Apparently there isn’t too much of it going around. Mantras are repeated and foolish arguments are had. In light of the recent focus on certain public statements and the conversations I’ve had, I think it’s necessary to clear the air on some things. I recognize that by what I am about to say I will be exposing myself to the vitriol of both sides of this issue, but I do it for the haters.
So, I was asked:
How should Christians think about homosexuality?
I was asked this because a fine line has been drawn here. On the one hand, you can say you believe it is wrong and you will immediately be labeled a ‘homophobe’ and where I live, that’s basically being an ‘untouchable’. Watch as your friends eyes’ are opened to the archaic, backward bigot that you truly are inside. Who knew?
On the other hand, you can say it’s ok for two consenting adults to do whatever they want. Having met the minimum cultural standards of righteousness, you are free to express yourself without fear of retribution and people will probably take you seriously. Except other Christians possibly, but ‘other Christians’ are doing all sorts of weird stuff anyway. Still, the Bible does have some things to say about it and it doesn’t really feel right just ignoring those things or what so many Biblical scholars have said. So you are a heretic and a sell-out.
But, rhetoric is everything.
The framing of this issue is as follows: you either believe what we do or you are a terrible person not worth our time.
Every attempt to break this frame has failed. I don’t know why. Why all of you maintain such a bitter contempt and emotional attachment to this conflict is beyond me.
So my answer to this question requires a new frame:
THE VERY THOUGHTS INSIDE MY HEAD ARE MORE SINFUL THAN THE SEXUALITY OF EVERY HUMAN ON EARTH COMBINED.
Sexuality isn’t something you control. I don’t care if you believe that or not, I don’t need to prove it. Every single person reading this knows how much their sexuality controls them. It’s not the other way around. So we cannot be held responsible for our sexuality as we can for our sin.
Jesus said that those who have a lustful thought in their mind have already committed adultery in their heart. But most of us have done much more than that, have we not? We have acted on it at some point in our lives. Not just that, but I have thought much more egregious things, valuing things as greater than God. The very thoughts inside my head are disgustingly offensive to God and I acted on them, basically telling God that I know better and further, that he doesn’t matter.
No matter what your sexual orientation is, all of our brains are defiantly thinking against God in the same ways. Sexual or otherwise, we all worship, obsess, and lust over things other than God, and each one of those things comprises the sin that we generate so naturally and willingly.
We as humans were designed to operate in a certain way and we frequently abuse that, damaging ourselves and each other and our connection to God. Any and every abuse does this. Homosexual activity is to be mentioned in the same list as complaining and lying. This is why Paul condemns it along with complaining and lying and a host of other things that are bad for us.
So what should Christians think about homosexuality? The same thing they think about every little thought in their head that doesn’t align perfectly to God’s design for their lives.
So how should Christians think about same sex marriage?
We just got done talking about the design of humans.
The Bible is straight up explicitly clear about what the design of marriage is. In every passage that describes it, it is about male and female becoming one flesh. (One flesh is not about sex, by the way, the flesh refers to your being. So marriage is merging your entire beings together into one being.) And then it talks about all the activities that one flesh should be doing.
Any other use of those activities goes against their designs. Sure you can do it, make it work for you, get whatever you can out of it, but in the end you are using things that were designed to be used on humans a certain way and doing them differently, which can only result in damaging yourself and the people you are doing it with.
That being said, as a Christian, you should know what marriage is and what it is designed for. That being the case, any same sex union or ‘marriage’ is just a shadow of marriage. Look around you, this world is filled with shadows of marriage. People can’t stay even stay married.
In regards to same sex marriage legislation, since when do Christians legislate moral standards? The Bible doesn’t require us to have good marriages, have good thoughts, or even go to church! It encourages those things because they are good for us, but it is not a moral law for us. Beyond that, it says that those who are outside of the church cannot be held responsible for their actions by the church. We are to let them live their lives how they choose and they can come to the church when they are ready to grow in faith and community. So making a law for something outside of the church makes no sense at all.
So in conclusion: your thoughts are worse than homosexuality, all sexual orientations have terrible marriages, and legislating the guidelines for your spiritual community to the whole country is nonsense.
Also, neither what you believe nor your sexual orientation defines you. You are still human without either one.