the LGBT movement prove this. Within the LGBT community are some of the highest levels of depression and suicides than any other demographic. Many will cite the issue of homophobia, the opposition to gay marriage or the predominant hetero-centric society we live in as the cause. But I cannot remember a time where there has been more tolerance and more acceptance of “alternative lifestyles” than now. Actually, we have moved from toleration of them to now celebrating them as virtuous, healthy and normal.
There is only one way to be happy and it is not in sin, but in Jesus.
Sin deceives us into thinking that satisfaction (i.e. happiness) is found everywhere except God. Whether it be homosexual relationships, fornication, or materialism, those wells that we thought would quench our thirst, quickly dry up, leaving us left wanting and in despair.
Yet in Christ, are “precious and great promises” (2 Peter 1:4), one of which is in the presence of God, the fullness of joy is found and at His right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm. 16:11).
What Pope Francis should have said to that man was the gospel—that he was created by God and that although he is a sinner in a lifestyle that will only lead to death and eternal condemnation, God being rich in mercy sent His own Son. This Jesus, who lived a perfect life, died a sufficient death to pay for this man’s sins, now is raised and seated at the right hand of God the Father, commanding him to repent, fall upon the mercy of Christ and trust him both as Lord and Savior.
Instead of cajoling this man into thinking that he could find happiness by being himself, Pope Francis should have urged him with the very words of Christ, “Ye must be born again” (Jn. 3:3) and commended to him the God who is infinitely holy and loving.
But he didn’t do that and aided in the searing of the conscience of many.
As Christians, our response to the LGBT community should be loving and truthful. It should also be Biblical.
The Bible doesn’t mince words about sin, especially about homosexuality, but it certainly doesn’t leave the sinner hopeless.
1 Corinthians 6:11 says, “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God”.
There is hope for the one in a homosexual lifestyle like there is hope for all of us who are struggling with sin.
And that hope and happiness are not found in being ourselves, but being in Christ, redeemed, forgiven and forever changed.