Sunday, May 3, 2009

Widgets

Eight Propositions Regarding Homosexuality

Last week's post on this topic generated some intense discussion. So, being a glutton for punishment, I decided to come back for more. Here's what's on my mind:
  1. A Christian's primary responsibility toward homosexuals is to love them and to minister Christ to them. Period dot.
  2. The Bible clearly defines homosexual acts as sinful. In fact, it defines all extramarital sexual activity as sinful. It defines marriage as the union between one man and one woman, as established by God and representative of the union between Christ and the church. We need to be clear on this point.
  3. It is impossible to be "born gay". Homosexuality is not a genetic condition, though one person may be more susceptible to homosexual sin than others. As the son of an alcoholic (recovered, thank God), I am aware that I may be more prone to alcoholism than others. That does not make me "born alcoholic" and doesn't make alcoholism "natural" to me. It means that I potentially have a weakness I need to mitigate (which I do by avoiding alcohol altogether).
  4. A homosexual's core problem is the same as a heterosexual's core problem: he is a sinner in need of grace. If he stops sinning sexually but doesn't come to know Christ, he is still lost and spiritually dead. A Christian's chief concern for the homosexual is that he be saved, not that he be straight.
  5. Christians are rightly concerned about the growing acceptance of homosexual behavior within the church. Christians need to "hate what is evil", and the church's track record of absorbing the prevailing culture's values is not encouraging. Exhibit A: God hates divorce, but divorce has become as prevalent within the church as it is in the world. Where's our outrage over this?
  6. American Christians are understandably jealous for our country's culture and for our families' place within it. As an American, I'm frightened by the aggressive homosexual proselytization, and I don't want to see our families undermined by the widespread acceptance of same-sex marriages. On the other hand, I can't allow my concern for my country's culture to undermine my obedience to God's command to love and reach the lost for Christ.
  7. This homosexual threat to our culture may seem existential now, but may eventually appear quaint and temporary over the long run. Recall my previous post about the Muslim population explosion in the UK, where in some places Sharia law has become accepted practice. Imagine a day, for example, in which Western Christians are persecuted alongside homosexuals by a dominant and repressive Muslim majority. Several things would likely follow: there would be far fewer homosexuals (because it would be much less pleasant to be identified as one); there would be fewer professing Christians (same reason); and those Christians who remain would become much more serious about why we're here--to glorify God by ministering Christ in and to a lost and dying world at all costs.
  8. Ultimately Christians need to hate all sin, and to love all sinners. It's cliche to say, but that doesn't make it less true.
Let's discuss ...

7 comments:

  1. Attributed to Martin Niemoller, the following "poem" takes great significance in this discussion. I will tell you why I think so in a moment:

    "In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist; And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist; And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew; And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up."

    Only the Church of Jesus Christ will be able to stand against the coming onslaught. I think everyone who reads this blog recognizes that. However, a house divided can no better stand today than when the Lord said the same to His disciples two thousand years ago.

    Yet even on this blog, Christians cannot seem to come together because some are within a fallen church (as one person put it), and others are in a schismatic church (as I have heard it said in Catholic circles).

    May God help us stop arguing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, and get to working for true unity -- which has to being first with honest dialogue.

    Otherwise, there will truly be no one left to help us, because the rest of us will be gone.

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  2. I love the thoughtful way you wrote about this, Ray. Especially prop. # 3. I was about to "push back" on it until I read it completely. I tend to think that susceptibility to certain behaviors can be genetic. At the same time, we have been pushed to uniquely embrace this one behavior with no consideration for embracing alcoholism or drug addiction. The latter two are considered wrong by the majority of the culture and people with the addictions are considered in need of treatment.

    What will we say when some far more heinous behavior is taken lightly and pushed into political acceptance with the excuse, "I was born that way"? The moment right and wrong are determined by majority rule rather than a far more constant ethic, we are on a slippery slope.

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  3. Great post! You are so right, the church has bent and folded on so many issues that it hardly resembles what God created us to be.

