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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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  • « "Dead Men Cannot Hate" | Main | 40 Arabic Words »

    Why Are Secular Progressives So Threatened by the Christian's View of Homosexual Behavior?

    Why do the the secular progressives feel so threatened when homosexual behavior is called a sin by Christians? Is this sin unique among sins? The recent fury by the Hollywood crowd over Kirk Cameron's honest answer to a journalist's question got me to thinking about this.

    For thousands of years the church has declared many various things as sinful; practices that are in direct rebellion against the Creator. These are acts that God Himself revealed to men as opposing his Lordship. The church has always declared the sinfulness of sex outside the covenant of marriage (before and after marriage), the sinfulness of idol worship, greed, hatred, pride and arrogance, self-righteousness, murder and many more. And the largest proportion of these are directed toward the church's own sin. You can see this every morning in our prayers and every Sunday (in confessional churches) during the corporate confession of sin where we remind ourselves that we are sinners and do so by then naming specific sins we ourselves are all guilty of ... and the very grace in the gospel constantly reminds that we are no better than others (this is such an easy sin for all of us to fall into), and we also remind ourselves that but for the grace and mercy of God in Jesus Christ alone would would have no hope at all. We confess daily that if we based our ability to please God and earn eternal life on our own broken sinful lives, that none of us would make it, since we all justly deserve God's wrath. Humanity, therefore, needs a Savior because it is in slavery to sin and bent on rebellion against the only one who can deliver us. None of us are immune from sin and our personal sin is not above the sin of the gay person. We are all equally damned without God's grace.

    When we tell others that something they are doing is sinful behavior in the eyes of God it is not because we hate them or think we are better than them. On the contrary, it is a call from other sinners like them to escape their slave-master and flee to Jesus Christ, the one who lived the life we should have lived and, in our place, died the death we justly deserve. None of us are born free. Only Christ can set us free.

    Now, the secularist may not agree with that and think it is foolish to believe in God, but it is only spreading the greatest ignorance to imagine that when the Christian says homosexuality is sin that it somehow promotes hatred, bigotry and bullying, all sins that are equally bad, if not worse, than homosexual behavior itself. When we declare these other practices sinful, I noticed that the progressives do not call it hatred. They may laugh and shrug their shoulders but they do not think it is bigotry. So why is it then that this particular sin is singled out? It seems to me that the purpose has more to do with the political rhetoric used when someone wants power, than anything based in reality. If Christians are bullying people because they are gay, then in all likelihood they are not Christians. I think deep down the progressive secularists know that Christians declare God's law, not out of hatred but of love. We can even see this in popular culture. On Seinfeld, When Elaine's Christian boyfriend did not warn her about hell, she complained that he did not care about her because if he thought there was a hell, he should at least warn her about it, even though she didn't personally think there was a hell.

    This is not not say that there are not so-called Christians who hate or are bigoted. It is to say that this is not the motive behind the vast majority of those in the true church. We rail against bigotry and hate in ourselves every bit as much, if not more, than we do someone's perverse sexual behavior. Homosexuality is really not something we think about very often. But if you ask us or if you would have us vote our conscience when the issue comes up then we will. Christians will never, and I repeat NEVER, change their mind about this. God's law always triumphs over social pressure. Time to be tolerant yourselves and get used to it without calling other people hateful. This reaction is evidence of Christophobia rather than anything resembling what is going on in our minds.. That is merely to spread false reports and may help a political cause but it does not match reality.

    Remember it is one thing for individuals to commit a sin and yet know its wrong and feel remorse about it. All men do this and such sin is forgivable. But it is entirely another matter when society begins to call good "evil", and evil "good"... by calling good "bigotry". This is the height of mass self-deception.

    Psalm 51:5 - 'Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.'

    Posted by John on March 9, 2012 11:51 AM

    Comments

    I find it hard to believe that they know it is done out of love. I don't believe they think about that at all. And, I really don't think it's about homosexuality. That may be symptom, but the underlying cause is their absolute hatred for and war against God. Prohibitions against homosexual behavior are largely rooted in the law of God rather than societal convention, like driving laws. Having overcome nearly every other divine prohibition, sex remains one of the last areas of rebellion. Persecuting Christians for their view of homosexuality is simply their way of persecuting God. Once they obliterate the prohibition against gay marriage, then they will turn to something else, in favor of polygamy I would guess. Their objective is to completely obliterate divine laws from consideration.

    ACS, I agree with most of your analysis especially that those are always the motives of unbelievers... But where I may differ from you is that I believe according to Romans 1:18+ unbelievers already know God and what he says but suppress the truth about Him in unrighteousness. They have the data and know what it says but are hostile in their heart toward it. So I DO INDEED THINK they know what we really think and know we do it out of good motives but they hate it and try to spin it some other way and convince themselves of their lie. And that is what makes the sin even worse.

    The Devil knows and understands what the word of God says. But he hates it. When the Bible says that the natural man does not understand and thinks spiritual things are folly, it is not saying they don't know what the words mean. Rather, what it is saying is that they know but find it distasteful, threatening and ridicule and use as many ad homonyms as possible to feel better about their own position which they have established by their own self-declared authority..

    The difference between most obvious sins and homosexuality is that most sins like murder, lying, stealing etc. are obviously bad and negative in all respects. Homosexuality is now being embraced by society as a viable lifestyle. Political correctness is forcing the issue and calling those who call it sin, bigots and intolerant. This is symptomatic of severe general moral decay, of an entire culture. The mechanisms to promote propaganda of this type and any other for that matter are now so advanced that it is very difficult to stem the tide, especially when Christians remain silent or are deceived. Evil will prevail when good men/women do nothing.

