It’s interesting how we view and rationalize sin. Sometimes we tell ourselves that God wants us to be happy. To maintain that position we must completely throw out 1 Thessalonians 4:7. Why should we try to be holy, anyway? Joel Osteen sure makes Christianity sound easy with a limp wristed god that will give us a fancy car just so that we will bless him with our presence. How can anyone even want to submit to an impotent god that will shower us with gifts so that we will spend time with him? Oh wait. We don’t. Even people that subscribe to Osteen’s brand of Christianity probably are more concerned with what God will do for them than what God has done for them.
We can fall into another pit when we believe that God made us this way (whatever this way happens to be), so God must be pleased with our current fallen condition. As a matter of fact, since He made us this way, wouldn’t our present condition be more desirable than holiness? I have heard the argument, “I was born gay, therefore God made me this way.” I can just as easily say, “I was was born with a predilection to alcohol, so if I choose to be a drunk it is because God made me this way.” The rapist can cay that they were born with these tendencies, so ultimately, God created the rapist.
If this argument was valid, Paul would have not addressed the Church in Corinth with, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10 ESV) So was Paul mistaken when labeling certain people as deviants? Who is right? Are Paul’s words divinely inspired, or should I lean upon my own understanding? (Proverbs 3:5)
I’m also intrigued when someone resorts to pragmatism as a defense to homosexuality. Usually, the argument is meant to divert the attention from homosexuality to adultery. I agree that adultery is sinful and should be addressed, and at least in the case of my church, these matters are dealt with in a biblical manner. Notice that there is no argument that adultery is sinful. When someone who supports homosexuality by equating it with the normalization of adultery, he just admitted that homosexuality is a sin. Otherwise, he would have defended adultery as natural, or preferable, but would not assent to the fact that it is sinful. What was 1 Thessalonians again? The ESV states, “For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.” That sounds nothing like “adultery isn’t that bad or God reveres homosexual practices.”
From our perspective, we may try to minimize our guilt. Is lying really all that bad? If lying is okay in certain circumstances, then maybe adultery is acceptable. Afterall, illicit sex isn’t really immoral (as long as no one gets hurt and both parties want to engage in sexual deviancy). From there, it’s not a stretch to say that homosexuality is natural, and maybe even more than just an alternative lifestyle. But is this our view of sin or is it God’s view?
The only thing that matters is God’s perspective regarding sin. If sin wasn’t so deadly, we would not have continuous warnings. Paul states, “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions,divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21 ESV) The issue at hand is not merely homosexuality. The problem is with all sin. We are called to be holy and we will be judged accordingly. All sin is unnatural. They are abominations, yet we try to normalize them because we believe that our feelings are more important than our God.
CC image courtesy of Bront Nolson.