Dan Popp
December 6, 2012
Handwringing about homosexuality
By Dan Popp

Christians are sometimes challenged as to why we so strongly oppose the normalization of homosexual behavior. After all, there are worse sins — and more imminent threats to national security.

Before I begin my answer, as I try to say whenever I write about this topic, the biblical view concerns homosexual acts — not homosexual people. The current paradigm that some are "born gay" seems to be less empirical than political. It's a weapon used to stifle discussion by intentionally confusing disapproval of a practice with hatred for a person. But even if people are born attracted to the same sex, they're still people. They are free moral agents having control of their urges. The ethical question stands.

So here's how many Christians think about this, and why we're so upset about the cultural slide toward acceptance of homosexual acts. In his letter to the Romans, Paul begins his "good news" by describing the quicksand of paganism:
    ... they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

    Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

    For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

    And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them. (Romans 1:20b-32, NASB)
All these crimes stem from our rejection of God. But homosexual acts are highlighted. Why? It's not because sodomy is the worst sin on the list. Surely murder and malice and inventing new forms of evil would draw more divine outrage.

I think the point being made is that this is a signal sin — a warning. Over and over the Holy Spirit points out the demeaning nature of this offense: impurity... dishonored... degrading... unnatural... indecent... depraved.

God says, I created you. I love you. Worship Me, and we'll be a family. Man says, No, I'll be my own god, thanks anyway. God says, OK, go for it. Let's see how that works out for you. And how it works out is that, instead of being exalted to godhood, man is degraded beneath the dignity of the beasts. We wanted to be "like God." But God is pure, and we're pursuing filth. God is glorified, but we stew in our own shame for so long we call it "pride." God is free; He rules everything. We are slaves to our own corrupt flesh.

At this point a rational being wakes up. The Prodigal Son "came to his senses" after realizing that his path to personal power had led him to envying pigs. Now, anyone who imagines that I just compared "gays" to pigs has forgotten what I said at first: In the Bible, a homosexual is not a certain kind of person, but a person who does certain actions. When he ceases to do (or defend) those acts, the picture changes entirely. "Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God." (1 Corinthians 6:11)

This sin is different because it's not only against God, it's against nature and against ourselves. Whatever remains of our humanity is screaming that this is wrong.

From this, I find three reasons that Christians should lovingly and confidently resist the mainstreaming of homosexual acts. The first is that we want to glorify God, and any sin dishonors God. The second is that we love people and don't want to see them disgraced, much less lost eternally in hell. Finally, we understand that this issue is not merely about two consenting adults in the privacy of their bedroom. This is about God's patience with a society running out.

___

Please follow me on Twitter: @FoundationsRad.

© Dan Popp

 

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Dan Popp

Dan Popp is a Christian, a husband, and a small-business owner. Writing has been part of his profession since the late 1970ís. He and his wife of more than 30 years, Vicky, live in Ohio.

On Twitter: @FoundationsRad

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