Summary: A Biblical and logical look at arguments against Hmosexulaity and how the Christian should respond to those who choose this sinful lifestyle.
Hot Potatoes that Make People HOT!!, Part 2
It goes without saying that this is not the easiest topic to talk about. For most people, just hearing the word homosexual makes them very uncomfortable. Not only is this an uncomfortable issue, but is also highly emotionally charged. Today, let’s think biblically and honestly, and sift through our own biases and opinions and prejudice we have in this area.
When we’re uncomfortable with a topic, we tend to gravitate towards extremes. One extreme is to treat a topic too lightly. That is why so many people today, the only thing you hear out of their mouths when
it comes to homosexuality is jokes. On the other end are people who talk about it with broad generalizations.
Why Do We Need to Talk About This?
And, so, I think a good way to begin is to answer the question and explain why I think it’s necessary for us to talk about that … with “that” being the issue of homosexuality.
Right up front, I should say that one of the reasons to talk about it is not that I enjoy standing in front of oncoming freight trains … which is what I’ve felt like all week as I’ve prepared for this message. In the culture in which we live these days, unless you come down on the side of the pro-gay and lesbian political agenda (which I do not) or on the side of radical religious fundamentalism (which I also do not), you feel like you’re pretty much tying yourself to the track!
Here are some of the reasons why I think it is important to talk about this issue:
1. First of all, there is an unprecedented cultural pressure to approve of the homosexual lifestyle.
Never in the history of our nation has homosexuality been as front and center as it is right now. It seems as if you can’t turn on the television anymore without coming across the issue in some form or another.
It’s been part of the presidential and vice-presidential debates. We’ve heard the governor of NJ announce “I am a gay American.” We’ve seen gay marriages approved and then overturned in California. Many states have constitutional amendments on the ballot to define marriage as excluding homosexual partnerships; hate crimes legislation is being rewritten to shield gays and lesbians from discriminatory speech and practice; and that’s to say nothing of the explosion of sitcoms and reality TV featuring homosexual lifestyles.
In all of this, the overwhelming message is “this lifestyle is Okay. The only people against it are backward-thinking, sexually-repressed, homophobic Neanderthals … and you don’t want to be one of them, now do you?”
Of course, that leads to another reason why we need to look at this issue.
2. Growing debate over what the Bible does say about homosexuality.
20 years ago, there was very little debate at all on this issue. Most pastors and churches believed and taught that “what the Bible says” is that “homosexual practices are wrong and sinful.”
But times have changed. Many churches and entire denominations have concluded that the Bible really doesn’t say that, or if it does say that, it no longer applies. Many churches today “marry” homosexual couples and some have even gone as far as ordaining gay and lesbian clergy.
And if you’re a person who has any level of interest in church, you’ve got to wonder - what about that? Where does my church stand on this issue?
Another reason I think this is an important issue is that societal factors are contributing to an…
3. Increase in identity confusion among young men and women.
More and more kids come from dysfunctional family backgrounds, have premature sexual experiences, are exposed to pornography, and have suffered sexual abuse than ever before. These kids are walking wounded and they are confused over the conflicting desires and attractions they feel towards members of the same sex. Even kids in the church are struggling with it.
And the message most of them hear in our culture is “You’re born this way. Learn to embrace it. And, by the way, nobody else will understand and love you. Come be part of our community … the homosexual community.”
What disturbs me is that this seems to be the only culturally acceptable answer these days. It’s a terrible thing these days to say, “Hey, this isn’t the only answer.” I don’t think it should be that way, and I think kids and grownups need to hear about other alternatives to the gay and lesbian lifestyle.
I have 5 areas I want to talk about today.
Conviction or Compassion?
The first one is about the question of approach. It applies to us as a church. Should we have conviction or compassion?
Let’s begin right up front talking about the most unacceptable ways to approach those who struggle