Last night I attended a panel discussion at Queens University of Charlotte. During this event the documentary “For the Bible Tells Me So” was shown, and after the film a panel of ‘Christian’ thinkers dialoged about the film and the issues surrounding homosexuality and the church.
The panelists illustrated a wide range of viewpoints under the banner of ‘Christianity’,
Mike Deal (Cross & Crown Lutheran), Chris Ayers (Wedgewood Baptist Church) Catherine Houchins (Metropolitan Community Church), and Roberta Dunn (Charlotte Gender Alliance).
On the more conservative end;
My Initial Thoughts
This film has an agenda, namely to illustrate the incompatibility of Historic Orthodox Evangelical Christian beliefs with those who claim to be Christian’s and continue in the homosexual lifestyle. But, this film unfairly characterizes Christian’s as always responding inappropriately to this issue. While it is true that many people of homosexual orientation are hurt by the unloving responses of their Churched loved ones when the issue surfaces, this is no reason to ‘throw the baby out with the bathwater’. The church is full of sinful people.
As a Christian, I believe that we are all sinful beings. We all need salvation from our destructive nature. This is the reason God sent his only Son, Jesus Christ, to live a perfect life (upholding God’s law) and die (as a substitution for you and I, consuming God’s wrath against sin). When Christ rose again on the third day he defeated sin and death for all who would have faith in Him. This is the Gospel! The church is full of imperfect people who must rely on the grace of God, and exhibit that grace to others.
Often times Christians illustrate this sinful nature in our treatment of others. When it comes to the more emotionally heightened issues, the effects can be disastrous. While I acknowledge that many have been hurt in this capacity, I also acknowledge that ‘within the church’ we are called to gather around God’s truth and confess it as true, even when it hurts. God’s word calls us to a standard of living!
Last night I head several of the panelists (who are pastor’s) say things like;
“The Bible is not a manual for human sexuality, but the story of God’s love for humanity”
“At our church we do not care about who you are or where you come from, we understand the concept of God’s inclusive love”
To this I would respond, yes God is a God of love, but He is also just! We cannot minimize the reality of sin because it is not compatible with our sentiment. God’s love is inclusive in the sense that all who place their faith in Jesus will be saved. But its not inclusive in the sense that ‘all will be saved regardless of their beliefs and lives’. All who are truly saved will show it by their lives– in a desire to live according to God’s word. Just as we saw last night, Christians will not always be understood or even liked! But as sinful human beings, Christians should desire to live according to God’s word. This means that a Christian cannot continue in sin without repentance.
I pray that we as Christian’s would exhibit God’s love to those who are confused and desire to seek help with their struggles. We are all sinners in desperate need of the Gospel! We cannot minimize God’s truth on the issue of homosexuality, and we must “speak the truth in love“. One panelist eloquently said, “in this film we see many people speaking the truth, but not in love. On the other hand, we see many people speaking love, but not in truth.”
Here are a few informative resources on the issue of homosexuality;
1. Dr. Albert Mohler (A Proper Christian Perspective On the Cultural Issues of Homosexuality)
2. Dr. John Piper (A Pastoral Perspective on Relating to Homosexual’s in a Christian Manner…scroll down past sermons)
3. J.I. Packer (On Homosexuality in the Anglican Church)
4. Robert Gagnon (Scholarly Defender of the Church’s Historic Understanding of Homosexuality as Revealed in the Bible)
5. David Powlison (A Perspective on Biological Tendencies and Homosexuality)