Obedience to the Word of God is required of all persons and is the delighted, privileged employment of those who bear the name of the Lord. Though obedience offers great benefit to those who know it, it is not merely an option.
Since we are chiefly dealing with the same-sex controversy as it pertains to the church, the only issue before us now is one of obedience: will God’s Word be obeyed, or will it be twisted to defend a cherished “sexual preference”?
Though many good reasons exist for you to forsake homosexual practices, we urge you to forsake them for the main reason: they are displeasing to God.
Repentance is the only option before you.
Despite the arguments that exist to the contrary, homosexuality is not natural, is not approved by the Word of God, and is a practice that leads to death. The Bible clearly teaches that homosexuality, whether in interest or practice, is sin. We deny that recognizing something as sinful when God has declared it sinful is therefore hateful. By recognizing homosexuality to be sinful, however, we do not seek to self-righteously condemn anyone. We do not desire to be excessively harsh. We are simply pointing to the only hope for those struggling with homosexuality.
Calling homosexuality a sin will seem to be a cruel, insensitive attitude, a “homophobic response” of condemnation rather than concern. But the truth is that it is the beginning of true freedom and joy for the homosexual. For if homosexuality were either an inescapable human condition (like height and skin color) or an incurable disease, there would be no hope. The homosexual would be locked in his lusts forever, with no possibility of escape. Once we see clearly that homosexuality is a sin, we can also see the way of deliverance.
We wish to be perfectly clear: homosexuality is not the unpardonable sin. Homosexuals can be forgiven. This truth must be kept in mind both by those who are involved in homosexual behavior and those who are not. Perhaps out of revulsion, or out of a cloister mentality, the church has failed to speak the truth or apply God’s remedial mercy. Instead, the church must remain faithful to the teaching of God’s Word; she cannot condone that which God condemns, and she must illuminate the path of repentance.
That homosexuality is a sin means that it is only a sin—nothing more. It is not some mystical force within the person, some genetic or psychological programming that cannot be overcome. It is a transgression of God’s law, a form of self-love that expresses itself in a particularly heinous attack on God’s image.
Repentance, change, and hope are possible. Release from enslavement to homosexuality is the great desire of all but the most jaded homosexuals. We have seen the evidence in their eyes and in their speech; their conscience bears witness that the law of God is written on their hearts and that they are in violation of it (Romans 2:15). The apostle Paul, while remaining true to what God declares about sin, spoke of some members of the Corinthian church who had been freed from their slavery to the sin of homosexuality.
Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God (1 Corinthians 6:9–11, emphasis added).
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