Tag Archives: homosexuality
I have long been an interested party in how the Gospel propels us into social involvement. The idea that as Christians we can stick our head in the sand and pretend everything is okay in our society seems both unbiblical and counter-intuitive to what Scripture teaches. That we should be active in helping “the least of these” and doing everything in our power to champion them seems obvious given the Bible’s teaching (see the book of James).
What I have come to realize is that many churches, pastors, and Christians are the least active, least involved (seemingly the least concerned) about matters that have come to be known as “social justice” issues. Whether this is due to such issues becoming highly politicized, or whether it is a result of poor theology is unclear. What is clear is that far too many Christians have little concern for anything that faintly smells political.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not suggesting we all quit our jobs and run for political office. That calling must be clear as the person called to run for office will need every ounce of grace and strength God will grant. But as Christians we cannot sit on the sidelines and bemoan the state of our culture and society (politically or morally) while we do absolutely nothing. No one like a backseat driver or am armchair quarterback.
So while a few churches have taken any interest in the world outside their Bible-insulated walls, most have stayed content to meet each week to condemn society, gossip about sinful neighbors, and remain idle. This is lamentable at best. And I wish more churches would connect the Gospel to local and global action that reaches beyond week long mission trips. In fact, I firmly believe that if most churches became involved in “campaigning” for change in their communities we would see our society changed into something more in line with our theology.
But, to be honest, I am not optimistic or hopeful that this will happen.
Lately, much has been made of the word “inclusive.” We want to make sure no one is excluded, unwelcome, or alienated. We want to be one big happy family that gets along all the time. And in order to do that, we are hell-bent on accepting people – and their views – just as they are.
So dedicated are we to this idea of universal inclusion that we stand ready to revise centuries of tradition, values, and faith in order to ensure everyone has a seat at the table. For Christians the struggle to rightly live our faith each and every day according to the transcendent truth of Scripture has never been more difficult.
How do we “love your neighbor as yourself” in a culture that says unless you celebrate and advocate for my sin you are a discriminatory bigot? That might be the question of the century for every Christian. And some Christians have decided the only way to “love your neighbor” is to joyfully accept, celebrate, and endorse his sin. So whether that sin is homosexuality, co-habitation, gambling, or any other form of sin – they cheer.
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.
What are the consequences for the church (and Christians) to accepting homosexuality as a legitimate sexual orientation and lifestyle?
Wouldn’t it be easier and more pleasant for us all if the church would simply recognize that it made a mistake on the issue and embrace the “love” of Jesus in accepting people? That seems to be a dominate talking point in our culture currently as liberal Christians increasingly call for other Christians and churches to accept and affirm homosexuality as a good and right lifestyle. Their conclusion is that the church has interpreted Scripture all wrong for centuries. But – hallelujah – Scripture has finally been properly interpreted and homosexuality is no longer a sin.
Just imagine how much easier life would be for everyone if the church and Christians would embrace these new interpretations of Scripture. No more lawsuits. No more media smearing’s that ruin people’s lives. No more death threats by activists. Our society could join hands under a rainbow banner and finally come together for a common cause.
But exactly what are the consequences for the church of accepting what – historically – the Bible and the church have taught is sin?
Writing at The Stream, John Zmirak seeks to have a conversation with a pro-gay Christian and answer that very question. He starts laying some ground work:
Evangelist Ray Comfort is known for walking around talking to people about the Ten Commandments on camera. He records the exchanges and puts them online in order to train people on one way to effectively share the Gospel. But his latest project has the potential to stir far more controversy.
Comfort has launched a new movie called “Audacity” – a movie about the biblical teaching on homosexuality.
While he was initially unsure about producing the movie, Comfort finally agreed and said the movie is nothing like anyone is expecting a Christian movie on this touchy subject to be. He recently said in an interview that the movie is “nothing like you would expect from a Christian movie about the subject of homosexuality.”
Comfort believes this movie will provide a new perspective to people, especially people supporting same-sex “marriage” or those believing people are born gay. Comfort said:
“There is a delightful portion in the movie where you watch pro-gay people change their minds on camera about the issue of whether or not homosexuals are born that way,” Comfort said. “This is simply because they were given another perspective. So, I think that there’s going to be a lot of mind-changing going on after people have watched.”
I can’t speak for all NFL fans, but I am still eagerly watching the post-season unfold. I thought for sure I would be less interested after last week’s round of games just because I was certain my New England Patriots would lose to the Baltimore Ravens. But the Pats are still in and I’m still interested.
I can’t help but wonder who Michael Sam is rooting for at this point. Both St. Louis and Dallas are out of the playoffs and both share the distinction of having Sam on their practice squad. Both teams cut Sam from their practice squad, presumably because Sam did not meet their expectations as a player.
Then again, if you ask Michael Sam why he was cut he will give a different answer.
TMZ recently caught up with Sam in the airport and asked him “Do you think that you coming out had anything to do with it, or do you think it was just the level of talent you went up against after college?” To which Sam replied:
What is the message being communicated by Christians and the church regarding homosexuality? In years past we might be quick to answer the question and our chance of accuracy would be fairly certain. Not so much today. The push to normalize homosexuality has caught many churches and Christians up in its net and seemingly dragged them along. The result is a Christian culture that is frayed at the ends with churches that have decided to abandon biblical teaching in favor of a cultural message.
The new message declares the Bible old, outdated, irrelevant for today’s culture, or even just plain wrong. Somehow pastors want their congregations to believe in the veracity and inerrancy of Scripture when it comes to the existence of heaven and hell, the creation of the world, salvation and eternity. But not about human sexuality.
Pastors want people to believe that God created man and woman, that He formed them from the dust of the earth and gave them life – but not that He knows what is best for them. It must be a weird sort of tension to try and affirm Genesis 1 -3 as biblical truth then relate Romans 1 as outdated and irrelevant.
My frustration with churches on the issue of homosexuality is simply that they seem to avoid the topic altogether. The issue of gender, sexuality, and marriage may be the most critical of our day and yet pastors don’t seem to want to talk about it. The consequence is a congregation that is ignorant of biblical teaching and unable to engage or help people struggling with this sin.
More specifically, the consequence of the silent church is people that are either so filled with “truth” that they are hateful legalists, or people so “loving” that they are willing to compromise scripture and justify sin.
And still pastors and churches are silent, conveniently skipping over passages like Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6, and Revelation 22; which clearly speak of homosexuality as sin.
Having a biblical theology creates a biblical worldview which, should, create a biblical sexual ethic that includes a proper view of gender roles, sexuality, and marriage. This proper, biblical sexual ethic is critical in addressing the needs of people in our current cultural climate. Being able to address the struggles people are facing concerning sexuality is perhaps the greatest way the church can serve people in their community.
Dean Inserra recently wrote an article for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission that was also published on the Speak Up movement blog. In the post Inserra says that four kinds of churches exist when it comes to dealing with homosexuality: the Macklemore Church, the Wrecking Ball Church, the M.C. Hammer Church, and the Ring of Fire Church.
Take a peek at Inserra’s description of each church and ask yourself, Which do I belong to?” But don’t forget to ask yourself which is the most biblical, Gospel-centric church. If you’re not at that one it might be time to make a change.
The Macklemore Church
The Macklemore Church just simply thinks the Bible is outdated, or just plain wrong on homosexuality. This church has been on the fringe left end of the spectrum, but recently exists in some traditional mainline circles.