, Muskogee, OK

March 3, 2014

Christians, homosexuals can get along

By Barret Vanlandingham
Fort Faith

— Whatever happened to the days when gays and straights could just co-exist, you know, before special interest groups, lawyers, judges, and legislatures decided they needed to make everything so complicated?  

My dad ran a successful restaurant for 36 years. He served people of all kinds and hired and worked alongside people of all kinds. To my knowledge, not a single employee ever pushed my dad to accept their sexual preferences under the threat of a lawsuit. Not a single customer ever stormed in to divulge their personal business, and then just dare my dad to not serve them. That is not the case these days. Everyone thinks they have to tell everything about themselves to everyone. If someone’s conscience won’t let them agree, then it’s off to court!  

In Oregon, a Christian couple recently had to shut down their bakery because their consciences would not allow them to bake a cake for a lesbian couple’s wedding. The Christian couple faces hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

Laws now even equate your sexual orientation (preference) with race! Last I heard, you can’t change your race. However, Chirlane McCray, wife of New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio, was a self-professed lesbian until she married Bill 19 years ago.  They have two teenage children.

The odd thing about our nation right now is that some of the same people who are screaming for everyone to accept diversity are the same people who want there to be no differences among us. Here is what I mean. As of Jan. 1, a new transgender law (Assembly Bill 1266) went into effect in California. It allows K-12 students to enter bathrooms, locker rooms, and be involved in sports teams based on their perceived gender identity.  

Can you imagine the problems this will cause when a straight teenage boy decides he wants to utilize the law to invade the privacy of a girls’ locker room, bathroom, or set new scoring records in girls’ sports? What about little children who have always gone to public restrooms with their dad or mom, no matter what sex they are, but when they go to school for the first time, they get confused as to which bathroom they’re supposed to go to, but a teacher can no longer tell them which direction to go because the law says either way is fine, just whatever they feel like. Boys’ or girls’ bathroom, whichever one you identify with more that day.

I’ve read that a baby’s sex is determined at conception, even though birth defects like “undetermined genitalia” make it difficult to know the sex of a newborn before testing. Our genes may be responsible for homosexual tendencies, obesity, alcoholism, and attitude problems. But that does not mean these tendencies cannot be controlled. We all have certain temptations that are more appealing to us than others. But God would not create a person who has no choice but to willfully sin, and then send him to hell because he sinned. Making mistakes is just part of being human. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).”    

God knows our heart, and He knows the level at which we are committed to obeying Him. That is what grace is for! It covers us when we fail in our best attempts to obey God.

And so, Christians need to employ the love of Christ when dealing with homosexuals or anyone. We won’t always agree. But for heaven’s sake, we don’t have to make life miserable for each other. That’s really all I would ask from anyone who disagrees with me. And yes, homosexuals are welcome at my church. Have a great week!

Reach Barrett Vanlandingham at the Fort Gibson Church of Christ at (918) 478-2222 or