Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Correcting, Not Condemning: A Response To Homosexual Sin

We do need to acknowledge that same sex marriage, along with the celebration of sexual immorality in all its forms, both harms society and shakes a defiant fist at the Creator's intent for sexuality. Sometimes, however, our zeal for righteousness can cause us to forget our responsibility to treat people in bondage to homosexuality with compassion and humility. Yet the very Bible that condemns homosexuality also commands Christians to exercise gentleness and humility as we confront sin.
 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load. ~~Galatians 6:-1-5 (ESV)
Throughout my nearly 25 years of close friendships with men and women who struggled with same sex attraction (12 of those years, I served as a correspondence counselor for an ex-gay ministry), I repeatedly heard both friends and clients lament that they never chose to experience same sex attractions. Although I believe Scripture teaches that we indeed choose whether or not to feed lusts of any sort (see, for instance, James 1:13-15), I believe that we need sensitivity in addressing their perceptions of involuntary sexual orientation. These people honestly feel trapped in same sex attractions.

I believe each of us excuses our own sin habits in pretty much the same way. I have. Someone once told me that Cerebral Palsy makes it more difficult to control anger. For decades, I latched on to his pronouncement, comforting myself in my fits of rage that I wasn't completely responsible for my outbursts. My disability provided me with a convenient excuse to give in to the sin of anger, and I didn't hesitate to take full advantage of that excuse. I highly doubt that I'm alone in blaming my sin on conditions beyond my control.

So I empathize with those who sincerely accept the lie that they were born gay.  In addressing same sex marriage, therefore, I believe Christians need an awareness that people who experience homosexual feelings see no hope other than redefining marriage in order to accommodate their sinful desires. While Christians must never condone sin of any sort, and must consequently not support same sex marriage, the Lord demands that we show the sort of mercy that we need when people  have to correct us.

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