Homosexuality and Baptists
Okay, so I was just thinking that the title would attract a reader or two. But here’s the deal, when it comes to homosexuality as an issue with which the evangelical church has had to wrestle with — and make no mistake it is probably one of the key issues that will face churches in the next decade — when it comes to this issue, it is surely the case that we have become known more for what we stand against, than who we stand for…
In the study presented in the book UNchristian, 91% of the next generation believes that Christians, specifically evangelical Christians, hate homosexuals. David Kinnamon writes, “In our research, the perception that Christians are against gays and lesbians — not only objecting to their lifestyles but harboring irrational fear and unmerited scorn towards them — has reached critical mass.
Can I make this statement right up front. This is not a simple issue. When we try to simplify an issue that is very complex, what it typically means is that we don’t want to step into the mess. But Jesus has never been afraid of stepping into our mess. It is a mess filled with sincere people trying to interpret scripture. It is a mess filled with parents agonizing over children’s choices and children’s pain. It is a mess that’s left people feeling isolated, rejected and even hated.
I appreciated what I read from another pastor dealing with this topic. He pointed out that in life there are some words that so completely go together that when you hear one, you automatically think of the other. Like if I say to you…
- Peanut Butter and ________ you think of Jelly. (A handful of you think mayonaise but you are abnormal.)
- Batman and _____________ you say Robin.
- If I say hugs and ___________ you say kisses.
When it comes to this issue the two words that must completely go together are the words conviction and compassion. One is not enough, with only one we get imbalanced. So let me give you three convictions and I think they are in the order of importance to me.
1) My first conviction is that we live in a culture that is filled — filled, filled, filled with sexual brokenness. We have stores that market clothes to pre-teens that are designed to be sexually suggestive. Our middle school students are experimenting with sex, our high school students are sexting. College students are hooking up and the walk of shame is a right of passage. From internet porn to adultery, from media to music, from incest to sexual abuse, and then add to all of that, Jesus’ indicator of sexual brokenness — In Matthew 5:27, he said, “Guys if you even look at a woman and think about using her sexually, you have already committed adultery in your heart.”
2) My second conviction is that the only way to find wholeness in the midst of this brokenness is to put sex in it’s proper place. God never intended for people to be defined by their sexuality. I believe it is a sign of the brokenness of our culture that we would even think to describe a whole lifestyle, define a whole person in terms of their sexuality. God’s dream for humanity, his definition of people is envisioned in the phrase, in the image of God. He created us to be in his image.
Now I am convicted that in God’s plan the proper place for sex is within a covenant marriage relationship between a man and a woman. Within that relationship sex fosters wholeness. Outside of that relationship, I believe it always leads to various levels of brokenness. But hear me, that place, the proper place of sex, is a small place. The reason the Bible rarely speaks to it, is because it is a small place that was never intended to define who we are. Listen when we get to heaven, sex doesn’t even go with us! I know, I lost some of you. You are thinking how can it be heaven without sex? It’s because there is something even better.
3) Here is my third conviction. It is the one that I close with, and the one that I focused on in last week’s message (Click
How would it change the relationship between baptists and homosexuals if compassion were our conviction?
Dan, how do you know that when we get to heaven there will be no gender? Can you please cite a reference? I wish you would do a series of sermons on what the bible says about heaven. If you have already, I’m sorry I missed them.
Or. . .
How would it change the relationship between CHRISTIANS and homosexuals if compassion were our conviction?
Awesome blog entry! THANKS BRO!! :)
Pastor Dan, “hot” topic! I am going to ramble perhaps … girl here, bear with me please.
After 56 years in the human female gender, 34 years full time plus in the nursing profession, 28 years of being a parent (wife, mother & single parent for 10 years), I continue to accept at face value the words in my bible! Love one another, hate what God hates & love what God loves. He listed seven deadly sins & ten commandments. No human can read or recite them without acknowledging personal failure in one manner or another. Proverbs a chapter a day for each month made that perfectly clear to me. I am way less than He desires, one step at a time I pray.
Jesus knew no sin ! That in itself is beyond my ability to comprehend in my human condition! He was compassionate, BUT, he confronted people with their SIN ! He knew their hearts before they spoke, & he didn’t differentiate between sinners with nice personalities as opposed to those who were irritating or worriers or abrasive or cruel. Sin is sin …. He said it ! Humans can rationalize around it anyway they want to … human behavior doesn’t change God’s guidelines or the measure of His Love….He doesn’t owe us an explanation … He is the designer & creator. Since He is LOVE, he is not a control freak, He gives us free choice & lists the consequences & He can be a smothering parent. Thank God for that …. in that I am very grateful !
GOD destroyed empires & towns who gave into their immoral passions & wallowed in their selfish desires without restraint. I have compassion for any unhealthy human condition; however, homosexuality is a perversion & a personal choice; whether from woundedness, brokenness, or socialization. And it is a manner of promoting pornography of the mind minimum line & abuse of the body & devastation to the spiritual human nature. Egads… & I just had another first hand experience with that & it really blew my mind ! How many homosexual animals have you ever seen in nature? I grew up on a farm & I am a nature & science maniac of sorts.
