Most of my blog readership resides under my own roof. However, a few other fellow Christian bloggers and friends also check in from time to time. So, when I posted, “Does God’s View of Sin Evolve?” I knew my thoughts would mostly be “preaching to the choir.” However, since joining the world of Twitter, the posts sometimes end up reaching a much more diverse audience, especially with “retweets” and “sharing.” A few months ago, an individual chose to open a link to my blog and responded to my views on homosexuality and same sex marriage. Here’s the comment I discovered in my inbox,
“None of you know what it’s like to be gay; if you did, you would drop this ‘hate the sin, love the sinner’ crap. I’m seriously sick of it. My relationship is not a sin, in fact, it’s a lot stronger than many heterosexual relationships out there. Sorry if you can’t handle the truth. Goodbye.
Over the next few days, I hope to address some of the issues raised in this response compassionately and honestly, sharing biblical truth. (You can read Part One here.)
My relationship is not a sin
As human beings we exercise a real tendency to justify our choices and behaviors and/or pass the buck. Oftentimes we measure our sinfulness by comparing our iniquities and shortcomings to the actions of others. This tendency deflects our guilt, shining a spotlight on the sins of those around us. No one wants to wear the scarlet letter ‘S’, even though we are all branded with a sin nature from birth. Romans 3:23 reveals,
“For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”
As far as dictating what’s sin and what’s not, that’s God’s responsibility.
Some argue God addresses homosexuality in the Old Testament, but He remains strangely silent in the New. However, Romans 1:26-27 says,
“Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way, the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.”
The word “penalty” stands out in my mind.
Merriam online dictionary defines “penalty” in the following manner:
“The suffering in person, rights or property that is annexed by law or judicial decision to the commission of a crime or public offense.”
Granted, I’m using an English word and a modern definition, but the Greek of the Apostle Paul’s day defines “penalty” in a similar fashion.
Modern translators use the word “penalty” for the more antiquated English word “retribution.” Retribution comes from the Greek word “antimisthia.” The word literally means a
“reward given in compensation, requital, or recompense.”
Granted, in some cases the word was used in a good way, an instance found in II Corinthians 6:13. However, in Romans 1:27 the word indicates punishment or retribution. Punishment obviously indicating that the described behavior, in this instance, homosexuality, is sinful.
If that isn’t enough evidence, “shameful lusts” comes from the Greek word “atimiah.” This word leaves no doubt about God’s thoughts on homosexuality. The word means, “dishonor, shame, reproach, vile.” “Antimia” comes from another Greek word “atimos.” Atimos means “infamy” or “disgrace.” The verse literally calls the act of homosexuality infamous and disgraceful, “infamous” meaning,
“having a reputation of the worst kind.”
Though some might choose to bury their heads in the sand on this issue, God addresses the topic of homosexuality in the New Testament, leaving no ambiguities about the behavior’s sinful nature.
The last verse of the Book of Judges states,
“In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
Therein lies the problem in our world today. Instead of honoring the Words of the King, we’ve crafted together a tapestry of our own rules, in many cases personally legislating immorality to assuage our own consciences. However, when our views contradict the will of God, who’s right?