I was listening to the BBC radio [British Broadcasting Corporation] the other night, and, being English, I have been a faithful BBC listener all my life, considering it a great standard of cultural decency. In my mind, the BBC is associated with the Queen’s Christmas message, always with a Christian emphasis, and with stiff upper lip insistence on fair-play cricket. Recently the BBC has been taken over by cultural radicals whose lips are about as loose as wet newspaper. The other night the BBC proposed a program promoting “chem sex,” showing the chemical options promiscuous homosexuals can take to avoid serious diseases and continue having endless partners and doing “bare-back” sex. I was deeply saddened by the moral degradation this program was promoting, with not one hint of moral judgment. I began to wonder how many men world-wide, especially young men, would be sucked into this life of constant illegitimate sexual arousal as the overwhelming priority of their God-given lives. We are surely headed for bizarre cultural times the more this selfish, ungodly view of life is normalized. It raises the question of the responsibility the church has not only for preaching genuine redemption through the Cross of Christ to the lost but also for protecting the secular society, made in God’s image, from total moral implosion.
The issue of homosexuality is multifaceted. There is the question moral cultural degradation just mentioned. There is the most important issue of pastoral ministry, even to the most promiscuous. There is the question of how to take the message of grace to sinners around us. But a question not always asked is the one inspiring our conference in October 2016, namely, the theological meaning of homosexuality. Hence, the title of our Fall conference, “A Biblical Response to ‘Gay Christianity.’” We intend to show what impact the normalization of homosexuality in the church, even the evangelical church, will have on the message we are called to bring to our imploding culture.
In my studies, I have discovered, along with other researchers, that throughout time and space, from the second millennium BC till now and from the jungles of Borneo to the jungles of Africa, homosexuality accompanies pagan religious practice. Indeed, more than not the shaman in pagan cults was a homosexual and was made the shaman because he was a homosexual in touch with the spirit world. This fact alone reveals the logic implicit in Paul’s teaching in Romans. The much maligned apostle implacably shows that the overturning of the natural/creational order (Romans 1:26) follows inevitably from the pagan ideological worship and service of creation rather than the Creator (Romans 1:25). Paul’s intention was not to make homosexuals feel more guilty than other sinners, but to warn them and the church of the enormous dangers of the ideological and cultural implications of the physical practice. It is not just immoral. It is a denial, in embodied form, of God’s very existence. This is why “Gay Christianity,” with its emphasis on pastoral inclusion and affirmation of homosexuality, is so toxic for the Church and its Gospel. You cannot worship creation, played out in sexual practice, and at the same time, preach the Gospel. These are contradictions in terms. One is the Lie. The other is the Truth. One will eventually destroy the other.
If the church fails to understand these implications, it will have lost its message and its way, and it will be “time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Pet. 4:17)