There is a protest going on here by pro-homosexual groups. It’s not much of one – I haven’t even seen it, except on twitter. They say that we are purveyors of hate and discrimination, oppressing homosexuals out of hatred, fear and bigotry.
On the other hand, there are those who claim that key leaders in the SBC are compromising in their views on homosexuality.
Yesterday, a homosexual recovery group (which our friend Thom Hunter works with) was given time on the stage to describe their ministry. I can’t flesh this out much, but I think that there is a new approach developing. Here is what I see.
1) We continue to believe that homosexual behavior is a sin. We cannot compromise that without compromising truth and righteousness. Even those who have been chastised by bloggers for their homosexuality views have affirmed that homosexuality is wrong.
2) We want to change the perception that we are “anti-homosexual.” We are anti-homosexuality. We love homosexuals and want to minister to them in the name of Christ. We want to focus on ministry, not on angry denunciations.
3) Perhaps we need to change the focus on the origins of homosexuality. Evangelicals have made a big issue of the fact that homosexuality is a choice, not a natural orientation. But the origins of homosexuality defy easy categorization. The best research I have seen indicates that homosexuality probably roots in emotional issues in early childhood. If that is true, it would seem to the homosexual that he was “born this way.” It was not a choice he made but something that was built into him at an early age.
Besides, nature is fallen and what is natural is not necessarily good. In fact, Paul uses the phrase “natural man” to describe the unregenerate sinner. Lots of sinful things come naturally to me. I am naturally selfish, naturally proud, naturally lustful, naturally materialistic. That these are natural does not make them good.
The point is that we need to focus on dealing with sinful behavior, not trying to force a view of the origins of homosexuality that seems to be contrary to reality.
4) We must not put the cart before the horse. It is redemption that frees us from the power of sin. We do not free ourselves from the power of sin so we can be redeemed. While we need to stand against homosexuality and even the so-called “homosexual agenda”, we need to realize that the only hope of redemption for both homosexuals and heterosexuals is the gospel of Christ. We need to preach grace and love to people who need to be loved by Christ so that they can be freed from their sinful lives.
Thom Hunter has a great article in the queue about a biblical response to homosexuality. I am not an expert by any means, but I see a new approach beginning to develop that I think may incorporate both a biblical view of homosexuality and a biblical approach to homosexuals.