This will be a bit beyond the normal parameters of the blog, but since it’s all over the news and I’ve had a couple people ask me where I stand, I figure I should say something.
I see homosexual activity as one of a number of possible sexual sins. I do not see it as a far worse sin than the others; all sexual sins are harmful, and based on 1 Cor 6:18 sexual sins are more harmful to us than any other sins we can commit. Yes, it’s called an abomination, but so are the sins of having rigged scales, lying, killing an innocent person, and a proud heart!
What bothers me is the church seems to have made homosexuality the scapegoat sin – the one we yell, preach, and march against, while we ignore sex sins that are far more common. Rather than throwing stones at the unsaved, something Jesus never told us to do, maybe we should deal with the church. Maybe we should do more about the fornication, adultery, porn use, and other sexual sins increasingly common among those who claim to follow Jesus. Jesus said he who is without sin should cast the first stone – if we apply that to sexual sins, who among us is “qualified” to throw a stone?
What about same sex marriage? I find it interesting they have chosen it marriage, fighting to redefining a concept with thousands of years of history. A drive for civil unions with all the same rights as marriage would have been much easier to pass, so the choice to go for the harder win tells us something about the real goals. That said, same sex marriage is not defiling marriage; same sex marriage is gaining ground because marriage was already defiled. Marriage has been defiled by the high level of divorce (including in the church), the sexual sin in marriages (including in the church), and the oppression and abuse in marriages that is swept under the rug (including by the church). The “defence of marriage” cry is rather hypocritical given how long we’ve ignored so many sins against marriage.
The church’s “battle” against homosexuality has been a colossal failure. We’ve done nothing to stop what is happening, and it would be hard to prove we’ve done anything to slow it. It could even been argued we’ve helped the process along because our perceived (and sometimes real) fear and hated has a unifying effect on those outside the church. Even worse, the battle has turned the world against the church. In a 2007 study by The Barna Group found 91% of young non-Christians thought “anti-homosexual” described the church as a whole, and for most this is the first thing they think of when they think of Christianity. Additionally “they believe that Christians show excessive contempt and unloving attitudes towards gays and lesbians” and “the church has made homosexuality a ‘bigger sin’ than anything else.” Moreover, many young Christians complain the church “has not helped them apply the biblical teaching on homosexuality to their friendships with gays and lesbians.”
Jesus said we should be known by our love, but our “war on homosexuality” has resulted in being known for our hate. While the intentions were good, the results show us how wrong we’ve been. Jesus never called us to judge or change the lost, He only called us to love them and point them to Him. If we are not doing that, then we are wrong, no matter what we are doing or why we are doing it.
Bottom line: Homosexuality is wrong; the Bible says so, and I believe the Bible. However, our enemy baited a trap with this issue, and we fell for it. We’ve tarnished God’s reputation, and harmed out ability to share the truth with a world that desperately needs truth. I pray God will forgive us and help us find our way.
A note: I wrote this post before I did the childless by choice posts. I thought about not running it today because I don’t want to pump out a lot of controversy at one time, but given the issue is front and centre in the USofA right now, I felt it was timely. I will reply in the comments, but I will not being doing a follow-up on this post any time soon.
Since writing this post, I’ve come across several good posts and thoughts on this issue:
Does Protesting Gay Marriage Advance the Gospel? An interesting blog entry by a fellow who’s been on both sides of this issue.
This Side of the Fence The folks over at Marriage Life did great post about this issue.
“When we elevate sexual sins above all the others, we inevitably fixate on scriptures that talk about “regulating” sexual behavior. This then becomes one of the main purposes in discipling people—to get them to suppress their sexuality rather than redeem it. It’s not surprising then that when our attention shifts to those outside the church, moralizing about their sexual practices becomes normative and even acceptable.” ~Deb Hirsch on Facebook
Links to blog posts that stood out to me this last week:
New blog this week – Pearl’s OysterBed. I’ve only been following this blog a short time, but I’be been impressed with what I’ve read.
Third Alternatives to Children / No Children: While this ties in with our recent discussion, I am linking to it because it’s a great primer on finding third alternatives.
Black and Married with Kids
What Comes First: Regular Sex Or A Husband Who Acts Right?: Good question!
The Generous Wife
Be Present: An important reminder.
One Flesh Marriage
Smellin’ Sexy : A great post that explains why scent can make sex easier/better (especially for her) and what scents to use.
Romantic Act of the Day
Give her a Break: Because it gets OLD!
Dinner by Candlelight: A classic – when did you last do it?
Just Take Care of It: Making a big deal about it does not make her appreciate it more.
Quit Fussing About the Little Stuff: Something else that is not helping!
The Romantic Vineyard
Debi – with help from Tom, did a four-part series on dealing with pride. It’s a long read, but it’s excellent. If you have an issue with pride, read this. (If you think you don’t have an issue with pride, check with God!):
Mortified – Part 2
Mortified – Part 3
Mortified – Tom’s Turn: This one is also a great look at a husband trusting God to change his wife.
Does your Marriage Have a Mission?: After missing a week, Stu and Lisa are back with another great podcast.
…to Love Honor and Vacuum
How Churches can Encourage Marriage Mentorship: A very important issue!