“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12)
Today, those who favor homosexual practice remain unwilling to concede any ground, at times denying the standards of their respective denominations and applying relentless efforts to revise the historic teachings of the Church. Under the banner of ‘fairness’ and ‘tolerance,’ many are purposed to muddy the water regarding homosexuality by claiming there is not a clear answer to the issue. Further attempts to persuade the moral legitimacy of homosexual practice such as the presence of “love” and “commitment” are frequently offered to try and supersede the moral code of Scripture and justify homosexual relationships.
While many Christians as well as non-Christians believe that homosexual practice is wrong, many remain confused because our culture and even some church leaders approve of active homosexuality. Many people do not want to be labeled as prejudiced or bigoted; they want to be loving, compassionate human beings, but at the same time, they do not feel right about approving of homosexual activity. They cannot articulate their reasons for opposing ‘gay’ with some being quite gun-shy because at some point they did speak out in favor of traditional morality but they were treated as if they were ignorant, labeled as homophobic, unloving – even unchristian. As a result they have learned to just keep quiet and avoid the topic all together.
From time to time, I have been conversing with a Christian on the subject of homosexuality to have them make this statement, “This whole ‘gay thing’ is a lost cause.” I have a response to this tragic statement with no delicate way in which to clothe my response. For any faithful follower of Christ Jesus to say the present crisis of homosexuality is a lost cause is the same as saying “the devil is more powerful than God.”
Homosexual orientation is just one of the many manifestations of man’s fallen nature which in theological terms is known as “sin.” With same-sex attraction being no respecter of persons, it is out of this Scriptural truth and fact that the apostle Paul declared, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23) and also defines the various forms such sin can take:
“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (! Corinthians 6:9-10)
Homosexuality is, clearly, only one of the various types of behavior that are condemned in the Bible, and it is condemned for the same reason as the rest – it is an affront to the character of God. It is critically important to emphasize that the condemnation of homosexual practice is to warn and ultimately rescue those caught by the snare of same-sex attraction.
Many men and women know what it means to be rescued from the brokenness of same-sex attraction and not evidenced solely by their powerful testimony but by this important Scriptural truth:
“And this is what some of you used to be. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11)
Personally, I find it nothing short of remarkable that some today struggle at believing and embracing the ultimate redemptive purposes of God are the same today as they have always been:
“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. Those who believe in Him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” (John 3:17-19)
Jesus and the writers of Scripture did not hesitate to condemn sin and immorality in whatever form they found it. They did so to liberate men and women from the grip of spiritual and behavioral bondage. Therefore, I submit our ultimate goal as Ambassadors for Christ is not merely to show that the biblical judgment against homosexuality is certainly well-founded but rather to avail ourselves as instruments of both truth and grace that God may accomplish His redemptive purposes.
I believe the traditional Christian position should be to understand and accept (accept does not mean to approve) the homosexuals’ orientation as a condition but also see homosexual orientation as a temporary, not a permanent, condition. To condemn the homosexual for his or her orientation is unchristian. Every faithful follower of Christ Jesus should be appalled when we see Christians respond to homosexuals with hate and loathing. That said, the acting out of same-sex attraction is sinful, just as it is wrong for heterosexuals to engage in sexual activity outside of marriage.
It is God’s love and the truth of Scripture that seeks to separate sinners from sin. When Scripture speaks a clear word on any given topic, it speaks the final word. I pray we all would stop trying to explain why God has spoken in the way He has; the essential issue is what He has spoken.
As Christians, meaning we accept the Bible in its entirety or not at all, are we still convinced that there is ample evidence, which is available to anyone with openness to the facts, there is an option to our sinful nature and the consequences that flow from it? God’s love and His truth still seek nothing higher than the welfare of all people.
Pastor Phillip Lee
His Way Out Ministries