    RE: #3, I wonder if generational curses have a big role to play in this. We see mention of them in the Word and some people are predisposed to certain behavior and yet I also don't buy that it's genetic. Even if it were, we have been given the power to overcome even genetics, predispositions and, thank God, generational curses.

    Thanks for taking a stand on a very unpopular but very important issue!

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  4. What you've written is already considered "hate speech" and criminalized in Canada. Pastors are being gagged. Legislation is currently in Congress to do the same here.

    The only thing Orwell got wrong was the year...

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  5. On the 6th point:

    Paul wrote to Timothy, "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." (1 Tm. 2:1-4)

    My interpretation of that, is that we pray for the "common grace" of a well-ordered society, in order to provide for circumstances in which the gospel can be preached, and people can be "saved and come to the knowledge of the truth". So it's important to pray for magistrates who rule in accordance with Gods precepts, because, if they don't, things fall apart and the church's work becomes more difficult in various ways: Persecution could result. Or it could be because of the breakdown of the family that has proceeded apace over the last few decades. (When Daniel Moynihan wrote about the breakdown of the black family back in the late 60s, he found the statistics so appalling, all he could recommend was "benign neglect". The statistics in the larger society are just about at the same point now.)

    Doing this, however, we need to be careful: A few years ago, I caught myself praying for revival, "so that our nation might be pulled out of its degradation", and was shocked: I had my priorities 180 degrees out of sync: Pray for God to restrain wickedness so that things don't come unstuck all around us, and so that the gospel can be preached to sinners. But, when we preach it, make sure that what we preach is the truth. And, whatever we do, don't compromise on that, "just to be more effective".

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  6. Thomas Williams, author and Vatican Analyst for CBS, wrote:

    "Human nature impels us to seek solutions to our difficulties by having others change . . . And yet the only one I can change is myself, and when I am judged by God it will not be me in comparison with other people . . . but according to what he has given me and what he is asking me.”

    Williams continued, "Always incisive about such things, this is what Augustine had to say: 'But men are hopeless creatures, and the less they concentrate on their own sins, the more interested they become in the sins of others. They seek to criticize, not to correct. Unable to excuse themselves, they are ready to accuse others.'"

    When my friend first informed me about this blog, I thought people here were interested in cross-cultural dialogue for the purpose of uniting men and women to Jesus Christ. I thought that purpose was rooted in an understanding that not all cultures or peoples or groups have to do it “my way” but rather we should mine the fundamental truths of the gospel and let _GOD_ infuse those truths into each culture.

    After several weeks and a number of posts, I believe I was wrong about this blog. The Corinthian disunity, “I am of Paul; I am of Apollos; I am of Cephas” remains alive and prosperous in the 21st century Church – generally and in particular, as evidenced by “I am of Calvin. I am of Luther. I am of Pope So-and-so.” And the prayer of the Lord Jesus, “that they may all be one; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee . . . that the world may know that Thou didst send me” is lost in the salvos we fire at each other . . . without even taking the time or making an effort to listen to each other.

    I have spoken with Catholic groups, and visited their blogs, whose members preach that Protestants are unsaved schismatics and lost to the hope of heaven. I have also spoken with Protestants, and visited their blogs, whose members say similar things about Catholics.

    Yet, I have had wonderful opportunities since I came into the Catholic Church to share with some of my Protestant friends the things God has taught me about Catholic worship and theology. And my story has opened the eyes of some who had not formerly conceived the idea that God might be in the Catholic church.

    And I have had opportunities to share with my Catholic friends some of the wonderful things God is doing in Protestant churches. And you should see their eyes grow wide with comprehension that, yes, God is alive and well in those churches, too.

    I like to think this kind of cross-cultural dialogue gives the Holy Spirit room to break down the walls that divide us, to show us we really are more alike than we are different.

    But, for the most part, things continue as they have for centuries. Few listen to each other. Fewer still are willing to consider Catholics are not fallen, and Protestants are not schismatics.

    Frankly, I am weary of it all.

    And so I bid you adieu.

    rich

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  7. What in the world is Thomas Williams saying about the lifestyle of a practicing homosexual? Is it godly or not? Harold H.

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