Question:

I am a thirty-something gay male who has been in a loving, monogamous, and thriving relationship for nearly a decade. All of those in my life consider me the most successful person they know in all elements of life, from family, work, and faith. I came across your web site and with all due respect, I am deeply offended -- not that you're condemning homosexuality, but that you're making so many innocent children around the world feel terrible about themselves, particularly around being oriented homosexually instead of heterosexually.

I understand that the Bible says that homosexuality is a sin. I respect your beliefs and the way you wish to live your life. However, since equally a sin is consuming shrimp, I'd just like to understand why you are making so many children around the world feel terrible about experiencing the "sin" of same-sex attraction and not equally condemning other "sinful" acts that the Bible points out. I'd also like to understand why the effort to expand, not redefine marriage is so important to the Christian community but banning divorce is not important to your community even though the incidence of divorce is much more likely among your followers than homosexuality?


Answer:

So you believe that a person can hold a belief contrary to your own, so long has he does not express it. You believe that a person can hold a contrary belief, but he cannot teach his reasoning or persuade others to hold the same belief. You would disallow someone with a contrary belief to your own from debating the issue or presenting evidence that shows your belief to be wrong. Yet, you do not hold yourself to the same rules.

Of course a person feels guilty regarding sins that they are involved it. That is true whether the sin is lying, stealing, fornication, or homosexuality. Christianity is not about the avoidance of guilty but of correcting wrongful behavior so that there is no need to feel guilty. I have no problem telling people that their lives need to change and to no longer sin. "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God" (I Corinthians 6:9-11). My teachings and my beliefs are consistent.

That you are currently successful while living in sin is not evidence that your chosen sin is acceptable to God.

"Truly God is good to Israel, to such as are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; my steps had nearly slipped. For I was envious of the boastful, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

For there are no pangs in their death, but their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men, nor are they plagued like other men. Therefore pride serves as their necklace; violence covers them like a garment. Their eyes bulge with abundance; they have more than heart could wish. They scoff and speak wickedly concerning oppression; they speak loftily. They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walks through the earth. Therefore his people return here, and waters of a full cup are drained by them. And they say, "How does God know? And is there knowledge in the Most High?"

Behold, these are the ungodly, who are always at ease; they increase in riches. Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocence. For all day long I have been plagued, and chastened every morning.

If I had said, "I will speak thus," behold, I would have been untrue to the generation of Your children. When I thought how to understand this, it was too painful for me -- until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end. Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction. Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors. As a dream when one awakes, so, Lord, when You awake, You shall despise their image" (Psalms 73:1-20).

Your attempt to portray the Scriptures as outdated is poor. You demonstrate little knowledge of what the Bible teaches and are only repeating what you have heard others state. It has never been a sin to eat shrimp. Shellfish under the Old Law, which ended with the death of Christ, were considered unclean. A person who ate shrimp would become unclean and had to go through a process to become clean again. See: Uncleanness for details. That was not the same as homosexuality which has been a sin under both the Old and New Laws. See: Homosexuality for a list of verses.

You also do not make a distinction between being tempted to sin and the sin itself. Being tempted to lie does not make a person a liar. Being tempted to have sex outside of marriage doesn't make a person a fornicator. Nor does being tempted to have sex with someone of the same gender make a person a homosexual. Yet, you want to confuse people on this last point to broaden the numbers whom you want to claim are homosexuals and to seed doubt in people's minds about what is right. It is an artificial expansion of the true definition of what homosexuality really is.

Expanding a definition is a redefining of the definition, so your argument that you are not altering the definition of marriage by pushing the ignorant in government to accept homosexual marriage is also false.

Finally, a lack of some in the Christian community to condemn some sins does not imply that that sin or other unrelated sins are acceptable. Besides, you clearly have not research what the churches of Christ teach about divorce and its wrongs. See A Marriage in Decline for an example.