Many Christian’s have been accused of a harsh and unchristian attitude towards the homosexual individual. There may be some truth to this. The initial reaction of the Church to the increase of homosexuality in the 60’s and 70’s was indeed heavy on the dehumanizing and demoralizing language used and there may have been the idea that all homosexuals are already cursed and beyond hope. This was an easy (perhaps an evading) position for Church to take for three reasons;
- In the Church’s understanding of scripture, homosexuality was correctly seen as a heinous sin, bringing such a colossal punishment as the destruction of Sodom that an imprecatory attitude towards all homosexuals seemed right.
- The Church accurately recognized a threat to personal and national health (both spiritual and physical) with the rise of the AIDS virus in the 70’s and 80’s.
- Another reason why criticism from the Christian community may have been so ruthless is that those who practiced homosexuality for the most part had no ties to the church or Christian people. There was therefore no personal or emotional connection. In recent years, however, there are a growing number of individuals who have grown up in the church and are known to Christians who have declared themselves homosexual. Christians now, with personal, emotional and family ties are forced to take a second thought regarding the individual homosexual.
Homosexuality is increasingly vocal and visible in society and the church has an obligation to deal with it biblically and responsibly. It is improper to humour the sin or to joke about it. Nor should we harbor sympathy for it. The Christian ought to think of homosexuality as unnatural, even inhuman; yet to dehumanize the homosexual individual defeats the Christian perspective somewhat, because it absolves him of his moral responsibility. The homosexual has a moral responsibility to God and to himself. Let the Christian inform him of that and hold him to it. Remember, being homosexual is not the unpardonable sin, no matter how strongly we may disapprove of it.
The good news of the gospel is deliverance from sin. Salvation is deliverance from the punishment of sin in the future, but also from the power of sin in the present. The individual who feels the weight of the moral and mental morass of unnatural lust can find deliverance. Paul makes this clear when he speaks of some of the Corinthian Christians being “Sodomites” and “homosexuals” (I Corinthians 6:9). Paul says in the following verses “such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus.” The gospel of salvation from sin is good news for the homosexual.