The Apologetics of Homosexuality

There is little doubt that Christianity and Homosexuality seem to be at odds with one another. The Christian belief that homosexuality is a sin and their refusal to advocate same-sex marriage has the Christian church dubbed zealots, bigots and homophobic by the homosexual camp. The rhetoric is loud and divisive on both sides. There is a massive chasm in both beliefs and mutual understanding. This makes a toxic environment to say the least. This toxicity begins to spill into the public forum with the debates, discussions and voting on the legality of same-sex marriage.

For a few decades now, Christians have congregated in churches and taught the Bible. Homosexuals formed like-minded communities and in like manner were built up in their beliefs. These two groups spent little time intersecting or interacting. But with the rise of the discussion about same sex marriage and its national exposure, these groups are now intersecting all the time. The problem seems to be that they aren’t interacting much. There is much bigotry on both sides of this very complex issue. What is most needed is mutual understanding. This short paper is an attempt at beginning a civil, although packed with emotions, dialogue on the discussion.

I am a pastor of a Christian church. I believe that the Bible is God’s word and that it is both inerrant (without the capacity for error) and infallible (without error). I believe that God says what He means, using human authors, and means what He says. Because of this, I believe, and the Bible clearly teaches, that homosexuality is an action that is in rebellion to the plans and purposes of God. In other words, it misses the mark of God’s view of perfection and it is properly termed a sin. I also have many, many friends who have same sex attractions. Some, because of their beliefs, have chosen not to act on those attractions and would say that they live lives of joy. Others, because of their beliefs, have chosen to act on those attractions and would say that they live lives of joy. These men and women are people whom I love and respect. We work hard, albeit uncomfortably at times, to maintain relationships although we disagree on fundamental things. There is love and mutual understanding. We love each other but we do not agree with each other on different things.

My goal is to write this out in such a way as it can be read in one sitting. So my aim is not to be exhaustive but to bring out the most basic questions. It is my hope to facilitate discussion and mutual understanding between the two groups. It is also my hope to give a nuanced view of why Christians view homosexuality as a sin and to propose a way to navigate the lack of civil rights afforded to those seeking government approval for same sex unions.

The Bible and Homosexuality

There are extensive writings about the Bible and homosexuality. From Genesis to Revelation, spanning the entire Old and New Testaments, homosexuality is portrayed as ‘a sin’ (an act that misses the mark of God stated perfection in how humanity should conduct itself). No one denies this. Many people seek to handle these verses in different ways but no one can deny that ‘homosexuality is a sin’ is in there. Whether in Genesis with the narrative of Sodom, in Leviticus with homosexuality capital punishment laws, or in the writings of Paul or the Revelation, the Bible says what it says. So I don’t think it is time worthy to go into each of these passages and discuss them because, at least for me, it is a foregone conclusion as to the Biblical teachings on the subject.

So what are we to do with such a teaching? Most often the attempt is to argue away the validity of the teaching based on personal experience or accusations of judgmentalism. So let’s look at each of the most basic arguments.

Argument #1 – The Natural Affections Argument

This argument looks something like this. “For as long as I can remember, I have always been attracted to people of the same sex”. In essence, the argument is that my natural affections have always pointed that way. Because this way comes naturally then it should not be a problem. This is also extended to the “I love this person”.

Biblically speaking, this argument is exactly the reason that Jesus came to the earth, died on a cross and rose again. The teachings of the New Testament make the case that our natural affections are by default in rebellion against God. Sin is the norm. Sexuality is morally neutral in a vacuum. Humans are sexual beings by nature (whether by design or evolution depending on your viewpoint). The problem is not sexuality but how a human heart handles sexuality. Homosexuality and heterosexual immorality are handled the same way in the Bible. So sexuality is not the problem. The problem is that if humanity’s default is be in rebellion against God then humans tend to handle their sexuality in a way that is in rebellion against God as well. So the Bible teaches our natural affections are exactly the problem. People are naturally selfish (ever see two two-year olds fight over one toy in a room full of playthings). Selfishness is a sin as well. No one teaches a child to be selfish. That comes naturally and is exactly the problem.

