Articles by Brian Jackson
On the Day of Silence
16 April 2010
If you live on or near a college campus, you're may already aware that today is the "Day of Silence" - an occasion for protests and demonstrations at schools against the bullying and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered students across the country.
It's hard to give the Christian perspective on certain issues without inviting trouble; homosexuality is one subject that almost always guarantees arguments. Any time an event like this one takes place, there are always kneejerk condemnations on the part of church leaders and moral posturing or indignation on the part of the LGBT community. I'm not interested in inflammatory comments, especially since I have friends who are participating in today's events - instead, I've taken my response today directly from the pages of the Bible.
Before really addressing the issue, it's necessary to ask the question "is homosexuality even a sin?". Often people criticize the use of Old Testament law as grounds for calling the homosexuality sinful, since the New Testament overturns things like dietary laws and animal sacrifices. For that reason, I've chosen to investigate what the New Testament says about the subject.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 addresses the homosexual lifestyle, among other things:
"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God".
If the New Testament underscores the significance of the Old Testament prohibition, it does not do so by singling out a particular sin in this case. So why talk about homosexuality at all? Surely, drunkenness and extortion are more relevant and dangerous sins. Preventing them should be a higher priority, right?
However, the homosexual community has a singular trait that makes addressing their lifestyle more relevant: the constant drive to legitimize their practices as normal, natural, and (in a sense) unavoidable.
Much has been made about whether homosexuality is a "choice" or whether individuals are "born that way". Even so, the question of choice versus compulsion versus nature is one that does not need to be deconstructed in the pages of the Bible. In fact, the aforementioned passage and similar passages in Galatians 5 and Romans 1 indicate that sinful lifestyles of *any* kind are not the problem, but a symptom of a greater disease, which is called both "sin nature" and "unrighteousness".
So what hope does someone have of ever going to heaven if they're born sinful? That's the crucial question - but looking even one verse farther in the passage I cited earlier answers the question:
"And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God."
The old nature condemns everyone, according to the Bible, but God has promised that those who turn from their sinful lifestyle and believe in the work and resurrection of Jesus Christ will be given a new nature - that their sins will be forgiven, and the means to break the pattern of sin in their lives will be made available.
Or, to put it in the words of Psalm 107:
"Those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, Bound in affliction and irons- Because they rebelled against the words of God, And despised the counsel of the Most High, Therefore He brought down their heart with labor; They fell down, and there was none to help. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, And He saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, And broke their chains in pieces. Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He has broken the gates of bronze, And cut the bars of iron in two."
So, if God has promised all these things, should my response to a protest like today's be condemnation of all involved? By no means! Rather (as 2 Corinthians 5 says), I must become an ambassador for Christ, as though God himself were pleading through me.
Therefore I do not attempt to offend by writing all of this, but rather to explain the Christian position, and to implore those who read to be reconciled to God. The pattern of sin can be broken, and must be broken - and God has promised that the power to do so will be made available to any who ask.Tweet
Excellent article! Precise thinking just as God desires "rightly dividing the Word..." Also, you broaden the view to all humans by the "all have sinned" point thereby removing the focus on just GLBT's. We all need this new nature from God. Be reconciled everyone!