My bible says that the church body is to gently & with compassion confront the person of their sin. Does the church do that ? Will we allow our children to be taught that Eve & Ethel is ok, or that Adam & Aurthur is ok? Genesis says He created Adam & Eve ….. & He expounds on that relationship & the manner in which it is to be reverenced very succinctly in the bible.
The movie “somebody’s daughter” is excellent. There should also be one called “somebody’s son”. Having raised a son with the benefit of an UNChristian Father …. well, this was a significant spiritual journey to say the very least. And, being a female had it’s significant disadvantages to put it mildly.
I am really spiritually sick of people who say they believe in God & apologizing for what God has to say on matters of the body, mind & spirit.
Is it UNCHRISTIAN to take God’s word at FACE VALUE when we can see what results from “tolerating” behavior that is out of line with HIS WORDS ?????
I for one would like to start having heterosexual rallies then ….. & would like to start a movement that says “your unhealthy human behavior & your unhealthy choices have resulted in these consequences & LIST THEM on HUGE BILLBOARDS ! This would include a variety of topics which I would NOT feel apologetic about in any way shape or form. There is a large community of homosexuals in this area. And many are predators looking to feast on the vulnerable young people in this community. And I for ONE will not apologize for my belief’s. If that means I am UnChristian, oh well, I will personally have My Heavenly Father deal with me about that.
Introverted though I am, this is only one topic hat needs more consideration in the manner it is handled by the church if we are going to follow the guidelines that Jesus spoke in the New Testament; compassion & conviction with love. But, conviction .. is that between God & the individual only or did HE tell us to speak the TRUTH IN LOVE !
I would be interested to hear you talk about how God sees our bodies as our temples ….. in which we house the holy spirit & represent ourselves as Christians. Or, How do we demonstrate Unconditional Love as human beings? Not by tolerance, but, by truth to our children, friends, family, acquaintances, etc …. in love & teaching them self discipline & moral character … do we not put limits on behaviors that we know are going to be harmful to ourselves or our children? Are we examples of what we spew or not? Are we not suppose to love our neighbors as ourselves? Does that mean that we tolerate wrong behavior in ourselves as well?
Hmmmm …. just thinking Pastor Dan…. can’t help it …. I was created that way…. Your messages have inspired me to seek a higher level of spiritual wellness & I am very grateful for that ! Thanks for the inspiration !
What an excellent post – thank you for writing it! Yes, yes yes!
I am in full agreement with Jeannette.
As I said in my post, it’s not a matter of truth not being true. I think for me it’s more a matter of “having a log in my eye” while I try to get out the “log in someone else’s eye.”
Here is what I would have you consider… it is one of the areas where God greatly convicted me — in fact I think I’ll blog about it. Read I Corinthians 5:1-12. I have a few questions after reaiding that passage…like
1) Is it right to highlight sexual sin as as a more grievous sin than greed if Paul’s call is to separate ourselves from both the person who is committing sexual sin and the person who is greedy?
2) Is there any doubt that American Christians struggle with greed?
3) Wouldn’t the church’s sin of greed need to go on the billboard along with any billboards we would put up about the sin of people outside the church?
4) Finally, Paul says to separate ourselves from people inside the church doing such things…he doesn’t say we should separate ourselves from people outside the church who are doing such things… so my question would be… would putting up a big “sin” billboard be a good way of fulfilling Jesus command to love my neighbor — if my neighbor is gay?
As you said it’s a hot topic and I have no desire to ask you or any other Christian to “apologize for your beliefs” I just think we might need to apologize for some of our behaviors. That’s what the series UNchristian is about. Thanks for sharing Jeannette!
I should have added Pastor Dan, that I have had gay friends & greedy friends, I like the homosexual friends better ! I love people, …. however, I see that their homosexual behaviors are self destructing to their human natures & they are sexual predators to vulnerable young minds. Actually, as a result of the most recent friendship with a gay individual, I was exposed to some literature & DVD material that made me want to poke my eyes out ! And briefly enough, nevertheless, left me with a cry in my heart that I cannot seem to squelch. Egads ! I think my eyes & my heart exploded. Never knew such stuff existed. I never seem to be amazed at my ability to be naive …. sometimes believer’s just have tunnel vision. I think we need to open our eyes MORE ….. see what the rest of the people in this world see & then pray for ways to be proactive for the benefit of future children. Somehow … the consequences of greed… don’t seem to me to be as immeasurable as the consequences of pornography & sexual predators & child molestors & rapists. I did read the passage you suggested. Greedy people, at least they are not spreading their unhealthy desires onto others & ruining other hearts & minds & bodies. Also, still have a brief enough visual image of …. well, still screaming Pastor Dan, that’s all I can say about that ! And I can usually alter my perspective to avoid screaming. However, this time I am stuck ! Need some help here ….