Everything that I write in this post about homosexuality assumes all that I have written in the previous posts of this series. If you have not read these previous posts I encourage you to do so, because without having read them, much of what I say may not make sense. While the vast majority of Christian Churches (meaning denominations) still hold to a traditional position on homosexuality, there are a number of Christians and Churches who are wrestling with this traditional teaching and wondering if in fact God has a different view on the subject. Because this subject is such a controversial one I am going to challenge those holding to both positions.For those holding to the traditional view
While the vast majority of Biblical teachers and scholars agree that the Bible condemns homosexual behavior (or at the minimum the cultures who read the Bible condemn this behavior) are you fully living into what the Bible says about loving your neighbor? Our disagreements with others who don’t share our faith or our ethical positions are to be grounded in the love of Jesus. This means disagreeing gently, with respect, and – when appropriate- sharing the truth in love.It is to our shame that many persons are under the impression that homosexuality is grounds for damnation. No behavior damns us to hell, it is our acceptance or lack of acceptance as Jesus as our Savior and Lord that determines our eternal fate (John 3:16-18). Furthermore, sin is sin. Sexual sin is sexual sin. It’s all equally sinful before a holy and just God. Are you treating homosexual behavior as one sin among many or do you make it a worse sin than others? How can we so vehemently (and often it appears hatefully) decry the sexual sins of others when research tells us that the percentage of Christians having sex before marriage and having extramarital affairs are virtually the same as those of non-Christians?
Do you know any gay people? Have you taken the time to hear their stories and to feel their pain? Do you really believe that most gay people choose their sexual orientation? As if sexual orientation is a simple choice, like choosing what kind of car to buy? I am not denying that those with same sex attraction have a choice to make, but traditionalists show themselves naïve when they characterize this choice in simplistic terms.For those holding to a newer view
As Christians we are people of the Book, the Bible. We believe that God inspired the writings of Holy Scripture for our benefit, to give us insight into God’s will and guidance for the kind of lives we are to lead. Have you wrestled with the Scriptures about this topic? Many who hold a newer view on this subject do so from the perspective of “rights” and other secular ideologies. These are ok in their proper place, but to make a Christian argument for the acceptance of homosexuality means you have to deal with the building blocks of Christian belief, Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition. Have you done your spiritual homework? Or do you simply dismiss or ignore all portions of Scripture and Tradition that disagree with your view?The evidence that homosexuality has its origins in genetics is a popular view, but is not yet an undisputable fact. Let’s say that it is proven that in some cases homosexuality can be traced to a person’s genetic make-up. Does this solve the entire problem from a Christian perspective? Not really. Let us consider the reality of addiction. It has been demonstrated that certain individuals have a genetic predisposition toward alcoholism. We don’t say that because they are genetically oriented toward this behavior that we should bless it. Instead we recognize that these individuals are going to have a harder time in this area than the average person. Their genetic predisposition means they will need extra grace from God, and extra compassion from others to live faithfully in this area. The same argument can be applied to homosexuality. Have you wrestled with this argument and the larger questions it raises concerning God’s costly grace and our need to submit our wills to God’s will?
If you are going to argue that same-sex relationships are compatible with Christian teaching then you have to teach homosexual Christians about chastity and celibacy (see previous posts). Chastity is something all Christians – gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, trans-gender, and straight- are called to. If you’re argument for the acceptance of homosexuality involves the approval of sex outside of marriage you are clearly stepping away from classical Christian teaching. Here is where Christians in favor of same-sex marriage could make a Biblical argument, but they usually don’t. That is, since sex is to be limited to marriage for Christians, there is a need for same-sex marriage so that gay Christians can walk faithfully in this area.