May 27, 2015

The Bible and Homosexuality XXI: How We Deal With Sin Shouldn't Be A Sin

To wrap up this series I offer a few thoughts.

Truthfully, this series was not being written with the intent to agitate or be polemic but the very nature of this topic has become intensely polarizing (Holtam 592). The issue has been handled so poorly by the both the liberal and at times the conservative church, that it needs to be addressed before communication shuts down completely. It has already gotten to that point of wariness in many quarters. Mention homosexuality in a negative manner or call it sin and you are condemned for using hate speech. The divisive and confrontational nature of this topic and the way it has forced people to take sides has caused many to retreat into silence for fear of being ridiculed or persecuted.

In the Church, liberal theology adherents are inviting homosexuals into leadership so quickly they are practically tripping over themselves to open the door to let them in. On the conservative side many adherents seem to be tripping over themselves running in the other direction. What both views appear to be failing to address is how to properly assimilate practicing homosexuals into the church and help them find ways to stop their sin(s) (Holtam 592). It seems that both sides, if they are not avoiding the issue for fear of being misunderstood, then we are just not handling situations well when they arise because of a proclivity for hasty generalizations in this polemic issue.

Evangelical Christians need to address the issue of homosexuality the same as adultery and other sins. We cannot reject it outright in disgust because of its divergence or repulsiveness in comparison to the way we think or worse we often tiptoe around it avoiding it completely. We need to address it head-on as the sin it is defined as in the Bible. We need to continue to teach what the Bible teaches. We must accept people into the church and feed them the word of God so that it will take hold of their heart. We must preach the Gospel boldly.

We need to treat all people in a manner which we ourselves would want to be treated if we were dealing with sin. We are not behaving in a Christian manner when we condemn homosexuals and look away in antipathy?

"So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12

An entrenched sin is something we have all fought at one time or another. A sin that clung so tenaciously it was like a parasite in/on its host. It is a sin that we had even come to accept in our own lives because we couldn't shake it off. Homosexuals as all other sinners are enslaved to sin. We should have sympathy or a compassion for these people, not hostility. They are lost in their sins just like we were before we came into the faith but now we are washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God, just like homosexuals could be if they see the error of their ways and turn to God. 

Who better can bring them the message of the Gospel in an understanding and loving manner than we as repentant sinners. Sinners that have struggled and continued to struggle in sins. We help not because we wish to be sanctimonious or to try to act as if we are on higher moral ground. We try to help because we too are flawed in sin and wish to come alongside our brethren to lift one another up and guide others to the answer...which is Jesus Christ.

An Addendum:

Because of the misapplication of Scripture and poor biblical teaching, many are lead astray for want of proper biblical teaching.

Proverbs 5:23 ~ “He will die for lack of instruction, And in the greatness of his folly he will go astray.”

Jeremiah 50:6 ~ “My people have become lost sheep; their shepherds have led them astray. They have made them turn aside on the mountains; they have gone along from mountain to hill and have forgotten their resting place.”

Isaiah 9:16 ~ “For those who guide this people are leading them astray; And those who are guided by them are brought to confusion.”

Such is the case with Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas. This church has pretty much turned on its ear the idea that we are to hate the sin and lovingly correct those that are in error in their sins (Holtam 593). They are the people we read about and see in the news that protest the funerals of service men/women. When we see the ungodly antics of the Westboro Baptist Church, the labels of “intolerant” and “hater” are well-earned. Due to the actions of a vocal minority that claim to be Christian, they help reinforce the stereotypes that Christians are naturally hateful and ignorant. It is what I have deemed the “God Hates Fags” Disorder. It is a cross between the actions of this small vocal minority claiming to be Christian and the broad generalizations or stereotyping of Christians by non-Christians in the culture.

It is the demonization of all Christians through logic errors like Fallacy of Composition or Broad Generalization. These broad generalizations usually occur (similar to Muslims) when people uneducated in the truths or doctrines of Christianity generalize and paint all Christians into the same category and mentality as that of members of the Westboro Baptist Church and their leader Fred Phelps. They are self-proclaimed Christians who are virulently and hatefully anti-homosexual in their approach to dealing with the sin of homosexuality. Whereas the mantra usually says that Christians hate the sin not the sinner, it appears Westboro Baptist hates the sin and the sinner when they parade around with derogatory signs that state: “God Hates Fags.”

God does not hate or abhor the sinner; He hates the sin as noted in my section on Leviticus 18:22. Even a precursory perusal of the Westboro Baptist Church‟s website shows this organizations extremely un-Christian behavior, not to mention an extremely poor grasp of the Bible (Underwood).  Not only are members of Westboro Baptist Church poor representatives of Christianity due to being educated in what appear to be non-Christian principles, it is also a horribly unfair stereotyping by non-believers to compare true biblical Christians to the likes of Fred Phelps. 

Unfortunately, when people hear the name Christian, it is often the likes of Fred Phelps that come to mind because this is the stereotype pushed by the media and those with pro-homosexual agendas in an effort to silence Christians completely. I hope and pray that through this series I have cleared a few of the misconceptions and spoken in truth to the glory of God. Homosexuality is still a sin but the way we address it as Christians should not be. We should not be singling out any particular sin as a black sheep because that too is preferential treatment and the Bible frowns upon that too.

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