Argument #2 – The Judgment Argument

This argument looks something like this. “Who are YOU to tell me who I can and cannot love?” This is the natural affection argument is used in regards to someone’s ability to limit the activities of someone else. This is where laws come into play in this discussion (and we will look at that separately in a moment). But the idea here is that it is wrong and judgmental for someone to tell someone else how to live. There is both validity and absurdity in this argument. I will discuss in a moment the validity side of this argument because in a free country, as long as the country deems that no one is being hurt, you cannot tell someone who they can and cannot love. Again, more on that in a moment. But the absurdity side of the argument is this. Freedom with the absence of any constraints is anarchy (which is radically constraining). True freedom is not living with an absence of restraints but living only with enough restraints to let them be truly free. A simple example is this. If a family lived in a house where their backyard is adjacent to a major highway, would the parents just let their children go out and play anywhere they want? No, they would put a fence around their property. Their children are then free to go and play in the backyard and express their childhood curiosities. But, the parents made a judgment to limit their children’s freedom (by putting up a fence) so that their children can have true freedom (the ability to express themselves without being harmed). So true freedom is not the absence of all constraints but instead enough constraints that there be an absence of destruction.

Argument #3 – The Loving God Argument

This argument looks something like this. How can a loving God not allow people to express their love in a way that seems natural to them.
Now on the Christian side of the discussion, other than using the Bible teaches it argument, there is two major arguments.

Christian Argument #1 – Natural Law

This argument is simply that homosexuality is against nature. This point is argued in a few ways. 1) Men have penises and women have vaginas. Penises emit semen. Ovaries produce eggs. The semen meets the egg and fertilizes it. You get the picture. This biology works simply and effectively. 2) That if took every homosexual and put them on an island (which I would NEVER advocate), without the help of technology or partner swapping, there would only be the present generation and no additional generations. The act itself goes against the evolutionary impulse of natural selection. There are other nuances to this argument but you get the picture.

Christian Argument #2 – Spiritual Blindness

This argument is that humans do not know the extent of their errors until God’s Holy Spirit illuminates it in their hearts. This argument is not specific to homosexuality at all, but is general to all of humanity. Humanity does not know the extent of their depravity until God’s light shines into man’s darkness. For me, I didn’t realize how selfish and destructive my sexual relationships with women were until God’s Spirit revealed them to me. I was a ‘normal’ American teenager; enjoy all the excesses of collegiate life. I was just doing what everyone else was doing. But when God’s Spirit illuminated my heart, I realized how wrong I had been. My conversion only began the process of my realizing the extent of my spiritual blindness. All humans suffer from spiritual blindness and lack an authentic understanding of the spiritual, social, emotional and physical implications of our decisions.

Homosexuality, Religion and Politics

Now we come to what has brought this issue into the forefront – the intersection of homosexuality, religion and politics in the American public square. The touch point for this issue is same-sex marriage. Most often this is seen in light of the separation of church and state. Even the language shows how much America has changed since the writing of our constitution. Today it would have to be seen as the separation of faith and state (or else you could argue that you don’t have to separate mosque or synagogue and state). In essence, the government is not allowed to impose a state mandated faith belief on the people. We are all excited about this. The government can not impose itself on a person’s personal interiority.

Here’s the problem though. This has become more of a debate about traditional religion and the state. But so many moral judgments, from whatever camp it comes from, are faith-based beliefs. Sure, they may come from non-traditional sources but they cannot be scientifically verified. Even secularism is a faith-based belief. The reality is that no one divorces his or her ideas about morality from some sort of faith-based belief (even if it is the faith-based belief against having faith). So in essence, everyone brings his or her beliefs into the public square. Not just the religious but the irreligious as well. No one ever leaves his or her religious (traditional or nontraditional) beliefs outside of the public square. So any side of any argument is the seeking of people to legislate their faith-based assumption on the morality of any issue.

With that being said, we have a level playing field. All people argue the validity of their position from a position of faith, seeking to win over society to their way of evaluating and seeing the world. Because of this, we have a divided nation.

28 replies
  1. Tim Brown
    Tim Brown says:

    Thanks for this, Daniel – an able summary of the various approaches in thinking about this.

    In one of your opening paragraphs you write that you want to facilitate discussion and mutual understanding. And then you end by noting that we are a divided nation. Could it be, do you think, that we understand each other all too well? Would more nuanced approaches, greater understanding coupled with mutual respect heal the division? Is the division in our nation to be explained by the fact that we don’t understand each other or that we, in fact, perfectly understand each other? Mutual respect would help to diminish the personal toxicity and the rhetoric of extremes, but it would do nothing to bring the two sides closer together.

