The CEO of Apple announced today “I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.”
More so than Steve Jobs, Cook has always strived for a basic level of privacy in his personal life. Recently he has apparently come to the conclusion that his desire for personal privacy had been holding him back from doing something more important. Namely to make clear his sexual orientation to the world.
For years, he had been open with many people about his sexual orientation. While he never denied his sexuality, he never publicly acknowledged it either, until now. He explains that “being gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority…provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day…made me more empathetic…and led to a richer life.”
He adds “part of social progress is understanding that a person is not defined only by one’s sexuality, race, or gender.” Cook goes on to identify himself as “an engineer, an uncle, a nature lover, a fitness nut, a son of the South, a sports fanatic, and many other things.”
I have a great deal of respect for Cook’s leadership skills. Most certainly for their entire product line. I’m writing this blog on a MacBook Air and you are probably reading it on an iPhone. I think his sexual orientation is completely irrelevant to his position in the organization. I’m even willing to accept the argument that being gay has made him a more empathetic leader.
What intrigued me most about Tim’s comment was how he enlisted the name of God. Lets explore that.
To begin, I know absolutely nothing of his spiritual or theological views. He did mention he is a “son of the south and sports fanatic” so perhaps he is a Christian. <sarcasm>. But I’m more interested in how he defines a gift from God. He calls his sexual orientation a gift from God. But truth be told, we each ascribe “good things” in our life as gifts from God that may mask the “greatest gift” as Tim describes it.
Tim’s homosexual identity is not the greatest gift from God. But neither is someone else’s heterosexuality. Our identity is not in our sexual orientation, or how we see ourselves, or how express ourselves. Our identity is Christ.
In John 1:12 it says “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” Our identity is being His child.
In Ephesians 1:5 it says “God predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.” Our identity is a chosen adopted child of God.
In Colossians 2:9-10 it says that “for in Christ all the fullness of God lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ.” Our identity is being Christ when we are united with the Lord and one with him in spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:17)
Being a Christian does not need a modifier or adjective. We aren’t “gay Christians” or “straight Christians” or “Republican, Democrat, Southern, or Baptist” Christians. A follower of Christ is a Christian not by virtue of how we live or identify ourselves.
A Christian is one who has been called by God to faith in Jesus Christ for His glory and by His grace. And that, my brother Tim, is in fact the greatest gift of God. Not your sexuality…but His grace. His mercy. His love in spite of who we are apart from Him.
PS. I plan on getting the iPhone 6 when I upgrade in February. Sorry for the delay