Part two of a series — By Pastor Tedd Mathis
For certain persons have crept in unnoticed…ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. – Jude 4
From last month’s installment:
Today there are two prevailing camps that want you to believe one can be gay and a Christian. They’ve become known as Side A and Side B.
Side A Gay Christianity believes there are multiple forms of sexual orientation and practice and all should be embraced by all as gifts from God. Whatever someone’s orientation, they should be embraced and defended by Christians (so long as it’s practiced without coercion or violence – in a loving and meaningful relationship).
Side B Gay Christianity believes same sex attraction is not a ‘morally culpable issue. Although it is a consequence of the brokenness from the Fall (of Adam), Side B teaches against homosexual sexual practice, but only for the sake of Christian tradition. It sees sexual orientation as an accurate category of personhood (i.e., there is such a thing as a gay person – that gayness describes who someone essentially is) …To the Side B Christian, homosexuality is a sexuality – one of many’ – Rosaria Butterfield. *
It is Side B Gay Christianity I want to focus on. Side B Gay Christianity wants you to believe gay Christians are a sexual minority and you defend them as such. Further, this teaching expects the gay’s celibacy to be saluted as sacrificial living.
I am convinced Side B Gay Christianity is no less a false religion than Side A is. It denies Christ as Master and turns the grace of our Lord into respect-able licentiousness (II Peter 2; Jude 1:3,4).
Side B gay Christianity has crept in by presenting itself in two ways that are convincing to Christ’s people.
First, they present themselves as a minority, misunderstood and oppressed by the majority. They play on the call for God’s people to care for the downtrodden.
Second, by letting it be known they are resisting acting on their sexual desires for the sake of unity and respect for the heterosexual majority in the church, their ‘sacrifice’ is considered honorable. After all, they are ‘presenting their bodies as living sacrifices.’
In a recent sermon and a follow up essay addressing homosexuality, Dr. J.D. Greear, pastor of Summit Church in Raleigh, NC, and current president of the Southern Baptist Convention, stated the following: “(We need to) acknowledge upfront… that historically, we in the church have not done a great job of talking about this and maybe even a worse job of caring for those going through this.”
“(Y)ou can think of homosexuality as an affliction, and not just a sinful choice… When you fully understand the gospel, you will stand up and be among the fiercest advocates for the dignity and rights of LGBT.” *
As a leader in our denomination and pastor of an influential church in the SBC, when Greear speaks, people listen. While Greear does call same sex desires sin, note the following:
First, stating Christ’s church has not done its job in addressing homosexuality is entirely absent of proof and arrogantly self-serving. Thank God Dr. Greear has come along to show Christ’s Church how to finally get it right!
Second, labeling same sex desires as unasked-for affliction is opposite of what the Lord states. Greear’s words come straight out of the Side B Gay Christian playbook. An oppressed minority to be pitied and defended is exactly what they want from Christ’s people and they are getting it from the president of the SBC.
Here’s why Side B Gay Christianity is a false religion. According to the Bible there is no such thing as a sexual minority. One is either a male or a female. It is a blessing of God for a male to desire to marry a female and make babies. Likewise, for a woman to desire a man to marry and have his children. This is 100% natural. Same sex desires are a product of the sinful nature that has come as a result of Adam’s sin. Under the Old Covenant and the New, the Lord commands His people to reject them, regard them as abominable, resist them and honor what is blessed and natural.
It rejects the biblical revelation that in Adam, our ident-ity is not victim but guilty culprit. It rejects that God’s saving grace brings change to all that our Adamic nature defies, defiles and distorts and that in Christ we’re given an entirely new identity and life (See the books of Ephesians and Colossians).
Christians are those who’ve been confronted with their rebellion, evil desires, darkened understanding and have repented. By God’s grace they are now enabled to bring their lives into subjection to their loving Lord – imperfectly but submitting, nonetheless. For those under Christ’s rule, same sex desires can only be regarded as abominable, unnatural.
Christians have died to their former identity and now consider themselves new creations in Christ, striving to act accordingly. As children of God talking about these things is now disgraceful (Col. 3:1-17; II Cor. 5:17; Rom. chps 6-8; Eph. 5:6-12).
Christians love the Lord who took their punishment on the cross and Who provides the righteousness necessary for them to be forgiven and counted righteous before God. They now ‘put on the new self,’ honoring the Lord with their whole being (Eph. 4:20-24; Rom. 12:1-2; etc.).
Side B Gay Christianity denies this Lord. Their lord has no mastery over unnatural desires; they are helpless victims. He has no power to change them nor patience or instruction as they imperfectly do. He leaves them seeking the hollow praise of men for the misery of their self-abasing celibacy as inwardly they covet abominable licentiousness.
The God of the Bible rescues His own from the domain of darkness and transfers us to the kingdom of His beloved Son (Col. 1:13). Old things pass away; new things come! Not so with the christ of Side B Gay Christianity.
Next Month: What’s a local church to do? Lessons from I Corinthians 5 & I Corinthians 6