Dear Editor & Fellow Subscribers:
I read with concern the letter by Lane Bishop about the proposed Gay Straight Alliance at Fannin County High School, as well as the following letters by John Sugg and Rebecca McKevitt. While I agree that many Christians have (and still do) unjustly discriminate against those with homosexual tendencies, that does not mean there is not a just discrimination in these matters. We need to discriminate having deep-seated homosexual attraction from acting on it. It’s not a sin to experience homosexual attraction. It would be a sin to act on that attraction.
Mr. Sugg is right to point out that there are plenty of other sexual sins, and that we ought to have an equal concern to avoid those and to speak against them as the occasion presents itself. However, he is wrong to suggest that because Christ did not use the term “homosexuality” that He never spoke about it and thus somehow considered our sexuality and sexual behavior unimportant compared to other concerns like social justice. It’s not an either-or proposition. We are called to personal holiness and also to charity. The two cannot rightly be separated.
Christ did in fact touch on the topic of sexuality and marriage explicitly. Anyone who reads the words of Christ (for example, Matt 5:27-32) can see that He clearly presumes heterosexual relations when speaking of sex and marriage. And when the Pharisees tested Him in Matt 19, He said, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” (ESV)
So it is very clear that Jesus has a “traditional” view of sexuality and marriage and that marriage from the Christian point of view is between one man and one woman. It’s clear that no matter our subjective experience of our sexuality, that God has a definite purpose and plan in mind for human sexuality. We are male or female, and as far as sex is concerned, it’s intended to be expressed exclusively within a lifelong male-female mutual self-giving with openness towards the blessing of children. That is Christian marriage.
Mr. Sugg also rightly points out that we do not observe all of the Hebraic Law as recorded in the Old Testament, but that does not free us to willy-nilly choose our own morality. Most Christians make a distinction between ritual and moral law. Ritual law is always changeable, but moral law is immutable. And while the temporal (here and now) punishment for a given sin is changeable, changing or even removing the temporal punishment does not entail changing something that was morally illicit into something now morally licit.
As Christians, no matter what our stripe, we consider the entirety of Scripture to be the Word of God, not only the words of Christ. And all Christians up until very, very recently (historically speaking) have well understood that homosexual behavior is sinful, as is all extramarital sexual activity. That’s because Scripture is clear on the matter, as is Christian Tradition. Just because it may be possible to re-interpret Scripture to suit contemporary sensibilities does not make such eisegesis as viable an interpretation as what the Christian Church has held since day one. I have no doubt that the many pastors today who are complicit in misleading their flocks on this will be called to account on the day of judgment. (Jas 3:1)
None of this justifies hatred or mistreatment of those who believe they are or may be homosexuals. Proverbs 6:16ff names seven things that are an abomination to the Lord. A proud look. A lying tongue. A heart that devises wicked plans. And so on. I am sure most of us have been guilty of such sins and many others, and we no more deserve mistreatment or special condemnation than those who act on homosexual inclinations. The Good News is that Christ came to redeem us all, for all have sinned and fallen short of our calling to holiness. The right response to sin is repentance and throwing ourselves on the mercy of God, and urging others to do likewise. It is only by the grace of God that any of us are saved.
We need not fear having a GSA at our high school, should one be formed. As parents, if we’re doing our job right, our children will clearly know right from wrong in this area (which includes not mistreating those who are different from us). If we are counting on public schools to teach our children our morals, I think we will be in for a rude awakening. Especially at the high school age, we need to be equipping our children to bravely encounter a world that is often at odds with our morals and now more than ever needs strong, loving Christians who can compassionately share the truth of the Gospel without exchanging truth for a lie.
J. Ambrose Little