Thursday, November 29, 2012


Got your attention, didn't I?

The subject of homosexuality has always been a hot-button topic, but I've noticed that things have changed in the last few years so that it's almost impossible to talk about it well.

There are so many important things to say and to say carefully; it's difficult even to start (I've started this blog post at least five times since October and am just getting around to posting it today).

Many are so pro-homosexual today that they can't hear any words against homosexual lust and behavior as anything but antiquated ravings.

Many are so anti-homosexual that they become haters and use ugly words to hurt others (and they can't hear any words of grace or mercy for practicing homosexuals).

I have friends who are in homosexual relationships--some of you are probably reading this post (Hi! Please know that I continue to love you--even if I believe what you are doing is wrong, unhealthy, and dangerous for you in both time and eternity.)--which complicates my feelings on the subject and feeds my desire to speak the truth in love.  Of course, I also have friends who have been freed from homosexual sin and are probably reading this post (Hi! Please know that I love you and share in both your joy and prayerfully continuing struggles.).

The culture we live in is awash in pro-homosexuality. (See this article about how mainstream and normal homosexuality is in this Fall's T.V. line-up.)  One of my favorite old T.V. Shows, Dr. Who, now seems to have a pro-homosexual character or moment in every single episode!

There is rampant confusion about the topic among young people. Lady Gaga is coming to our local concert venue soon with her "Born This Way" tour.  Sadly, many are excited about this. What seems to me like clear-cut overwhelmingly sickening sin is celebrated by even many Christian teens.

So, it's hard to talk about, but we must do so for the good of people and of our society. 

Starting with this post, I'm going to begin a new series on the topic that points readers to some of the best resources that I'm seeing out there. I'm going to call the series "Hope for Homosexuals" because I don't want to err on either the side of condemnation nor acceptance.  True change is required but also possible through Christ.

I'll start this series with this old sermon of mine that lays out a biblically-informed and balanced view of homosexuality: The Surprising Truth About Homosexuality.

Note: I'm open to your comments and a true discussion, but if things get too heated or out of control, I'll be shutting them down. This blog is a place for Hot Orthodoxy and for truth in love.

I'm also available to talk one-on-one for people in my sphere of influence. This blog is not a place to work out your sexuality in public. I'll also help you find someone near you to talk to, if I can't help you personally.


Two thoughts: one, at some point early on, answer this question: "what is a homosexual?" The difference in this world's understanding, and what I believe the biblical one to be, is critical. Two, to what "local concert venue" is Lady Gaga coming? The Lanse Civic Arena? The Lanse Metropolitan Opera? The LanseDome?

You're just jealous, Byron, of our pace of life. If we had a Lanse Civic Arena, we could all find a parking space.

Lady Gaga is coming to State College's Bryce Jordan Center. That's local enough for us.

Byron, I remember you asking me that question (or a form of it, at least) at my ordination council examination, so your question feels like a test.

Maybe you'd like to share your own definitional thoughts here in the comments?

Your memory trumps mine.

The point of asking is this: when the contemporary secular man is asked that question, he responds that a homosexual is a person who has feelings or sexual desires toward the same sex. The way it then goes, this person determines, on the basis of such feelings, "I must be a homosexual", in effect, and then to one degree or another is given tacit approval to act in keeping with those desires. The entire made-up category of "sexual orientation" accommodates such feelings.

The Christian understanding of homosexuality says that it is one symptom of our sinful brokenness, one manifestation of such, if you will. But we also affirm a difference between temptation, which is not sinful, and giving in to that temptation, which is. Thus the person with homosexual feelings is experiencing what we would call sexual temptation, and not some "sexual orientation". In the case of the homosexual, we might label such "persistent homosexual temptation"; fair enough. But it's important that we use Biblical terminology, and not the terminology of secular psychology. Further, a homosexual is one who has acted upon such temptations; one is not a homosexual until one has committed homosexual sin. One can even have the discussion--not particularly germane unless you want to delve into it--as to whether some one-or-two-time experimentation, shall we say, earns a person the title; an argument can be made either way, I suppose, but some of that is semantics.

The importance of this is to answer those who would call themselves something like "homosexual Christian" or vice-versa, to which we reply that the Christian's identity ought not be hyphenated as to their temptations or sins. Why do we make this exception for professing Christians with homosexual tendencies? We wouldn't call anyone a "Christian liar", regardless of whether that person was tempted to lie, or actually engaged in doing the lying, would we?

None of this is to deny the undoubtedly powerful pull of homosexual temptation upon some folks, nor is it to be unsympathetic. In fact, we are most sympathetic and compassionate when we speak in Biblical terms, use Biblical definitions, and then apply Biblical prescriptions for whatever our sinful proclivities in life might be.

Thanks, Byron!

Certainly the way we talk about things shapes the way we think about things.

And it's important to make sure that we are talking about the same things when we are having a conversation, especially one that is so consequential.

Thanks again,