Maybe I am overstating the obvious here, but the Christian church has lost a lot of ground with regards to homosexuality. I’m not talking about on the legislative or protest front, I’m talking about in our preaching and teaching of the gospel. We are losing and the culture is looking at us as old, fuddy-duddies who simply haven’t got a clue.
In truth, I have to admit, when it came to discussing homosexuality, this was an area I just stayed out of. I simply believed I was going to get steam rolled if I ever tried to talk about it, so it just didn’t seem worth it. And it’s not like there isn’t evidence to support this. How many videos have we seen of Christians being escorted by police away from homosexual events or neighborhoods. The animosity from the homosexual community toward Christians is pretty well documented. So honestly, I felt justified in staying away from the matter.
But I realize now that I have done a disservice to the gospel. In fact, I would wager that I have sinned by unilaterally deciding to never deal with the issue. I say this because I never bothered to dig into scripture and learn how to defend what God teaches on this matter. I never learned how to explain how homosexuality was still wrong while eating shrimp was fine. I never learned how to preach the gospel compassionately and lovingly to a person who was struggling to understand how their attractions could be an affront to the God who created him. I simply just didn’t want to do it.
Now, all one has to do is peruse social media and blogging sites to see the prevailing attitude among our culture. Young people have no clue what the Bible says about homosexuality. And what little they think they know is grossly wrenched out of context. But the sad truth is that many Christians know less about this issue, biblically speaking, than those whose voices are being the agent of change in our culture. We simply don’t know how to defend the faith, and we look like fools when we try. So the culture throws the out of context verses at us, along with emotionally charged rhetoric, and we either respond with half thought answers, or we fold under the pressure. The result is that immorality grows unabated and the church loses more influence everyday.
So how do we address this? Well, it certainly isn’t going to be through protests, legislation and lawsuits. Just watch the evening news to see how well that battle is going. What’s worse, because there is no gospel centeredness in such efforts, all we appear to be are hate mongering jerks who want everyone to do things our way.
I believe that we as a church must first start by educating ourselves in the scriptures. And this means doing a lot of hermeneutical homework. We have to understand the passages of scripture, and their contexts, with regard to homosexuality. We also have to understand the passages the world loves to use to point out the so called hypocrisy in what we obey (such as the prohibitions to the Jews to wearing blended fabrics or eating shellfish). We have to understand for ourselves the differences between moral and civil laws and know what it is Christ really said about marriage. If we don’t take the time to do this individually, we will be ill prepared for any conversation that comes up. Incidentally, a good resource on this, which has prompted me to reconsider my involvement, is Dr. James White’s response to Matthew Vines (a young homosexual who spoke at a church regarding homosexuality not being sinful). Dr. White spent five hours on his webcast dissecting Mr. Vines’ speech and addressing the very issues we see being brought up today. He has made this response available as a download. You can find it on the main page at www.aomin.org. Please consider downloading and listening to this resource.
Once we have spent the time learning what the Bible really says, we need to start taking this out into the world to share. And I don’t mean go on some holy crusade to lash out at people on websites or get into arguments with people at protest rallies. I simply mean that as we talk with people, as we share the gospel, be prepared to answer this matter biblically. When the subject comes up with friends, relatives and co-workers (trust me, it will), give loving and compassionate answers straight from God’s word. Also, let us discuss this matter within our own homes. Face it, our husbands, wives and children are being exposed to this everyday. All you have to do is turn on the evening news and it’s right there. We have to raise them up in the scriptures so that they too will have a firm foundation to stand on.
Finally, let us be about our Father’s business of preaching the gospel at every single opportunity we have. Let us do so with great love and compassion, knowing that we too are sinners, but have been saved by the grace of Christ alone. While it is very easy to look at the agenda of the homosexual lobby and become angry, let us never forget that those lobbies contain hundreds and thousands of lost souls desperately in need of the gospel.
We have lost so much ground because, as a church, we have not invested the time to learn the right answers. We have lashed out angrily, we have given weak answers that toppled with a mere shove, or we have cowered into our philosophical corners and let the issue march right by. Yet, we serve a great and powerful God! His gospel is the power of salvation to all mankind! Let us not retreat in fear, let us not strike out in anger, but let us proclaim the truth to all mankind in love so that sinners might be saved. In doing, we might just change the attitude of our culture because people will be getting saved and led by the Spirit. Let us engage the culture and let us stand on God’s word alone.