Homosexuality has been a hot topic for some time. The intensity of the debate has picked up as the homosexual movement has continued to push its agenda. What is most disconcerting is that the church continues to compromise. Churches are folding on this issue either because they are tired of discussing it or because they have changed their minds. I want to examine the Biblical basis for opposing homosexuality in an upcoming paper. But first I want to discuss what is actually being debated within the church. What are we talking about? What are we not talking about? Throughout this article I use “homosexual” to refer to both men and women who attracted to the same sex. Also conservative and liberal refer to religious groups, not political groups, though obviously there is some overlap.
Here are some things conservative Christians are often accused saying, but are often slanders.
We are not saying that sodomy is the unforgiveable sin. The Bible does not teach that sodomy is an unforgiveable sin. All sins can be forgiven, assuming someone repents and turns from them to Christ. I Corinthians 6:9-11 makes this clear. Conservative Christians are often accused of saying that Jesus did not die for homosexuals. Of course, he did. But that is not the center of the debate. The question is can someone trust in Jesus and still keep a lifestyle of sinning that is contrary to the Bible? There may be Christians out there who think sodomy cannot be covered by the blood of Christ. But they are not at the center of the evangelical faith and they are wrong.
We are not encouraging people to hate homosexuals. The Bible does not teach that we hate homosexuals any more than it teaches that we hate murderers or adulterers or pedophiles. We tell them to repent and turn from their sins. Again, there are some Christians out there who hate sodomites, but these are on the fringe. I do not know of any evangelical leader who would encourage hatred of homosexuals. Of course, if hatred means calling them to repent, then count me guilty. But that is not biblical hatred.
We are not encouraging people to be afraid of or make fun of homosexuals. Here some work needs to be done in the Christian circles. There is still this idea that homosexuals are “disgusting.” Some of this comes from their practices. Some of this comes from a junior high mentality that likes to poke fun at weird people. As Christians, this is generally not acceptable. Yes, there are places to mock a homosexual agenda, but this should not be normal, especially as we talk with homosexuals one on one. They are bound for Hell. Their practices are disgusting. But so are the practices of the adulterer or the man addicted to porn or the greedy CEO. All sin disgusts God. We should stop being disgusted by them and start calling them to trust in Christ. I will admit this is a more prevalent problem than the previous two, but it is still not what most leaders in the church are calling their flock to do.
So what is the debate about in Christian circles? What are the places that conservative Christians are being asked to compromise on by liberal Christians? Here are three. But the first one is key.
First, is a homosexual lifestyle consistent with Christianity? I am talking about homosexual desires and deeds from which a man/women refuses to repent and turn. Can someone be a practicing homosexual and still trust in Christ? Is homosexuality even a sin? Can we call homosexuals to repentance? Or are they just fine the way they are? Here is the primary debate between conservative and liberal Christians. The view one has of God’s Word is the single greatest factor in how one answers this question.
Second, for those who agree that homosexuality is a sin how should we approach homosexuals in private and how should we combat the public assault by homosexuals on the Christian faith? There is a lot of good discussion among Christians on how we can best show Christ to this group of sinners. But be assured this is not the primary debate. Not always, but often this debate is just a smokescreen. The primary debate is usually the first one: is homosexuality even a sin? Many of those who claim to be talking about the public debate are actually compromising with the issue of homosexuality as a sin.
Third, how should we treat Christian leaders who have compromised on this particular issue? I believe they are false prophets leading people to Hell. As Mark Driscoll says, “Shoot the wolves.” They are wolves. They need to be actively opposed by Christian leaders. To sit by and oppose them in our minds is compromise.