Friday, June 26, 2015

Homosexuality

A dear friend mentioned once that she would like me to write a post on this topic (we have had many long discussions about this, and we disagree quite a bit, so a whole post will hopefully make my stance more clear), but I've taken a long time to get into it. With the Supreme Court decision on gay marriage, I'm finally motivated to finish this (extremely long) post. (I promise, I did edit it.)

 First of all, let's address the "why are you picking on homosexuals/LGBTQ?" question. I know this is a bit "same old, same old," but I think this has to be addressed as kind of a disclaimer. I would hope I speak for the majority of true Christians when I say, we're really not. Homosexuality (and other sexual perversions) is so big because we're being forced to take a stand, or join their side. "Tolerance" is no longer enough, they are now trying to force Christians to celebrate and participate. So, we are not trying to "pick on" homosexuality, it's just being instigated by the LGBTQ community.

Now, let's get on to an argument. Possibly the most confusing argument I've struggled with is the claim that Christians aren't supposed to "judge" others. (I do believe we are called judge other Christians in the Church, but that's a different topic.) To understand the confusion, let's look at all the definitions of the word from Merriam-Webster:

judge

transitive verb
1
:  to form an opinion about through careful weighing of evidence and testing of premises
2
:  to sit in judgment on :  try
3
:  to determine or pronounce after inquiry and deliberation
4
:  govern, rule —used of a Hebrew tribal leader
5
:  to form an estimate or evaluation of; especially :  to form a negative opinion about "shouldn't judge him because of his accent"
6
:  to hold as an opinion :  guess, think "I judge she knew what she was doing"
intransitive verb
1
:  to form an opinion
2
:  to decide as a judge 

The first and sixth transitive and first intransitive verbs obviously, everyone does, you have to eventually come up with and hold an opinion. But if your opinion is not the politically correct one, you will be accused of "judging." This form of judgment is necessary intellectually however, we can't simply be mindless and have no thought on the subject, no matter how nice it would be if there were no disagreement. 

The fifth transitive verb here I think we should all be able to agree Christians should avoid. We should not have a negative opinion of anyone because of their sin, we should remember that we have all sinned, and God loves us all equally; He wants to save every other sinner in the world as much as He wanted to save me. Unfortunately, if you believe that homosexuality is wrong, many people will insist that this kind of judgment necessarily follows, but it doesn't.


The second and third transitive and second intransitive verbs are the meaning I believe occurs in Matthew 7, the sense of judging someone's guilt, and measuring their punishment, which I do not believe we should do either. But progressives want us to say that homosexuality is good, which I can't do without violating my first kind of judgment.

I struggled to understand the distinction for a while, and finally, God gave me this insight. Once He did I was amazed that it had never struck me before: if I tell a homosexual that they're fine the way they are, that is judging. 

 It is a pronouncement of pardon from me that I have no authority to give - saying that they deserve no punishment. I'm not pronouncing anyone guilty of homosexuality either. I'm not asking for evidence, what they have and have not done, I'm not trying to peer into their hearts, minds and lives and decide if they've committed that sin or not. That's God's job. I'm not judging any person innocent or guilty, all I'm doing is reminding everyone what the Bible says: all have sinned (Rom. 3:23), the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23) and I believe the Bible is clear that homosexuality is a sin: 

 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. - Romans 1:26-27

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. - 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted. - 1 Timothy 1:8-11

Now, the guilt comes from claiming the action, so I think that's what makes it so confusing. If I'm going around openly telling people I'm a thief, and someone reminds me that stealing is against the law, it may feel like they're "judging" me, but all they are doing is stating a fact - stealing is wrong. Stating that is not a wrong judgment, simply the truth. I proclaimed myself guilty of stealing by labeling myself a thief.

I hope that all makes sense. Stating that the Bible says homosexuality is a sin is not the wrong kind of judgment; it's my belief, formed by the discerning sort of judgment. As Christians, we can't distort the word of God and excuse or accept homosexuality as not sinful, because it's not the truth. It would certainly be much easier to embrace homosexuality as good than to stand against the flood of this perversion in our society. But we are called to stand on God's word, and I believe it is clear.


Now, the next argument is that calling homosexuality a sin is not loving. This is complicated because non-Christians seem to have a different definition than the Biblical definition, but it's easy to clear up. Their definition appears to go something like this:

Loving
: anything that makes me feel good, anything that induces happiness, exclusively limited to actions/words that I like, or want to hear.

