“Because I teach ethics and theology, I have read a great many things about homosexuality. For that matter, anyone who reads newspapers or watches TV gets lots of information on the subject these days. Most of it is agenda-driven,” wrote Rubel Shelly, in his weekly Fax of Life.
For those of us in Missouri, we have been inundated with news about the recent “outing” of Mizzou football player, Michael Sam, for admitting that he is a homosexual. Potentially, he could become the first openly homosexual football player in the NFL.
Sam has been praised by President and Mrs. Obama, called courageous by SEC Commissioner, Mike Slive, and lauded by the liberal, mainstream media. Of course, this is typical of our time as Shelly observes.
“From the larger cultural perspective, there is no doubt about the agenda of removing taboos and explaining away (or simply dismissing) biblical prohibitions about homosexual behavior. From Attorney General Holder’s announcement of the federal government’s intention to honor same-sex marriage (even in states where it is prohibited) to the media mockery of Russia’s anachronistic laws about homosexual acts, the tide of public opinion favors accepting homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle and denounces as homophobic anyone who disagrees.”
Sadly, many religious leaders have capitulated when it comes to the Bible teaching on homosexuality. Dr. Shelly’s remarks in this regard are relevant and right.
“From the perspective of mainline Protestant theology, both argument and practice have followed the culture. A common argument is that the church’s challenge to accept homosexuality is the current version of the first-century acceptance of Gentiles or the twentieth-century’s rejection of racism.”
“These cultural and media, political and theological crusades may use polls, diatribes, and celebrity endorsements but can offer no biblical support for their proposal. To the contrary, the few direct references in the New Testament – Romans 1:18-32, 1 Corinthians 6:9, and 1 Timothy 1:10 – are uniform and emphatic in their disapproval of homosexuality.”
“Romans 1 portrays God’s good creation as under his wrath because of its rebellion against him – with “unnatural” sexual behaviors used as a paradigm for humanity’s widespread “exchange” of natural for unnatural acts. According to Paul, homosexual relationships tragically distort God’s will for his image-bearers.”
However, Shelly sounds a warning to Bible-believers about ungodly attitudes toward homosexuals.
“Some of them seem to think that being biblically correct about the sin of homosexual acts justifies their hateful name-calling, harsh judgments, and giddy assignment of those who do such things to Satan’s hell. Without judging hearts, the fruit of their tactics and statements is blatantly evil. It confirms the opinion of a (homosexual) soul who is loved of God that Christianity hates her, has no redemptive message for someone in her situation, and mocks the claim that God is love.”
“The Bible has far more to say about the unnatural sexual failings of straights (i.e., heterosexual fornicators, adulterers, rapists) than (homosexuals). The common sin of both in our time is genital idolatry that perverts the very nature of human identity.”
“All human beings are called to glorify God in our bodies – not just our invisible spirits – by following his good and perfect will for holiness. And that will does not allow agenda-driven caricatures, judgments, and hatreds.”
Perhaps Missouri team captain and quarterback James Franklin, who is a Christian, expressed it more succinctly when he simply said, “I don’t support (homosexuality) — but it doesn’t mean I don’t accept Michael. A lot of people confuse supporting and accepting.”
In a world driven by carnal cravings and sexual lust, we would all do well and society would be better served if we heeded the Bible’s exhortation.
“God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor—not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways.” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5)
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman