The Gospel and homosexuality
Thu, 15 Aug 1996 15:08:26 EST

Reply to Bob's comment about the Gospel and homosexuals:

First a short story. When I was a kid I often thought my dad was
heartless in his attitude toward the pain I suffered in minor
injuries and illnesses. When I complained of the pain of a
splinter or infection, he would suggest I take the remedy:
submit to the tweezers or go to the doctor for a shot. My
response was usually, "No, Dad, I don't want to do that!" His
"merciless" reply was, "Well, I guess you just don't hurt enough.
When you hurt more, come back to me again."

The sick need a doctor. To tie that in with this subject: Sinners
need a savior. Good evangelical churchs offer the hope of the
Gospel to sinners. The reason they do not seem to be friendly
and accepting of homosexuals is that most gays and lesbians
want the church to agree with them that their homosexual
behavior is not sinful. They want the fellowship and personal
benefits and the benefit of a relieved conscience. What they
don't want is the cure.

For evangelical churches to approve sin is to deny their very
reason for existence: to bring sinners to Christ in repentance.
Perhaps the most painful cure for proud mankind is the cure
demanded by Christ -- the acknowledgement and confession
of sin and a dependency upon God for salvation. For most,
faith is the final surrender of a rebel will. A rebel will is marked
by a refusal to acknowledge sin. The rejection sensed by the
self-justifying homosexual community in the evangelical church
is not, as they mistakenly believe, a rejection of them. It is the
rejection of their self-justification.

Consider the story of Jesus with the Pharisees and the
adulterous woman. Homosexuals often use it with the analogy
that they are like the woman and that we should treat them
kindly like Jesus treated her. Actually, they are identifying with
the wrong character in the story. They are like the Pharisees
who were themselves sinful, but were not seeing themselves
as sinful. And Jesus was definitely not kind with them. His final
words were not "neither do I condemn you" as homosexuals
like to believe, but "sin no more." I am convinced that Jesus
words to the adultress would have been very different if she
had sought to have Him "accept" her adulterous behavior.

My church would gladly open its doors, its fellowship, and its
heart to any repentant homosexual who freely confesses the
sin of homosexual behavior and indeed seeks our help in
"sinning no more." That's what we all are trying to do with one
another. It is another thing, however, for practicing
homosexuals to say, "We are just different from you and want
you to accept us with this difference." No, they are not different.
They sin just like us, and just as it would be a travesty for us all
to gather together and condone each other's sinful behavior, it
is a travesty for any church to approve homosexual behavior.
Nonetheless, even as we welcome all sinners, practicing and
unrepentant homosexuals are certainly welcome to walk
through our doors. We just will not wink at their sin. Thus they
would soon either repent or rebel. Those, it seems, are the
universal choices.

Churches that open their doors to homosexuals by declaring
their sinful behavior not sinful are practicing anti-evangelism.
They nullify the Gospel. In essence, churches like the
Metropolitan Community Church for practicing gays and
lesbians become a comfort station on the road to hell. What an
awful thing to do to those who need salvation that comes only
through confession and repentance.

Regardless of which of Bob's "two commissions" you seek to
follow on this issue, they each begin with the recognition of sin.
Bob said in his post, "I did not perceive much healing, mercy, or
concern for the human condition in Dick Fischer's post of Aug.
11." The reason, I fear, is that Bob is forgetting the necessity of
coming in through the "strait gate." If one does not do that,
there ultimately is no healing, no mercy, no concern for the
human condition -- only eternal damnation.

You must begin where Dick begins: the recognition of our sin
and depravity and ultimate horrible destination without the
marvelous gift of salvation. You must hurt enough to desire the
cure. When we try to salve the hurts of the homosexual
community by "acceptance" of sinful behavior, we deny them
the cure. That is not love. It is deception.

Dean Ohlman
Cornerstone College