Homophobic?

One of the most common canards used against Orthodox Christians is that they are “homophobic.” This charge is repeated like a Hare Krishna mantra in the hopes that if it is said enough times, it will magically become true. If not true, then at least believed as true. Certainly, homophobia, understood as fear of homosexuals, can occur among Christians just like it can any social group. I am confident that there are people who think that homosexuality, like the flu, can be “caught” through casual contact. If the term is used in this way, I have no problem with it.

Unfortunately, homophobia, is used as a slur against Christians who uphold the Biblical teaching that homosexuality is a sin. Contrary to Biblical revisionists, the Scripture is clear that homosexuality in all its forms is unacceptable behavior in God’s eyes. I once met a minister who called the anti-homosexual passages in the Bible, “clobber texts.” I was surprised by the statement and looked puzzled. He responded and said, people use those verses to clobber people over the head. I rejoined, so the passages against adultery and theft must also be clobber texts. He didn’t have an answer to that and instead endeavored to change the subject by attempting to accuse me of a “literalistic interpretation of scripture.” Literalism is another straw man argument used against orthodox Christians and the subject of a future posting.

Ultimately, my point is Christians need to condemn all sin, including homosexuality. But we should avoid condemning sin without also mentioning the solution, namely the good news of Jesus Christ that we can have forgiveness through His atoning work on the Cross. Regrettably, what society wants is for Christians to deny that we are sinners. Once that is done, there is no need for a savior.

Regarding public/secular policy we have strategic issues to think about. Christians should consider whether we have made more of the societal dangers of homosexuality than are actually present. This is a touchy issue. Many Christian political and social action groups have used the politicization of homosexuality as way to generate a lot of financial support as they have revved up the Christian political base. I am not suggesting that all of their concerns are misguided. Christians have a legitimate concern over the effect homosexual couples could have on adopted children. The fact is what parents believe does impact children. However, I wonder if Christians have been unfair in the way we have approached homosexual issues in public discourse, such as homosexual marriage etc. Is the sin of homosexuality worse than say, murder? Perhaps that is too clear cut. What about, “Is homosexual marriage really more of a threat to the social fabric of society than two heterosexuals shacking up pretending to be committed to each other?”

My point is that when it comes to the life of the Church. Christians must be clear. Sin, in all its forms, is not acceptable. If, or should I say, when we sin, we can repent and obtain forgiveness. The issue isn’t perfection. We won’t obtain that till heaven. The issue is that Christians must be a constant war against their own participation in sin. Thanks be to God, the Holy Spirit and the fellowship of the saints, helps us in that struggle. We should be progressing in our becoming more like Christ as we mortify our sinful behavior, whatever our particular besetting sin is. Connect with inventive scholastic backing visit this blog aimed for global market.

The question is how do we live out our call to be salt and light in a secular society? How do we appeal to the knowledge of the good that all humanity has thanks to common grace? These are difficult and complex issues for they delve into the muddy area of politics and society. But I think Christians would do well to think about their attitudes and how we talk in the public/secular arena. Can we be faithful to our convictions, while speaking the truth in love to a lost and dying world? I would like to take this opportunity to suggest one person that Christians should pay more attention to in these matters. His name is Rev. John Rankin. To my mind, he has the best approach to this topic. Unfortunately, few Evangelicals know of him. I hope this is a way to help others learn more about him. Visit his site at http://www.teinetwork.com/ You will be glad you did.

©Stephen Vantassel 2006

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