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Three Ways We Go Wrong When Discussing Homosexuality

Three Ways We Go Wrong When Discussing Homosexuality

Historically, we in the church haven’t done a great job in discussing homosexuality, and we’ve done an even worse job caring for those experiencing this. If we look humbly and open-mindedly at what the Bible says, then…

We see three ways we’ve gone wrong in the church when it comes to discussing homosexuality.

1. We’re wrong if we believe God doesn’t care about our sexuality.

He does care. The biblical depiction of sexuality hangs on much more than these passages, but the relevant passages directly addressing homosexuality are Genesis 19:1–11, Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, Romans 1:26–27, 1 Timothy 1:10, and 1 Corinthians 6:9b–10: “Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God” (NIV).

Possessing a desire innately just shows us that we have corrupt hearts and we need to be born again. The gospel message is not “Let the gay become straight” but “Let the dead—and that’s all of us—become alive.”

If someone says, “But I was born this way,” I don’t dispute that. But possessing a desire innately doesn’t make it right. Anger or ambition or certain sexual desires are not right simply because they come from deep within me.

Imagine I said to my wife, “After being married to the most beautiful woman I know for two decades, sweetheart, sometimes I still find myself attracted to other women. So the only conclusion I can come to is that I must have been born polygamous. I’m going to have to be true to myself and pursue relationships with other women.”

Veronica would say, “I’m going to have to be true to myself and smack you upside the head with a 2×4.”

2. We’re wrong if we think same-sex behavior is a fundamentally different type of sin.

In Romans 1, Paul lists same-sex behavior as one corruption among many. We may not think of deceit, boasting, greed, or a rebellious attitude toward parents as equally depraved as same-sex behavior. But if you look at Paul’s list, they are.

In another one of his letters, Paul even talks about the pride that comes from religion and an obsession to be better than others as an example of this kind of idolatry, where we prioritize our desires over the Creator’s design (Galatians 4:8–9). Is that equally depraved in our book? It should be.

In fact, if we’re trying to pin down the most egregious sins in Scripture, there are quite a few other candidates that merit consideration.

Consider, for instance, materialism and pride. Scripture is crystal clear in its condemnation of these two sins, both of which are enormous issues for the American church today. Are we just as clear?

When Jesus met with those in sexual sin, he graciously invited them back to him. But when he met those who were religiously proud, his words were blistering in their confrontation.

My point is not to say same-sex behavior is not sinful. My point is that when discussing homosexuality, we often present it differently than the Bible does, as a sort of uber-sin in a categorically different realm. The worst sin—the core sin, the sin behind all the other sins—is something of which we are all guilty.

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J.D. Greear, Ph.D., is the President of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastors the Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, NC. Tagged by Outreach magazine as one of the fastest growing churches in America, the Summit has grown in the past 8 years from 400 to over 5,000 each weekend. The Summit Church is deeply involved in global church planting, having undertaken the mission to plant 1000 churches in the next 40 years. J.D. has authored Breaking the Islam Code and the upcoming Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary.