The Shameful Sin of Homosexuality (4)

Rev. Cammenga is pastor of Southwest Protestant Reformed Church in Grandville, Michigan.

Against the position that condemns homosexuality and that calls for the government to forbid the practice of this evil, several objections are brought. The following are some of the objections most often raised and a brief response to each.

Opposition to Homosexuals Is Intolerance and Discrimination

This is the most recent, and to date the most successful, ploy of the gay rights movement. By charging discrimination, not only have the homosexuals been successful in gaining protection for their perverted lifestyle, but protection against discrimination on the basis of any sexual preference or orientation. This would include, it would seem, pedophiles and those who practice bestiality.

This is not tolerance, and nondiscrimination! This is lawlessness!

Neither is it the case that the homosexuals are a disadvantaged minority in need of special protection by the state. The fact is that the gay rights movement is dedicated to giving one of America’s most affluent, best educated, and most advantaged special interest groups the right to practice its deviant sexual behavior uninhibited by the laws of the land. This is reality!

Of course opposition to homosexuals is intolerance and discrimination! That is always the nature of law. Law, just because it is law, is intolerant and discriminatory. Suppose that you are stopped by a police officer for driving 40 mph in a 25 mph residential zone. The police officer discriminates against you, picking you out of all the other drivers. Neither does he tolerate your driving over the speed limit. He issues you a speeding ticket. The law must be intolerant and discriminatory, if it is to be law.

Jesus Never Condemned Homosexuality

It may be true that Jesus never explicitly condemned homosexuality, even though in more than one place He referred to the awful judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah. But it could just as well be argued that Jesus never explicitly condemned kidnapping, incest, or bestiality. Does the fact that Jesus never explicitly condemned a certain behavior justify that behavior? Does Jesus’ silence indicate approval? Who would dare to carry out the implications of such a position?

The fact of the matter is that Jesus fully endorsed the law of God, including its prohibition and condemnation of homosexuality. In Matthew 5:17 He said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” And in verse 19, He went on to say, “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven.” In Matthew 15:6 Jesus condemned the scribes and Pharisees who “… made the commandment of God of none effect . . . .”

Besides, it can be argued that the condemnation of homosexuality in the law of the Old Testament is Jesus’ condemnation of this evil. For, as the apostle Peter says in I Peter 1:11, it was the Spirit of Christ who moved the writers of the Old Testament.

We Are Supposed to Love and Not Hate

“Hate is not a family value” is the slogan of the gay rights activists. This slogan is aimed at those who oppose homosexuality in the name of biblical family values. Those who oppose homosexuality are made out to be unloving and hateful.

But the Scriptures teach that love begins with love for God, and one who does not love God cannot love his neighbor. The first and greatest commandment is, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matt. 22:37). And what is love for God? “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments” (I John 5:3).

Neither is it the case that our opposition to homosexuality is motivated by personal hatred of the homosexual. Not at all. In love, we pray for him, seek his repentance, and are concerned for his salvation. Is it love to allow the homosexual to go on in his sin, to experience God’s judgment on his sin in this life, and to perish in eternity hereafter? Is it love to condone his evil and give him the false hope that even God approves of his wickedness? On the contrary, love warns the sinner of his sinful way and calls him to repentance.

We Are Not to Judge

Whenever someone speaks out against homosexuality, inevitably the response is heard that we are not to judge. Did not our Lord say, fl Judge not, that ye be not judged” (Matt. 7:1)?

Now, certainly, our Lord said this. But it ought to be apparent to anyone that to interpret Jesus’ prohibition of judging as an absolute forbidding of all and any kind of judging goes too far. Then, in the end, nothing is to be condemned, no matter how grievous the evil. Murder is not to be condemned; incest is not to be condemned; rape is not to be condemned, because we are not to judge.

The Scriptures elsewhere call us to judge. In John 7:24Jesus commands His disciples to “… judge righteous judgment.” In I John 4:1, believers are exhorted: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try (judge) the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”

Suffice it to say that in Matthew 7:1 Jesus is condemning a certain kind of judging. He is certainly warning against rash judgment, against judging a person’s hidden motives, and judging absolutely an individual’s eternal destiny. That kind of judging is forbidden to the child of God.

But the child of God is called to make the judgment that homosexuality is evil and that the impenitent homosexual is excluded from the kingdom of heaven. He is called to make this judgment, because this is God’s judgment of homosexuality.

What People Do in the Privacy of Their Own Homes Is Their Business

Often it is asked, “Shouldn’t people be allowed to do what they want to do in the privacy of their own home?” And, “Shouldn’t we protect a person’s right to privacy?”

If this were true, we would have no laws against incest, child abuse, or wife-beating. The right to privacy is not the right to break the law of God in privacy. We are not permitted to behave as we please in the privacy of our own home. Both the state and the church have a vested interest in proper behavior in one’s home and family.

The reality is that much homosexual behavior does not occur in the privacy of homes, but more often in public places like parks, bath houses, rest stops, and bars. The homosexuals flaunt their evil today in much the same way as the citizens of Sodom did in Lot’s day.

You Can’t Legislate Morality

Legislation cannot instill morality. But we ought to legislate morality. All legislation is of a moral character. Law by its very nature pertains to morality, upholding moral (righteous) behavior and condemning immoral (unrighteous) behavior.

The question is not, “Should we legislate morality?” But the question is, Whose morality are we going to legislate? God’s or man’s?”

Both the church and the state are called to uphold the law of God. To fail to do this is to fail in the essential calling that these institutions have from God. To fail to uphold God’s law is to endorse immorality and lawlessness. This is exactly what is happening in our country today.

Opposition to Homosexuals Is Homophobia

More and more anyone who is opposed to homosexuality is labeled a “homophobe.” This is the charge leveled by the liberal news media and by the gay rights activists. A “phobia” is an irrational and unfounded fear. Opposition to homosexuality is supposed to be due to an irrational and unfounded fear of the homosexuals.

It is to be admitted that we are afraid of the homosexuals. We are afraid for our country. We are ‘afraid for the church. We are afraid for our children. But our fear is not unfounded or irrational. How can anyone charge that our fear is unfounded in light of the statistics relating to the homosexual lifestyle? Why should we not be afraid of the devastating diseases associated with this evil? Why should we not be afraid of the judgment of God over our nation because of the approval of this evil? It is as ridiculous to accuse those who are opposed to homosexuality of being homophobes as it is to accuse the person with a high fever and who has been vomiting with being a hypochondriac.

Christians Must Be Forgiving

But are not Christians supposed to be forgiving? Of course they are. The apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 5:32, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” The Lord Jesus has taught us to pray, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matt. 6:12).

But forgiveness is not overlooking and tolerating sin. God forgives our sins. But does this mean that He overlooks our sins? Of course not! Rather than overlook our sins, He sent His Son to die for our sins. And how does God give us the forgiveness of our sins? Only in the way of our repenting of ‘them, forsaking them, and fighting against them. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:8, 9).

This is also how God forgives the homosexual. His homosexuality is sin. He knows it is sin, sin that must be repented of and confessed before God. In the way of repentance the homosexual will enjoy the forgiveness of his sin. Before God and His own conscience he will have the sense of God’s forgiveness. And out of thankfulness for that forgiveness, empowered by the grace and Spirit of God, he-will also be resolved to fight against his &and live in newness of life.