Merits of gay political agenda come into question
Recent events have caused some to question whether opposition to the gay political agenda squares with the teachings of Jesus.
Some people have raised those questions publicly in letters to the editor about me and The Center for Arizona Policy.
A theological question requires a theological response. By way of background, Christians believe man is born in sin, and has a natural disposition to go his own way and rebel against his Creator.
That rebellion, or sin, separates us from God. The bridge back to God goes through the sacrifice of Jesus, who came to earth as a baby, grew up and led a sinless life, then died on a cross. Our acceptance of His sacrifice, and our invitation for Him to enter into our lives, restores our relationship with God because Jesus' sacrifice covers our sin.
Christians believe salvation is a free gift of God that we cannot earn by our effort. They call it grace, or unmerited favor.
Thus, all Christians are in the same condition before a holy God. We are all flawed sinners, redeemed only through the work of Christ. We therefore approach the issue of homosexuality not as judges of other people's sins. We approach it as fellow sinners and strugglers concerned about people whom others are telling falsely that their behavior is fine.
No one who takes the Bible seriously can ignore its teaching against all sexual behavior outside of marriage between a man and a woman. The same Bible that tells us God is love, the same Bible that says "Judge not, lest ye be judged," clearly and consistently describes homosexual behavior as sinful, in both the Old and New Testament. You cannot logically embrace some biblical principles and ignore others.
Heterosexuals may struggle with pride, gossip, lust, stealing or greed. Our sin is no better or worse than the sin of homosexuality; indeed, the Bible tells us that if we are guilty of one offense, we have violated the whole law of God. All sin leaves us separated from our Creator, who gave us rules to govern our lives not because He doesn't want us to have any fun, but because He loves us and knows what is best for us.
Why, then, does it seem we are always discussing homosexuality? Simply because the sin of homosexual behavior is the only one with its own "civil rights" movement. There is no Gossipers Rights Union seeking acceptance from the culture, and there is no Thieves Liberation Movement trying to re-shape the laws of society to provide special workplace protection to people based on their tendency to steal.
In fact, the very notion of taking categories of sins, creating activist groups around those sins, and re-making society to protect those sins is laughable, which should tell us something about the merits of the homosexual political agenda.
As Christians, we know the same forgiveness is available to all of us. But it requires that we repent of our sins, and seek to avoid repeating them.
This is not about invading the bedroom. Believe me, the desire of homosexuals to be left alone in the bedroom is second only to our desire to not disturb them there. Rather, this is about stopping the effort to change the foundation of our laws to reflect the view that homosexual relationships are the equivalent of heterosexual marriage.
Christians do not hate homosexuals. And speaking at least for myself, I hate my own sin much more than I hate the distant sin of homosexuality.
But I do have concern and compassion for those who feel trapped in this behavior, and I want them to know there is a way out. This is not a message of hatred, but of hope and concern.
Regardless of whether you believe homosexual orientation is genetic or acquired, the decision to follow through on desire and engage in homosexual conduct is very much within the control of individual people. No one compels people to use their body in certain ways sexually. We are not animals. We have the ability to practice self-control, no matter what our "orientation." (Married or unmarried heterosexual men, who are constantly exposed to lust-provoking images of women to whom they are not married, are very familiar with the concept of self-control.)
The many formerly straight people who are now gay, and the many formerly gay people who are now straight, demonstrate that regardless of orientation, sexual behavior is changeable and controllable.
Why do Christians oppose the homosexual agenda? Because love doesn't mean agreeing with or going along with whatever someone wants to do. Jesus taught us this.
Jesus forgave the woman caught in adultery for her sexual sin, and refused to condemn her. That demonstrates that forgiveness is available to all of us, no matter what we've done. But then He said to her, "Go and sin no more." He didn't sugercoat it, He didn't suggest she run back into her sexual sin, but He told her to go and sin no more.
If Jesus is our example of love – and I believe He is – we have to recognize that sometimes love requires us to urge people to change their behavior.
The message of Christianity is the message of hope, healing, forgiveness and relationship with our Creator. Opposition to the homosexual agenda is predicated on nothing more than this – lovingly speaking the truth to fellow strugglers, and urging them to turn back to the ways of God.
(Len Munsil is an attorney and president of The Center for Arizona Policy at www.azpolicy.org.)