Stories about “evangelical” churches embracing homosexuality hardly seem like news anymore, but still the headlines are still rolling. As the article linked states, Pastor Mark Tidd changed his views on homosexuality after counseling a couple whose daughter began identifying as a boy. Tidd couldn’t apply the “plain meaning” of Scripture to this case (which implies that the girl is confused, not God), and so concluded that “It’s not a sin to be gay or act in accordance with your nature.”
The temptation is to think that churches embracing postmodern sexuality are making drastic changes when they do so. They might have made drastic changes, but these almost certainly came long before embracing homosexuality. The fundamental break is the view of the Bible which says it’s absolutely a sin to act in accordance with your nature. Paul says we were all “sons of disobedience–among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind” (Eph. 2:2-4).
Every pastor who walks around with his eyes open would answer the question “What is more common in your congregation, heterosexual or homosexual sin?” with a resounding “hetero.” I believe it’s possible for the answer to be homo, but we are not there yet. So is it alright to tell men that they must be radically committed to their wives, that Solomon is right when tells his son to be “enraptured with her [his wife’s] breasts always”? Or is that just the ancient “plain meaning” of Scripture no longer applicable?
Should men be required to repent of their insane desire for pornography, or is it alright to reply with pastor Tidd, “I just didn’t feel God would tell a person to deny a big part of who they are and to keep it a secret”?
Of course post-evangelicals like Tidd would never (read “this year”) say embracing homosexuality is a license for adultery or even fornication necessarily, but this is because people who’ve left the foundation of the Bible are blinded to the consequences of their ideas and actions.
Why is this the case? Is it because of the onslaught of homosexuality? Rarely if ever. These pastors have been lazy and cowardly in addressing the predominant hetero sexual sin their congregations for years, and when the culture begins visibly discipling their church, what is there to stand on? If you haven’t stood against the constant mangling of human beings in heterosexual relationships–lovingly listening, praying, counseling, rebuking, and teaching again for the umpteenth time, what are the chances that you’ll have any integrity left when homosexuality makes its case?
There is an attempt by those who compromise this way to scramble for the high ground, posing as those who listen and embrace when what they are really doing is abandoning those who need loving and firm help finding their true identity in Christ. Paul tells the Corinthians that many of used to be, among other things, homosexuals, and some of them likely religiously devoted to it in paganism. So the Christian church must never be “closed” or unkind to gays, just like it shouldn’t shun those who struggle with any other sin. But in order to deal with this issue that will confront every church that is openly evangelical and engaging the world, the elders must proactively address all sexual sin. As soon as this is neglected, the church has turned into a traditional values club which has no basis other than personal preference for opposing anything coming at it. Oddly, this puts these churches in the same boat with those accepting homosexuality. Strange bedfellows, indeed.