‘Homosexuality is a sin’ is love speech
The bill H.R. 1913 passed by the House and now being deliberated on in the Senate is the first step down the slippery slope toward censorship, imprisonment, and ultimately martyrdom. This bill adds additional criminality to a violent crime because it was directed at a particular person based on their sexual orientation. Instead of just prosecuting the violent action, judges will now be prosecuting the motives behind the action as well. This bill creates a special class of people based on their sexual orientation. A violent crime could be committed against a heterosexual individual and the offender would be punished. Yet if the exact same crime is committed against a homosexual the offender would be punished with greater severity simply because of the victim’s sexual preference. This is unconstitutional, unjust, and just plain foolish.
Under this bill pastors who preach against homosexuality could be prosecuted as inciting such hate crimes through their sermons that decry homosexuality as a sin. Pastors can and will be placed in jail for speaking clearly against any sexual orientation that is not heterosexual marriage for life. We will be seen as accessories to the hate crime. The freedom of speech as well as freedom of religion in this country is quickly eroding. The question is this, what are believers going to do about it?
This article is not an effort to get readers to call their senators or sign a petition. What are we to do then? We are to speak the truth. Homosexuality is a sin. That is not hate speech. It is love speech. If my child loved to play in the middle of the street because his cars rolled better on the pavement than on the grass of the yard, would the loving act be to allow him to play unhindered because it is what he really wants? No, that would be absurd. You would be more concerned about his safety than his comfort. You would be more concerned about his safety than whether or not he got angry with you. As a parent, you can see the danger clearly and you must react in one particular way or there will be severe consequences to that child. You must thwart his personal pleasure with the truth so that he is not destroyed by the consequences of that behavior.
Those who practice homosexuality, as well as any other sexual orientation covered by H.R. 1913, are those playing in the street. They do not realize the danger that their behavior is placing them in. They refuse to acknowledge that God exists and this God will hold them accountable for their lifestyles. If we truly love these people, as we should, then the most loving act we can perform is to tell them that this kind of sexual activity leads only to judgment. If homosexuals do not repent of this sin they will perish in hell in the same way that an unrepentant heterosexual couple, living in an adulterous relationship, will. Unrepentant sin leads to eternal judgment, regardless of what the sin is. Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin. He bore our sin in his own body as our substitute so that we would not have to. He was beaten and ultimately crucified, bearing the full wrath of God for our sin. Part of the sin He bore was the sin of homosexuality. These individuals are not our enemy. They are deceived and enslaved to this sin. Satan has blinded their eyes so that they cannot see the light of Christ’s forgiveness and transformation (2 Cor. 4:4).
A doctor who refuses to diagnose a patient’s illness because he is afraid of offending them, humiliating them, or ostracizing them is a coward and unfit to be a doctor. Fellow pastors, if we refuse to speak openly the truth about homosexuality to this culture because we might be imprisoned or fined, we are cowards and unfit to shepherd God’s people. These sexual deviancies from the will of God are like cancer spreading throughout our society. People have a need to hear the truth even if they reject it. For too long we have engaged in comfortable Christianity. For too long we have avoided persecution. For too long we have hoped in our American freedoms to insulate us from public abuse. We serve the sovereign God who made heaven and earth and everyone living on it. No one can do anything to us that He does not allow, and that even includes persecution. Do not be afraid of persecution for “indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim. 3:12). Persecution is inevitable, brothers. It is not a question of “if” but of “when.” We will be censored, jailed, fined, and killed for preaching the truth about homosexuality. The question is will we be strong and courageous or will we cower in fear? Will we stand and proclaim the truth out of love and concern for their eternal lives or will we tuck our tails and stick to preaching safe noncontroversial sermons?
Preach the relevant word of God. Tell the truth regardless of personal cost. Why? If we fail to tell the truth they will plunge headlong into an eternal hell with no chance of escape. Their eternity is at stake. They do not want to hear it. They may stop up their ears and rush upon us in anger, but we must tell the truth out of love for them. It is the word of God preached in the power of the Holy Spirit that God uses to regenerate lives (Ezek. 37:1-11). This is the first test, brothers. If we do not have the courage to lovingly inform our congregations, as well as this culture, that homosexuality is sin, then we will not have the courage to proclaim the exclusive Gospel of Christ when we are told to stop that as well. Our motive is not hate. Our motive is love. Love tells the truth. Hate allows one to proceed unhindered into self-destruction. “Homosexuality is a sin” is love speech, not hate speech. When Peter and John were brought before the Sanhedrin and commanded to stop speaking and teaching in the name of Jesus, they answered those in power and authority over them with these words, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:19-20). Brothers, they are about to tell us to stop preaching the truth about sin, what will our answer be? (Phil Bray is pastor of First Baptist Church, Puxico.)