    For me, your article explains why there is a division, not how to bring healing to this wound. And I am in total agreement – what is being aired in the public square are different faith positions. You make note that since both sides are forwarding faith based positions, we have a level playing field. I like that. Since the field is level, we can choose our weapons. The church has to choose the gospel. The gay community chooses courts and the voting booth. As Christian citizens, we have the privilege of the voting booth also. But the voting booth and bench decisions and legislation won’t heal the nation. The gospel divides, but it heals, too, The church cannot abandon the gospel in order to stop a moral evil.

    Thanks for your summary and its inevitable conclusion.

    Reply
  2. Daniel Fusco
    Daniel Fusco says:

    Tim,

    This post is part of a larger article that I am working on on the subject.

    I think the issue comes in here. And to be honest with you, I have not found either pastors nor folks in the homosexual community who can actually dialogue about this without it going nowhere.

    As a Christian, the issue is not the Gospel nor what the Bible says. The issue is how does this play into American law. For most Christians, it is sinful and must not be allowed. To believe otherwise would be to abandon the Gospel in some people’s eyes. When I tlak with people about this issue, I am always separating the spiritual implications from the civil ones. I do this because they are 2 different issues. In both realms, homosexuality is sinful. The difference is is that America is not a Christian nation. It is a free nation. IN that way, 2 consenting homosexual adults should be able to have the same rights under law as others.

    I think ultimately the government is going to remove ALL marriage language from their lawbooks. The goverment will end up recognizing civil unions for all and then faith based communities will be able to confer marriage language.

    I do not think that this is, at all, an abandonment of the gospel to stop a moral evil. I know that people think that. Actually it is an embracing of the gospel and a rejection of the imposition of gospel principles on people by law so that they can be free to receive the gospel by faith.

    Reply
  3. Daniel Fusco
    Daniel Fusco says:

    In addition, I think that, especially for many of the younger generation of pastors (although not wanting to make this a generational issue), we are not as influenced by the Moral Majority/Religious Right ideology. That was not a cultural part of our Christian experience, in fact it is seen as rather repugnant. There is also a strong aversion to the politicizing of certain Christian ’causes’ as a reaction to Evangelicalism’s broad embracing of George W Bush as they were targeted as a niche vote to attain. W although claiming to be Crhistian is seen as an abhorrent witness. So because of some of these things, the younger generation of Christians are rethinking how our faith plays in the realm of law, with many of us learning much stronger towards LUther’s Two Kingdoms approach as opposed to the more recently prevailing view of ‘America as a Crhistian nation with Crhistian values’ political approach.

    Okay, back to the last few hours of my vacation. I’ll check in on you all later!

    Later 😉

    Reply
  4. Jon Langley
    Jon Langley says:

    I don’t feel the need to “choose a weapon”. I don’t say that antagonistically towards you, Tim, because I know what your intended meaning was in the context. But that phrase did, indeed, spark the fuel of my many negative experiences with those who claim Christ as Lord.

    As you mentioned, Daniel, in one of the comments before this one, there’s a fundamental element mixed into the foundation of the emotions and rhetoric: the differing worldviews of various classes and sub-groups of those claiming Christ as Lord.

    Some have a deeply imbedded sense of “Christian America”; some have a very sincere sense of separation and abandonment to the “Kingdom of God”; while others — and I’ll risk it here and say that I’m one of them — are in the “Two Kingdoms” camp, striving to be Kingdom-minded while sojourning as a temporary citizen of a nation which I desire to see glorify God.

    I absolutely and unapologetically MOURN for the 21st century America that could have been… who died a premature death at the hands of… herself! I am keenly aware of the (dare I say) miraculous opening moves in the chess game of this country’s existence. That makes it all the more painful to see the state of her today.

    But to “choose a weapon” to me paints a picture of a battle between Christians and Unbelievers akin to the reputation-ruining debacle that was the “Crusades”. If the word “weapon” must be used… and that “weapon” is the gospel, the Evangel of Christ… may it be used for the glory of Christ and His Kingdom and not the glory of a certain group’s concept of “Christian America”. As we read in 1 Corinthians 5, the king/priests of the Kingdom are currently under orders to complete Christ’s mission of reconciliation. Not the pseudo-reconciliation of so-called tolerance, but the Christ-initiated, Scripture-based, Spirit-empowered miracle of true reconciliation between a dead and dying soul and their Creator, resulting in a renewed heart and mind.

