WHATEVER HAPPENED TO SIN?
You know, the whole debate over homosexuality really isn't that complicated. Despite the plethora of studies and opinions on everything from homo-genetics to homo-child-rearing, these questions are nothing more than a smoke-screen designed to cloud the real issue. Shake your head, clear the air, there really is only one question that we need to answer.
The answer to the question will save all of us a lot of time and debate. Although the question may seem trite, an honest answer will clear up a lot of confusion, especially in the church.
Allow me to rattle off a few of the questions that are clouding the debate. Are homosexuals born that way? Does a man choose to be gay? How does gay marriage harm traditional marriage? Why can't one marry the person he loves? Can homosexual couples adopt? Should we ordain gay pastors? Can homosexuals change? Should we teach our children to tolerate the homosexual lifestyle?
These, and many more I am sure you could add, have spurned confusion and discord throughout the Christian world. I am often reminded, that he who forms the question, wins the debate. Let's strip away the peel from the onion, and ask the question that is guaranteed to make all of our eyes water. Answer this one, and the smoke begins to clear.
Is homosexuality a sin?
We all have a drunken uncle, don't we? You know what I mean. The guy in the family that everyone knows drinks way too much. He's not an alcoholic (or so he claims), but we know the truth. He can't control his drinking. We love him to death, even laugh at the jokes he tells when he is drunk, but we are keenly aware that his behavior is out of control.
Sometimes our children ask us about Uncle John. He's a great guy, we tell them, and we love and accept him as he is, but he can't control his desire for alcohol. He's just like his father was, we tell them. He had a drinking problem, too. One time they asked us how Uncle John got that way. We're not sure, we explained, but from the time he took his first drink he was hooked. It's almost like he was born an alcoholic. We pray for him, and would do anything we could to help him stop drinking, but until he is ready to face the truth, and admit his problem, no one can help him.
I am reminded of a family I knew when growing up. They were good folks. Church goers, pillars of the community, picket fence and shaggy-haired dog. There were five boys in the family, all of them scholars and gentlemen. Except for Louie. He was the "black sheep" my parents used to tell us. Louie just had a hard time finding his way in life. He dropped out of school, was in and out of juvenile detention, and now calls the prison his home. It's hard to explain, Louie's life. Reared in a good home, surrounded by folks who loved him, and brothers to model, Louie just could not shake loose from the propensity to get in trouble. "Born to raise hell", that's what my Dad always said.
I once worked with a guy who was a liar. There is no nice way to say it. He lied. He didn't just tell lies, but rather, lying was a way of life. No matter what story someone told, he could always top it. Biggest fish, fastest car, greatest sports story, he always had the trump card. Everyone knew he lied, no wait, HE knew he lied. But he just couldn't help it. His two-cents-worth always had to be three cents. He was likeable, fun to be around, a decent guy, but you couldn't believe a word he said. A pathological liar, that's what one of our co-workers called him.
Now what do all three of these folks have in common? Each one has a urging, a desire, to engage in a behavior that is socially unacceptable. We don't hate them for it, but in most cases, we pity them for it. Hate the sin, love the sinner, to steal a popular non-Biblical phrase.
But here is the rub. We do believe all of those behaviors are sin, don't we? As Christians we wouldn't teach our children that Uncle John's alcoholism was a normal behavior, would we? Wouldn't we do all we could to steer Louie away from a life of incorrigibility and a destiny in prison? Certainly, we would not teach our children that being a pathological liar was an alternative lifestyle.
We are all born with a propensity to sin. In fact, I am sure that if you were pressed, you would be able to tell us what your "bend "was. Some eat too much, some are lazy, some love to gamble, but all of us have a "demon" that we fight. I used to hate to lose. Winning would dominate my behavior. A loss would hang over my head for days, until I came to grips with how self-destructive my behavior was. I began to change. Slowly but surely I got control of my anger. I still hate to lose, but I no longer act out on the urge to throw something.
Are homosexuals born that way? Actually, it is irrelevant to me, but for the sake of argument let's grant them that claim. Is being born with a "bend" to be homosexual any different from Uncle John's being born a drunk? You certainly don't believe that God approves of drunkenness do you? The common refrain I hear so often from homosexual apologists is that God would never create you to be something that He condemned. "He made me gay, how can He condemn me?" Good Question. Let me go ask Uncle John.
I know what you are thinking. You can't resist the urge to call me a drunk-a-phobe because I want to point out Uncle John's sin. I'm a hate-monger, and thief-a-phobe because I call attention to Louie's bend. I am the worst of all possible people because I don't accept lying as an alternative lifestyle, and am so typical of the intolerant liar-phobes so prevalent today.
The answer is so simple, and it will clear up so many issues. If people are born drunks, crooks, and liars shouldn't we accept them for what they are? Shouldn't we hold parades and force businesses to hire them in the name of diversity and tolerance? Shouldn't we ordain them in our churches, and provide them special rights? Shouldn't we teach our children that those born liars, drunks and crooks are merely engaging in an alternative lifestyle? In the spirit of tolerance and diversity, shouldn't we read to elementary students a book called "Heather is Parented by Two Drunks"?
If God created us with behaviors that we cannot control then why are we wasting time and money with Alcoholics Anonymous, therapy for liars, and diversion programs for criminals? If sin is no longer defined by behavior, but instead excused because of inherited or environmental factors, why are we spinning our wheels on behavioral modification? There can be no doubt that a homosexual is defined by his behavior. It is the behavior that identifies who he is. Liar, alcoholic, thief, homosexual are all descriptions of behaviors, not a class of people.
Turn on the air vents, and clear away the smoke. Take a deep breath.
Is Homosexuality a Sin?
� 2005 Dave Daubenmire
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Coach Dave Daubenmire, founder and President of Pass The Salt Ministries www.ptsalt.com and Minutemen United www.minutemenunited.org, is host of the high octane Pass The Salt radio show heard in Columbus, Ohio.
In 1999 Coach Daubenmire was sued by the ACLU for praying with his teams while coaching high school in Ohio. He now spends his energy fighting for Christian principles in the public domain.
The answer is so simple, and it will clear up so many issues. If people are born drunks, crooks, and liars shouldn't we accept them for what they are? Shouldn't we hold parades and force businesses to hire them in the name of diversity and tolerance?