Should Churches be Silent on Homo-Sex?
|'Not to speak, is to speak'|
This is a discussion that Christians must have. It’s not over what the Bible says about homosexual practice. Though there’s much internet fluff to the contrary, that subject is not a complex one and is briefly touched on HERE. The discussion we must have is how public we should be about it in church.
There are many solid Christians - who pray, feed the poor, teach the Bible, etc. – who are unsure on how to deal with our society that celebrates sodomy wrapped in rainbow paraphernalia. These Christians also know and love many people who identify as LGBT (Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, and Transgendered). As Christians, we don’t want to offend or anger these nice people. Because of this, many churches - ones that know homosexual practice is described in the Bible as an evil – keep quiet over the matter. The official stance of the church may be one that reflects the Biblical teaching of sex being for one man and one woman in marriage alone. But they never publically expound on this stance. They address the issue only in private discussions.
Why do some Christians embrace this methodology and is there a better way?
First, some Christians don’t address this openly because they believe it to be too private an issue. But the devil isn’t saving this topic for closed-door counselling sessions. He’s parading it with pride. Biblical leaders from Moses to Paul addressed the issue of homo-sex publicly. Was it not personal or complex back then? What reasons do we have not addressing it that they wouldn’t have also faced? At what date on the calendar between the writing of the New Testament and now did it become inappropriate for God’s people to teach on this? The heralding of LGBT ideology causes deception. Our silent response doesn’t help.
Secondly, some don’t want to address it publically in church because they believe it would bring division to the surface. But if there is division on this issue, then it is because there has been so little clear, Biblical teaching informing their views. Not wanting to address the issue because it could stir trouble is like a doctor deciding not to examine a tumour because it could potentially reveal lots of cancer. This issue is festering below the surface in many of our churches. The longer we avoid publically addressing it, the more it will grow and the more deadly it becomes.
Thirdly, many say that we should not address this publically because it isn’t important. But this views homo-sex like an island, completely cut off from the mainland where the ‘important’ doctrines live. But all Biblical teaching is connected. It is related to God’s idea for family, to the authority of scripture, to how we relate the Old and New Testament, to the ability of Jesus to set people free from sin, to issues of self-control and how we correctly interpret Scripture.
Next, some say that we should not publically address this issue because doing so is unloving. If this is true, should we also stop speaking out against all sin in order to be even more loving? Is it unloving to people who complain to publically teach on what the Bible says about complaining? If sin kills, then it is unloving not to warn.
Some say that by teaching on this publically, some people feel signalled out. But surely the opposite is true. There are many wonderful Christian people who do experience SSA (same-sex attraction) and who wonder if they’re the only ones in the congregation who have such feelings. It is unloving to let this minority think they are alone.
Some say that we shouldn’t publically address it because only a small minority of people have SSA. But the majority for whom it is not a personal issue also need Biblical teaching on this issue that is so widely talked about. The LGBT community may be small in number, but they speak with a loud and influential voice. It is unloving to let this majority remain confused
We’ve heard some say that congregations shouldn’t talk publicly about it because the church already talks about it too much. Really? How many times have you sat through a Sunday church service where the pastor carefully taught through the various passages in the Bible that deal with the issue of homosexuality? For most of us, this has never happened. Why then do we get the impression that churches are obsessed with it? Because when some redneck preacher - who has church/cult of 25 people - denounces homosexuality in an unbalanced way (making it out to be the worst of all possible sins) then the media coverage makes it seem that this is normal.
Lastly, some believe that we shouldn’t publically teach on this issue because it would be insensitive. True, we should rightly want to avoid a culture of bravado where we simply say politically incorrect and potentially offensive things for the kicks of it. But though we don’t seek after a bravado spirit, neither do we submit to a cowardly one. We need to address LGBT ideology compassionately, humbly and sensitively… but we do need to address it.
Paul said, ‘I kept back nothing from you, but preached the whole counsel of God, publicly and from house to house.’(Acts 20.20) Can our churches say this? While the serpent continues to slyly ask ‘Did God really say?’ will we sit back and allow his questioning to sew confusion without a clear and decisive rebuttal?
The younger generation needs to hear clearly from their leaders.