Rerun: Letter to a Gay Man in the Churches of Christ, Part 6

gay christian

Yet, I haven’t 100% rejected the idea that being gay is OK with God. You can’t just undo a lifetime of being taught homosexuality is the worst possible sin in a short period of time.

No, it’s not the worst possible sin. Jesus himself said so.

(Mat 10:14-15) If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. 15 I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.

Jesus said that those who reject the gospel will suffer a worse fate than the men of Sodom and Gomorrah. But there’s more. You see, in the N. T. Wright interview quoted in part 1, Wright denies that homosexual conduct is the worst of all sins. He then gives the example of economic oppression by Western nations that is keeping many poorer nations trapped in poverty. He was surely thinking of such passages as —

(Isa 1:10-17) “Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom; listen to the law of our God, you people of Gomorrah!

11 “The multitude of your sacrifices– what are they to me?” says the LORD. “I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. 12 When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts? 13 Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations– I cannot bear your evil assemblies. 14 Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts my soul hates. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. 15 When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; 16 wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, 17 learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.”

Why did Isaiah compare the Israelites to Sodom and Gomorrah? Because they didn’t help the widows and orphans. Because they didn’t help the weak and vulnerable of society.

Consider also —

(Ezek 16:49-50) “‘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. 50 They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.”

“Detestable things” translates the word the KJV translates “abomination,” the same word used of a man lying with a man as with a woman in the Law of Moses. This is why Ezekiel refers to his listeners as “Sodom.” But the sin was not homosexuality, it was a lack of compassion for the poor.

Now, the Law of Moses refers to several sins as an abomination, including homosexual acts, idolatry, eating unclean foods, and using false weights to defraud a customer. Such sexual, religious, and economic sins are all abominations before God. Are homosexual acts an abomination? Yes, but so are many other things.

Adultery was a capital crime under the Law of Moses.

Which does more harm, consensual sex between two unmarried men? or between a married man and an unmarried woman? I can tell you for a fact that the adultery does far more harm! I’ve seen it. I know.

Now, I don’t want to get into the business of ranking sins! There’d be little point in such an exercise, were it even possible. But there is simply no argument that homosexual sin is the worst of all sins. On the other hand, neither is there any case for trivializing it. It’s just that we have to keep things in proper perspective.

The thought of gay sex is revolting to most straight people, whereas adultery is a temptation that we straights can easily understand. As a result of its foreign-ness, we tend to attach a far greater weight to it than the scriptures actually justify. God, however, does not make homosexual misconduct a worse sin than heterosexual misconduct.

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About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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