As you can tell from the title, this won’t be an acceptance or refutation of homosexual practice within Christendom. There are several key issues that I find are not often clearly defined, though, and I want to hit that button real quick.
The truth is that I am not one who condones homosexual practice. However, with that, I should also say I don’t condone adultery, porn addiction, drug abuse, theft, or even one of the roots of all of those: coveting. This is an important point. I have found that in the many discussions around homosexuality within Christendom, what is often neglected as part of the discussion, usually because it is “presupposed”, is the actual issue itself. Are we debating whether someone who identifies LGBTQ could/should come to an evangelical service on Sunday morning? Are we debating whether this sin is the one that is so far heinous that it is impossible to be forgiven?
The fact of the matter is this: it doesn’t matter your sexual orientation. Heterosexuality will not get me into heaven. Trust me. Neither will homosexuality be the one thing to cast anyone to hell. That is not the issue. To debate anything even close to that, which is often the preconceived mindset when we simply ask “is it sin?”, is to exercise blatantly missing the point.
I think that the Bible is quite explicit in regard to this issue, and so is church history. Unlike women’s rights and slavery, there is absolutely no testimony of any Christian witness anywhere that I know of that will validate homosexual lifestyle after conversion until the twentieth century. While some of these other issues have been debated, and there were people on both sides of these moral issues, homosexuality stands alone in that the debate never existed until the sexual revolution.
Does this make it wrong? Not necessarily. It is certainly a powerful argument against its validity. However, the debate is still present. The testimony of Scripture is also abundantly clear to the side that advocates homosexuality as wrong. To the opposing side, it doesn’t seem so cut and dry.
So, my main point is this: We are not debating whether you can be gay and come to Christ. We are not debating whether homosexuality is the one sin beyond forgiveness. We are not debating whether homosexuality is a sin. We are not debating whether they who identify as LGBTQ should be allowed to come to Christian congregations, nor whether they are allowed to identify as Christian.
What is the debate, then? The debate is this: Can you be Christian and remain homosexual? Here is the issue… I was dead in my sin and trespasses, but I am no longer that dead man. I was born a pervert. I had sexual drive that was uncontrollable. It was in my nature that I went down the path of pornography. When I was a teenager, I lusted after girls a lot. That was who I was. You couldn’t change me, and if you told me I was in the wrong, it wouldn’t have mattered. I was born that way.
Yet, I am no longer that person. I no longer identify myself by my sexuality. My identity is no longer dependent upon how many girls I’ve dated, nor how far I’ve gone with those girls. This is the scandal of the Gospel. We believe in the terribly offensive notion of resurrection. While my members were once devoted to unrighteousness and wickedness, they are no longer devoted to unrighteousness and wickedness.
The question is whether you can truly come to Christ, the old man dying and being buried, and still remain a homosexual. Within that question we find the question of whether it is just as much sin as adultery or lusting after someone. We also find the challenge that if it is indeed a sin, and this lifestyle does indeed need to be repented of, then the heart itself needs to change. Getting married didn’t get rid of the lust in my heart. Jesus did. I have been raised unto newness of life in Christ. The reason I no longer find myself lusting after girls is because I now have a heart that sees them as beautiful reflections of the image of the Divine. My heart is now turned to compassion, and how many perverted males have desecrated them with their minds? How can I add to the wrong done against them by also raping them within my mind?
This is the issue we’re in need of discussing. Truly the question is the same that Paul promoted in the book of Romans, which we seem to miss when we only quote the first chapter. Does God have the power to raise the dead, and have we truly been raised by the glory of the Father, or is this only a language that we exercise, but the reality is illusory? That is the question. Once we’ve wrestled that, suddenly all of our lifestyle choices that continue in wickedness come into question. How can you continue in sin when you’ve been set free and remade?
I leave you with this question, and also with a quote. By the power of the Gospel, I quote Jesus in pleading with you: “Go and sin no more.”