    My sister is gay. Her worldview — politics, lifestyle, faith/belief system, logic — are very different from mine. But that’s how we recognize those who are not yet reconciled: they’re different from us! “For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.” (1 John 3:1) The more drastic and distinct the differences, the bigger and brighter the flashing red arrow pointing to the one who needs the gospel of reconciliation (the aforementioned weapon). And thankfully there is no such thing as “irreconcilable differences” with Christ. He can reconcile the worst of us!

    But to pull out that “weapon” in defense of a nation, as if the nation is the Church and the Church needs to be defended from unbelievers, seems to me a misappropriation of ‘defense department’ resources. It seems that the Church of Christ should instead be on the reconciliatory offense with those who are clearly not in Christ and affect change in the morals of a nation one soul at a time, as the newly reconciled begin to follow in the footsteps of their Lord.

    We simply cannot demand that, “This nation must have this law or that because the Bible says so!” when this nation is not a nation ruled by Christ, any more than I can demand that my sister stop being a homosexual when she is not ruled by Christ. She first needs an intervention of Christ’s reconciling power, as does the nation. And while we see examples in the Old Testament of national repentance leading to delayed temporal judgment, there is no such thing as national salvation. The nation can only be more moral when the citizenry is moral. And the citizenry of today’s respective generations will only be moral when Christ rules their hearts: one soul at a time (and I pray it starts with my sister!).

    Reply
  5. Tim Brown
    Tim Brown says:

    Hi, Jon.

    The ‘gospel as a weapon’ imagery was meant to be no more than this – the gospel is to inform and form how we deal with people. The gospel is not a means to or of political dominance, but God’s way of winning people to Himself. Substitute weapon w/ tool/message/means… The gospel is not a weapon or tool to defend a way of life, but a means of reconciliation with God.

    You write: If the word “weapon” must be used… and that “weapon” is the gospel, the Evangel of Christ… may it be used for the glory of Christ and His Kingdom and not the glory of a certain group’s concept of “Christian America”.

    That is how I intended it. Sorry for any confusion.

    Reply
  6. Jon Langley
    Jon Langley says:

    Tim — I really did get what you meant in the context you used the phrase in (though I can’t speak for any lurkers). That’s why I mentioned that the phrase simply sparked a fire in my thoughts… because the image of the gospel as a weapon (in the negative sense) actually is descriptive of the actions of many I’ve met and dialogued with. To be honest, it may even be descriptive of a younger me.

    Again — to anybody else reading this — my comment was not directed at Tim, simply inspired by a few of the words he used.

    But Tim! I don’t want you to feel left out now, so… you said, “The church cannot abandon the gospel in order to stop a moral evil.” I was about to comment on what I thought you meant by that, but then decided that I wasn’t exactly sure. Can you elaborate?

    Reply
  7. Tim Brown
    Tim Brown says:

    I appreciate the post, Jon. Here’s what I meant/mean – the church can get so caught up in causes, albeit good causes, that the gospel of spiritual transformation plays second fiddle to the cause of moral reformation. In the pursuit of outlawing abortion, fighting gay marriage, even championing Green concerns, the church can forget that her main deal is the gospel in word and deed. Jesus gets lost is our causes. I become known for what I’m against and not who I’m for. I can’t abandon the gospel to pursue my moral vision for America. That’s what I meant.

    Reply
    • Miles DeBenedictis
      Miles DeBenedictis says:

      Tim,

      This a great point, which brings up a real concern for the Calvary family of churches as it moves forward, as they/we have defined ourselves over the last many years more by the things that we are against and not by who we are and what we do.

      I guess that really has nothing to do with this specific article, but it certainly comes to my mind.

      Reply
  8. Tim Brown
    Tim Brown says:

    Great question, Daniel.

    The gospel informs and forms our conscience. As we live in a participatory form of government we bring our gospel formed values to the table.

    Reply
  9. Daniel Fusco
    Daniel Fusco says:

    Absolutely totally agree.

    But if we apply the line of thinking (that is being applied to same sex unions) then why are we not for the outlawing of the practice of other religions then? Is that not even more spiritually perilous (or at least equally) then same sex unions?

