Part One: Finding the Truth Hidden in Plain Sight
Turn on the TV and you might find someone’s version of the Modern Family, with a gay male couple and their adopted daughter getting tons of laughs. You could see a teen struggling with his homosexuality while trying to remain full of Glee. Or you could catch a half-naked performance by one of today’s most popular singers—who has been suspected of being transgendered and is Gaga for her gay fans.
If it seems that the gay lifestyle is becoming accepted in the media, that’s because it’s becoming accepted in the United States. Nine states have legalized gay marriage, and twelve others perform legal unions between gay couples.
Even though forty-one states still have laws or constitutional amendments restricting marriage to between a man and woman, the majority of Americans today accept the gay lifestyle, just not gay marriage, according to a 2010 Gallup poll. Last year’s poll was the first time in ten years of administering it that the acceptance rate crossed the symbolic fifty percent threshold, standing now at fifty-two percent of Americans calling gay and lesbian relations “morally acceptable.”
Perhaps most shocking to me, an aspiring author of young adult novels, is the institution of a new award by the American Library Association, the Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award, for the best novel of the year relating to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered experiences.
This evidence of today’s tolerance of homosexuality is not limited to atheists, liberals, or the unchurched.
Sally Gary, assistant professor of communication at Abilene Christian University is the director of a nonprofit organization called CenterPeace, devoted to helping college students who struggle with same-sex attraction. According to an article in the June 2011 issue of The Christian Chronicle, Gary says this age of tolerance has led to “a generation of believers who do not see anything biblically wrong with homosexuality.”
These accepting young people are the leaders of tomorrow, and even the Christiansamong them are choosing to respond to homosexuality with Christ’s compassion, forgetting about His attitude toward marriage and sexual relations and the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality.
Sisters, this is frightening. I don’t know about you, but my first instinct when I see something scary is to cover my eyes. But we cannot do that now. The city of Sodom did not become evil in one night. It was a slow creep, a steady slide that was ignored by most, and embraced by others. No, turning our heads away in revulsion, apathy, or helplessness will not work now.
This series will explore how Christians can hate the sin by saying “no” to any form of participation or celebration of the gay lifestyle, but also reaching out in love to those struggling with this heavy burden of same-sex attraction.
But first, we must know what exactly it is that the Bible says about homosexuality. Unlike popular opinion, God’s Word hasn’t changed over the years.
Romans 1:24-32 describes homosexuality as an abandonment of the natural way of life for the unnatural. An important thing to note about this passage is that God gave homosexuals up to their vile passions—they could no longer see the unrighteousness of their behavior; they had become hardened to it. Doesn’t this describe the attitude and arguments of homosexuals today?
When Ellen DeGeneres won the Emmy for her television show way back in the dinosaur days of 1998, she told gay teens in her acceptance speech, “There’s nothing wrong with you. Don’t ever let anybody make you feel ashamed of who you are.”
I understand that gay people struggle mightily with same-sex attraction before “coming out,” that shame and feelings of inhuman strangeness are terrifying to them. But the Ellen attitude of “be who you are” is not right, not when the part of yourself you’re embracing is unnatural, both in scientific and Biblical terms.
That’s right, I played the science card. That’s one that gay defenders usually reach for, pointing to many studies that have sought to prove that being gay is not a choice. But the fact is, a “gay gene” has never been found. What has been discovered is that the human brain is highly elastic: Sally Gary pointed out that gender identity is formed early and is highly influenced by environment and familial relationships. Studies have also shown that what is called “reparative therapy,” or helping homosexuals defeat their sinful urges, has worked.
However, the most compelling piece of science to corroborate the Scripture about the unnaturalness of homosexuality is basic human anatomy: homosexuals lack the ability to reproduce, the primary quality needed for survival.
A Christian knows that this life is not the one that truly matters, though; it’s the next. Can homosexuals go to heaven? Modern society might say, “How could someone as caring and genuine as Ellen burn in hell?” Or “What about homosexuals that attend or even minister at churches where their lifestyle is accepted? Surely these people so full of love and compassion will not be cast out of heaven?”
God hates to see any of his precious children sent to the fires of hell, but the truth is, the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God. In 1 Corinthians 6:9-20, Paul lists many sins that constitute unrighteousness, homosexuality included. Not only will the people who place money before God, or who practice sex outside of marriage, or give themselves over to alcohol not enter heaven, but neither will those who live a lifestyle that includes unnatural lusts and sexual relations.
Many people who seek to wield the Scriptures to justify homosexuality will point only to the teachings of Christ, apparently believing other parts of the Bible to be either fallible or very specific to the culture in which it was written.
It is true that Jesus never condemned homosexuality, but he also only spoke about sexual relations within the bounds of marriage and between a man and a woman. We, too, must speak out on how God intended marriage and sex to be used to further His creation and His Gospel.
In the next article, we will study how Christians can separate themselves from gay acceptance and stand strong for godly romance and love. We must not allow the media or even the commonly held American opinion to tell us that homosexuality is acceptable. The city of Sodom should show us that this is not a new problem, but it is one that can destroy a society.
By Kimberly Mauck
Kimberly lives with her husband and two daughters in Durant, Oklahoma, where she is a part-time college English instructor and a freelance writer. She also writes forKatharosNOW, a webzine for teen Christian girls, and her own blog Virtuous Woman…Virtually.