#8 - Gay Marriage. "Do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate by perversion, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the Kingdom of God."
Now, this one, my 8th installment, may cause some controversy; however, please consider the implications of that which I write.
The State of Maryland [of which I am a resident] is about to be the 8th state that has legalized same-sex marriage. Unlike many other states, this state is doing so through the legislative process. The House of Delegates voted last week, the Senate yesterday, and within the beginning of next week our Governor has already declared that same-sex unions will be allowed in the State of Maryland. This deeply troubles me. And I want us to take a moment and ask why this decision troubles me and so many others.
I believe that homosexual behavior is intrinsically sinful. What this means is that the desire for - and lust towards - someone of the same gender is sinful in and of itself. Unlike the desire for the opposite sex, which is intrinsically moral [it becomes immoral when that desire is geared towards someone you have not been given to in marriage] the homosexual desire is sinful at its very core.
Now, at this point some people, I am sure, will get upset with me. Where do I get this opinion? I get this from Scripture. The above Scripture referenced talks about the gravity of this situation. Those who practice sin will not inherit the Kingdom of God. I cannot make the Scripture say what it does not say - I must confess this truth. And just as I would call idolatry, drunkenness, theft, fornication, coveting, and swindling sin - so also I must call homosexual behavior sinful. The Bible does - therefore if I am to be faithful to the Bible, I must also.
Now, some people will tell me that I am being judgmental to condemn homosexual behavior and tendency. I do not believe that I am. To be judgmental is to think one is better. I do not think this. On the contrary, I believe the church at large has done real damage to those who struggle with the sin of homosexuality. Many in the church have treated the homosexual like a pariah. This is clearly wrong. I could see Jesus going to a Gay Pride Parade - but His purpose there would be to turn people from their sin in order to embrace Him. He did it with prostitutes, tax-collectors, and, "sinners" of all kinds. Yes, Jesus loves everyone but He also calls them to change. My motto at church is, "come as you are but do not leave as you were." Encountering Jesus Christ means change is going to occur. When Jesus was encountered by the Pharisees who were ready to throw stones at an adulteress, He said, "He who is without sin cast the first stone..." They walked away. Jesus did not condemn her - but He did say, "Go and sin no more."
Which leads me to v.11 of 1st Corinthians 6 which reads, "And that is what some of you were; but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ , and in the Spirit of our God." The Apostle makes it clear that amongst them were former thieves, former drunkards, former adulteresses, former covetous individuals, and yes - former homosexuals - who because of their encounter with Jesus were changed so that they could live a new life. This is the greatest hope for those who are struggling with homosexuality - Jesus can - and will - help. We as churches need to invite the homosexual individual into a loving relationship with Jesus - and then bring them to the agent of change.
Which leads me to the next point. When the secular world puts its approval on a practice that is inherently sinful [like gay marriage] it makes the job of the church that much more difficult. One will not repent from something they do not think wrong; and when society tells you, "you are ok" then you just might think you are ok. But if you are not ok - even when society tells you that you are ok - you are still not ok.
Some will tell me that Jesus never brought up homosexuality - so He must not care. Well, I believe Jesus to be the great, "I Am." He declared to be that and therefore He also spoke on Sinai. And there the Lord clearly condemns it. The Bible is inspired - and yes - in the New Testament the Apostle addresses the sin in Romans, 1st Corinthians, and 1st Timothy. If the Apostle was inspired by the Holy Ghost [which I believe he is] then Jesus did condemn it.
I find it interesting [and uniquely troubling] that all other sins the Bible condemns people agree with. No one says that greed is good. No one says that adultery is good. No one says that pride is good. No one says that theft, murder, lies, blasphemies, lack of love, etc...is good. So why are we so blatant to contradict the Bible on this? Because of our false sense of compassion. If I am about to get hit by a truck and I do not see it - please someone tell me to move - even if that might make me change directions. We do not want people to feel badly - but, "not feeling bad" is not always love. People do need to look at their lives, reflect, and repent. There is so much I have had to repent for; repentance is good for the soul. Then look to the cross, the blood scarred hands, and receive the forgiveness won for you at Calvary. But if you will not admit sin, forgiveness will not be granted. Jesus is not the Burger King - we cannot have Him, "our way." He is the King of Kings - and we must bow the knee to Him.
And to those who struggle with homosexuality I say this - the Lord loves you. He wants what is best for you. You can, by God's Spirit, change. He will help. Amen.