This article is intended as an in house commentary from a Christian to other professing Christians who profess the Bible as their sole infallible source of authority on all matters of life and faith. Anyone outside of this demographic is welcome to read, but must pay attention to the fact that I am addressing those who agree on the basics of reformational protestant Christianity, and nobody else at this time. This is not written at this time to argue about the textual criticism of those who believe that homosexuality is not condemned like all other sins in the Bible. I am sure this will offend multiple people of all groups, but I ask that all would hold to the rules of this blog and keep their comments on-topic, generally free from vulgarity, and realize that if I feel that your comment is off-topic, too overly crude, or in general not helpful to the conversation I will delete it unashamedly, and I may or may not give a reason depending on why I deleted it. To make it clear; these are my thoughts to be discussed with others professing the same faith, all of my homosexual friends should know by now that I have nothing but love and care for them, but this is not a place for people to vent how much they hate whatever I say or I believe.
Tonight I was discussing with a few of my best friends, those who I consider to be closest to me (practically family) and the issue of homosexuality came up, and I was reminded of a song by a not-so-well-known Christian rapper who blatantly calls out those hypocrites in the ‘gospel music industry’, who’s music doesn’t have one bit of the Gospel in it, even though they proceed to sin blatantly in multiple ways in their personal lives without repentance and then openly declare themselves Christian and even go so far as to judge the sin of others. The conversation quickly led to how my good friends thought that when he was calling out said persons for their hidden homosexuality, he was not doing it lovingly (even though he specifically, in the song, says he loves them deeply and not JUST those who are homosexuals but all of those whom he is calling out). I supposed this all served to bring back to mind a few things and convinced me to write down my thoughts on how Christians should respond to the topic of homosexuality in this culture. When do we say what? How blatant should we be? And to what extent does our methodology of response change depending on the specifics of the discussion?
1. How should Christians deal with sin (of all kinds)?
As sinners saved by grace alone through Christ alone who still fight sin daily, we have the duty to confess our sins (Jam. 5:16), to preach the whole Gospel to every human being (Rom. 10:14) because every human being is a sinner just like us, deserves the wrath of God (Rom 3:23) and can only be redeemed by trusting in the truth of Christ Jesus’ life, death, burial, and resurrection (Act. 4:12). We also have the duty to call out those who profess Christianity but are unrepentant for their blatant sin, especially those who profess Christianity and are in a teaching position (Rom. 16:17). We are to do this in love, with correct affections, desiring to see our brothers and sisters restored to joy in Christ through repentance and desiring to see unbelievers trust in the Gospel, but we are also not allowed to compromise on calling sin what it is and we are not loving our brothers or sisters, or our unbelieving neighbors, if we do not do so. For what kind of love sees someone running headlong off of a cliff and doesn’t at the very least shout; ‘No! Stop! You will die if you do that! Run the other direction!’?
2.What does the Bible say (and how does it say it) about homosexuality?
Many have, as of late, tried to argue through the means of eisegesis that the Bible doesn’t talk about homosexuality. I firmly and unashamedly disagree with that notion, and if someone so desires I will provide the resources for them to interact with or research on their own. But I am not going to thoroughly talk about that right now. I want to briefly interact with a few texts of the New Testament dealing with sexual immorality, amongst other sins.
- Romans 1:19-32.
Here Paul describes all forms of idolatry, and specifically homosexuality. He argues that they exchange the truth of God for something like themselves to worship. The points of this text are a)idolatry is blasphemy of God, and only the Gospel of Christ can ransom someone from it, and b)homosexuality is simply a more easily noticeable form of idolatry. It is more noticeable as idolatry primarily because in homosexuality you have a visible picture of someone worshiping themselves and their passions. Some cults and crazies like to point to this text and argue that homosexuality is some kind of extra baaad sin, worse than all the others, of which there is never any forgiveness for. Those people are stupid; feel free to ignore them. While the Bible in fact does blatantly call homosexuality a sin, it is a sin among many other sins; all of which are able to be forgiven by trusting in the Cross. Take note, however, that the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write some very seemingly harsh words about the topic, even amidst a pagan Roman society where all forms of idolatry (practically) including homosexuality were popular. He does not seem to be worried if an unbeliever might read it.
- 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
Here is written to the Corinthians that those who make a practice (a living, without any repentance whatsoever in any manner) of sin, will not inherit the kingdom of God. Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, pens these nail-on-chalkboard-words (for our culture and his); ‘Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.’ No punches are pulled on this one; our culturally taught ‘sensibilities’ are ground into dust whilst reading this, because it is a tough and gut-wrenching thing to call sinful things sinful. We all sin, and we all have unbelieving friends and family that we feel would run away from us if they ever found out this is what we actually believed, but we cannot compromise on this. If we believe in the only Gospel according to the Scriptures, and if we believe that all humanity (including us) is sinful and in need of a Saviour to be justified, then we must not be willing to compromise or apologize for what Scripture actually says. If we do believe God to exist, and we believe Him to be good, and we believe His Word to be both true and good, then we must be willing to shed our inconsistent and silly notions that we shouldn’t let people know what we believe on any topic if we might lose friends or ‘opportunities’ over it. We must refuse to do anything that is not out of love, and we must refuse to compromise on that which Scripture has spoken on. Peaceable to all men when possible, but indisputably unchanging in our resolve to maintain the truth of Scripture.
