A recent Facebook debate between me and a few other friends opened up a line of thinking in the current cultural debate on homosexual marriage. As the debate raged on, arguments were either solidified or went down bizarre rabbit trails. I did however take one person’s analogy of a cancer and work it to fit what I was trying to argue.
The debate was not based on a post about allowing it or legalizing it. The debate was about a pastor in Portland who has changed his evangelical view and said he now sees no difference. He allows homosexuals into all levels of leadership in his church. It was the debate over that article that opened up some interesting thoughts and misconceptions about this issue. Scripture was even used to support this view, however that scripture had to be REALLY taken out of context to fit.
One arguing FOR the pastor’s side sited 1 Cor 5:9-13 which says we should not judge those outside the church, but only those within. The point was we are not to judge. However, the point of the Portland pastor was that he IS allowing this behavior to not only happen but be condoned as acceptable inside the leadership of his church. Verses 9-11 speak of this.
What has happened is that the debate has shifted in the wrong direction and as a result, people holding the biblical belief that homosexuality is wrong are forced into a response… Fight, Flight or Freeze.
- Freeze is what many choose. They do nothing for fear of some sort of retribution. Since the PRO argument as successfully changed the cultural thinking to that of if you disagree with the person’s actions, you are now a hater of that person… many are afraid to speak out for fear of being labeled a hater. And a hater can’t win others to Christ.
- Flight is the switch of values to the other side. The Portland pastor is an example of this. If you can’t beat them, join them. He’s not just accepting them into his church and saying, Jesus hung out with sinners. He’s participating in their pride march, he’s elevating them to positions of leadership and authority. This is totally against what Paul said in his letters.
- Fight is what some of us are doing and we’re being labeled haters in the process. However, I hope that my arguments below help to clarify this position.
When a host body had a cancer, the doctors don’t decide to end relationship with the host body but seek ways to eliminate the cancer. In this debate, the belief that homosexuality is an acceptable and legitimate practice is the cancer. It’s the thought that is the cancer, not the people thinking it. So this chemotherapy argument is aimed directly at the line of thinking, not the people thinking it. Like any cancer, it grows and mutates quickly so we must kill the cancer before it takes over the host body and destroys it.
Using the same scripture in context Paul is pointing out that the Corinthian church as fallen to the cultural norm of the time and region that there are no limits to sexuality and any sexual act is acceptable. Now out culture is now where near as bad on this topic as Corinth was but the point is still valid.
It’s true that we all sin. It’s true that thinking ill of another is as bad as murder, there are not better or worse sins. So it is true that every Christian is as guilty of sin as any homosexual person. This however is not the point. There are two points really.
- First is the acceptance and normalizing of a sin. Premarital sex is a sin but our culture has normalized it. I see this sin as no different than homosexuality. I would not allow an openly homosexual person in a church leadership position and I would not allow an openly sexually active unmarried couple in that position either. Both are welcome to worship. Both are welcome to fellowship. But neither is welcome to lead as long as they justify their sin by cultural acceptance. They must repent of that sin and “go and sin no more” (John 8:11) – Now don’t take that quote and argue that we can never be void of sin because that is obvious. Jesus wasn’t telling Mary that she will never sin again. But He was telling her not to live a lifestyle of sin.
- Second is the forced acceptance of this lifestyle. This is the part that is getting people to Fight, Flight or Freeze. The LGBTQ movement has not stopped with acceptance, they now insist on everyone condoning their actions as well. If I tell a couple who is open about being sexual active before marriage, that I will not offer premarital counseling as long as they continue this lifestyle… they have a choice. Change their lifestyle or find someone or some place that will accept them (plenty exist). However if a gay couple seeks the same services and I turn them down for the same reason, I can now be sued for this as discrimination.
So what is the solution? Sticking with the scriptures means we fight. We educate, we serve, we don’t hate or dismiss. We know people outside of the church will never care about a biblical argument. But believers should. Through Christ, our sins are forgiven (all of them, past and future). But we should not abuse that grace and live in sin. We should appreciate that grace, repent of our sins and “let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel” (Phil 1:27)