Louie Giglio, an Atlanta city pastor has found himself in hot waters after a liberal blog, Think Progress, found a sermon of his preached in the 1990s which addressed his view on homosexuality. Giglio presented the biblical stance on homosexuality that it is sin, needs to be repented of and sought forgiveness in Jesus Christ. With mounting pressure, Giglio offered forth his resignation to an invitation to deliver the benediction at President Obama’s inauguration ceremony.
Use Of The Word Bigot
I find it interesting that the main word being thrown around right now to describe Giglio is “bigot”. A strong word most frequently used in reference to the belief of one’s own opinion to be superior to others and to have a prejudice to the opposing opinions. The word bigot is often placed within the context of a racist. Someone who believes their race to be superior to all others and has a hostile or an unjust feeling to the opinions of others. The problem with using the word bigot is that it is not an accurate description of the biblical stance on homosexuality or Giglio.
Homosexuality In The Bible
In recent years, many have volleyed back and forth on the issue of homosexuality and the Bible. Some declare it to be for while others with hostility against. Again, the problem with both of these views is that they are not accurate. The Bible neither approves of homosexuality or declares Christians to be hostile to those who are in homosexual sin.
The Bible is the inerrant word of God. He spoke through the power of the Holy Spirit to men who penned the words. In the New Testament Paul writes to a young pastor Timothy whom he is mentoring and says this about Scripture, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness…” 2 Timothy 3:16 ESV. This is the foundational understanding of Christianity. The entire Bible is God’s word and is without error.
With this understanding then, Christians should look to the teachings in the Bible on homosexuality with a humble spirit. Too many Christians approach the scriptures with an opinion of what the Bible already says so that they can bend verses to mean what they want. However, the Bible speaks for itself because it is the word of God.
The biblical teaching on homosexuality is that it is sin. Sin is an action that rebels against God. In this particular case, there are several passages which teach on homosexuality.
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
(Romans 1:26-27 ESV)
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
(1 Corinthians 6:9-11 ESV)
An Uncompromising Stance
A Christian believes that the Bible is the churches one sole authority. Tradition, contemporary thought, or man’s opinion does not supersede or even stand at the same level of authority as the Bible. Thus, with this belief, Christians must take the Bible for what it says without bending it to their own will. The Bible is clear that homosexuality is a rebellion against God’s plan and therefore a sin. Sin can only be forgiven by trusting in the saving work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Confessing that he is the Lord (boss) of our lives. Then living a life that pursues glorifying him and not ourselves. Making his name famous among the nations. When we come into this relationship with God, we confess our sin, our rebellion against him. We state that it was wrong of us to ever do so. Then we enter into a covenant that holds that we are free from condemnation and rescued from hell. But there is not salvation without repenting of sin. Simply put, we must continually be in repentance as Christians. Always yielding any area of our life that is not glorifying to God.
The Take Away
The problem with much of what is going on at the moment is a lack of listening. People on both sides of the argument are not hearing effectively the words of the other side. This results in much cross-talk and demonization.
Instead of seeing homosexuals as the enemy, Christians should see them as they are, human beings made in the image of God. They have value, worth, and dignity. They are just as in need of a savior as we once were as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:11. Christians are to first be humble and repentant in their own life. Not just stating that homosexuality is sin, but also naming heterosexual sin (fornication, pornography, etc) as sin. We are to take an uncompromising stance on the authority of Scripture. What it claims as sin is sin and what it claims as holy and pure is holy and pure.
When we share life with people it does not mean that we approach those in unrepentant sin with hostility. But we also don’t shy away from the truth. We live lives marked by humble boldness. Taking the good news of Jesus Christ to the world. Beginning with being honest that those who don’t follow Jesus are desperately without hope in sin. But Jesus has come. He has made a way for us to be set free from our sin. To live lives that glorify him instead of ourselves. The bigger picture that shadows homosexuality, heterosexual sin, stealing, lying, or cheating is that Jesus Christ has come to set sinners free. Considering that we have all rebelled against God, that is what I call good news.