Can A Christian Support Homosexuality and Same-Sex Relationships?
That’s a loaded question isn’t it? One that continues to be hotly debated in our culture and in the corners of churches across the country. It’s not like many of the other hotly debated theological questions because, unlike the millennium, the mode of baptism, and worship wars; this question carries eternal consequences.
Few of the theological discussions taking place today affect the eternal destination of a person. Consider, whether you are pre-trib, mid-trib, or post-trip, your salvation is secure. Whether you believe in a literal millennial reign of Christ on earth or not in no way affects your salvation. And whether you were baptized three times forward, once backward, or with a bucket over the head doesn’t change your eternal destiny.
But that isn’t true for the question of homosexuality.
There is significant evidence that homosexuality is a moral sin to be repented of (Romans 1:26-28; Lev. 18:22; I Cor. 6:9-11; I Tim. 1:10). These verses, and others, indicate that homosexuality is a sin God finds offensive, an affront to His design for man and woman and marriage. That being the case, it stands to reason that only by repenting of homosexuality can a person be born-again and receive the free gift of salvation in Jesus Christ proclaimed in the Gospel message.
If homosexuality is a sin then there is no way a professing Christian could support homosexuality or same-sex relationships.
Therein lies the problem.
It seems many Christians’ views on homosexuality are “evolving.” For example a well-known Christian counselor for Wheaton College recently resigned her position after revealing that she now supports homosexual relationships; a position she opposed just months before.
Julie Rodgers took a position in the chaplain’s office at Wheaton to provide spiritual care and guidance for students experiencing same-sex attractions. Just one year after taking the position she resigned in light of a blog post that she now supported homosexuality and same-sex relationships. Rodgers, a self-proclaimed evangelical Christian is part of a trend of evangelicals that find their views “evolving” on the issue. Rodger wrote:
“Though I’ve been slow to admit it to myself, I’ve quietly supported same-sex relationships for a while now. When friends have chosen to lay their lives down for their partners, I’ve celebrated their commitment to one another…”
Rodgers went on to say that regardless of how lovingly the message from evangelicals is communicated that a refusal to accept homosexuality is contributing to emotional difficulties for people identifying as gay Christians. She said:
“No matter how graciously it’s framed, that message tends to contribute to feelings of shame and alienation for gay Christians. It leaves folks feeling like love and acceptance are contingent upon them not-gay-marrying and not-falling-in-gay-love.”
But here’s where my curiosity starts nagging at me. Isn’t it possible that a self-proclaimed “gay-Christian” is experiencing feelings of shame and alienation due to their sin? I mean, even Paul commanded the church at Corinth to remove a member and effectively alienate him from the church due to his incestuous relationship. Could alienation from the church be what the Holy Spirit uses to convict us of our sin and drive us to repentance?
If we engage in a behavior that is not wrong, and is perfectly acceptable, there is never a feeling of shame. Shame is a by-product of conviction that comes when we are engage in a behavior that we inherently know is wrong. If a “gay-Christian” is experiencing shame, couldn’t it be because that person is convicted that their behavior and lifestyle are wrong? For example, suppose I really want to cheat on my wife. I resist the temptation and refuse to give in and thereby commit no wrong. Would I feel shame for the mere temptation? No. Why? Because we are all human and we’re all tempted. But temptation in and of itself is not wrong.
So the conclusion I draw from Rodgers’ words is that people are feeling shame, which is an indicator of guilt and wrong doing, which is supposed to lead to repentance. And yet Rodgers and many like her want us to accept and affirm people in their sin rather than encourage them to seek the repentance that leads to forgiveness. This is not just unbiblical, it is anti-biblical.
Let’s be clear, this is not about love. As Christians we are to love God, love Jesus, and love our neighbor as ourselves. But love does not boast in wrong (1 Cor. 13:6), love loves truth more than anything else. So before anyone gets the idea that Christians hate homosexuals consider this thought from another article explaining why Christians cannot support homosexuality:
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love homosexuals. God loves homosexuals. Jesus loves homosexuals. And it is because of that love that I cannot explicitly or implicitly give approval to a behavior that is destroying people emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Scripture says, ‘the sexually immoral person sins against his own body’ (1 Corinthians 6:18). Not only is the person who lives a homosexual lifestyle sinning against God, he is sinning against himself. And he is rushing headlong into everlasting destruction. Why would we applaud while we watch a friend destroy his life?”
I echo those sentiments. I love homosexuals just as much as I love drug addicts, prostitutes, and murderers. But part of that love is telling the truth about their sin. And just as I would not encourage an addict to keep taking drugs, a prostitute to keep selling her body, or a murderer to take another life, I will not encourage a homosexual to engage in a morally offensive sin that God condemns.
Part of that truth is also realizing that telling the truth is offensive to some people. Telling the truth will cause people – especially Christians – to feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit. This is not something to be avoided or rejected, this is what brings a person to a place that the Gospel can work powerfully to effect repentance and sanctification.
So to Julie Rodgers and others that would ask me and other Christians to stop causing Holy Spirit conviction in the lives of others I’d like to say: no.