One error (ditch) is unbiblical disengagement. This is most prevalent among my age group (30+) and older, and/or those from a socially conservative background. While homosexuality is one of the oldest sins in recorded history, in modern western society, it has long been repressed by societal norms (in eastern cultures, it is still repressed). It is only in recent decades that this sin has begun to be so openly expressed in the West.
The way societal repression of homosexuality looked for many people in my age range or background was that we grew up hearing about how gross and disgusting homosexuals were. They were referred to by derogatory names; we were told any physical contact with them put us at risk of getting AIDS, etc.
What is the result? The result is that we Christians have done a shamefully poor job of evangelizing homosexuals. Look at 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11a:
Notice that Paul was talking to a churchat Corinth. If you looked around that church, you would have seen people that used to walk in all sorts of sins, including homosexuality.
There is a tendency in “progressive” Christian circles to claim that homosexuality is not a sin. They say the apostle Paul was either wrong, speaking only from his limited knowledge of human sexuality, or referring to heterosexuals who were acting unnaturally by performing homosexual acts. All of these excuses defy the clear biblical message that homosexuality is an “abomination” (Lev. 18:22) and a deviation from God’s original natural order (Rom. 1:26).
Romans chapter 1 specifically calls out the sin of homosexuality. In that chapter, Paul makes the argument that through the suppression of the true knowledge of God humanity can go to extremes in their perversions. The argument is that if fallen humanity is willing to pervert a most obvious and natural heterosexual relationship in order to commit homosexual acts, they are capable of anything.
For the Christian, any sexual sin is a desecration of the temple of God. 1 Corinthians 6:18-19 says, “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?”
Homosexuality perverts and destroys the family structure and society. It inverts the gender roles created by God for human flourishing. God created men and women differently. Homosexuality prevents the complimentary functioning of the natural relationship. This natural relationship is modeled for us by the Trinity, where we see Persons who are equal in essence, yet different in function. Boys and girls need the developmental influence of a father and mother. In the Christian community, the church is to intervene on behalf of children who do not have this influence by providing it in community. As more families lose their ability to function as God created them, we see an increase in the breakdown of the society-at-large because the family unit is the primary unit of society.
Homosexuality is a flaunting of the rebellion against God’s created order. Some homosexuals (and others) may insist they do not recognize God or his law and therefore are not in rebellion. However, Romans 1 teaches that the truth is made plain to them, but they suppress that truth in order that they may live as they please.
Once we are able to avoid veering off into either ditch when dealing with this issue, we can then look ahead and proceed in a biblical manner in dealing with homosexuality. So what should we do?
We should share the good news of Jesus with homosexuals while keeping the following things in mind:
The reaction of some to homosexuals is, “Well, just quit doing that.” However, this misunderstands the very real and deep-seeded orientation that comes naturally to those with same-sex attraction. People who are addicted to drugs would often like to “just quit doing that,” but that is not a realistic way to address these types of issues.
Homosexuality can most often be attributed to a problem occurring during the developmental process of the early childhood years. It is usually a “nurture” not a “nature” problem. Some would argue that it is indeed an issue of nature because they believe it is genetic. However, even if it were genetic in nature, the fact that people have a natural inclination to something does not give moral justification to that action. According to a biblical worldview, we are all born with a sinful nature and, therefore, an inclination to sin. It is genetic, because we have inherited our fallen nature from our father Adam. However, the fact that our sin nature is inherited does not excuse us before God. He holds us accountable.
When we approach a homosexual, we do so as a fellow sexual sinner who is also in need of a great Savior. The foot of the cross is level ground. We show them that just as God has forgiven us of our sexual sins, so he can forgive them as well.
In summary, homosexuals need the gospel. We all need the gospel. It is the hope for reconciliation with God and the restoration of all aspects of our humanity, including our sexuality. We are to take the gospel with wisdom, humility and love. It is with wisdom that we will not be dissuaded by the political correctness of this age. It is with humility that we will see our own selves rightly. And it is with love that we will properly reflect the attitude of a God whom we love, because while we were still sexual sinners, he first loved us.