If you have paid attention to the news over the last several years you have noticed that there has been a lot of attention given to the topic of homosexuality, especially over gay ‘marriage’ and the, Don’t ask, Don’t tell policy. There are so many opinions out there, and many in the name of Christianity, that it is often difficult to wade through them all.
This discussion will not review all the opinions on the subject of homosexuality, but it will highlight the loving Christian response to homosexuality based on Scripture alone. This is important so that we can guard against both the errors of those who condone the sinful behavior and the errors of those who hate the sinner and deprive them of the Gospel of forgiveness. So, let’s ask what the Christian response to the topic of homosexuality is and tell the answer.
As stated above, it is important to define what it means to give a Christian response to something. A Christian response always comes from the Word of God. If a response doesn’t come from God’s Word it is only the opinion of fallen man. Scripture is the only source and norm for all our Christian doctrine.
And what does the Word of God say about homosexuality? Scripture clearly condemns homosexuality in both the Old and New Testaments (Genesis 19: 1-29; Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 20:1-12, 13, 14-27; Romans 1:18-26-27-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Timothy 1:3-11; Revelation 21:8, 27:22:15). Christians must maintain the Scriptural stance that homosexuality is sinful.
No mater what rhetoric is used, gay by birth or by choice, the Christian message remains the same; confess and repent (turn away from), as you do with all sin, and receive forgiveness. It is very unloving to tell someone to embrace their sin (even if their human opinion is that their behavior isn’t sinful) because Scripture tells us that if we don’t repent and confess our sins, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us (I John 1:8-9). This isn’t just true of the sins that people like to display on bumper stickers, like homosexuality and abortion, but this includes heterosexual sex or cohabitation outside of Holy Matrimony, unscriptural divorce, viewing pornography, despising preaching, false doctrine, gossiping, and the like (All 10 Commandments). This includes original and actual sins–sins of omission and commission.
When a person stops repenting and confessing a sin as such, they should fear the wrath Holy God; it is loving to warn of this danger. Therefore the Christian response to all sin, including homosexuality, is always first proclaiming the Law of God. The Law of God shows us sin and miraculously brings about contrition and confession. The Scriptural response calls sin sin, but never makes a sin seem unforgivable. Christ has died for all sins and freely forgives those who keep on confessing and repenting, no matter what they have done (John 20).
The Church is the place for all sinners, including those who struggle with the sin of homosexuality. We poor miserable sinners, who were conceived in sin, born sinful, and in weakness sin, come to Church confessing and repenting of all our sins, and the Great Physician feely forgives us. We cannot rid ourselves of sin—we are sinners. We cannot fix the sins that we struggle with, be it gossiping, lusting, or any other sin.
The Gospel is that Christ has fixed the problem of sin by His keeping the 10 Commandments for us and by His death on the cross. In Holy Baptism the sinless life of Christ covers all of our sin(s). In Holy Communion Jesus forgives all our sins. In Holy Absolution we confess our sins and Jesus sends them all away. This is the Christian response to homosexuality and every other sin. God’s Word of Law diagnoses and brings to light the problem of sin, then comforts with the medicine of the Gospel. As we move closer to The Last Day, may this Christian, Biblical, and loving response to sin be heard and believed by the whole world.
Do ask, and do tell.