Over the last two thoughts I have discussed the biblical approach to marriage and relationships. I did not discuss any of the legal and/or secular arguments for same-sex marriage. I simply wanted to affirm the biblical teaching on this subject. The question that most of us ask is, what should we do with homosexual people in our churches? I would like to make three suggestions.
First, our role with any homosexual person that comes to church should be exactly the same as our attitude to any other sinner. We are all lepers with sores all over our bodies. I am not a better leper than the homosexual person because he has three more sores than I do. And I am not a better leper because I do not have as many sores as they do. We are all lepers and should treat each other with the deference that this reality requires. My suggestion to lepers is to stop irritating each other’s sores to make the other look worse than the other. Neither one of us is clean enough to enter heaven. However, if we are going to enter heaven, then, we have to submit to the ONE that established the rules for access to heaven. I do not make the rules and I cannot do anything about someone who wants to play under different rules. Our rules come from the Bible and that is the best I can offer.
Second, the church needs to focus on reconciliation and restoration of anyone who enters our doors. This does not mean we are free to continue our behaviors as if our souls have not been transformed. But the emphasis has to be, intentionally, on reconciliation and restoration on God’s terms and not on any sociological experiment that modern day people feel should guide our lives. We cannot be effective messengers for reconciliation and restoration with judgmental attitudes that reject the lepers—remember that we are ALL lepers. I do not teach tolerance because tolerance is a double edge sword that cuts indiscriminately against anyone that does not conform to the anti-God secular world. I proclaim reconciliation and restoration because that’s the theological language that brings men and women into God’s presence.
Third, the Christian church needs to be compassionate with homosexuals seeking the LORD because one day, probably sooner that they realize, their only place of refuge will be church. Today it is very common to hear homosexuals attack the Christian church. Canadian lesbian lawyer Barbara Finlay said: “The legal struggle for queer rights will one day be a struggle between freedom of religion versus sexual orientation” (Quoted by columnists John Leo and Janet Folger). Michaelangelo Signorile, one of the proponents of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) said that there should not be any “religious exemptions” to the legislation. Matt Barber writes that: If Signorile and other “LGBT” activists get their way, this would mean that churches, synagogues, religious schools, Bible bookstores, as well as any and every other business in America with 15 or more employees, would be forced, under penalty of law, to abandon the biblical and traditional-values viewpoint on human sexuality, and hire (and otherwise not offend) those who openly flaunt expressly sinful and demonstrably self-destructive sexual behaviors.
I have not heard of a single homosexual couple protesting or harassing Islamic mosques for refusing to conduct homosexual weddings. They know that Islam’s response to homosexuality is to hang them, as they do regularly in countries like Iran (http://www.skeptically.org/hhor/id10.html ). The day Islam becomes the dominant religion in the West, homosexuals would have no place to hide and the churches will be their places of refuge. They can attack us today. They can make fun of the churches. But the day is coming when the churches will be the only place that will hide them from certain death and persecution. In spite of the rhetoric against the church, there is not one single church anywhere boycotting business that promotes same-sex marriage. There is not a single church anywhere calling for persecution of homosexuals, but Christians are now being blacklisted for our theological stance on same-sex marriage.
Let the church remain true to God’s word, and this includes loving and caring for all lepers. When homosexuals wanted tolerance, they received tolerance. When they demanded legal protection, they received protection. When they demanded government recognition of their unions, they received recognition. None of that was enough. They now want that the Christian church celebrate and sanctify same sex marriage ceremonies. Unfortunately for the homosexual lobby, Christian churches do not make the rules or establish the boundaries. We only proclaim them in love. God’s boundaries will be vindicated one day. In that day, every leper will appear before Jesus. And when we are in Jesus presence “every knee shall vow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord.”