Summary: I’m going to say something that may shock you out of your socks: Jesus had to deal with homosexual temptation. How I can say that? It’s simple. Jesus dealt with EVERY kind of temptation.
Open your Bibles to Romans 1:18. Today I am going to address the issue of homosexuality. After I preached this in the last two services, I was amazed at how quiet everyone has been. They have really been listening. Also, people really don’t know what to say when they leave the service, because it is certainly not appropriate to say, “I enjoyed that.” But maybe if you agree with it, you can say, “That was the truth.” Thank you for standing for the truth.
Preachers can face two different temptations when it comes to preaching about issues like this. Number one, some are issue-oriented and they will pull out a soapbox and stand up and rant and rave against moral sins in America in any and every occasion. There are some who think that is what I should do. But I think that is the wrong approach.
The other temptation, on the other extreme, is as people are preaching through the Bible, when they come to passages of scripture like we are going to look at today; there is a temptation to just skip it. I call that “kangarooics of Jesus” where you just kind of hop over it and just mumble and keep going. Well, I’m not going to succumb to that temptation either. For those of you who have been around for a while, you know I preach the Bible verse after verse after verse. This is one of the reasons I do it, because in God’s timing and in God’s plan, we come naturally to this passage of scripture. I’m not picking on anyone; I’m just following the Word of God.
Now today, the question I want to ask you is this: Homosexuality: Is it a lifestyle or is it a deathstyle? It is a hot topic in America today. It is one of the two greatest social issues facing us as Americans. As we move into the 21st century, should the Lord tarry, I think probably the next civil war fought in America, not fought with guns and bullets, but fought with editorials and laws, will be the fight over abortion and acceptance of homosexuality. Today I am going to address one of those.
Many of you are aware many of our television shows are used as a platform to teach a certain view of homosexuality. For instance, in the sitcom “Ellen,” the character Ellen not only announced she was a lesbian but also revealed the person playing the role was a lesbian in real life as well. 36 million Americans watched that show when she “came out of the closet.” What’s the rest of the story? As many of you know, ABC canceled the show. TV Guide printed an article written by television critic Matt Rouche, obviously not a Christian, who wrote:
“This week’s all-star finale is billed as a Hollywood tribute to Ellen. As fate would have it, however, the hour-long extravaganza comes across more like a wake than a tribute. ABC announced what just about everybody knew Ellen was Hollywood history, canceled as a result of steadily declining ratings amid perceptions that viewers had grown disenchanted with the show’s focus on life as a lesbian.
Of course we know it’s in the media: television shows, movies, magazines, but it is affecting churches and denominations. There are several denominations around the world that have decided homosexuality is an accepted lifestyle and they are ordaining and accepting homosexual clergy persons. I use persons because they are doing it for men and women who are avowed homosexuals.
Do you recall the Kansas United Methodist minister, Reverend Greg Creech, who married a homosexual couple, which was against the teachings of the United Methodist Church? He was threatened with censure by the conference. But the conference, in a surprising move, supported him and approved his actions in marrying this same-gender couple. It’s interesting that a year later, that church was half its size. Many left that church. His time as pastor was not renewed and no churches as of today’s message have requested he come to be their minister. You say, “Well, that’s Methodist. That’s the way the Church of England and the Episcopalians have to deal with it. At least those Baptists aren’t having to deal with it.” Oh yes we are.
University Baptist Church in Austin, Texas, decided they would ordain a man who was an avowed homosexual. The Baptist General Convention of Texas had to take a stand on it. Now, please understand, most Baptists don’t even know this, but in the Baptist church, there is no hierarchy. There is no organization over a local church telling them what and what not to do. We voluntarily participate with other churches in the Southern Baptist Convention and in the Baptist General Convention of Texas and in Smith County Baptist Association. But every single church is independent and autonomous. So, when this church in Austin decided to ordain a homosexual as a deacon, the only thing that our convention could do is say, “All right, thank you, but we no longer want you to send your money to us. And if you decide to send messengers to next year’s state convention, we will not seat those messengers.” That’s all they could do. But I thank God that our denomination did that. They have a stated policy for the Baptist General Convention of Texas that states, and I quote, “The Bible teaches that the ideal for sexual behavior is the marital union between husband and wife and that all other sexual relations, whether premarital, extramarital or homosexual are contrary to God’s purposes and thus sinful.”