Should Sexual Discrimination in the Bible be banned?

6 08 2008

According to the Family Research Council, a legal team has concluded that a recent anti-discrimination law passed in Colorado could ban the distribution of the Bible in that state. Apparently, the law, S.B. 200, bans the distribution of “any written material that discriminates based on sexual orientation” and according to the law, that includes, “…any communication, paper, poster, folder, manuscript, book, pamphlet, writing, print, letter, notice, or advertisement of any kind, nature, or description which is intended or calculated to discriminate or actually discriminates…”

I know…I know…the idea that the Bible could actually be banned in its current form may seem a bit far fetched to some of us today, but why should it? Isn’t it possible that a new “interpretation” of scripture should be encouraged that removes any reference to sexual discrimination whatsoever? After all, many emergent churches and pastors have already set the precedent by straying from God’s Word on the matter. They have begun following the guidance of pastor Brian McLaren who essentially suggested we impose a gag-order on anything related to sexual discrimination in the church.

“Frankly, many of us don’t know what we should think about homosexuality. We’ve heard all sides but no position has yet won our confidence so that we can say ‘it seems good to the Holy Spirit and us’…Perhaps we need a five-year moratorium on making pronouncements. In the meantime, we’ll practice prayerful Christian dialogue, listening respectfully, disagreeing agreeably.” – Brian McLaren

Brian’s idea may seem harmless on first glance, but what is he really saying?
Isn’t he encouraging the church to ignore what the Word of God already clearly says? In a sense he is claiming that Scripture isn’t good enough and that it is essentially going to take 5 years to make up our minds about it.  Correct me if I’m wrong but if it is going to take that long to make up your mind about something than maybe its time to admit that your mind is already made up!

The good news is that we don’t have to wait 5 years to understand the truth of scripture.

Romans 1:24-28Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.

Homosexuality is not a new issue by any means. According to Romans (and many other passages in both Old and New Testaments) it is a form of sin that plagues humanity in the same way we are plagued by sin in all its other forms. So why is it that we should be willing to accept the Bible’s teaching about sin when it pertains to anger, bitterness, rage, malice, greed and the like – but when the Bible touches on a politically incorrect position such as homosexuality we are expected to turn a blind eye or risk being called “uncompassionate”.

Evangelical believers have been labeled as “homophobic” and many claim that we hate homosexuals. According to our current culture the real sin is not committed by homosexuals, but those who morally condemn homosexuality. We are charged with being unloving because we make homosexuals feel bad for their behavior. They appeal to the law of love in order to defend what they believe is the rightness of homosexuality.

John Piper does a great job in summarizing the situation on his website when he states:

How can we condemn people, they say, who love each other, want to be faithful to one another, and are not hurting anyone else? Surly, if we hate homosexuals, we should repent of this sin and resolve to love them as we do all other sinners. But we can never say that loving homosexuals means that we accept homosexual behavior as morally praiseworthy and loving. And many people today will say that we “hate” homosexuals if we say their behavior is wrong.

Call me old fashioned if you must, but I believe the Bible teaches that we CAN have a clear conviction about the sinfulness of homosexual behavior. At the same time, as with any sin, we need to offer patient compassion to come alongside those who have homosexual desires and aid them in finding freedom from their sin. As a church, we should stand boldly and let the Word of God speak for itself on the matter. We should not, as McLaren has suggested, seek to silence Scripture in the same way that our culture so desperately desires to.

If proclaiming freedom from sin makes us “unloving” – so be it. Our measuring stick for truth should never be what the world thinks, but rather what our heavenly father has graciously revealed in the the Bible.



One response

6 08 2008

Ok, Chris… you’re old-fashioned. Is that an insult?

I whole-heartedly agree with you and I think that more Christians should get involved in one-on-one dialogues that present the Bible’s viewpoint in a loving manner. If we keep quiet, the world will only hear what the media tells them – that we are homophobic gay-haters.

I don’t know if this is poor blog etiquette, but I talked about the same issue on my old blog; maybe someone would find it relevant or helpful.

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