(Here’s another popular selection from our focuspress.org archives dating back to February 2014.)
We’ve talked and written about homosexuality, the LGBT rights movement, and the fight going on between church and culture in this area. It’s one of the defining issues of our day, but in the past week we’ve seen the discussion vaulted into the spotlight to an extent we’ve never seen before. Because Russia has taken an anti-homosexuality stance in their recent laws, the pro-gay world has taken it upon themselves to protest in every way possible. NBC has taken a major role in bringing the discussion to the forefront repeatedly in their broadcasts, and countries like Canada, Germany, and the USA have gone out of their way to make statements against Russia’s laws. Then the U.S. Department of Justice expanded its recognition of same-sex marriage to unprecedented levels, completely circumventing the law-making process by declaring what laws they will enforce. Finally, on Sunday night NFL draft prospect Michael Sam announced his homosexuality, making him potentially the first gay athlete active in the major American sports. (Jason Collins, the NBA player who came out last year, was unemployed at the time and has remained so through today.)
Naturally, we want to address this, but from a bit of a different angle than Christians might usually look at it.
Without any hate, fear, or dislike of homosexuals, we simply want to begin a discussion by asking some questions about the logic of homosexuality. Christians, we hope you’ll share these questions with homosexuals and pro-LGBT heterosexuals in order to start a discussion. Homosexuals, realize that we don’t hate you or wish ill on you. Please don’t dismiss the questions, as we aim to be fair by picking questions that naturally arise from the cultural discussion of homosexuality.
–Is any person who doesn’t expressly support homosexuality automatically a homophobe? Properly defined, homophobia means “irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality” (merriam-webster.com). If a person shows no hatred but simply expresses a belief that heterosexuality is what man was intended for, does it make them homophobic, or heteronormative? Yes, homophobia exists and all Christians are ashamed of those like the Westboro Baptists who treat homosexuals with hatred rather than the love of Jesus Christ. That doesn’t mean everyone is a homophobe, though.
–Why is there no discussion of the risks of homosexuality? Science shows that homosexuality puts men at greater risk of disease and even a dramatically shortened life expectancy. In an age when schools teach against alcoholism, drugs, and smoking on the grounds of health, why is homosexuality celebrated? (http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=IS01B1 – warning: graphic discussion of homosexual risks)
–Shouldn’t Christian preaching against homosexuality be considered loving (even if thought to be misguided)? If someone thinks I’m separated from God and destined for eternal punishment according to their belief set and yet they allow me to live without telling me of the danger they believe me to be in, can I really say they love me? As atheist Penn Jillette asked, “How much must you hate someone to not proselytize them?” So, those who agree to the belief that homosexuality is sin (should, although not in every case) do so out of love and not hatred. At worst, you would have to consider them misguided.
–What’s the purpose of homosexual exhibitionism? Between the gay marriage ceremonies at the Grammys and the Rose Bowl Parade, gay “kiss-ins” at Chick-Fil-A, and other such activities, why is there such a need for public display? Those who disagree with you won’t be convinced by in-your-face displays, so I struggle to understand the purpose for doing so.
–What is the difference between a heterosexual man being allowed to shower with fifty women and a homosexual man being allowed to shower with fifty men? Yes, this question seems crude, but Michael Sam’s announcement logically demands it. It’s hard to believe anyone would accept the first scenario, but the second is being applauded as brave and courageous. The problem is, they’re the exact same thing – a person being allowed in close quarters with human forms to whom they are physically attracted. Why is one allowed and the other frowned upon?
–How far does the “same love” argument go? The main argument for homosexuality today is that no one has a right to say anything against two people who love each other. The secondary argument is that you don’t decide whom you’re attracted to. As for the first – we must also accept love between minors and adults, polygamous love, etc., right? As for the second – what if you’re strongly attracted to another man’s wife? You can’t help the attraction. Do you act on it? Is that acceptable? For what reason should humans be allowed to be enslaved to their sexual appetites? When “love” is the only standard, the standard is going to shift a lot. The question requires an answer.
–Must one give up their religious beliefs if they are to avoid being labeled homophobic? Sure, a number of people in this day and age call themselves Christians while supporting homosexuality, but those who take the Bible at its word aren’t afforded that option. The Bible directly calls homosexuality sin (Leviticus 18, 20, Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6). That doesn’t mean we discriminate against it as some kind of higher form of sin, as all sin separates you from God. But is it hateful to believe in the Bible? For example, when Russian men’s hockey captain Pavel Datsyuk was asked if he supported homosexuality, he responded “I’m an orthodox and that says it all,” appealing to his faith as a member of the Russian Orthodox church (a group who believes God is against homosexuality). The internet broke out with a number of protests, with people labeling Datsyuk hateful, bigoted, and homophobic for such a simple, benign, non-hateful statement of fact. Do culturally accepted actions take precedence over someone’s faith, though? Must faith bend itself to appease newly-developed cultural belief systems? Does it automatically imply a deep-seated hatred when I say A. I believe in the Bible. B. The Bible calls homosexuality sin. C. Therefore, I believe homosexuality is sinful.?
Again, these questions are asked without hate or discrimination, but they are based on what logic demands along with a biblical worldview.
By Jack Wilkie
Jack Wilkie is the author of “Failure: What Christian Parents Need to Know About American Education” and is the speaker for Focus Press’s “The Lost Generation” seminar. To schedule a seminar at your church, contact email@example.com.