Homosexuality and Christianity: Part 2
The Gospel and Sexuality
One day at my first job out of university, I remember discussing with a work colleague, my views of homosexuality (never an easy thing to do as a Christian). My argument wasn’t that those who were sexually attracted to people of the same sex couldn’t be Christians, but those who engage in homosexual practice were asked by God to abstain from sex. His response to me was ‘that means your asking homosexuals not to be homosexuals’. What he meant was, the whole point of homosexuality, is to be able to have sex with members of the same sex.
But my work colleague made a fundamental mistake - just because are a sexual being, doesn't mean you should always act on your sexuality. For example, before I was married, I was not acting on my ‘heterosexuality’. While I was attracted to girls, I didn’t have sex with any of them. In the same way, the Bible asks those who are attracted to members of the same sex, not to act upon their urges, just like me before I was married.
You see, the gospel asks all of us to deny ourselves and follow Jesus.
"Then he (Jesus) called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." (Mark 8:34)
Denying ourselves often means giving things up (for Jesus it meant giving up his life). For the greedy, it might mean giving lots of their money away. For the alcoholic, it might mean stopping drinking, for the homosexual, it will mean to stop having sex with others of the same gender. For the heterosexual, it will mean, to wait until marriage for sex, and only having sex with their husband or wife.
The gospel doesn't discriminate
The gospel is not unfair to gays. The gospel confronts all of us and asks us to examine our lives and give up anything which is contrary to following Jesus. Some things may be harder to give up than others, but all of us are asked equally, to deny ourselves.
Sex isn't everything
My work colleague also made a second mistake, which was to make to big a deal out of having sex. In our society, sometimes it seems that sex is everything! In fact the world often tells us it’s core to who we are as people. But this is to elevate sex to a level which it was never intended. While our sexual orientation is important, there are many other aspects to life, which help define who we are. Such as, our non-sexual relationships with others including our parents, siblings, friends etc. Also, our personality makes us who we are, as does our interests, and abilities. Unfortunately, often sexuality is held above all of these as the primary determining factor! That’s not how it’s supposed to be.
I guess we need to put sex in it’s proper context. It’s just one of many things to gospel asks us to consider, and if necessary, give up. A small price to pay for eternal life!