I think the shock factor and the emotional-subject factor that homosexuality currently is enjoying blinds us all from the real issue that NEEDS UNDERSTANDING. Namely, MANY types of sexual sin are...well, they, um...are...sin.
Most sexual sin is performed in totally heterosexual ways, and -- let me be clear here: IT. IS. STILL. SIN.
More on that in a bit...
Get prepared...second shocking statement: SEX IS GOOD. (No Merriam-Webster this time.) Instead: "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed." (Genesis 2:24-25 ESV)
Let's be mature, thinking people here, okay? Sex is good. God made man. God made woman. God made us different. God intended for those differences to mesh...emotionally, mentally, and, yes, physically. God called His creation "good" and when God added man to creation, He called it "very good" (Genesis 1). God marched all the critters by Adam, and pre-sin-Adam was no slouch; he saw the differences in those animals. He saw everyone had a counterpart. Let's just be frank about this: our sexual bodies are simply part of the created order.
So, then, the question is never whether sex is an abomination or not. It's not an abomination. Okay? Got that?
How then shall we live? Stewardship of our body is a key issue. We've been given our gender-specific body, and it's subject, in some degree, to a fallen world, so the main thing we all need to remember is to lean into God for self-control and seek God for our the ethics of sexuality; definitely NOT the culture!
Remember, I am writing to believers right now. I am writing to the elect. I am writing to people who know the good help of the Holy Spirit, His indwelling and His constant hand of help. The unregenerate heart has little hope of anything other than temporary escape from ANY type of sin. Such a one is in bondage, a prisoner to sin.
For the unbeliever, reading this right now, you may not believe what I'm saying. You may not see it the way I do. I didn't always see it this way either. My mind had to be delivered. My blindness had to be cured. My spirit had to be set free to know God and see His truth. Indeed, I was delivered from the domain of darkness and delivered to become subject to The Light.
I've been set free from the prison of darkness! Thank God that He, in Christ Jesus, had / has a plan to set the captives free! "He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." (Colossians 1:13-14 ESV)
My personal list of sexual struggles need not be listed here for me to convey that I deeply, and with great personal pain, can say I understand the problem of sexual temptation, fall, self-loathing, semi-recovery, temptation, fall, self-loathing, etc. I'm glad to share with anyone, anytime, but I'll leave my list off this public forum in respect to potential unguided-young-readers. Suffice to say, I understand, from theology, philosophy AND experience the difficulty and emotional strain this entire subject causes all for whom it affects.
However, this post isn't about that either...
It's time we stop bashing homosexuals. That's never right. More so, it's time we started bashing the WHOLE subject of sexual sin (and some other ones, too!).
For the believer, the matter is sort of cut and dry: follow God in purity. There. I said it. That's our calling; plain and simple. We are called to lives of purity. We don't simple avoid being homosexual. We MUST seek the Lord to be pure in every part of sexual sin. That means MANY things; for example, no pre-marital sex, no pornography, no masturbation, no lustful thoughts, no adultery - physical or heart-ti-ful -- no philandery (yes, I made that word up), no flirtations, no perversions (I do not want to spell out what I'm thinking...) -- did I say no pornography? -- no emotional affairs, no lust of the eyes, no...no...no...NO failure to consider the WHOLE subject of purity! I mean, think about it, Jesus said adultery begins in our hearts and, in the same passage, says lust in our INTENT is where sin IS MATURE (ref: Matthew 5:28).
It ain't just "that" that needs discussion. The discussion is NOT only about homosexuality, but we are letting that ONE THING get the bulk of our attention.
For example, we ought to be out battling the pornography industry, tooth and nail! It's surely battling the life of the church and is that roaring lion that is preying on millions upon millions of men. Read this interesting blog post from "Business Pundit": http://www.businesspundit.com/the-worlds-most-lucrative-business-markets/. See, in particular, the comments on prostitution and pornography. Frankly, I think the estimates are really low on the pornography expenditures. ====== (Be careful to notice the jewelry choice of the lady pictured in the "prostitution" section of Business Pundit's article.)
Let's be honest (again), vice pays. In this fallen world, sin makes money. I often wonder if singular issues -- like the current hot-topic of homosexuality -- are the flares sent up by the enemy that cause us to stare into the sky while a thousand battles rage in the shadows.
Trust me, the Bible is not silent on the entire subject. I went over to www.openbible.info and typed in "Sexual Immorality" and this link will show you what my search revealed: http://www.openbible.info/topics/sexual_immorality ... wow.
I'll go on record and say it: HOMOSEXUALITY IS A SIN. It's not a sin because I say that. It's a sin because God says it's a sin. Don't believe me? Check out Genesis 19:1-13, Leviticus 19:22, 20:13, Romans 1:26-27, and 1 Corinthians 6:9. I want to be clear that I agree with what God says about that. At the same time I want to say four things in relation to that:
- I love every homosexual in the world. Period. I WILL treat them with the same dignity with which I attempt to treat thieves, which I honestly do struggle to love.
- God loves every homosexual in the world, too, AND, more than I love them!
- I never forget my own sin, sexual or not in nature, when I am talking about some sin that is not my own personal struggle.
- ALL SEXUAL SIN IS SIN! Did you read that? Tell me you did. ALL of it. Every type. Every time.
Believers, we need to simply agree with God on all of it, not only those things which DON'T pertain to our individual struggle.
I am gay (1a). No joke. I "happily excited" that Jesus frees people from the bondage of sin. I am overjoyed to see the work He's done in me. I am hopeful about the more-to-come nature of our current relationship. I am full of awe of what He will do in glory!
I honestly do believe Jesus is the chain-breaker, sin-taker, saint-maker that the world needs!
I do believe He is the only hope for THIS:
"Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming." (Colossians 3:5-6 ESV)
I've set my hope on Jesus and Jesus alone.
That being said, whether I'm talking about my issues or someone else's, I believe Christ Jesus IS the answer. THAT being said, we need to put the whole discussion of immorality -- sexual and otherwise -- on the table. We need to talk about divorce, greed, gossip, etc, on and on...all of it needs to be regular and fair game. One of the faults of the American church is that we simply move from hot topic to hot topic. It makes us look small and small-minded. However, when ALL of it is ALWAYS on our minds and in our scope of introspection and preaching, no one can accuse us of being a johnny-come-lately on sin-subjects as they arise in pubic scope and discussion.