“Sixty-one percent of self-identified Christian singles who answered a recent ChristianMingle survey said they are willing to have casual sex…”
“80 percent of unmarried evangelical young adults (18-29) said that they have had sex – slightly less than 88 percent of unmarried adults, according to the teen pregnancy prevention organisation.”
-CNN Belief Blog
Is it possible the church has made homosexuality the scapegoat while ignoring heterosexual sin? Can we unearth the legalism of separating sexual sin into categories?
Here’s an example. Single Christians often ask, “How far is too far?” But the question itself reveals a desire to have a sexual experience and justify it according to law. The answer is already clear – anything we would not do with another person’s spouse we cannot do with another single person.
Would any of us be alone in a living room at night, cuddled on a couch watching a movie with another person’s spouse? If anyone were caught simply doing that it would be treated as if they were having an affair. We already know this – in our hearts. We just don’t want to acknowledge the standard because of our unmet desires.
The culture has made it acceptable for us to be alone with another single person in an intimate setting. As long as this is permissible, sexual temptation will win. We haven’t run from temptation, we’re twirling its hair in our fingers.
This goes to show the pervasiveness of our legalism in the context of sexual sin, but what would happen if everyone in the church stopped judging people who have same-sex attraction?
If you’re part of the church, have you ever entertained an inappropriate sexual desire? Have you ever wanted something sexual that was not morally permitted? If you can honestly say, “Never,” to those questions then you can be the first to throw a stone. But if we’re honest about the general existence of sexual desires in human beings, and that we all have the ability to have sinful sexual desires, why differentiate between homosexual and heterosexual sin?
What’s the real reason for making this distinction?
These things point to a deeper problem. First, there are people outside the church who feel judged by the church over a moral issue, but the Bible commands those in the church not to judge the morality of those outside the church (see Homosexuality & Sin). So why are Christians imposing “sin standards” on non-Christians? I’ll play the devil’s advocate –
Because Christians believe that the world needs to know what sin is in order to repent of it.
Ok, fair enough, but is this the way Jesus went about it? Was Jesus outspoken about sexual immorality? Jesus didn’t even condemn the woman caught in the act of adultery. We can’t gloss over this. He told her to leave her life of sin (which she understood because she was in God’s covenant people and had revelation of sin), but His motive was compassion and the context was that He had just saved her life.
Condemning unsaved people in their immoralities is not the heart of our God. He does not ask us to draw the line in the sand for the world and tell them what righteousness is. Anyone who wants to follow Him will gain that knowledge, but another devastating reason Christians have preached to the world that homosexuality is a sin, is because we have lost our understanding of the Kingdom of God.
This has happened in the West. Take America for example, American’s believe their culture to be originally Christian, and therefore believe they have a right to demand the sustainment of Christian morals in their culture. But dressing the world up in Christian morality is a lie. It won’t make anyone genuinely godly, and the danger is that we have forgotten the difference between the world and the Church, and placed our hope in a country rather than God’s Kingdom.
America and every other nation are not God’s kingdom. They are part of the Kingdom of the World, and the Kingdom of God does not expand by placing moral demands on people outside of it. The Kingdom of God takes ground when people begin to follow Jesus.
And to fear that the world is corrupt is not for us to wring our hands over. Sexual immorality is not new, and “the flood of dissipation” has been surging for thousands of years (1 Peter 4:4).
Am I making light of sin by saying these things? To the contrary. I’m addressing a value system that cares more about right behaviour than genuine salvation. People living in various immoralities are entwined with something that shuts out life. The people themselves are precious. We need to care more about restoring individuals than we do about maintaining a superficial culture of morality.
The problem in the panic that homosexuality (and LGBTQIA+) is taking over the culture, is that there’s a group of people who are being abused by the church: homosexual Christians seeking to honour Christ. I have a huge heart for the Christian non-heterosexual person who genuinely loves Jesus and struggles against acting on their sexual desires, yet finds themselves an outcast from the church – little c.
Spiritual Christianity looks at the heart of the individual. When a homosexual Christian desires to surrender their gender identity & sexuality to Christ they become vulnerable. They need to be surrounded with compassionate acceptance. If they have a stumbling block from childhood they need encouragement, wisdom and support. They are part of Christ and no one has the right to condemn them on their journey to becoming like Him. If they want to be like Jesus, and they continually return to that desire, then we must always embrace them.