• Homosexuality: What if I’m wrong?

    March 20, 2012

    (NOTE: Please, no comments on my Facebook page. Online debates devolve almost instantly into something unpleasant. If you feel the need to slam me, please take to your own Facebook page or blog to do so. You can also message me privately through this website or through my Facebook page. Thank ye.)

    Heaven help the person who is just starting the Gay Posts. We’ve covered a lot of territory. Time to ask the big question: Could I be wrong? In the words of C.S. Lewis, “Quite easily, I should think.” Anyone who holds my current view of homosexuality as it relates to Christian faith is bucking the traditional view held throughout much of church history. That alone ought to give a person pause. Add on the obvious bias I have in that I am gay and stand to benefit from a pro-gay God.

    Of course, as we’ve seen previously, the issue of bias affects us all (read my post, “Sorry, but we are all biased”). The heterosexual anti-homosexuality Christian has every bit as much bias working on him from the opposite direction. We cannot eliminate biases. We can only try to control for them so that they do not unduly influence our decisions. Admitting our biases is the first step, so I fully acknowledge mine. I also acknowledge, as I have before, that I am not certain I am right. How could I be? Among my main points in the Gay Posts has been that I don’t think the Scriptures are crystal clear on the matter, so I’m having to set a course in the absence of a perfectly obvious path.

    And then there’s the problem of the pendulum. Any time a person’s view on a critical matter changes as sharply and swiftly (if two year’s time is swift) as mine has, you have to wonder if it at some point there will be a correction. When will the pendulum swing back the other way? It’s possible I’ll return to the subject five or ten years from now, thinking, “What is this drivel I’ve written?” But I feel that corrections of that sort usually happen because the person made a huge shift in their beliefs without thinking things through. No one could possibly accuse me of that. So, yes, a pendulum correction is possible, but not likely, I think.

    Bottom line, I could be wrong, and probably am on at least some of my points. With as much ground as we’ve covered, I’d think that’s almost a certainty. Maybe my definition of sexual immorality is off. Maybe my standard for determining what is sin and what isn’t is off. Maybe arsenokoitai means just what the NIV translators think. Maybe, for reasons unbeknownst to us, God simply is nauseated by homosexuality. It’s possible. There are things that sicken me for which I cannot give a reason. I simply don’t like them, and that is that.

    I could be wrong, so what are the consequences if I am? Perhaps a better question to ask is, what are the consequences for the two sides in the disagreement, since one is wrong, and since it stands to reason there would be consequences for whichever side is.

    First, I have to think grace holds, regardless. I find no scriptural reason for thinking ignorance and wrong-thinking are unforgiveable sins. They aren’t blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, after all. They aren’t unbelief. They are imperfect belief. They are just “getting it wrong.” Unfortunate, but not unforgiveable. Despite the suggestion of some, I am not simply trying to justify sin. I’m trying to understand. If my understanding is wrong, my position as a son of God is secure, if grace is in fact full and free. The same for you, whatever your view of homosexuality. But what about more temporal consequences?

    If gay relationships are not biblically sound, nothing much changes for my having been in one and advocated for them. No one has been hurt, as far as I can tell. I’ve seen no evidence that gay relationships negatively affect society.

    If, on the other hand, I maintain that God is or may be offended even by gay relationships that are marked by sacrificial love and commitment, when in fact he is not offended by them, the temporal consequences are pretty terrible. I would be guilty of A) speaking falsely about God, B) putting people under a harsh law of lifelong loneliness that God never intended they live under, C) contributing to a mindset that feeds oppression in the form of ballot initiatives outlawing same-sex marriage and other rights, D) fueling self-hatred in gay adolescents trying to come to terms with their differentness, and E) adding to the already-damaged reputation of the church and the Gospel throughout the world.

    And what about the practical matters of gays in the church? What would I do when a gay couple with kids comes to my church and wants to serve? Am I really going to tell them no because it’s possible their relationship displeases God, but I can’t be sure because there’s a dispute among theologians as to how exactly to translate arsenokoitai and how exactly to interpret Romans 1, and so, just to be safe, maybe they should divorce their spouse and break up their family, and then they can serve? If I’m not going to say that, what is my reason? If I really think they might be living in sin, don’t I have to tell them that before letting them lead in the church? And if you would say, “Well, a gay couple with kids would never come to my church anyway,” I hope that keeps you up at night.

    The risks and consequences exist regardless which path you take in this debate since either path could be wrong. While I humbly and fully acknowledge the possibility that I’m wrong, good common sense and the Scriptures, unclear as they may be on the issue, seem on the side of accepting gay relationships that are marked by the same self-sacrifice and commitment that we look for in a heterosexual relationship. If I am wrong, God knows I am sincerely wrong, having thought this thing to death. I remain ready to reverse my thinking if God tells me to, if new information I hadn’t considered comes to my attention. For now, I’ve exhausted what I can know about the matter, and this is where I stand.

    Posted in: The Gay Posts

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