The ground was prepared long ago in churches that claim to be orthodox for the difficulties they are now having with the insistence that same-sex desires are admissible in Christian identity as long as the professed Christian remains physically celibate. The inviting loopholes through which these people have moved are numerous statements that will identify only homosexual activity as sin, stopping short of including in these definitions the sinfulness of the desire that lies at its base. Since statements of this kind are invariably produced by theologically sophisticated people, it is difficult to believe the omission is mere oversight.
The question of the compatibility of gay identity and its desires (sanitized and removed from biblical purview by naming them "same-sex attraction") with the holiness of life to which Christians are called is in fact frivolous, and treating it as something to be legitimized in the churches is culpable foolishness. It would be hard to hold against Scripture from Genesis 3:6 forward that there is no such thing as sinful desire, and the question then must follow whether any sinful desire, consummated in action or not, is acceptable to God.
This question is not only absurd but a blasphemous calumny of his character who commands us to "be holy as I am holy" as our only standard for the disposition of both body and mind. Despite the weakness of our flesh, our tendency to stumble, and our constant need to be forgiven, it is nothing less than Christ's perfection in which we are to be formed and which we must unqualifiedly confess. Nor is the belief that we are ever justified in our temptation to quit striving against concupiscence compatible with the faith by which only God is pleased. Thus is the hero who would slay the dragon transfixed by his dead yellow eye and himself slain.
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S. M. Hutchens is a Touchstone senior editor.
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