Taboo: Come As You Are

Growing up in and around church all my life, I had the opportunity to hear a lot of familiar quotes and church clichés. There are a few that might actually do us some good to abide by. Chances are, you know how most of these clichés go and can more than likely finish each of them. For example, “God knows my heart,” “Turn to your neighbor and say…” “It’s not over, until God says it’s over,” and “When God closes one door…”

If you’ve been to a church service in the last five years, you have more than likely heard one or more of these clichés. There is one, however, that continually stands out from the rest, and consistently leaves me wondering…

The phrase I’m referring to is “Come as you are.”

What would happen in church if someone from the LGBT community walked in?

Hate the Sin, Love the Person

Now before I continue, I must say this. I am against sin wholeheartedly, and I do not agree with the homosexual lifestyle in any shape, form, or fashion. However, this does not, and will not hinder me from sharing the love of Christ with them as well as inviting them to church!

Here’s why, I hate the sin, but I love the person (yes, that can be classified as a church cliché as well, but it’s one I live my life by). There is no better place for sinners to be, than in the presence of an Almighty Savior, who can bring about real change in their lives.

We should all be striving to reach the same destination. Sometimes it baffles me that the church hinders people from stepping through their doors, simply because their baggage looks different than others. If we are going to be effective in reaching the lost and witness
Christ-centered transformation in the lives of those who struggle with same-sex attraction, we have to keep in mind that:

1) God loved us, while we were living in sin.

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5:8 NLT)

Sometimes we forget that God loved us, even when we were stuck in sin. God forgave us of all types of sin! We must learn to give the same love to people, that we have received from God.

2) We should give them Jesus and not our opinions.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV)

So often we give people what we think instead of repeating what Jesus has said.

If we give them Jesus and not judgment, I believe we will begin to see true transformation in our churches and the people that attend them.

The cliché that we should be upholding is “Come as you are,” not “Come as we want you to be.” Now, go tell the world to truly Come.As.You.Are.

Tim Timberlake is the Co-Pastor of Christian Faith Center in Creedmoor, North Carolina. He is a gifted communicator and teacher, and has the ability to minister to people
of all cultures and generations through his in-depth Bible teaching, sense of humor, and most importantly, the leading of the Holy Spirit. God has given him a vision and a heart for helping people meet Jesus and each week, he teaches the Word in a format for people to apply it in their daily lives. Tim is a graduate of the Pistis school of Ministry in Detroit, Michigan. He is an avid sports fan and a popular thought leader.