It is a gospel issue. We must understand in no uncertain terms that to capitulate on the issue of same-sex marriage or “Gay Rights” legislation as has been proposed in Springfield is to abandon the gospel. This is not a civil rights issue. This is not discrimination. This is not bigotry or religious fanaticism. The acceptance of homosexuality as a legitimate alternative lifestyle is a rejection of the gospel.
The Bible teaches very clearly that God created everyone and everything that exists from nothing. This means that everything and everyone is owned by God, and is thus obligated to obey God. He holds the power of life and death. His will is all that matters. You and I exist for His pleasure, He does not exist for ours. This Creator is righteous. He is good. He is holy. We know this because innate in every human being there is a sense of right and wrong that is not just the result of culture. There is an inner sense of accountability to some higher law that transcends and undergirds all human culture and law. This law has been revealed concretely in the Bible.
The Bible teaches that humanity has rebelled against this God. From the first humans, Adam and Eve, to the billions of us living at this very moment, we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). We have all failed to reach the level of perfect righteousness that is the glory of God (Rom 3:10-12). Throughout the Scripture God defines sin in specific ways. Lying, greed, gossip, and pride, all make the cut of behaviors and attitudes that are classified as sin. The Bible is also consistently clear that homosexual acts are considered sin. It is one form of sexual misconduct among many (Lev 20:10-23). Just like adultery and fornication are sexual sin, homosexual acts are sexual sin as well (Lev 20:13; 1 Cor 6:9-11).
Now let us be clear about something. Homosexual sex is no more sinful than heterosexual adultery or fornication. It is no more sinful than the slander, gossip, and lying that infect our churches today. We are wrong to look down on those struggling with the temptation of same-sex attraction. Struggling with same-sex attraction is not sin. Engaging in homosexual sex acts is. We live in a world that is fallen and twisted away from the righteous moorings upon which it was created. We pervert what God created as good in all areas of life, not just sexuality. We must stop treating those struggling with same-sex attraction as though they are more corrupt and sinful that we ourselves are. It is simply not true. We all deal with different temptations. Sin is sin.
That brings us back to the point. Homosexual acts are sin. God has declared it so. It is not an issue of cultural confusion. It is an issue of submission to the word of God. We will either live our lives in submission to the word of God or we will adjust the word of God to fit our desires. The reason this issue is a gospel issue is simply this, if we capitulate on same-sex marriage and sexual discrimination legislation we legitimize and normalize as acceptable a behavior that God has declared as sin. When we redefine sin, those committing that sin no longer see the need to repent of it and flee to Christ who has made atonement for that sin. They will thus perish in eternal destruction because of unrepentant sin.
The reality of God’s will and God’s promised judgment regarding unrepentant sin, whether it is homosexual acts or gossip, does not change. God’s declaration of right and wrong does not change because He is immutably perfect. For Him to change position on a particular issue would imply that He was not perfect to begin with. He would thus cease to be God. Human beings are fickle and easily swayed regarding what is right and wrong, God is not (1 Sam 1:29). Those who unrepentantly engage in homosexual activity will not inherit the kingdom of God; they will indeed perish (1 Cor 6:9-11). If they repent they will live and experience, through Christ, the joy they were seeking in the practice of homosexuality.
Here is the point. If we truly love people then we care about their genuine good, not just their perceived good. Children, left alone, would eat only candy and cake, avoiding vegetables like the plague. Yet, parents all over the world force their children to eat vegetables because they care about their genuine good, not just the particular appetite of the child in that moment. We are sinners, governed by our appetites. God cares about our genuine good. When it comes to sexuality, we are making decisions based on the particular appetite we have in the moment regardless of whether or not it is for our genuine good. God’s word is the parental voice of discipline. He reminds us to control our appetites, to govern our desires rather than to be enslaved by them. Those of us who are Christians, who know and submit to God’s word, must explain lovingly and graciously to others for their genuine good.
It will do someone struggling with same-sex attraction no good to tell them that this particular appetite is normal, healthy, and ok with God. That will prevent them from repenting and finding true joy in Christ. That will ultimately lead to their destruction. A doctor who knew that his patient was killing himself through chain smoking but refused to tell him so because he feared he might offend the patient does not truly care about the patient. He must speak the truth in love so that patient comes face to face with reality in order to motivate him to change the part of his life that is destroying him. The same can be said of Christians addressing the homosexual issue.
If we cave into the pressure of social outrage, legal threats, and civil suits on the issue of same-sex marriage and sexual discrimination we are abandoning people to destruction. They will not repent of sin if they do not know it is sin. God has spoken so that we might know what sin is in order that we might flee from it into the arms of Christ who made atonement for all our sin. Brothers and sisters, we must lovingly, graciously, and consistently speak the truth of the gospel – even in the politically charged issue of same-sex marriage. The gospel, and thus their eternal destiny, is at stake.