    Reply
    • Tommy O'Keefe
      Tommy O'Keefe says:

      Great question Daniel. I think this is why we need to tread carefully in respect to these issues. Think about drunkenness. Being drunk is not illegal, though we know it is a sin… however DRIVING while intoxicated IS illegal because it poses a threat to others. In regard to sexuality, the laws that exist to limit sexual practice exist for the protection of others… protecting minors, protecting those who are being assaulted, protecting those who are forced into sexual relationships etc…

      When we talk about making “gay marriage” illegal we have left the realm of laws that exist to protect others… we are in territory that is a quite bit different than laws against murder, assault, theft, embezzlement, etc… Because of this I think we need to do some hard thinking about the issue. We want a simple solution and I’m afraid at times this can cause our stand for truth to come at the expense of love. We need both Truth and Love. We need to respond as Jesus would.

      We need to realize that while we (Christians) see this as a moral issue, homosexuals (and often other unbelievers) see it as a civil rights issue. We need to recognize this as we craft a response that reflects truth and love.

      What if we look at our response to marriage in general? Why are we fighting this “redefinition” of marriage but not “open marriages”, pre-nuptial agreements, and other cultural indicators that marriage=a disposable relationship? Why do we elevate homosexuality to a higherrung on the sin scale? Hasn’t marriage already been radically redefined by culture to be a “as long as we both shall love” institution? Brothers these are meant as genuine questions, not jabs. I really want to think Biblically in regard to these issues. So, what think ye?

      Reply
    • Tim Brown
      Tim Brown says:

      I think that worse than allowing all religious expression would be to ban all religious expression except Christianity.

      Romans 13 – the government is a minister of God, duly ordained by God for the punishing of evil. At the least, we should allow the Scripture to define what evil is. If the government doesn’t take its cue from Scripture we, at least should.

      Reply
      • Tim Brown
        Tim Brown says:

        A further consideration in terms of the church, or that of a Christian bringing his gospel formed mind to bear upon matters of civic interest is that of loving his neighbor – all his/her neighbors.

        We know from Ezekiel 16:49 that blatant homosexuality was not the only sin of Sodom and Gomorrah, but the book of Genesis certainly makes this the highlight. Unrestrained sin invites the judgment of God. Loving my neighbor leads me to want to save them from and delay the judgment of God for as long as possible. To forbid the practice of homosexuality is a non-starter, but to legitimize it in any of its forms is to move our nation closer to judgment. To reward/protect evil behavior debases the government that does so. I will bring my gospel formed mind into the realm of participatory government and seek to resist and delgitimize any form of evil. Not to do so is to fail to love my neighbor.

        Reply
        • Daniel Fusco
          Daniel Fusco says:

          Tim,

          This is the statement that I struggle with
          “To forbid the practice of homosexuality is a non-starter, but to legitimize it in any of its forms is to move our nation closer to judgment.”

          Does it really ‘move our nation closer to judgment’? How is this possible? I know that this is the company line on it but I can’t find anywhere where the concept is biblical.

          Reply
          • Tim Brown
            Tim Brown says:

            God’s Spirit strove w/ the antediluvian generation. As they refused to turn from their sin, they moved closer and closer to judgment. So w/ the Amorites of Abraham’s day. So the message of the prophets to the Israel/Judah. So Jesus to Israel. This is not company line – it is all the way through the Bible – Genesis-Revelation.

          • Jon Langley
            Jon Langley says:

            Daniel — I cannot presume to speak for Tim, but if I had made the same statement it would simply have been in respect to the fact that historically God has dealt with nations and kingdoms and tribes on a corporate level. He has sent corporate judgement upon both his covenant people Israel and certain gentile groups whose actions were grievous and towards whom He had exercised MUCH patience (I think of the “iniquity of the Amorites” which wasn’t “full” for nearly 400 years — that’s some serious patience!).

            So… if I had made the same statement it would have been simply in reference to the fact that corporate bodies which have a Romans 1:32 perspective are more typically used to demonstrate the glory of God through His righteous judgment than through the blessings of His mercy (as was obvious for so many of the early years of this nation’s young life).

            That’s not a call to arms (as I’ve already made my position on this clear), but rather a reminder that “nationally”, an attitude of approval of sin (Rom 1:32) is logically linked with a nation’s inability to bring glory to God in a positive way.

