There is a palpable shift in the American mindset regarding homosexuality. Every day that passes, homosexuality becomes more accepted as normal and morally neutral behavior and those that disagree are openly mocked, derided and accused of bigotry. In this regard, Christians are fighting a losing battle. Short of a miraculous revival, American society (and indeed all Western cultures) will continue to down this path.
So given that it is a losing battle, why do Christians insist on decrying homosexual behavior? Is it, as society tends to accuse, that they just ‘hate’ people who engage in homosexual behavior? Or is it something else?
And why is homosexuality a bigger deal than say, lying, stealing, murder or any of the other sins defined in the Bible?
– First of all, the Bible clearly defines sexual activity between persons of the same sex as sin and morally wrong. It was declared sin in the Old Testament and just as clearly declared sin in the New Testament (unlike the favorite example of shellfish trotted out by liberals and atheists because they don’t understand the difference between the dispensations). This is indisputable despite recent attempts to do just that. What is and is not sin is defined by God, not man. It is not up for debate or popular votes.
- And this is the primary point of contention in the entire debate. It is the insistence that homosexual behavior is not sin that raises the hackles of Christians. We can tolerate (based on the actual definition of the word) homosexuality but we are not going to approve of it nor are we going to be told that we don’t know or understand what God said on the subject.
– People who are attracted to persons of the same sex define themselves by that attraction. For them homosexuality is not an action but a state of being, their identity.
- Some justify this by appealing to the verse that says that God knit us in our mother’s womb and therefore that’s how God made them so it must be ok.
- They further attempt to justify it by appealing to science to say that there is a ‘gay gene’. Let’s grant them that there is a ‘gay gene’. Does it change anything? The answer is no. There are people that are genetically predisposed to fits of anger or increased libido. Does that make cheating on their spouses ok? Would it make losing their temper and attacking people ok? The answer in both cases is no even though they might have legitimate reasons why it is more difficult to avoid the behavior than it would be for other people.
- Furthermore, we are ALL genetically predisposed to sin because are all children of Adam. That fact is no more an excuse for us than it is for them.
– By defining themselves by an action that God has clearly defined as sin, they are declaring that they will engage in that behavior regardless of God’s opinion on the subject.
- It is this unrepentant attitude about homosexual behavior that makes it a big deal and why it gets the attention it gets from Christians over other sins like lying, adultery, murder, gluttony or any other sin defined in the Bible. There are no Murderers Anonymous or Gluttony’s Great organizations trying to tell us that we must just accept their behavior and that it’s not sin.
– The redefinition of themselves based on their activities has led to the redefinition of other words, primarily tolerance and hate.
- Tolerance has been redefined from its original meaning to mean that not only must one tolerate the behavior but must also approve of (or not condemn) the behavior.
- Similarly, hate has been redefined to the point that simply telling someone that they are engaged in sin is considered hate.
- When necessary, I tell my children when they are sinning when they do things like lie or treat their siblings poorly and I guarantee you I don’t hate my children. Quite the opposite, I love them more than anything on this earth and because I love them, I want to warn them when they are doing things that will result in more harm down the road.
The truth is that if God hadn’t said anything about it, Christians, while most likely finding homosexual behavior distasteful, wouldn’t really care. Much the same way that I hate sushi but don’t begrudge others that like it from eating it. In truth, it would be easier to just go along with the crowd because, in truth, I really don’t care except that God did say something about it. Clearly. Unambiguously. Repeatedly. And because it matters to Him, it matters to us.
And the reason it has become a bigger deal than other things is that has become a statement of intent to defy God with their lifestyle (not individual, occasional mis-steps but a predetermined intentional course of action) while demanding that no one condemn them for their defiance.
That’s the big deal.
– If we are going to be biblically consistent we will not demean, bully or physically harm people who struggle with same-sex attraction (or praise those who do). We are called to love everyone. That does not include engaging in any of those actions but it does include warning others when their actions are leading them away from God.
- And to be clear, calling homosexuality sin IS NOT demeaning or bullying
-Temptation is not sin. People that are attracted to people of the same sex are not sinning simply because they are tempted in ways that others aren’t. Sin happens when the temptation is indulged mentally or physically. A person with same sex attraction is no more or less sinful than people who aren’t.