She sat across from me in my office, arms folded securely across her chest and her jawline tight in resolute rigidity. For the purposes of this article, I’ll call this woman Susan, though that is not her name. Susan had been in a lesbian relationship for a couple of years, and after that broke up, Susan made a profession of faith in Jesus as her Savior.
However, and this is a big however, Susan says she simply cannot believe that her relationship with her former girlfriend was a sin. Her argument is based on her love for this other woman, a love that she still deals with today, even though they haven’t been together for a while. Her heart is broken and her love is real. Consequently, she resolutely says she will never see that love as sin.
I do not question the sincerity of Susan’s claim to salvation. She says she knows Jesus and has accepted Him as the Lord of her life, so I have to take that at face value. Justification is immediate. Sometimes regeneration takes a little longer, but neither is my responsibility. The Holy Spirit is quite capable of convicting without my judgment getting in the way.
The truth is that my heart ached for her. I understand her, though not in the sense of her same-sex attraction. I understand her heart, and I understand that it’s a difficult organ to deny. However, that doesn’t change God’s Word, and I know that if her salvation experience was real, then God will convict her in His time. My job in that moment was to set the stage for whatever God intended to do.
And that’s a difficult task given today’s present climate. Religious leaders all over the world and from just about every denomination have publicly stood with her conclusion, advocating that love is love, and if it is love, then God will not stand against it.
The stage I set for her that day in my office was one where I was the leading lady and my sin was the central plot.
Many years ago, I was a worship leader at a large church, all while having an adulterous affair. After two years, we were caught, and I was put under immediate church discipline. After all, the Bible is very clear that adultery is a sin.
Consequently, no one asked me if I loved the man. That wasn’t the issue. Adultery is a sin, and therefore, the adulterous affair had to stop and discipline had to occur. And I disagree with neither of those conclusions.
Still, no one asked me if I loved the man with whom I had been having an affair. And I did love him. I was willing to leave my entire family behind just so that I could be with him. Just because the affair was over, and I submitted to church discipline didn’t mean my heart changed immediately. I loved him for a long time after that.
But my obedience to God brought me to the place of conviction.
Back then, no one in the church was concerned with my love for him. Nor should they have been. Adultery is a sin because it is devastating to God’s family. It is against God’s natural order in family because only His order brings true joy. My heart would never change that vital truth, and it should never change it.
When I reminded Susan that I had been in an adulterous affair many years ago and then asked her if she thought that adultery was a sin, she was quick to say, “Yes.” When I went on to tell her that I loved the man, I then asked her if my love for him made adultery less of a sin. She said, “No,” though more begrudgingly as she began to see my point.
What I know now, over fifteen years later, is that God didn’t take this man from me because He is mean and didn’t care how I felt. God brought me back to Himself, according to His law, because only in that sacred space would I find contentment and peace. And I have continued to live in that place of joy with the husband of my youth for over 35 years.
Compromise will always become compromising. What many church leaders are compromising by advocating and legitimizing same-sex unions is God’s perfect plan for His beloved children. Compromising on God’s Word for the sake of the human heart will never be for our good or His glory. After all, the Bible reminds us that the human heart is sick and deceitful above all things. Ultimately, our religious leaders are trading truth for a lie.
Susan still holds to her opinion that her love for her former girlfriend isn’t a sin because it is love. I can’t judge her heart, and neither can I ascertain what God will do in her life. What I can do, however, is stand firmly on what God says is true.
Unfortunately, the sand is shifting under the feet of many religious leaders today. Standing is going to become increasingly more difficult for them.
Dr. Deb Waterbury is a Biblical counselor and the founder of Love Everlasting Ministries, a ministry dedicated to educating and empowering women all over the world. She began the Reap What You Sew trade school for impoverished women in Malawi, Africa, and has authored fourteen books including her #1 Amazon bestseller “We Are Mother Abraham.” Dr. Deb hosts two weekly podcasts and holds a Masters in the Art of Teaching as well as a Doctorate of Ministry in Biblical Expository Studies. She currently resides in Tucson, Arizona, with her husband, Jeff, a Lt. Colonel in the Air Force National Guard. For more information, visit http://www.DebWaterbury.com.