  10. Tommy O'Keefe
    Tommy O'Keefe says:

    Thanks for the post Daniel. It ‘s interesting that in one of your comments you said:

    “I think ultimately the government is going to remove ALL marriage language from their lawbooks. The goverment will end up recognizing civil unions for all and then faith based communities will be able to confer marriage language.”

    My wife and I were just talking about that idea last night, specifically that it would probably be the best thing that could happen for the church. The state using marriage language muddies the waters a great deal, making clarity a very difficult thing.

    I appreciate you trying to separate the civil implications here from the spiritual ones.

    Reply
    • Jon Langley
      Jon Langley says:

      Tommy — I think I’m with you on this one. As a bit of a Libertarian politically, it would be nice if the government would leave the God-ordained covenant of marriage to those who want to honor it and just use another name for the rice-paper contracts of modern day civil partnerships (hetero or homo).

      Though, having said that, it is so painfully obvious that the reason for the “civil union” is simply because the God-ordained marriage covenant is the founding tradition of our nation. So if the “state” want’s to be TOTALLY separate from the “church”, then why do they need to have “civil unions” or “civil partnerships” or what have you? What is their rational for claiming “benefits” in filing taxes, or healthcare, or whatever, if the founding principle behind a “civil union” is actually just a bunch of “church” junk that they want to be separate from?!?!?!

      But I digress… (with a tone of frustrated bewilderment bordering on the “I give up”).

      Reply
  11. Daniel Fusco
    Daniel Fusco says:

    Jon,
    No worries, it’s for all to post.

    Tim,
    I fail to see how passing a law furthers along judgment. Israel had the most righteous laws in history and were judged. Christians are not ‘under law’ and yet are not judged in Christ.

    So for me, the issue is not the sinfulness of homosexuality. But how we are to be citizens of two worlds.

    I realize that my leaning is simultaneously offensive to both sides. I both affirm that homosexuality is sinful and spiritually perilous to those who are practicing it (my answer in regards to the kingdom of heaven). I also affirm that denying same sex couples the same rights under law is wrong (it’s unjust, unequal, uneven scales) (this is my answer in regards to living in America).

    I realize that my view is not the norm. But I am still waiting for some Scriptural refutation to this position. I realize that it is not the norm. I realize that it deviates from the company position of a more moral majority America is a Christian nation view Christendom view. I am not here because it’s easy but because it’s what I find in the Bible.

    I’m way open to correction from Scripture specifically.

    Reply
    • Jon Langley
      Jon Langley says:

      Daniel — I don’t see any flaws in your reasoning regarding the two kingdom approach to the specific question of the legalization of same-sex marriage. I would only disagree on one point, and that only for the sake of clarity (and my pet peeve of blurred definitions fueling ridiculous rhetoric and ill-calculated conclusions on every side).

      In regards to your phrase, “same rights under law”, I maintain that if the “State” wants to borrow from the “Church” in the area of marriage then it should abide by the traditional understanding of that union, in which case there is no denying of a right insofar as the right in question is mutually exclusive of the accepted meaning of marriage as borrowed from Christianity.

      If, however, the State wants to fashion their own definition of civil unions for their own purposes and ends, then they should divorce (no pun intended) the new policy from the very clearly defined and accepted moniker of “marriage”, and use a different designation for this partnership they intend to legally create, recognise, and honor.

      Until they do that the argument on all sides is muddied by the fact that we are either attacking or defending “rights” that exist neither eo ipso (as in “unalienable rights”) or as current corpus juris.

      Reply
      • Tim Brown
        Tim Brown says:

        Good words, Jon – I think I’m tracking with you.

        Let me clarify what I am concerned with.

        The issue isn’t gay marriage or their supposed right to marry. The issue, for me, is the redefinition of marriage by government fiat. Marriage is a theological issue before it is a civil or political issue. We cannot allow any government to redefine theological terms and then play by their rules.

        The issue isn’t gay marriage – it is the redefinition of marriage. Let gay couples have property rights, inheritance rights, joint medical benefits, etc. Give them every right that traditional marriage has. The government does not have the authority (they have the power, but not the authority) to redefine a Biblical institution w/ theological implications.