Whereas the Christian definition of loving behavior is different.

Loving 
: anything that seeks the ultimate good of the recipient. 

We are to speak the truth in love. In the name of "love," homosexuals have convinced some Christians not to speak the truth, and even to compromise on what "truth" is! As Christians, I believe it's vital that we stand firm on the truth of the Bible. It's loving to be clear about sin because it's ultimately for the eternal good of every sinner if they are convicted of their sin, and turn to Jesus in repentance for salvation. I would rather make you feel sad, and say something you might not want to hear right now than stay silent and risk letting you die in your sin without knowing the truth. That may not seem loving to progressives by their definition, but it is truly loving by the Bible's definition.

Let's not get stuck on the merry-go-round anymore. We can go in circles arguing about homosexuality, what's loving, what's judging, but none of that is the really important part. It doesn't matter what your sins are, it only matters that, wherever you are searching for completion, whatever you do to try and satisfy that deep longing of your heart - nothing will fill it but the love of Jesus. He loves you so much that He paid your debt, and made pardon freely available for you. You can do nothing to earn it, you simply must confess and believe. (Romans 10:9-10). 

Stealing, homosexuality, lying, murder, adultery, child molestation, covetousness, alcoholism, hypocrisy, whatever your sins, no matter how dark, it doesn't matter how strong the chains are holding you, Jesus died to break them, and you can be free! I have been forgiven, redeemed, and all the gross sin that polluted my heart has been washed away by the blood of Jesus. I know what this glorious, exhilarating freedom feels like, and I know the wonderful, vast, indescribable love of my risen Savior, and I want everyone in the world to experience this matchless grace.

22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. - Romans 3:22-25

In the end, if I managed to convince anyone that homosexuality was wrong, but didn't show them Jesus, they would just find something else to try and fill the void. Brothers and sisters, we should not be distracted by any topic. The Bruce Jenner/Caitlyn transgender situation was popular recently too, but that should be just another introduction to sharing the gospel, not an argument we need to win. Bruce wants a "new self" and he hopes that living as a woman will give him the chance to live a new life. It won't work; it's still the same heart, and no one can escape the chains of their past sins on their own. The only way we become a new person is by taking Jesus.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." - 2 Corinthians 5:17

" I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." - Galatians 2:20

Speak the word of life, and don't let it be hampered and buried by useless arguments. There is power in His name. There is power in the gospel. Whatever the argument, our focal point and conclusion should always be Jesus Christ.

"Yes, _______ is a sin, BUT! Jesus saves!"

4 comments:

  1. I think a huge point that people forget a lot is that the Bible condemns (as you quoted) those who practice homosexuality. It doesn't say that being attracted to someone of your gender is bad, just like it doesn't say that being attracted to someone of a different gender is bad. What the Bible does do is equate engaging in homosexual activity with engaging in extramarital sex. And also with stealing, swindling, lying, idolatry, and so on. If I see some cool nail polish at Walmart and want it really badly and consider slipping it into my pocket and walking out with it, that's not a sin. But if I actually do put that nail polish in my pocket and walk out without paying for it, that is a sin. Likewise, if I see a hot guy and think, "Wow, that guy is hot!" I'm not sinning. If I think, "That guy is hot and I wish I could have sex with him," that's sinning, because I'm lusting after someone who is not my husband, which is just as much of a sin as actually getting in bed with the guy.

    It's not a sin to have homosexual urges any more than it's a sin to be tempted to drink too much alcohol or illegally download a movie online. Sin comes when we give in to those temptations.

    What do you think?

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    1. Good point, Hamlette, I agree completely! Temptation in itself isn't a sin, it's what we do with it! Hebrews 4:15 says "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin." I've heard different explanations of what that means, and I'm not a Bible scholar, but I wouldn't be surprised if Jesus was tempted by homosexual urges, He just didn't sin by acting on them, or entertaining them.

      One thought related to that, though, that I'm still struggling to articulate as clearly as I want, is that I believe until a person is saved, they don't have the power to resist (Romans 6, for example, talks about being slaves to sin) all their temptations, since they are enslaved. That's why I'm even more convinced of the dire necessity of focusing on Jesus, since He is the only one who can set anyone free from sin.

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  2. This is so refreshing to hear a well formed argument that isn't a) putting anyone down or b) being politically correct.

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    1. Thanks, Laura! I'm glad you found it refreshing. It was a relief for me to finally write it all out!

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