    Actually I think outsiders would say the church goes on a lot more about homosexuality than it does heterosexual divorce or ursury or wealth. Possibly outsiders would think Christians only speak more about abortion than homosexuality. If they are wrong I think you have a communication problem.

    However there are reasons why the Christian difficulty with homosexuality is given much less sympathy than Christian opposition to abortion. It is because opposition to homosexuality is not framed in the essential language of morality for secularists - that is no victim is identified.

    Secondly we are in the midst of a paradigm shift where homosexuality is being made an identity rather than merely a behaviour. A parallel example is what happened with left handedness only recently.
    You may contest that paradigm shift but its why you cop so much heat for this issue - rather than the motives you credit your opponents with.

    Hi Tony,

    You said, "where homosexuality is being made an identity rather than merely a behaviour."

    Thanks for your post.... Contrary to what some think, homosexuality has always been an identity (not just a behavior) in our understanding. And that is why we can personally have solidarity with all the people of the earth, including homosexuals, for we are really no different. We believe that we were all born (all without exception) into the world with strong inclinations toward various sins. But we sin BECAUSE we are sinners -- we are not sinners because we sin. We are born into a world as slaves (like the Matrix) and yet we adore our captors not unlike those with Stockholm syndrome. Again for those who are confessional Christians, homosexuality has always been an identity, not merely a behavior. This is just one among many symptoms of the disease we all carry and for which we all die. It is a condition we cannot escape by our our own power ... thus the need for a Savior who alone has the power to free us from our slavery.

    Next, what I believe to be contrary to your assertion, the church actually speaks very little about homosexuality. I can't even remember the last time our church or sermon discussed the issue at all. It really is not something we obsess over. You will find very little about it here. It only appears this way because the media talks about it incessantly. I bring it up here only because of the media's constant discussion of it and attack against anyone else who does not agree with their view. Do you really think Kirk Cameron took the initiative to bring up the issue with the journalist or was it the other way around?

    JWH

    JWH, thanks for your response. I do know reformed Christians (actually they would call themselves evangelical and reformed) who dispute the contemporary sexuality model. They wouldn't necessarily say that we are all "straight" just that we all can be straight/gay or otherwise by free choice.
    What I'm saying is if you want to understand why secularists find traditional opposition to homosexuality so objectionable you have to understand how they view sexual orientation. It is much more seen as who a person is - their authentic self. By contrast lying or watching porn or owning a giant car are not seen as core identities so secularists don't object to their criticism.

    As to your second point I write a blog myself (www.humblewonderful.com) and when I write on violence and non-violence or on Christian responses to poverty I get a lot less attention than anything I say on sexuality. Look at how important the theology of complementarianism has become in many churches (John Pipers or Mars Hill). Amongst some neo Calvinists its like a second gospel of compulsory heterosexuality.

    So yes the impression is this is a Christian obsession. I realise that it must be frustrating to encounter that expectation from non Christians if you feel differently.

    Tony

    Thanks for your interaction. I understand this is what the "impression" of the average secularist is. I did not say otherwise. I know that is their impression and I am really not frustrated by it. This is because the true gospel is not about behavior modification but new life. If everyone used their choice to change their behavior and became moral, it would NOT make a shred of difference to their souls. Morality damns just as much as immorality. And misunderstandings of Christianity comes with the territory. I was simply trying to clarify to non-Christians that, in fact, we are all "born this way". Sin is our identity -- all of us.

    I would have to agree with them that homosexuality is not about free choice. We are all born into sins, which form our core identity. Males are naturally polygamist by nature. Our choice is not free to be otherwise because sin has put all human beings in bondage. But being "born this way" is the whole reason for the gospel. We need the gospel precisely because we do not have free will to escape our natures. Our will and affections are corrupted such that they cannot choose (with a free will) to live uprightly or even choose Christ apart from Christ to set us free (John 6:65).

    We are not sinners because we sin but we sin because we are sinners. We actually, to a large degree, agree with the secularist conclusion about identity here ... But something being "natural" does not make it right.

    Gaga is right. We were all 'born this way'. Psalm 51:5 - 'Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.'

    TWO LEVELS OF HUMAN SIN

    It is one thing for individuals to commit a sin and yet know its wrong and feel remorse about it. All men do this and such sin is forgivable. But it is entirely another matter when society at large begins to call good "evil", and evil "good"... and zealously creates laws, and teaches presuppositions to children which positively mock God's law, calling it "bigotry" ... When society reaches this point we know God is beginning to pronounce judgment on people by giving them OVER to their sin. (see Rom 1:26, 28, 32). This is when the Holy Spirit no longer restrains sinners from engaging in sin but gives them exactly what they want, such that the sinner pursues his wicked ends with abandon ...

    People in every age sin, but mostly knew (to one degree or another) that they were doing wrong. They may have done it against their own conscience knowing deep down they were doing wrong. But when a civilization reaches a point where good is aggressively derided openly and publicly as evil, and evil is promoted as the norm, in the name of some legal fictional justice or of a twisted understanding of "civil rights", then Lord help us all.

    Luther once said,

    "we are compelled to serve in Satan's kingdom if we are not plucked from it by Divine power ....we are translated into [God's] kingdom, not by our own power, but by the grace of God, which delivers us from this present evil world and tears us away from the power of darkness..."

    While all unbelievers are captive to sin and Satan (2 Tim 2:26),when people are given over they have what is known as "Stockholm Syndrome" which is a paradoxical phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and have positive feelings towards their captors, sometimes to the point of defending them.

    When we pray and persuade our skeptical friends we need to remind them that we are acting on their behalf as their friends so when they continue in sin they are working against themselves, and helping their captor.

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