I believe homosexuality is a sin.
In today's culture, that statement sounds as backward and narrow-minded as if I said, "I'm pro-slavery" or "women shouldn't vote." When viewed through the lens of today's culture, a stance against homosexuality is synonymous with homophobia.
More than just backward and narrow-minded, it's considered hateful and evil.
Recently, two prominent figures have received strong criticism for being associated with “anti-LGBTQ” institutions: the vice president’s wife, Karen Pence, for teaching at a conservative Christian school which doesn’t enroll LGBTQ students; and actor Chris Pratt, for attending a church with “anti-LGBTQ” theology. In both cases, critics respond with shock and disbelief that such prominent figures would associate themselves with such “hateful” and “backward” institutions. Ellen Page, actress and LGBTQ activist who has been vocal in her opposition to both the Pences and Chris Pratt, recently said in an interview for “The Late Show” that holding to such views is equal to hating people and wanting “to cause suffering.”
Yet, despite the pressure of the culture around me, I have no choice but to hold to my conviction that homosexuality is a sin before God.
But before you write me off as a hateful, judgmental Christian, allow me to shift the blame. It's not my fault that I believe homosexuality is a sin. This isn't a conviction that I cooked up on my own, and it's clearly not a product of peer pressure. In fact, there are times when I wish that I was "ok" with homosexuality; however, an authority outside myself is demanding that I adopt this "narrow-minded" view, and I do so willingingly and submissively.
I blame the Bible for my stance against homosexuality.
You see, because I believe that the Bible is the very Word of God, I must believe all of it. True Christians believe that the Bible is God’s authoritative revelation to humanity. As such, we are not at liberty to mold, manipulate, or update what God has revealed. As a follower of God, I do not have the right to pick and choose which parts I accept or reject. Some people, including professing Christians, consider Scripture to be nothing more than a nice, harmless collection of writings meant to make us feel good and therefore can be molded to fit the culture of the day, but here's the problem: if you label a certain biblical truth claim as subjective, you must be willing to do the same thing to every claim in the Bible. So what do you do with the Bible's teaching on the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ? What do you do with the gospel? Is that subjective too? If you pick and choose which parts of the Bible you believe, then nothing in the Bible carries any weight. The Christian faith requires that you believe all of God's Word; otherwise, your faith is pointless and empty.
So, does the Bible clearly say that homosexuality is wrong? Yes it does (Lev. 18:22; 1 Cor 6:9; 1 Tim 1:10; Rom 1:26-27), and these clear statements of Scripture are not culturally obsolete preferences of the human authors--they are the authoritative word of the Almighty God. As Paul states in 1 Timothy 1:10, practicing homosexuality is “contrary to sound doctrine.”
If I am to accept what the Bible says about the gospel, I must also accept what it says about homosexuality--I have no other choice. I must submit to what my Creator has revealed. And what he has revealed is good and holy and right. He sets the standard, not I.
But just as clearly as the Bible condemns homosexuality, it also condemns hatred. 1 Peter 3:15 says that we are to give a defense for what we believe "with gentleness and respect." To treat a homosexual individual disrespectfully, arrogantly, or hatefully is just as much a contradiction of Scripture as it to deny that homosexuality is a sin. Sadly, many who claim the name of Christ have perverted the Gospel through their hateful and arrogant demeanor. Indeed, what the Christian apologist Greg Bahnsen once said is too often true: “The hardest question to answer in all apologetics is not the existence of God or the problem of evil, but ‘Why should I listen to you when Christians do not not act like Christians?’”
So, Christians, I encourage you to “adorn the doctrine of God our Savior” with your gentleness, kindness, and love, but I also encourage you not to waver in your faith. Don't waver in your confidence in God's Word. Either utterly reject it, or submissively accept all of it. Don't try to be the judge of God's Word; allow God's Word to be your judge.
Non-Christians, I don’t expect you to agree with me, but I hope you understand that when I say I homosexuality is sinful, I’m not saying it because I hate people or want to cause suffering (my Bible forbids me to do so); I’m saying it because the God who created you and me has a right to rule over his creation, and has sovereignly declared what is moral and immoral. He has a righteous, perfect standard. Yet, he has also graciously provided salvation through his Son, Jesus Christ, who came into the world to save his creation from their sins, because none of us can live up to that righteous, perfect standard. He has provided a way for us to be reconciled to himself.
When you mock a Christian for his stance against homosexuality, you are not mocking his narrow-minded worldview; you're mocking his faith. You're mocking his belief in the truthfulness of God's Word. And if you meet someone who claims to be a Christian, but rejects what the Bible says about homosexuality, you have met someone who doesn't believe that the Bible is completely reliable. Can one be a Christian and reject the Bible's reliability? I'll let you decide.
So if you mock me, don't mock me for taking a stance against homosexuality; mock me for taking my faith seriously. Mock me for believing that the Bible is the inspired Word of God.
Mock me for being a Christian.
Aaron Berry earned both his undergrad and MA in Bible at Bob Jones University and most recently completed his MDiv at Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary in Allen Park, MI, where He and his wife Hanna, currently live with their two children, Brooklyn and Joshua. He also serves as the Director of Recruitment at DBTS and is a pastoral assistant at Inter-City Baptist Church. You can follow him on Twitter @AaronMBerry
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