(Part 4 of 5)
In part three of this series we saw the variety of ways in which great effort is being made to make the sin of homosexuality acceptable. These efforts are also being made within the visible church–efforts which invariably lead to a corruption of God’s Word, as we will see in the following.
The Existence of “Pro-Gay Theology”
To a dedicated Christian it may be hard to imagine a “Christian” church that would not only condone homosexuality but even defend and encourage it. Yet, this does take place. There are many self-proclaimed Christian/Bible-teaching churches that are part of the so-called “Gay Christian” movement. In these churches those who openly practice the sins of homosexuality are welcomed without rebuke.
God’s intent is that the conscience of a sinner will rebuke the sinner and leave him uncomfortable in his sin. Many practicing homosexuals are uncomfortable in their sin and they search for relief. When a supposedly Christian church allows its members to continue unrebuked in their sins, the sinners’ consciences are soothed by the false comfort of being involved in a Christian church. At the same time their consciences are hardened, because the church is confirming them in their sins.
Pro-Gay Theology’s View of the Bible
The pro-gay movement has at its center the desire to redefine “normal” and “moral.” This goal has been largely absorbed by the media, political groups, the education community, and the fields of psychiatry and psychology. There is one other large social conquest which the pro-gay movement has to conquer in order to most effectively reach its goal . . . THE CHURCH!
God’s Word is abundantly clear concerning His view toward homosexuality (see previous installments in this series–ed.). Therefore in order for “religion” and pro-gay beliefs to co-exist, the TRUTH of God’s Word must be changed. Pro-gay theology does not necessarily teach that the Bible is not authoritative. However, it does say that in the verses treating homosexuality the Bible is either mistranslated OR misinterpreted OR misunderstood. Consider just two examples, remembering that these things are set forth as “Christian” teaching:
+ Sodom and Gomorrah: The sins of these cities are well documented and condemned in Scripture. The English word “sodomy” is still used to describe sins like those committed in Sodom. The homosexuality of Sodom and Gomorrah is clear when the men of Sodom surrounded Lot’s house and demanded: “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally” (Genesis 19:5). Scripture is clear that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of their great wickedness. A pro-gay theology approach claims that Sodom was destroyed because of the inhospitality of its citizens toward strangers.
+ In Romans 1:26-27 Paul describes homosexuality as sinful and unnatural. He writes, ” . . . God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.” A pro-gay revisionist approach concludes that Paul was condemning people who were not truly homosexual. In other words, those who are created homosexual may practice it in a God-pleasing way, because they are “naturally homosexual.” The sin is the pursuit of something that doesn’t come naturally to the individual.
One by one the words of the Lord which speak clear truth concerning this sin are warped, twisted, and denied under the pretense of a “better” interpretation. By their own admission advocates of pro-gay theology are using scientific information, social change, and personal experience to mold their interpretation of Scripture, rather than approaching Scripture as an objective truth with which to mold our lives. It comes down to the question: “Am I interpreting Scripture in the light of my sin, or am I interpreting my sin in the light of Scripture?” Each of us can rightfully ask the same question with our own pet sins, if ever we find ourselves trying to justify sin by misuse of Scripture.
The Christian Response Defined by Radicals
Sadly, those who hold convictions are almost always identified with the extremists who claim to hold the same convictions. For many, the pro-life movement against abortion is defined by the extremists who bomb abortion clinics. Thus pro-life gains a “bloody” reputation as nothing more than a group of half-crazed bombers. The same holds true for those who speak against homosexuality. Those who hold to what Scripture says regarding homosexuality are branded as extreme, homophobic, and worse. Thus, Christian opposition to homosexuality is associated with things like the brutal beating and killing of Matthew Shepherd.
People who were formerly gay speak of seeing anti-gay protestors with their signs proclaiming the wickedness of homosexuality and the judgment that awaited them because of it. One former lesbian, now a Christian speaker, pointed out that the signs always included 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (“Neither . . . homosexuals nor sodomites . . . will inherit the kingdom of God”), but never included verse 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.” The message of God’s judgment was being conveyed very clearly, but there was no message to tell those who were caught in sin that there IS a way out through Christ Jesus, our Savior. There is a time for the Law and God’s judgment, but a message that does not include Christ and the proclamation of how to escape sin is a message that is incomplete and decidedly not Christian.
In all our witnessing and ministering we strive to properly proclaim Law and Gospel. This is likewise essential as we minister to those who are caught in the sin of homosexuality. Only the Law can expose sin and convict the heart of a comfortable sinner. Only the Gospel can effect repentance and lead the sinner to his Savior. We will consider this more fully in the final segment of this series.
–Pastor Wayne Eichstadt
Please note: it was first thought that there would be four articles in this series; we find that a fifth is necessary to bring the subject matter to a conclusion. — Editor