Just Christians by S. M. Hutchens

Editorial

Just Christians

On Homosexuality & Christian Identity
by S. M. Hutchens

In homosexuality's assault on the beliefs of churches that once unanimously identified it as sexual perversion—sodomy being "the abominable and detestable crime against nature"—its most potent weapon has been the counter-accusation that identification of homosexuality as sinful is a detestable offense against charity. By these presents, all who hold to the ancient interdict as God's word may be numbered among the crowing yahoos of Westboro Baptist Church with its "God Hates Fags" placards.

The churches, thus accused, have divided into those that hold to the Judeo-Christian teaching and those converted to regarding homosexuality as no sin at all, for where the question is posed, as the church-homosexualists have pointedly and indefatigably done in the last generation, the winnowing fan comes into play and there is a division—for there is no third way.

At the point where the question touches the resisting churches, however, there is often much confusion, which includes a genuine concern about whether the complete rejection of homosexuality is indeed uncharitable, whether those who bear the burden of homosexual lust are being unfairly singled out as greater sinners than those with other, no less sinful tendencies. They are troubled by the question of whether they, with a perverse desire to justify themselves by condemning others, fail to distinguish between sin and sinner so that the hate banners are really their own as well.

These questions, if not resolved, lead to a kind of moral suspension in which questions like, "What about our homosexual brethren here in the church? Are we denying their existence, failing to hear them?" become askable, and, encouraged by "moderate" voices within these communions, are indeed asked in a form something like that. Once they are, however, the line between resistance and affirmation has been crossed.

The Apostolic Answer

In 1 Corinthians 6, St. Paul gives vital clarification on a subject where there is much foggy thinking among those who ask questions like, "What should the Church's approach to homosexual Christians be?" The apostolic answer is that there is no such thing as a homosexual Christian. There are brethren who struggle with various temptations, to be sure, and may on occasion fall to them before rising again. But believers who resist homosexual lust are not "homosexuals." They are just Christians, as are the rest of us with our own besetting sins.

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? [Then comes a list of sinners, including "sexual perverts."] And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of
our God.

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Such were some of you. The apostle is writing to the baptized saints in the church of Corinth who are no longer these things. He does not say they are no longer susceptible to their old sins, nor that these old sins mustn't be dealt with: addressing the problems old sins create is a large part of the epistle's burden. Given this apostolic definition, however, we cannot—we dare not—say there is any such thing as a "gay (or lesbian, etc.) Christian," for the Christian by definition has been cleansed of his homosexuality. He cannot regard himself as a homosexual—or idolater, or thief, or drunkard—nor can the Church affirm him, or the various acts associated with the old vice, as such.

There is no "homosexual voice within the Church," for the homosexual's conversion entails a choice—This, or That—the sin, or the Faith. He cannot have both, nor can the Church in any way accommodate the sin from which he has been cleansed. It is wholly and actively and vehemently against it as a destroyer of the souls it has been called to save. It labors among the saints only in the accomplishment of what has already been done in Christ: cleansing, sanctification, and justification in the Name of the Lord.


S. M. Hutchens is a Touchstone senior editor.

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