The question usually sounds something like this:
“Why can’t you stop with your homophobic bias against same-sex couples?”
The Christian’s response usually goes like this:
“I can’t support a same-sex relationship because the Bible says it’s wrong.”
That response almost inevitably earns a barrage of accusations at the Bible. It usually sounds something like this:
“That same bible also says that homosexuals and adulterers should be stoned to death. I don’t see you advocating for that. And that same bible also says that slavery is okay and I don’t see you advocating for that. Your bible also says that it’s wrong to wear clothes with blended fabrics. I don’t see you marching for 100% cotton clothes. It seems obvious that you’re picking and choosing what you want to believe from the bible. Get with it and join the 21st century.”
It’s at this point in the conversation where a Christian must be prepared to give a loving and coherent response. Unfortunately, in my experience, most of us feel so pinned against the wall that we either cave to this line of reasoning or we respond with a weak and overly simplistic answer.
The 3 Worst Answers Christians Give to the Same-Sex Question
- “Those strange laws you’re talking about are Old Testament laws. Because of Jesus, we live under grace now. We don’t live under law.”
This is the most common response from faithful church people. Unfortunately, this answer immediately breaks down under scrutiny. It fails to answer the obvious underlying questions like: Was it ever okay to stone a homosexual because that sounds pretty terrible don’t you think? Can we really trust a book that has ever advocated for slavery? And if we are “under grace” as you say, then doesn’t that same grace cover the imperfections in same-sex couples?
- “I’m in no position to judge anyone so I don’t worry about all those verses. I just try to love everyone whether they are gay, straight, or somewhere in between. I just show them the love of Jesus.”
This is the ever-popular escape hatch which says “I don’t judge, I just love.” Like the previous bad response, it has a certain Christian aura to it. Unfortunately, it fails to clarify what true Christian love looks like. Jesus loved people by warning them of his coming judgment against sinners. His love did not come in the form of a plea for tolerance, it came in the form of a plea for repentance. Its true that we are in no position to judge sinners. But Jesus is and that’s the problem.
- “Well that’s how I was raised and so that’s what I believe.”
This is the response that got Miss California in trouble in the 2009 Miss USA pageant and it’s an all-too-common retort that Christians offer on questions of morality. I respect her for standing her ground in an intimidating environment but her answer is the weakest of them all. It’s just moral relativism cloaked in an old fashioned respect for mom and pops. If parent’s words determine morality, then moral absolutes don’t exist and we might as well stop arguing important ideas.
Next Week’s Blog…
Next Monday, we will examine more deeply the question of those weird laws in the Old Testament. If you have time, you might listen to this sermon I preached last week on the importance of knowing the word of God. Because the world around us is asking questions that we are finding ourselves ill-prepared to answer.