Friday, August 20, 2010

Homophobic?

(Matthew 5:10–12) Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Yesterday I read yet another article referring to conservative Christians as "homophobic." By this they do not mean we are afraid of homosexuals. They mean it in a pejorative sense. To be homophobic is to hate homosexuals and to persecute them by denying them basic civil rights. To be homophobic is to be evil, narrow minded and mean. "Homophobic" is a handy catchphrase that has the added advantage (from their viewpoint) of sounding like a disease. (If homophobia is a disease, perhaps those who have it should be quarantined and forced to undergo corrective treatment.)

I know of no simple way to disarm people who look at the world in this way. The term "homophobic" and the use of the term is not a part of reasonable discourse. It is rather a part of a very aggressive (and successful) campaign to re-order the mores of western society. There is no desire for understanding and mutual respect - only for political and judicial domination of the society we share.

Even though there are homosexuals I know and love, my primary loyalty is to God. God has revealed Himself in His word. God gets to say what is moral and what is immoral. God says that homosexual behavior is immoral. All the arguments in the world, all the lawsuits in the world, all the studies in the world, all the polls in the world and the public opinion of the whole world do not change a thing. It may be legal, it may be socially acceptable, it may be popular, it may be glamorized, but the Bible still says it is contrary to God's standard of righteousness. Those who practice such things will need to answer to God for it.
(1 Corinthians 6:9–10) Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,
10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

Christians should not make the mistake of suggesting that homosexuality is worse than any other sin. Homosexuality is not in a class by itself as far as God is concerned. Homosexual sin is the same as heterosexual sin and worshiping gods of your own invention. It is immoral in the same way as stealing or coveting or drunkenness. An abusive slanderer or a swindler are in the same boat - under God's condemnation. Everyone has the same problem and everyone has the same hope - God will save us from our sins.
(1 Corinthians 6:11) And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

Maybe homosexuals ARE unfairly pilloried from some pulpits. They are a minority - particularly in conservative Christian congregations. People find it easy to say "AMEN" to the condemnation of the sins that they are not tempted by. Maybe we should say less about the sins our people are NOT practicing and more about the sins they ARE.

Homosexuals are sinners - and so am I. The difference between us is not some intrinsic goodness or badness. The only difference is that by God's grace I came to believe God's word and God delivered me from the power of my sin and the penalty for my sin. I didn't deliver myself. I don't deserve God's forgiveness. In myself I stood condemned - but now I have the righteousness of Christ applied to my account.

Homophobic? No, not hardly. Let us speak the truth in love. Let it always be God's truth. Let it always be in loving humility as those who have been saved by grace.
(Titus 2:11–12) For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,
12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,

2 comments:

Deb said...

Just wondering here. I am not versed well in the bible. But in the 1 Cor. verse, I dont find the word homosexual, although maybe the words " effeminate or abusers of themselves with mankind" mean that. But I do find in Romans 1:26,27 it says "for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature, And likewise also the men leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly and receiving in themselves that is recompnece of their error." Sounds to me like homosexuality is wrong.
And although I dont have a websters dictionary close at hand, but "phobia" means to have fear of something. homophobia is an incorrect term. I cannot tell for sure by what you write if you are for or againse, but either way I guess it doesnt overly matter. The Romans verse is all that matters to me:-))

Pastor D said...

Deb - you are correct in your assumption that the phrase translated in the old King James Version as "effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind" refers to homosexuals. The original language describes both partners in homosexual practice. Modern English translations state that more explicitly.

As I said in the post, "God gets to say what is moral and what is immoral. God says that homosexual behavior is immoral."