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J.D. Greear: Paul’s Teaching on Homosexuality Might Surprise You

3 ways we go wrong about homosexuality in the church:

  1. God doesn’t really care about this – Greear says 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 makes it clear that God does care about the sin of homosexuality. Some will say “I was born this way,” and Greear doesn’t dispute that, but he says possessing a desire innately doesn’t make it right. This is why we must be born again. The gospel message is not “let the gay become straight” but “let the dead become alive.”
  2. Thinking it’s the worst sin – This is where Greear gets a little personal. Do you think of being rebellious against your parents as being equally depraved as homosexuality, he asks. “Paul would,” Greear says. In another letter, Paul talks about the pride that comes from religion, to do everything right and be better than everybody else. Greear then borrows a thought from Jen Wilkin, who says we should whisper what the Bible whispers about and shout what the Bible shouts about. The Bible whispers when it talks about sexual sin and it shouts when it talks about materialism and religious pride. Only when we grasp this truth—that the sin behind every other sin is replacing God at the center with ourselves—will we become ministers of the Gospel, Greear says emphatically. When we understand this, we will understand that LGBTQ people are worthy of all the respect and compassion that we desire for ourselves and for our children.
  3. Assuming it’s hard for LGBTQ people to get to heaven – “Homosexuality does not send you to hell. You know how I know that? Because heterosexuality does not send you to heaven. What sends you to hell is refusing to allow Jesus to be the Lord and center of your life.” Greear goes on to explain that refusing to let Jesus manifest as Lord and center of your sexual life could send you to hell, yes, but so could refusing to allow Jesus to be Lord over your money, your career, etc. And since the root of our problems are essentially the same, repentance is the same for all of us—regardless of how our rebellion manifests itself.

While some may find Greear’s interpretation of Paul’s attitude toward homosexuality surprising, Greear says Paul’s views wouldn’t fit in our modern boxes of “classically liberal” and “classically conservative. “He doesn’t deny its simpleness like a liberal would, nor does he elevate it as the chief of all sins like a conservative might,” Greear explains.

Some have already pulled different parts of Greear’s message out and criticized him. One Twitter user, Ken Peters, posted a 1:29 clip of Greear and said he was “showing a huge lack of Biblical knowledge on the severity of sexual immorality.” You can imagine the discussion that ensued on that thread.

What do you think? Does Greear’s message make you think differently about homosexuality?

You can listen to the full message below.