So the other day something happened that unfortunately is far from an isolated incident. I shared an Ellen video of her doing something awesome for people on my Facebook page. There was nothing provocative about the video, everyone was appropriately dressed, there were no sexual jokes, just Ellen being awesome.
Somehow, someone still felt the need to comment on the video saying how they’d never support Ellen because she was gay. As a Christian, she refused to watch her show or share her videos on social media because she felt that strongly against Ellen’s sexual preference.
The sad part about this is how often I hear comments like this. For starters, if we’re only going to listen to and engage people who fall under our rules and regulations we’re going to live a very lonely life. If we’re only going to share Facebook posts from people who perfectly follow the Gospel we’d never be able to share anything on social media. Actually, maybe that’s not the worst option.
It feels like Christianity has become an exclusive club that turns away differing opinions. When I look at Jesus, the guy didn’t just casually hang out with social outcasts—he made them His best friends. His disciples weren’t worship leaders or high school pastors; they were tax collectors and hippies. I was thinking this last week how uncomfortable a friend of mine would be in my Bible study if they weren’t a Christian, and something about that just feels wrong.
Now I believe the Gospel is true, and God tells us what to do to protect us from pain and a broken relationship with Him, which is the ultimate source of joy. This means I believe homosexuality is a sin. With that said, I have multiple friends who are homosexual, who are transgender and who battle other things I believe are sins just like I do. My hope for those friends of mine isn’t for them to stop sinning, it’s to fall in love with Jesus. Give me one more paragraph before you start yelling at me that they’re the same thing.
You don’t get over pornography by just not watching it. Porn is just a symptom of a bigger issue. You get over porn by realizing how great Jesus is and seeing how porn breaks that relationship with Him, and the more you love Him, the more you hate the idea of hurting that relationship. To want my gay friends to just stop being gay is wanting them to live a life that I approve of; to want them to read a Bible and talk about Jesus is to want them to live a life that He approves of.
Here’s the other thing. I love Ellen. Again, I can already hear the legalistic conservatives planning ways to kick me out of the church. Do I agree with her lifestyle? No. Does that matter to her? No. Guess what, my dad loves to hunt. I could never shoot a living animal without ugly crying afterwards. Does this mean I love my dad less because he does something I don’t do? Not even a little bit! I love that he’s passionate about it, I love that he’s very honorable in how he does it, and I LOVE how the meat tastes afterwards! People want me to hold Ellen to my standards or my faith when she doesn’t identify with my faith. Seems weird.
It also feels like we’ve started to confuse sexual identity with overall identity. When someone asks you “who are you?” or “what do you do?” do you respond with “I do straight things with my husband”? No! You probably say you’re a mom, you’re a teacher, you’re an artist. You describe yourself by your passions, not what gender you’re sexually attracted to.
Ellen is a homosexual, but to stop the conversation there is a serious injustice to who she is as a person and very disrespectful. She’s a comedian who makes millions laugh every day, she’s someone who made it her profession to bless other people, and she’s someone who stands up for those without a voice. If you ask me, that sounds like she has a lot more Christian qualities than the group wanting to burn her because of her sexual preference. I hate that I feel like I have to explain myself when I’m talking to a group of Christians and I say that I love Ellen. She’s a loveable person. It makes sense to love her.
Here’s the summary: I love Jesus, I love Ellen and I love my dad. I don’t think my love for Jesus would justify me hating someone; in fact, I think it does the opposite. I love Jesus, and because of His love for me I love Ellen, a woman made in His image.
If you’re an Ellen fan too, you’ll love this story about the time she gave $500,000 to a school in need.