My Conversation With Probe Ministries About Homosexuality and Christianity

Nov 26, 2011


There has been an alarming number of LGBT teen suicides in the news lately. What's equally unsettling is the subsequent anti-gay funeral pickets by churches such as the Westboro Baptist. It takes a real special kind of evil/ignorance/absurdity/sacrilege to protest at a funeral in the name of Christianity, with signs reading "God hates f*gs". And because people carelessly define religious belief systems by a single person (or small subset of people) who commit evil acts, it creates a huge hurdle for those who are actually trying to spread the real truth of God's love.

It really got me thinking about the role that religion plays in the persecution of LGBT persons and the responsibility that the church has in rectifying or alleviating the problem. In an effort to seek some clarity, I submitted some pressing questions to Probe Ministries, a Christian Apologetic resource that makes a case for faith through logic and factual evidence. Hit the "read more" link to see my conversation with them regarding homosexuality and Christianity. (Keep in mind, my questions are posed from a biblical worldview perspective. However, their responses may provide some insight for you even if you don't subscribe to the same beliefs as me.)

Dear Trey,

Thank you for writing. I think you're asking some very important questions.

"Why is homosexuality singled out as the lone, cardinal sin in many instances?"
Good question. And yes, this is a serious problem that we Christians need to work to correct and I see you are trying to do. But I also see you are trying not to overcorrect. That's good too. I'll tell you why I think homosexuality is singled out. I think people are afraid. What people do not make any effort to understand, they fear, and what they fear, they demonize. People are also afraid that the gay agenda to normalize homosexuality is a threat to marriage and the worldview of our children. But what if we spent time actually engaging the nuances of the issue, equipping our people, including our kids, to engage lovingly too? I also think the gay community is an easy target. Frankly, Christians have no business pointing the finger at homosexuality and rolling over on divorce. But it's just easier to point at "them" than to deal with the messes in our own house.

"So, is it biblically justifiable for me to NOT make issue of someone's sexual preference in hopes that the Holy Spirit will convict them if they experience the same Grace the I, a heterosexual male, experience?"
Tricky. I definitely think it's important not make an issue right of the bat----"Hello. I'm Trey. You're gay, right? Did you know that's a sin?" Probably a bad strategy. But I think when you're friends with someone, it'll come up naturally, so you definitely want to be prepared to speak the truth in love to your friend.

Think about how the Holy Spirit convicts you. Sometimes he'll do it through the Bible and sometimes, probably most of the time, he'll offer loving conviction through other people. Right? God uses people to spread his message of Grace-Truth. It's messy and imperfect because people are imperfect messes, but that's how God has always chosen to work. And when I think about how God accomplishes his work through us! I'm amazed at his power.

"Is it OK not to support laws prohibiting gay marriage, as I feel it is not my responsibility to prohibit choice--because love of God without choice isn't really love at all?"
Yes. It's okay not to support laws against gay marriage. But the reasoning you give is a bit shaky. After all, it is illegal to do lots of things that people technically have the choice to do... murder and speeding, for (extreme) example. Personally, I think we do more damage than good in trying to legislate gay marriage. Even when we win the battles, I think we're losing the war. But most Christians, especially in the South, won't agree with me. The Culture War seems to focus on fighting certain types of people; where I come from: democrats, abortionists, gay activists… Ephesians 6 instructs us that our fight isn't with people, even when they are attacking us---and they are. We're not to play by their rules. We have another King.

"If I speak out against oppression of the LGBT community, am I in essence, endorsing sin?"
Certainly not! Look to Christ who spoke out (remarkably calmly and remarkably little in this instance) against the oppression of the woman used by the Religious Leaders as a trap for Jesus in John, chapter 8. "Let he who has not sinned throw the first stone," Jesus says to the Religious. And to the woman he says, "I do not condemn you. [In order that you may be able to] leave your life of sin." Christ neither compromised grace nor truth; and of course, neither exists apart from the other: truth without love is not an extension of Christ, the Word, but merely a clanging noise, an irritation; and grace without truth is not at all a kindness.

I hope that's helpful, Trey. Please write again if I can ever be of service, and may the Lord bless you as you continue to think through your Christianity.

Renea McKenzie

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