Are Christians Abandoning the Biblical Position on Homosexuality?
A recent Gallup Poll found that 37% of people believe homosexuality is a product of environment, while 42% say people are “born gay.” Despite the absolute lack of evidence for a “gay gene” or any biological marker for homosexuality, the notion still persists that people are somehow born with homosexual tendencies. This also despite the growing mountain of evidence to showing environmental factors contribute to a person’s self-image and identity, which plays a major factor in sexual orientation.
While the number of people believing people are born gay is down from 2013 when it reached an all-time high, the trend of believing there is a genetic marker that forces people to be gay is still hanging around.
Some are citing this as proof that Christians will eventually “come around” and “get with the program” on the issue of homosexuality and accept it. Some are even saying that opposition to homosexuality on the part of Christians is “collapsing” and will eventually crumble.
I suppose if one reads nothing but the Washington Post, New York Times, Huffington Post and other liberal news outlets it would be easy to think Christians are no longer opposing homosexual behavior. And no doubt the recent decision by PC-USA to affirm homosexuality will add fuel to that fire. But reality is starkly contrasted against the grim image painted by homosexual advocates seeking to spin the narrative in their favor.
Writing for Slate magazine, William Saletan said “Theology is adapting. Resistance to same-sex marriage is dwindling, and there’s no end in sight.”
I’m not sure who’s theology he is referring to but it certainly is not evangelical, Christian theology based on the Bible. Perhaps Saletan missed the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting during which the representatives of SBC churches from around the country unanimously affirmed resolution #9 on against transgenderism. Or maybe Saletan missed it when newly elected SBC president Ronnie Floyd said the convention will not change or relax its position on homosexuality and transgenderism.
The Southern Baptist Convention, being one of the nation’s largest evangelical denominations, is a good representation of the view held by Christians around the country (and the world) regarding homosexual behavior. Just because a long-time liberal denomination like PC-USA decides to further erode into unbiblical, liberal doctrine (or lack thereof), does not indicate that a majority of evangelicals are abandoning biblical doctrine on these critical issues.
There can be no doubt that groups like the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, led by Dr. Russell Moore, has no intention of changing their position; though Moore has called for Christians to change their tone and approach to dealing with homosexual people. (A move that is widely supported by Christians.) About Moore and the position he holds, Saletan wrote:
“Maybe Moore and his remaining flock can sustain a moral case against homosexuality in the face of these concessions. But I doubt it. Once you accept the reality and persistence of the orientation, particularly within your congregation, you’re on the way to the crisis Gerson described.”
What is this crisis? Simply put, that evangelical doctrine is asking people with same-sex attractions to remain celibate while others, such as gluttons and adulterers, remain free to engage in their respective activities. But is this a fair assessment of the evangelical position? Napp Nazworth, writing at the Christian Post addresses the question:
“Gerson and Saletan are likely correct in pointing out that some sinful desires are harder to resist than others. But all Christians are asked to resist sin. What is missed in their assumptions is that a sinful desire for gluttony will not be satiated by eating a normal amount of food and a sinful desire to cheat on one’s spouse will not be satisfied by having sex with one’s spouse.”
His response is well-articulated. Sin is sin, no matter what kind of sin it is. For this reason, whether a glutton needing to exercise restraint, or an adulterer needing to control his urges, all sinful activity is to be abstained from in favor of relinquishing control to the Holy Spirit. Homosexual activity, like gluttony and adultery, is sinful. For this reason homosexual activity should be abstained from in order to live in accordance with biblical teaching, grow in sanctification, and live in the power and authority of the Holy Spirit.
Dr. Moore further addressed the issue by reminding us that those churches that have caved on moral, biblical issues are the ones dying, not growing. Denominations such as Unitarian and PC-USA have experienced significant decline in recent years as they continue to adopt unbiblical, liberal doctrinal positions. Moore says that if these denominations really have it right “we would see a booming Unitarian or Presbyterian Church (USA) church planting movement. We don’t.”
But, as Moore further states, churches that have remained faithful to God’s Word have survived and thrived:
“Instead, the only Christianity that has survived is authentic, Gospel Christianity. Which means that … you can’t grow Christian churches by becoming sub-Christian…If we don’t call people to repentance for sexual immorality, we are not Gospel preachers, we are leading people in sin and in condemnation and in the accusation of the Devil. The only way we can reach a lost world is by speaking clearly about what sin is so that we can speak clearly about what grace is.”
The fact that these liberal denominations continue to decline and die is evidence that sinful people don’t want acceptance for their sin. To accept homosexuality does not mean a church will thrive and grow because if homosexuals do not believe God’s Word on the issue of sexuality they certainly will not commit their life to Christ and be faithful believers in a church community.
In the end the acceptance of homosexuality is not a loving, church building position to take. Instead it is a death knell for already dying denominations and churches. Activists have made it appear popular and that people will flock to a church that is accepting of homosexual behavior. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Perhaps Christians that are unsure about what the Bible teaches regarding homosexuality should take a look at resources from Citizenlink. Such resources may prove invaluable.
In the end, no, the evangelical position on homosexual behavior is not crumbling and will not change anytime soon. Why? Because the Bible hasn’t changed. Our doctrine isn’t based on man’s opinion or shifting cultural views. Our doctrine is based on the inerrant, transcendent truth of Scripture that has been around for thousands of years and served as a guide for our lives.
Opponents of the Christian view on homosexuality can yell about the sky falling all they want, but Christians are, as a majority, standing firm.