The Messy Middle

An article entitled Study: Some Evangelicals in ‘Messy Middle’ on Homosexuality, Civil Unions appeared in the online edition of the Christian Post.  The article contained a paradox. According to a 2010 Baylor University Religion Survey it seems, “A significant number of evangelicals believe both that homosexuality is a sin and civil unions for same-sex couples should be legal.”  There were other results from the survey, but this one brings into specific relief what our attitude toward sin should be, and our response to it and those who engage in sinful practices.

     Homosexuality is a sin.  It is clearly and firmly denounced in both the Old and New Testaments.  It is descriptively decried in Leviticus 18:22 and along with adultery, Leviticus 18:20, and bestiality, Leviticus 18:23, and several other practices, is called an abomination, Leviticus 18:26.  The apostle Paul rails against homosexuality in his epistle to the Romans in the first chapter, verses 26-32, and again in 1 Corinthians 6:9, and 1 Timothy 1:10.  Homosexuality is not treated with ambivalence in the Scriptures.

     Homosexuality is not innate in the sense that it is genetic.  There is not a single shred of scientific evidence suggesting homosexuality is genetic.  It is innate in the sense that everyone is born with a sin nature and possesses a propensity to sin.  Homosexuality is just one manifestation of the sin nature like stealing or adultery.  No thief or adulterer will be exonerated before that heavenly tribunal claiming he was born that way and neither will the homosexual.

     The sin of homosexuality is a matter of biblical certitude.  For anyone to believe otherwise is to simply refuse to believe what the Word of God clearly says on the subject.  The devout Christian has a responsibility to warn those who engage in homosexual sin of the consequence of impenitence just like any other sin.  We do so because it is the loving thing to do. To stand silently by and let another go blindly into eternity without sharing the hope that can only be found in Christ would be a greater sin than homosexuality.

     That is the spiritual and biblical perspective embraced by those who are in the “messy middle.”  But how should that translate into practice?

     I do not believe it reflects the love of Christ to persecute, harass or assault homosexuals.  Despite recent rulings by the Supreme Court of the United States, I believe in a moral basis for law.  But I would not be in favor of laws that discriminate against homosexuality while ignoring adultery, fornication, and other sexual sins just as pestiferous and deadly to social morality and stability.

     This may explain why those in the “messy middle” are not opposed to civil unions.  It is their sense of fairness that dictates their perspective.  The evangelical community has not been immune to the sexual revolution.  It may be the recognition that it was their moral laxity that paved the way for a greater acceptance of homosexuality.  It is difficult for heterosexuals to hold the moral high ground on the issue of homosexuality when they have been sexually promiscuous themselves.  They can’t see the justice in making homosexuals the scapegoat of sexual sin when they are just as guilty.

     If we have repented and sought forgiveness for our past sins, we cannot let them paralyze our current practice of Christian citizenship.  The welfare of our homes, our families and our nation hangs in the balance.  We have been told, “Like a trampled spring and a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked” Proverbs 25:26.  We defile ourselves and our nation when we do not stand for righteousness.

     I believe sin has spiritual implications and practical consequences.  I believe when God forbids something it is for our own good.  Ergo, I believe the practice of homosexuality harbors both seen and unforeseen consequences for society.  So I take my conscience and convictions with me into the voting booth.  As a Christian citizen I have a responsibility to vote for those laws that I believe best reflect the righteousness of God because that is what is best for our nation.  It is what is best for both heterosexual and homosexual.

     We need to repent of our sins and labor to bring ourselves and then our culture under the sway of God’s Word.  The Scriptures are the only safe guide in such matters because, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” Proverbs 14:34.

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