        Take ‘gay marriage’ off the table and substitute plural marriage. The church should petition the government not to change the definition of Biblical, traditional marriage in favor of legitimizing what marriage is not. Marriage is holy in the eyes of God and that which is unholy should not be elevated to the status of that which is holy.

        It seems to me that it is one thing to legalize something and yet another thing to legitimize something – i.e., elevate its moral status. Example: a secular government should, in a free society and a mixed society (Christians, non-Christians) allow an adult porn store to operate – as morally repugnant as this is to many. But the government should not while legalizing it legitimate it by somehow communicating that adult porn is healthy and normal sexuality.

        A secular government should, in a free and mixed society, allow people who so desire to enter into social contracts that have benefits associated with them – civil unions. Gay unions should be legal, but not legitimized. The government has no right to legitimate them by conferring upon them the traditional definition of marriage.

        Where am I missing it?

        Reply
    • Tim Brown
      Tim Brown says:

      Hi, Daniel – it’s not the passing of law(s) that delay the judgment of God, it’s:

      #1 Recognizing a moral standard and the resisting of moral evil. This is the calling of government – any government.

      #2 Homosexuality is a moral evil and gay marriage is an evil. Marriage is a holy institution in the eyes of God and that which is unholy should not be elevated to the status of the holy. How can I as a Christian and a pastor advocate gay marriage? How can I have a mind and values molded by one kingdom and then have these somehow altered as I think about the second kingdom?

      Please note that I didn’t seek to deny civil rights to a gay civil union – property rights, inheritance rights, etc. What do we, as Christians and pastors, gain by advocating gay marriage? What civil rights are gays denied by the refusal to confer upon their union(s) the title of marriage?

      Help me think through this.

      Reply
  12. Andrew Thompson
    Andrew Thompson says:

    Dan, In your opening disposition you write: It is also my hope to … navigate the lack of civil rights afforded to those seeking government approval for same sex unions. Bottom line Dan, what business do you as a Pastor of the gospel of Jesus Christ have navigating that path while Paul proclaims in that same gospel that you teach from “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” The path that needs navigating is the one that so few in the homosexual community ever seem to find. Point them as I know you do to Christ, and pray as I know you do, that the government would govern righteously. Don’t let your message be marginalized by being drawn into struggles that you were not called to. We are sojourners here with citizenship in heaven. Paul only laid claim to the rights of a Roman Citizen as a means to further deliver the message that he was ordained to deliver. I like Tim’s approach to what would amount to saying to the government ‘hands-off’ when it comes to the holy institution. It’s like God saying to the atheist geneticist, ‘Not only did I make man out of dirt, but I also made the dirt. Go make your own dirt’.

    Reply
  13. Daniel Fusco
    Daniel Fusco says:

    Tim-
    I fully agree with re not redefining marriage
    It’s a separation of church and state issue on the other side
    If the government redefines marriage they have violated Chridtians right to not hav government infringe on our religion. So in this way, especially in your please note section, we are in total agreement. Total

    Aaron-
    Thanks for posting. As a pastor, it is my business to proclaim the Gospel AND to work for the kingdom in the real world. Paul collected money for the poor in Jerusalem. Jesus advocated for an adulterous woman who was going to be killed. I can do this all day.

    One of the great blessings of being a pastor, especially in this generation, is that there is a push away from just proclamation. Many of us feel Strongly called to proclamation and demonstration. Just like Jesus, just like Paul. I’m not saying that this is the issue that I am dying on. Far from it, I am simply working through the political implication of the gospel on this forum.

    Christians are ALWAYS called to work or justice because God is just. If our position is unjust then we should be radically engaged to change it. I’m not worried about my message being marginalized t all. Where I live, it is already sufficiently marginalized. I’m not trying to make it more palatable. The gospel is Gods way and unchanging

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  14. Tobi Sänger
    Tobi Sänger says:

    very good post. i absolutely share your view that there is a lack of dialogue between conservative christians and homosexuals. is there any other ‘sinner-group’ that is stigmatized like them? do we also systematically avoid people who gossip or lie or have a porn addiction? i know that it is part of anti-christian polemical rethorics to call us homophobic- but i am afraid it is too often simply the truth.

    the big question for us is: how can we practically show love to our homosexual neighbors? and in order to love them we first have to know them. jesus ate with sinners. when did we have the last meal with a homosexual?

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