Letter to the Editor
This article was written in response to the article “Homosexuality: The Christian perspective” published on April 29, 2014.
I am a Christian. I support gay rights. I, however, do not support homosexuality. Articles have been written on this topic that have admirably tried to form a Christian perspective on a topic as sensitive as a two-ton brick of TNT.
My attempt is not to engage in the legality of homosexual marriage, nor will I argue the relationship of church and state. I will simply state that to legally regulate something as fluid as morality is a slippery slope best avoided.
I wish to talk about the Bible and what it has to say on the matter of homosexuality.
I must first, agree on several points of the previous article.
Firstly, all humans are sinful, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23 ESV.
Secondly, there is only one way to God, “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live’,” John 11:25 ESV.
There is only one way for humans to find God and begin a lasting relationship with Him — and that is through his son, Jesus Christ.
Where I take issue with the former article is where it claims that homosexuality is not a sin. If we, as Christians, are going to present an argument about homosexuality and do it from a Biblically accurate and honest position, we have to hold the assertion that homosexuality is a sin. Several passages to consider are: Romans 1:26-27, Leviticus 18:22, 1 Corinthians 6:9, 1 Timothy 1:8-10.
The Bible constantly affirms this. The verses outlined above are not ambiguously written. Homosexuality, according to the Bible, is a sin.
This is, understandably, an awkward and unfavorable position to rest in. Current sentiments, especially given the postmodern paradigm, claim that anything outside of directly hurting another person should be permissible. To make any hard-and-fast claim on morality will always get someone in trouble.
I must be inclined to agree again with the prior article. Matthew 7:1-2 says, “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.”
What is this standard that is being spoken about here? If the standard we use against others is the one that will be used against us, which standard should we use?
If we are using the Christian, from the Greek word “Christianos,” which means “follower of Christ,” it would make sense to use the standard by which He judges. Romans 3:24-25a claims, “Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty of our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.”
The standard of Christ’s judgment is this: He took any and all blame that could be levied against us upon Himself and died because of it.
This leads to the apostle Paul’s later claim in Ephesians 2:8-9, “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”
All of this is to say that the standard by which we use to judge others should be the gut-wrenchingly humble position of understanding that nothing good we did got us to where we are. There is no room for legalism. There is no room to levy the “do and don’t” verses of the Bible against others because we are not able to live up to them either. The standard we should use is one of grace.
What does this standard of grace mean, particularly in looking at a topic like homosexuality? It means understanding that we have all sinned. We are all on a level playing ground. We are all dependent on a holy God to save us.
This said, however, we cannot equate away sins.
The prior article pointed out that, “Murder is the same as cheating on a test in His eyes.” This is an accurate point. Any breaking of God’s law is sinning. All sin is equal and engaging in any type of sin places us in a position where we are acting against God.
However, there is grace for any and all sin.
“God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant,” Romans 5:20.
This is not license to sin as much as we want, though. Just a little later, Paul said in Romans 6:15, “Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not!”
This is the issue with a topic like homosexuality. If we are going to approach it from a Biblical perspective and standard, we have to acknowledge it as a sin. More than that, we have to acknowledge engaging in homosexuality as a continuous sin.
Let us make an example using a previous example of sin: Murder. It is a difficult point to make an analogy likening God to humanity, but a simple way to look at a relative who has murdered someone in the past. Everyone makes mistakes. Nobody is perfect. Most of us can find a way to look beyond someone’s troubled past, especially somebody with whom we are close. It is an entirely different situation, however, when someone continuously murders someone. These people are usually called serial killers and all of society dislikes them.
The same principle applies to homosexuality, which is what makes it so difficult. It is not as simple as a singular act, but it is a lifestyle and a condition of the heart. Is someone who has engaged in this condition of the heart beyond hope?
No, because if we join ourselves to Christ we are promised, “Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace,” Romans 6:14.
Also, “Jesus looked at them intently and said, ‘Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible’,” Matthew 19:26.
Continuous sins exist everywhere we look. The porn industry is booming and all other addictive practices can be engaged in with relative ease. There is, however, a difference between struggling against a sin (even a continuous one) and just engaging it.
We are all flawed. We all commit a myriad of sins on a daily basis. However, those of us who have decided to hold to the Biblical standard recognize that we are actively trying to not engage in those acts.
To commit an act like engaging in homosexual marriage or relationships cannot be considered struggling against a sin, but just going along with it.
This issue is not simple. Books are being written on it yearly and the intellectual battle over how to handle this issue is ongoing. It is not fair, either scholastically or logically, however, to simply ignore standards that are outlined in scripture because they are either messy or countercultural.
Mark 13:31 says, “Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear,” not “Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these,” Mark 12:31. This verse, however, is equally true. We should love our neighbors, gay or otherwise.