This week's challenge: Is Homosexuality the Worst Sin of All?
This is part 2 of our ongoing series (new posts each wednesday) engaging tough questions about homosexuality with guest blogger Alan Shlemon. If you missed last week's post and to get up to speed on why this series is important, click here
Is Homosexuality the Worst Sin of All?
Christians define sin as “missing the mark.” It almost
sounds cute. Kyle lied so he missed the mark…Oops. Katy gossiped...Shucks, that
was wrong. Randy was prideful…Yikes, better stop that.
But homosexuality? Whoa! That’s more than missing the mark. That’s
an abomination! Homosexuals aren’t just sinners. They’re revelers consummating
their reprobate mind. Someone please cite one of the Levitical prohibitions
against homosexuality (preferably Leviticus 20:13 since it includes the death
penalty) and say it in the King James Version for rhetorical effect.
And Christians don’t just think homosexuality is the worst sin. We act like it too. Christians who rarely cite scripture suddenly
invoke Bible verses when the topic comes up. We get uneasy when gay men come to
church, but we gladly welcome post-abortive women. We’ll move a lesbian who sits next to other females at youth
group, but we won’t separate girls who gossip.
It’s no wonder the culture thinks Christians hate
homosexuals. We give their behavior a unique status: the worst sin of all. And because
homosexuals are committing the supreme evil, we treat them like pariahs.
As a result, not only do homosexuals think their sin is the
worst, but they are the worst. They’re
the chief of all sinners. That’s why our verbal antidotes like, “God hates the
sin, but loves the sinner” are so ineffective. They only hear the word, “hate.”
We shouldn’t be surprised, then, when homosexuals get
anxious around Christians. It shouldn’t shock us that they start their own denominations.
These men and women still have spiritual yearnings, but because Christians keep
them at arm’s length, they have no choice but to turn to churches with pro-gay
theology that accept them.
Don’t get me wrong: homosexual behavior is a serious sin. I’m
not trying to downplay the gravity of what they do. But the Bible doesn’t
elevate its status above all other sins.
Although homosexual behavior was a capital crime under the
Mosaic Law, so were blasphemy, false prophecy, adultery, bestiality, and many
other sins. Under today’s New Testament teaching, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 places
homosexuals among other sinners like thieves, drunks, swindlers, and
fornicators. And 1 Timothy 1:8-11 lists them among liars, rebels, slave
traders, and other sinners. There’s no special designation for any of these
sins (although sexual sins are grouped together since they are sins “against
the body” in 1 Corinthians 6:16-20).
Many homosexuals have come to Christ. But they didn’t do it
because they believed their sin was the worst. Instead, they recognized their
sin was an obstacle to fellowship with God. Making homosexuality the worst sin
isn’t merely a peculiar theological mistake. It has practical ramifications
that alienate men and women engaged in homosexual behavior. And it creates
unnecessary offense to the gospel that’s already offensive.
Think Christianly with Jonathan Morrow
Labels: Alan Shlemon, Bible, Christianity, Ethics, Homosexuality, same sex marriage, Tough Questions - Homosexuality