A number of weeks ago, I walked in on an acquaintance of mine and noticed an engagement ring on his finger. “Congratulations!” I exclaimed, beaming. “Who’s the lucky lady?”
My acquaintance, whom I’ll call Socrates, looked away and replied quietly, “Well, he’s actually a guy.”
Socrates and I chatted for a bit about his plans. He and his boyfriend hope to marry in Mexico before settling down together in Indiana.
“Mazel tov,” I said as we concluded our chat, and I meant it.
My unexpected talk with Socrates reminded me that I’ve wanted to write this post for a long time. The reason I’ve put it off is that… well… I’m not really sure what to say, and I’m afraid of what will happen when I say it.
Deep breath, guys. Let’s talk about homosexuality.
I’m deeply conflicted about homosexuality and the controversies surrounding it. My convictions are squarely on one side of the debate; my sympathies are squarely on the other. The prejudice and bitter hatred of some so-called Christians toward LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) persons appalls and angers me. On a personal note, I have several gay acquaintances, and I appreciate them. They’re all good fellows.
All the same, I can’t support homosexuality on moral or spiritual grounds. Scripture seems inescapably clear upon the point: the first chapters of Romans and 1 Timothy condemn acts of physical homosexuality.
(Interestingly, Scripture never mentions sexual orientation; the concept apparently wasn’t current at the time. The Bible addresses same-sex acts, not same-sex attraction.)
I’m angered by Christians who use Scripture as a license for intolerance or cruelty. At the same time, I’m troubled at the way accusations of ignorance or bigotry are sometimes hurled at people who believe, sincerely and respectfully, that homosexuality is wrong. Tolerance is a fine philosophy, but only when it goes both ways.
I suppose the thing that troubles me most is how homosexuality is becoming the issue of American Christianity, eclipsing discussions of urgent problems like poverty and religious persecution. The recent Duck Dynasty controversy dominated the media for weeks. Where is the outrage for abuse and starvation and human rights violations?
It’s a mess.
I don’t have much more to say, which is why I’m going to yield the floor to a blogger who is much better qualified than I to discuss the issue. Check in next time for his thoughts!
Thanks for sharing your position! People on both sides fail often when it comes to tolerance. Why should my orientation be your concern? Why should your belief dictate my actions?
I try to avoid controversial topics on TMTF — this blog is mostly an excuse for me to be silly — but this was a post I felt ought to be written. Thanks for chiming in!
I think you express my feelings on this subject in the best way. I may have to steal this sentence in conversation with others when this homosexuality is discussed.
“I’m deeply conflicted about homosexuality and the controversies surrounding it. My convictions are squarely on one side of the debate; my sympathies are squarely on the other.”
I’m glad you can relate! It’s a messy controversy, and I really don’t have any answers beyond this one.
Jesus said in Matthew 5 that for a man to look lustfully at a woman was to commit adultery with her in his heart and was, therefore, sin. It seems to me that that would cover any sexual “orientation,” whether it be heterosexual, homosexual or any other ____sexual. To look at someone who is not your heterosexual spouse and desire sex is sin, period. Thankfully, Jesus came as redeemer to free us from those sins.
As for whether it is our business… it is simply a matter of whether or not we are to care for our fellow man. If there is no hell, then it doesn’t matter and Christ didn’t even need to come. If there is a place of awful and eternal punishment and we care about the person, then our job is to gently and lovingly warn them. But it is their choice where they want to end up. It is difficult sometimes being a Christian and having to watch someone we care about absolutely reject what God has so graciously told us about Himself. But that is, indeed, their option. All we can do is just love, and hopefully they have some idea that love includes warning of danger.
I think you’re absolutely right about the all-surpassing importance of loving others. After all, until we prove our good intentions by love, why should anyone listen to our warnings?
I feel the same. I love all my homosexual friends but also have a deep knowledge that it is wrong. But it doesn’t make me want to support them any less nor does it cause me to abandon my beliefs.
I’m glad someone relates. 🙂