- 1 Timothy 1:8-11
This text is quite similar to the last. Here, the writer intends to point out that God’s law is primarily useful in convicting and showing us all, once again, that we are condemned in the eyes of God the Father and deserve His just wrath. So in essence, the Law points out our sinfulness to press us on into seeing the beauty of the imputed righteousness of Christ and His sacrificial death on our behalf along with His glorious resurrection. Multiple sins are listed off shamelessly, and mentioned as being not in accordance with sound doctrine. This adds a whole other thought to the topic; when anyone makes a practice or lifelong commitment to sin, He is not only being disobedient to God’s Word but actually denying His Word with His actions. This is another reason why we must preach the Gospel to ourselves daily and die to ourselves, and why we must preach the truth openly but in love at all times; when sin is committed we are in some sense professing that which is wholly contrary to God Himself, who is eternal and at enmity with sin. He is so much at enmity with sin, that Christ, Son of God and Very God, had to take upon Himself the wrath of God the Father for us on the Cross. How can we who have believed go on unrepentant for the very sins which killed the Savior who willingly took them upon Himself, who is our very Bread and Water? We cannot. We must fight our sin through the power of the Holy Spirit day and night, whenever it creeps upon us. And we must, like the writer of this letter, be willing to tell the truth of what God has indeed said on all matters.
3. How do we deal with those who profess Christ and practice homosexuality in secret?
This might sound too plain of an answer, but it is simple; we deal with professing Christians who are unrepentant and hide their homosexuality the exact same way we deal with all other professing Christians who are unrepentant and hide their sins (including fornication, adultery, drunkenness, theft, etc). We approach them in love and in truth, ask them to repent, and if they refuse then eventually church discipline is in order. If said person is a preacher or teacher, he is to be given the strictest of warnings and callings to repentance, for Scripture is clear on the matter (Rom. 16:17, 2 Pet. 2, Jude, etc). We cannot ultimately judge someone as if we were God, but we are commanded to look at those who profess Christ, their lives, their repentance, and discern if their teachings are those of Christ, or should be anathema (Gal. 1:8-9).
4.How do we deal with unbelievers who practice homosexuality?
Now here are some of the more controversial things that must be said; we befriend, love, speak the truth, and preach the Gospel to homosexuals the same way we do with every other unbeliever. We may use different methodology depending on the area or the way we know the person or persons (whether cold-cut evangelism or by befriending them first), but the fact is simple that I may not run around screaming ‘gays are sinners!’, but we all have to be accepting of the fact that the Church should be willing to lovingly and truthfully tell all men and women that we are all fallen and sinful, even in specific ways sometimes, and in need of the Gospel. If you are not doing cold-cut evangelism (which I believe is good and necessary not just in certain cultures alone, but at certain times in every culture when the opportunity presents itself) but are becoming acquainted or becoming a friend to any unbeliever (not just homosexuals) with the intentionality necessary to sometime, somehow tell them the Gospel, there will be a question that comes up (though perhaps sometimes in different wording); ‘so you believe what I am doing is sinful?’ Our efforts to spread the Gospel will not be thwarted by having to answer such a blunt and offensive question truthfully because we are not the One who saves souls. So we must be willing to answer in some way or manner in the affirmative, giving lovingly honest (which sometimes means offensive) answers because we love them and long to see their hearts and lives changed by the Gospel we were justified by.
5. Objections answered.
Some Christians (many of my closest friends even) may think that calling out false teachers with harsh words who practice homosexuality in secret is a detriment to the spread of the Gospel for those homosexuals who may see or hear it. But I then cannot help but submit this question; if your pastor was a secret alcoholic, and had been called out on his alcoholism multiple times but is unrepentant, would you honestly be against saying the truth? No. He is a drunkard. He professes Christ but, in the words of Scripture, perverts the grace of God into licentiousness. You are commanded to call him our on his drunkenness, and the same is true of any other sin. If a husband is cheating on his wife, does she not by right and necessity have to be told that her husband is an adulterer? If he is called out on it and comes to repentance, then a healing process will begin. But if he is unrepentant, do you think it is wrong to simply say what Scripture says, that adulterers will not ‘inherit the kingdom of God’? So I guess my simple response is this; so what if someone sees it? They won’t be ‘turned off’ from Christianity because they saw someone calling out someone else for a sin that they practice as well. They may say that is the reason, but Scripture is very reassuring of the fact that the reason people do not become Christians is because we are God-hating rebels from birthand only a miracle can change our hearts. We will never be able to fully control what unbelievers hear and do not hear, thus we must always be loving but firmly and unapologetically speak the truth of the Gospel. We are not the masters of the soul of others; we do not have the power to regenerate or harden the hearts of others, therefore we can only do as we are commanded. Love the lost, pray for the lost, preach the Gospel to the lost, repeat. Still many may make other, more personal objections, suggesting that I simply do not understand because I don’t know any homosexuals. As harsh as it may sound, that objection is complete and utter bollocks. I am very good friends with multiple practicing, unbelieving homosexuals. Many of them even know my stance on the subject, and are still my friends! We have entirely separate and clashing worldviews, but they are still my friends. So please hold that objection to yourself, because even if I did not have any homosexual friends or any experience dealing with those in the homosexual community (though I do), Scripture is still clear and unchangeable.
We must be peaceable at all times possible, but we cannot compromise the truth of the Gospel or any other truths contained in Scripture. We must be always loving to the sinner (for we are merely redeemed sinners) but always willing to plainly state the truth that sin is indeed sin. We must aim to preach the whole Gospel to all men regardless of what type of sin they practice because we desire those of every tribe, tongue, and nation to embrace the only Christ and His Cross.
Soli Deo Gloria
-Wesley Tyler Robinson