There are ultimately two fundamental positions regarding homosexuality: 1) that it is contrary to God’s will and word, and is, therefore, sinful, and 2) that it is in keeping with His purpose and is the moral equivalent of heterosexuality. These two points of view are diametrically opposed to one another. There is no reconciliation. There is no middle ground… Homosexuality is either a sin or it isn’t.
People on both sides have dug in their heels, absolutely convinced that they’re right. So certain are our beliefs that we often refuse to even engage in dialog on the subject. As far as we’re concerned, the only unreasonable belief is that we could possibly be wrong; therefore, the only people worthy of our time are those who already agree with us.
While we may be set in our beliefs, I’d like to hit the pause button of our hearts and invite you for a moment to consider the following. None of us have perfect knowledge, neither individually nor collectively. Out of all the study, prayer, and contemplation we’ve done, we yet “know in part” (1Co. 13:8c-9a).
With this in mind, I believe it’s important that we consider the consequences of our respective positions. What are the repercussions in the here and now, and what will possibly be the repercussions in the hereafter? Saints of God, what if we’re wrong?
If I’m Wrong, and Homosexuality Is A Sin
What Have I Done?
- I’ve told people to love their neighbors and to treat them with respect and care.
- I’ve told people to value themselves and to realize that God’s love for them is beyond measure.
- I’ve told people that being gay is no excuse to sin, and that they should seek to only engage in sex within the framework of marriage (spiritual, even if not legal).
- I’ve told people that their marital relationships (whether same-sex or opposite-sex) should be lifelong, and a reflection of Christ’s love for us.
- I’ve told people that the body of Christ is big enough for those who disagree, and that we should not condemn people for having a sincere difference of belief.
- I’ve told families to accept their gay loved ones, and to celebrate their unique contributions to the family, to the community, and to the human race.
The Consequences In The Here and Now
- People no longer live in torment, self-hatred, and fear.
- People respect others, even those they disagree with.
- Families are kept together.
- People engage in sexually responsible behavior (from a secular social point of view).
- Gay people engage in sinful sexual behavior with the same sex.
If I’m Right, and Homosexuality Is Not A Sin
What Has The Other Side Done?
- It has given people an excuse to condemn, emotionally abuse, bully, and in some cases, physically harm others.
- It has taught people to hate themselves, and has encouraged them to live in torment for their entire lives.
- It has prevented gay people from experiencing sexual wholeness through the fulfillment provided in marital sex with a suitable companion.
- It has encouraged parents to not accept their child(ren)’s orientation, and in some cases, to even cut them off in order to “save” them.
- It has kicked people out of the church and into the welcoming arms of an unbelieving secular culture.
The Consequences In The Here and Now
- Families are destroyed.
- Bullies are praised and encouraged.
- People young and old have lived in despair, even to the point of committing suicide.
- Heterosexual spouses have wasted years married to closeted homosexuals who cannot love them the way they deserve.
- Gay people have been beaten and murdered, not only historically, but even in modern times and by professing Christians.
- A number of formerly-Christian gay people, out of a feeling of rejection by Christians and by God, have left the Church and, in some cases, the faith.
- A large number of unbelievers have had their hearts hardened to the gospel because of their disdain for the messengers.
The Consequences of Either Position in the Hereafter
Jesus taught us that all the Law and the Prophets (a phrase representing the Old Testament, but ostensibly, all of Scripture itself) hinges upon the law of love—to love God with our whole selves, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see which of the consequences of being wrong has more love involved, even if the overall position taken is wrong.
I wonder… Would a just God—a righteous judge—not consider the circumstances surrounding a person’s being wrong before pronouncing judgment? Would He condemn a poor father who did not give any offerings because he bought food with his money and fed his starving children? Would He condemn a person for divorcing a physically abusive spouse, even though no such exception to marriage’s lifelong intent is made in Scripture?
Would He condemn people for studying Scripture with an open mind and heart, for praying and laboring over their sexuality, and yet coming to the wrong conclusion concerning what the Bible teaches? Would He condemn them even though they were sincere, not seeking to twist God’s word, but simply got it wrong?
Sweet Jesus, if He didn’t condemn His disciples for breaking the Sabbath by picking corn simply because they were hungry (Matt. 12:1-7), surely that proves that the circumstances always matter to God, not simply whether we were right or wrong. Is it any wonder that the letter of the law kills, while the spirit/intent gives life? (Ro. 7:6; 2Co. 3:6)
If being right were a prerequisite for going to Heaven, who among the entire Christian community would enter in? The very fact that we have innumerable denominations proves that few, if any, will live up to that standard. This being the case, surely a merciful and understanding God considers the sincerity of the journey more important than how close to the finish line we concluded the race. Isn’t that what Paul referred to when saying that although he knew he hadn’t arrived, he was committed to pressing forward, i.e. to giving it all he had? In the end, isn’t the best we can do all that we can do?
But what of the other side? If they’re wrong, how will they be judged? Did they run the race as best as they knew how? Some certainly did. But what about those who failed at our prime directive—love? What about those who ignored Jesus’ instruction to go and learn what it meant that God preferred compassion/mercy above religiosity/sacrifice (Matt. 9:13)? How sincere are people who ignore the command to judge not, or to worry about their own sins instead of the sins of others (Matt. 7:1-5)? Are they “good and faithful servants” in their attempt to impose their religious views on those who have not accepted Jesus as Lord, especially through legislation, e.g. opposing same-sex marriage (1Co. 5:9-13)?
Surely, even if they’re right, the manner in which they’re right matters. So, what are we to think about those who fail to walk in love, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, temperance, and humility? Are they equally sincere? Indeed, did they actually study the matter at all, or did they just read a few passages, and form a conclusion based more on traditional viewpoints than on any sincere attempt to “rightly divide the word of truth?”
I believe with all of my heart that my position is right, not simply because I want to believe it, but because I studied the matter out. What I want is to be wherever God is. I want to follow His word wherever it leads. That’s why I studied it, and that’s why I changed a view I had for 28 years and became affirming.
I am left with only one conclusion. I believe that the consequences of my view include the producing of more people who love the Lord, who are reconciled with Him, and who desire to win more souls to the loving arms of Christ. I believe that the consequences include building strong families, and helping people love one another, not out of religious obligation, but out of a sincere heart.
I believe that if my position is evil, it is, without a doubt, the lesser of two evils. If slavery could be tolerated at any time (as it was in Scripture), and if the subjugation of women could be tolerated at any time (as it was in Scripture), I believe homosexuality can also be tolerated, to produce in this society a greater good for the glory of God—to the winning of souls and to the spiritual and emotional health of countless people.
I believe that even if that’s wrong, it’s so very right!