A local teenager approached me with an interesting question, one that I thought could potentially be a loaded question. He said, “What do you teach on homosexuality?”
I told him the same thing the Bible says about it: it’s a sin. “But,” I added, “it’s not the only sin.”
With all the talk of homosexuality, it’s as though some people think it’s the only sin. It’s the only sin they talk about publicly (look at their Facebook pages). It’s the only sin that they get upset over. It seems to be the front line of all their efforts. They are outraged over every bit of ground that the homosexuals gain in promoting their lifestyle.
They don’t show this kind of outrage over people cheating on their taxes. They are strangely silent when it comes to people speeding. Their voice is nowhere to be heard when there are beer ads during the football game. It’s like they’ve gone mute when it comes to people using God’s name in vain.
This teenager, after my response, said, “All I hear every Sunday is how evil homosexuality is. It’s in every sermon. I realize it’s sin, but good grief, I think we got the message two months ago. There’s not a homosexual in our church, and none of them are considering it, so it’d be nice if the preacher moved on to something else.”
Now, don’t take this as me somehow advocating a “soft” stance on homosexuality. The Bible is very clear that homosexuality is an abomination (Leviticus 18:22), and that there will be no homosexuals in heaven (I Corinthians 6:9-10). God says it’s an abomination, and that remains true, even if man stops viewing it that way (I’m looking at you, Canadian Supreme Court).
But, as a Christian, it bothers me that I have so many brothers and sisters in Christ who only get outraged over certain sins. As a Christian, it bothers me that homosexuality is the litmus test topic, but things like having the proper attitude, showing love towards others, striving for unity in the church, bringing back the erring, and other such things are viewed as secondary in importance (if they’re even mentioned at all).
As Jesus said, “These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone” (Luke 11:42, NKJV).
It also bothers me that so many Christians are outraged because non-Christians (those who are already lost) are accepting homosexuality as “normal” or “acceptable.” They are beside themselves when the government (or the courts) endorse such behavior. Yes, it’s a horrible thing that homosexuality is growing in recognition. But if you’re expecting the government and the court system to teach on things which are morally right or wrong, then you need to reprogram your mind. It’s not the government’s job to influence people to follow the Bible.
That’s the job of Christians.
You, as a Christian, will be much more influential on showing someone why certain things (such as homosexuality) are wrong when you stand up against the other things that the Bible shows are wrong, too. People aren’t going to be willing to listen to you if they view you as someone who only cares about the homosexuality issue.
Let’s be balanced in our focus towards all sins. And let’s also remember that the way to convert a homosexual to Christ is not to post a thousand status updates on Facebook about the sin of homosexuality, but to teach the truth in love, showing him/her how (1) it is possible to change, (2) it’s worth it to change, (3) it’s necessary to change, and (4) God will accept them when they change.
And if you noticed, those four things apply to every sin.
One final thought to add is this: simply believing that homosexuality is sinful won’t going to get you into heaven. Convincing a thousand non-Christians that homosexuality is sinful won’t get them to heaven either.
What will matter in the final judgment is bringing them to Christ.
-Bradley S. Cobb