Posted by: pastortomvabeach | June 5, 2013

Thought for the Week June 9, 2013

This Sunday, I will be participating with pastors all over the country in Pulpit Freedom Sunday. In so doing I will be talking about God’s pattern for marriage and encouraging you and me to take a stand in support of His pattern – one man, one woman, for life. This initiative is being promoted and supported widely due to the upcoming decision of our Supreme Court on two cases that deal with marriage between those of the same sex. The decision they render will have far reaching and potentially harmful affects not only on traditional marriage but on the freedoms of Christians nationwide. I believe this is a critical time for Christians to speak out with biblical truth.

To sort of prime the pump for Sunday, I wanted to address one aspect of this troubling issue beforehand. I will talk about it Sunday but thought I could do it more justice by addressing this aspect alone. The issue is what about same sex attraction? What do we do with that? We know there are individuals who live with this every day. They say that they did not choose the attraction, so why is it wrong?

Let me first say that we go nowhere by debating whether homosexuality is something one is born with or is a choice one makes. There has been no proven scientific evidence for a “gay gene” and certainly environment has been shown to play some role but that debate just takes us in circles. One writer said we will still be debating that question 20 years from now.

Secondly, attractions to someone of the same sex are not sin in and of themselves, just as attractions to the opposite sex are not sin. These are simply temptations which Paul says are “common to man” (I Corinthians 10:13) and temptations, regardless where they want to lead us, are not sin. The Bible has nothing to say about same sex “attraction”.

It does, however, address same sex conduct just like it addresses every other type of sexual intimacy that does not occur within the confines of God-ordained marriage. Biblically, God established marriage only and always between one man and one woman. See Matthew 18:3-7. From a biblical perspective engaging in sex with anyone, regardless of their gender, outside of God’s order of marriage, is sin because it goes against God’s plan and order.

So one might say, why then, did God make me with this desire for sexual contact with the same sex, if engaging in it is wrong? The answer is that God did not make you with that desire any more than He made a heterosexual person with the desire for sexual contact with a person to whom he or she is not married. What “made” us this way is that we are all born into this life flawed. When Adam and Eve sinned, they passed on a damaged nature to every other human person. That damaged nature results in every inclination we have to fulfill ourselves and please ourselves in ways outside of God’s will. That damaged nature causes us to rebel against God’s desires and want our own desires. Paul says, All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23

Whether that desire leads us to steal, cheat, commit adultery, physically harm someone, lie, serve idols, participate in witchcraft, be promiscuous sexually with either sex, or break God’s laws in a multitude of other ways, acting on that temptation, engaging in that conduct, the Bible calls sin. Homosexuality is not the only sin nor the greatest sin in the Bible. It is just one of many.

The problem arises when we affirm the desire (temptation) as something good and to be followed rather than resisted, and go even further and honor the conduct by conferring the same blessing and acceptance as traditional, God-ordained marriage. When we do that we are saying that we refuse to accept God’s definition of marriage, God’s order for humanity, and God’s view of what is good, true, and right. Just because I have feelings that urge me in a certain direction does not make those feelings good.

As Christians we must affirm the dignity of every human being. We are all made in God’s image even though that image is flawed by our natural leaning to sin. We must also take a stand against anyone who would persecute or criminally harm practicing homosexuals and support prosecution of such crimes. Since we are all sinners (in our old nature) we are commanded by God to love people but to avoid and oppose conduct that is sinful. Because of this biblical belief we disagree with the practice of homosexuality and any sexual conduct that takes place outside of marriage. Disagreement is NOT discrimination.

If we’re to love people, why would we keep them from loving those they choose? Friends, it is never loving to support someone continuing in activity that we believe and know will lead to their harm. If I saw someone playing on the railroad tracks and knew a train was coming would it be loving to say, “They are having so much fun and love what they are doing, so I’ll just leave them alone. Hey, have fun on the tracks!” Of course not! We can and should demonstrate God’s love in the way we treat others but also lovingly disagree with conduct that the Bible clearly calls sin.

Again this is a very important issue for Christians and for the nation as a whole. I don’t have space to address all the negative results that would come if people of the same sex are granted legal status to marry. We need to pray for our nation which is going further and further astray from God’s truth in this and myriad other areas. We need to pray that the Supreme Court will decide based on God’s truth. This is what I’m thinking today.

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