Wikipedia says “Litmus is a water-soluble mixture of different dyes extracted from lichens… The main use of litmus is to test whether a solution is acidic or basic.” If acidic the test sample will yield a higher pH on the test strip:
Every evangelical church member I talk with says, “Sure, we practice grace!” But when asked if they have any gay friends, or if they know of anybody in their church who has SSA (same-sex attraction), they almost always say “well, no…”
So here’s a grace litmus test – if somebody has SSA, is not acting on those temptations, and has accepted Christ, would you welcome them as your friend? Would you welcome them into your church? Would your church welcome them? Would your church let them participate in a small group, work with youth, or in a kids program? Sure hope so!
What about if the above were true, but they were honest enough to admit that every now and then they do act on their SSA temptation/still struggle from time to time? Do you have grace for somebody who has SSA, really? We’re talking about someone who has accepted Christ, and is trying not to act out on their temptations, but fails from time to time – just like you and me.
Think about somebody who struggles with outbursts of anger, or is an over-eater, or a man who who sometimes looks at porn. Should those people be excluded from participating in a small group, or working with youth or kids? Of course not – it would be even more difficult to fill church volunteer roles if we prevented these folks from serving. Obviously anybody working with kids should pass appropriate background checks, but hopefully you understand that having SSA does not automatically mean somebody is a pedophile… please.
For too long the church has categorized even having SSA as some sort of special, unacceptable problem. And for too long we have focused on behaviors, rather than Christ’s grace for ALL of us. As we focus on His grace, our behaviors do change out of a love response to Him. In the meantime, let’s not cause acidic reactions amongst those who Christ died for!