how should we approach the “gay Christian” debate (pt. 4)

Drawing attention to the shortcomings of another position should move us to something better. If the three common attitudes in the debate over Christian homosexuality–justify/affirm, accommodate, condemn–are inadequate can we arrive at a better, biblical response? I think we can because Scripture provides us with a better way. I think we must if we are to maintain a viable Christian witness in society as we uphold the authority of God’s Word. I’ll start with two basic presuppositions before outlining the way forward.

First, all of creation has been placed under sin’s curse and we have inherited Adam’s guilt/curse (Rom 5:12; 8:19-21). Nature & humanity are incapable of self-vindication which means that we can’t offer the mere existence of a disposition as justification for the resulting mindset and/or behavior. A person may be born with an impulsive disposition but that hardly justifies an adulterous one-night stand. On these grounds nature fails to serve as a righteous defense.

Second, in addition to the inherited curse we also acquire personal guilt for individual actions (Rom 3:23; 5:14; Eph 2:1-3). We may not be in control of inherited dispositions but we must still acknowledge that we are responsible for our actions.

Therefore, since the Bible calls homosexuality sin we conclude that view of homosexuality whether it’s inherited or chosen. The only way to contradict this is to redefine the biblical concept for homosexual and, in the process, to supplant God’s Word for ours. Consequently, professing a homosexual-Christian identity is a rejection of the gospel that saves us.

Going forward we want to speak and live God’s truth with grace and humility whether concerning our sexuality or any other area of life that must be brought to the cross. With this in mind we should strive to engage family, friends, and society in the following ways:

Preach salvation by faith and repentance (Luke 24:45-47).
No one can come to salvation in Christ while loving darkness (Jn 3:19-21).

Affirm the miraculous power of justification & sanctification (1Cor 6:9-11). Even the homosexual may become a former homosexual.

Deny that a child of God can embrace or cling to sin (1Jn 3:5-10). Salvation is new birth and conversion (Jn 3:3-5; 2Cor 5:17), a move from darkness to light.

Point people to Jesus Christ, our merciful/sympathetic high priest, to find grace & help in our battle against sin (Heb 4:14-16). We are not left to our own devices in our battle against sin.

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Author: Jonathan P. Merritt

Happily married father of six. Associate pastor for education at Edgewood Baptist Church (Columbus, GA). Good-natured contrarian and theological Luddite. A student of one book.

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