Sunday, December 02, 2007

Loving Homosexuals

There's an interesting article here. Most of it is fairly standard conservative evangelical stuff - going through the usual passages for homosexuality, without looking at it from the point of view of the theology of marriage, and missing the detailed reasons given for the destruction of Sodom, which don't explicitly mention homosexuality anyway.

Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.
Ezekiel 16:49-50, NIV

But what's remarkable is the ending, which it's great to see from a conservative evangelical.

The first is that Christians should be in the forefront of those who protest when homosexuals are treated unjustly. That is because love and injustice are incompatible. Whenever homosexual people are the object of snide humour on the television screen or harsh penalties in the law-courts, genuinely loving Christian people ought to be the first to stand up in their support. Any minority group which suffers discrimination should have full Christian backing in a struggle for their legal and moral rights.

My second suggestion is also a requirement, if biblical standards are to be kept. Those who accept the Bible’s veto on homosexual behaviour must go out of their way to express genuine love for homosexual people.

At least two important distinctions underlie this essential Christian requirement. In the first place, temptation is not the same as sin. Even if homosexual acts are wrong in God’s eyes, it is not sinful to be tempted to make love to someone of your own sex – unless, of course, you go on to perform the act mentally (see Matthew 5:27-28 where Jesus has heterosexuals in his sights). Heterosexual Christians who ostracise their homosexual neighbours simply because of the pattern of temptations they experience are very confused and very wrong.

It's just great seeing conservative evangelicals being clear about that... The media stereotype, which is true too often in my experience, is that we are sometimes genuinely homophobic rather than being clear that it's a sin just like sex before marriage and that we're all sinners in need of grace.

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