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i don't label you
by Daren Mitchell
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It seems that today people feel the need to label themselves and each other based on gender attraction. The labels "gay" and "lesbian" actually come from the 19th century and the definition of sexual identity is a fairly new social science kick-started by the Kinsey Report published in 1948. This label thing is a fairly new development in human history.

I guess it makes it easier to choose a side.

I believe the Bible teaches us that we are all on the same side. We're all sinners who need Jesus.

My truth comes from the Bible. Many people find what they believe to be truth from other sources and that is their prerogative. In the Bible I can't find one example of God defining someone by who they are attracted to. The Bible doesn't say, "and God created Adam, a straight guy." God doesn't define Adam as anything other than human, so why should I? When Paul lists sinful behaviors in Romans 1 he doesn't label anyone a homosexual. He is listing behaviors God considers sinful and I see some of my sinful nature in that chapter. God has never, not one time, labeled a person according to sexual attraction.

I can't find anything in the Bible that says being attracted to someone is wrong. God defines sinful behavior. 1 Corinthians 6 is a great example. He's pretty clear about it. James 1:14-15 says, "Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death."

I don't sin when I'm tempted, I sin when I engage in a sinful action.

I can't start my car unless I have the key to the ignition in my hand. Temptation is just like that, as long as it's there I have the key to unlock the sinful behavior. If I was really motivated to start my car without a key, I could find out how to hot wire it on the internet, but, the reality is, if I really want to drive my car, I'll find the car keys.

Temptation is a human problem. We are all tempted. Even Jesus was tempted. Only Jesus didn't sin. But the rest of us do. All of us have keys we carry around that unlock certain sinful behaviors. For those of us who are followers of Jesus we don't want the keys around that ignite our sin, but we keep looking for them. This means that we are not above the human condition, we are a part of it.

So I've come to this conclusion. I refuse to define another human being by man made terms; rather I define our humanness by God's terms. I refuse to call someone gay, or bisexual, or straight. Human. That's what we are. We all fall short of His perfect standard, we are all sinners who need the mercy of Jesus. We all need the same truth, the same Savior, the same God.

God alone is the judge of the source of truth an individual chooses. It makes no difference whether I agree with someone's source of truth or not. God said His Word is the Judge of all human nature; including mine, so I won't argue about it; because what does my opinion mean? Nothing. My truth is in Jesus and in His Word; the only source from which I teach and live, and for that I make no apology. But at the same time, I discover in this very truth that my sinful nature is just as damning as the next guy. And this is why I love His Word, hate my own sin first, and serve others in the Name of Jesus.

A woman was thrown at the feet of Jesus, she had been caught having sex with a man who wasn't her husband. Her accusers said she had been caught in the act and that the law of Moses said to stone her. Jesus said, "The one without sin should be the first one to throw a rock at her." They left. Jesus turned to the women and said, "Are there any accusers left, didn't even one condemn you?" "nope" She replied, and Jesus said, "then I don't condemn you either, but, you must stop sinning like this."

We can't pick and choose who we want to throw at the feet of Jesus for condemnation, because, we all belong at his feet. And it's to me that he says, "stop sinning." I agree with the Apostle Paul, "This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all."

For those who have made a choice to submit our lives to the authority of Jesus and His Word we have a responsibility to hold each other accountable for our sin. But for those who haven't made this choice, we shouldn't judge their sinful behavior, but, instead, share the love of Jesus with them, and hope and pray they will choose to believe in Him as we do.

However, I renounce the claims of self proclaimed believers in Jesus who attempt to use the Bible to justify homosexual sex. False teachers have always been around. There are a minority of liars who attempt to manipulate the Word for their own selfish purpose, but, the reality is the majority of the world has no idea who Jesus is. Instead of labeling and judging those who don't know the truth, maybe we should love and share the Good News of Jesus with the hope that folks will choose to surrender their life to Him, too.

What do you think? Should we be hypersensitive about how people label themselves? What would it say to the world if Jesus followers simply refused to join in the label game and simply referred to people as human?

Does what Jesus say about taking the log out of our own eye before we attempt to take out the splinter in someone else's apply to this discussion? why or why not?


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