The culture police and liberal Christian leaders are trying to convince Christians to give up our opposition to homosexual marriage. According to them we should roll over and play dead since it is “inevitable” and since “everyone” is embracing the movement.
The same voices told us the populace will always embrace abortion. Their artificial defense has fallen like Walmart prices. Through medical facts, compassionate ministry and biblical grace, abortion statistics have dropped dramatically in the past decade. The younger generation has joined pro-life forces, and in the last three years more pro-life laws have been passed than in the three preceding decades.
Recently I attended Alex McFarland’s “Truth for a New Generation” conference in Spartanburg, S.C. The annual event consistently headlines some of the best minds and strongest hearts to help Christians respond to cultural challenges.
One of this year’s keynote speakers was Sean McDowell, the son of famed author and apologist, Josh McDowell. He is also assistant professor of apologetics at Biola University in La Mirada, Calif.
I have listened to some bright Christian leaders address the subject of homosexuality, and I have been helped by the writings of others. But no one has covered this issue more thoroughly and more biblically than the younger McDowell.
This is a tough subject. It may seem simple to us, but it has been made more complex by the general embrace of well-meaning people, the perceived hatred of homosexuals from the Christian community and the shortage of the complete teaching of scripture on the matter. This is not a subject we can afford to minimize or ignore.
McDowell said, “The reason I speak on this issue is I fear God more than I fear men. I do not live my life for human approval. I try to live my life to be faithful to what God’s called me to do.”
He offered a strong case for the uniqueness of sexual sin. The Apostle Paul said it is the only sin that you commit against your own body. He also provides some interesting insights into the question, “Are all sins equal?”
But, McDowell’s most captivating discussion responds to the question, “Is homosexuality a secondary issue?”
He said in the past six months two prominent pastors have published books in which they said, “Homosexuality is a secondary issue and we just need to move beyond it, and disagree about it just like we might disagree about the role of women in the church, the age of the earth, Calvinism or Arminianism – we just need to disagree and move on. It is a secondary issue.”
There are secondary issues. That is what Paul addressed in Romans 14:2-5. But is homosexuality one of those?
“I’ve read everything I can get my hands on, on both sides of this issue,” McDowell said, “and I keep coming back to Isaiah 20:12. ‘Beware those who call good evil or who call evil good.’ Do you know what that means? It means if God really blesses same-sex unions that are faithful and monogamous, then by you and I calling it sin, we are calling something good, evil.
“But, if God has designed all sexual relations to be between a man and a woman in a committed monogamous relationship for life, then those who say that God blesses same sex unions … are calling something evil, good,” he added.
“There is no middle ground on this issue. There is no ‘third way.’ And the question is, ‘What does the scripture teach?’”
“When we know the truth of how something is designed and we use it accordingly, we are set free,” McDowell said. “That’s why Jesus said you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”
He said we must resolve a few questions, “Is there a truth and a design about sexuality? Is there a Designer who has spoken on this issue and revealed for us how we ought to live? If there is no God, then we get to design and make it up as we go along. But if there is a God, then we are only truly free when we follow His design for our lives and for the issue of sexuality”
McDowell listed five important conclusions from his research, First, “There is not a single passage anywhere in the Bible that supports homosexuality. Not one – Old Testament or the New Testament.”
Second, “Until the middle of the 20th century not a single church leader affirmed homosexuality. I couldn’t find any, Jewish or Christian, that affirmed it,” he said.
Third, “Every regulation in the Bible assumes male-female sex. The underlying assumption is that sexuality is between male and female.” Fourth, “Every Proverb in the Bible, every single wise saying, assumes heterosexuality.” And fifth, “Even the Ten Commandments assume heterosexuality.”
This young apologist’s sound presentation was impressive and thorough. If you want biblical answers for this issue, I strongly encourage you to order the audio or video of McDowell’s message at [email protected].
Southern Baptists' ERLC is providing a thorough discussion of this subject October 27-29 at the conference, "The Gospel, Homosexuality, and the Future of Marriage." Don't miss this one!