Josh Merrell Possible headline: Biblical illiteracy on parade

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Josh Merrell
Possible headline: Biblical illiteracy on parade
A battle is raging in America over the issue of homosexuality but not in the culture at large; that battle has already been lost. In a stunningly short period of time sodomy has been normalized in popular culture—so much so that it is no longer acceptable to look on it unfavorably. This was illustrated recently when, in reaction to Michael Sam’s passionate kiss of his boyfriend after being drafted into the NFL, Miami Dolphin’s safety Don Jones tweeted, “OMG…horrible!” Jones was forced to apologize, banned from team activities and sent to a re-education camp to undergo sensitivity training. Mr. Sam’s kiss was not deemed inappropriate or insensitive; rather, it was Jones’ mild disagreement that was vilified.

In the war over homosexuality, the battle for public opinion has been lost; the battle now is taking place within the “Christian” community. Christians today are being bombarded with propaganda designed to change the way they view their faith. The campaign goal is to convince Christians that acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle is the only legitimate expression of Christianity. This point is made clear in a lengthy article by John Shore prominently displayed in the Huffington Post entitled “The Best Case for the Bible Not Condemning Homosexuality.”1 Although the article offers many arguments, its guiding thesis can be stated thus: “In the Bible, God does not ask us to choose between compassion and faith.” As a Bible believing Christian, I completely agree with this thesis. Disagreement, however, is introduced when these terms are defined. For example, Shore defines compassion as granting “full moral and legal equality to gay and lesbian people.”

Even further, he asserts that true Christian love requires “unqualified acceptance” of the LGBT community. I, on the other hand, do not believe that love is blind or that compassion translates into unqualified acceptance for whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.2 True love and genuine compassion do what is best for a person even if that means painfully rebuking his or her sin.3 Thus, it appears that when biblical definitions are applied, Shore’s thesis agues against his point. The only way he can make a “biblical” argument in support of his position is to redefine terms in a non-biblical sense.

Moreover, there is a hypocritical irony here that is too rich to miss. Shore is arguing that true Christian compassion requires “unqualified acceptance.” Shore claims to be a Christian. Indeed, he views his crusade of promoting gay rights as his Christian duty and as an authentic expression of his Christian love and compassion. But he is not promoting his view to the gay community; he is promoting it to the part of the “Christian” community that disagrees with him. What’s more, to do so, he openly condemns their “morally indefensible” attitude toward homosexuals. So, let me get this straight: on the one hand he is arguing that true compassion offers “unqualified acceptance,” but on the other hand he does not accept the position of orthodox Christianity! Further, because he rejects our position, his “compassion” has motivated him to confront us (something he forbids us to do in reverse). Thus, on the very grounds on which he says we must accept homosexuals, namely love and compassion, he has rejected orthodox Christians. The whole thing is so absurd it’s comical.

Glaring hypocrisy notwithstanding, Shore’s article goes much further. After correctly acknowledging that we are all born sinners and that we have no choice but to exist in a relationship to our sinful natures, he assumes that Christians accept occasional indulgence into their pet sin. For example, concerning alcohol, lust, and lying, he says, “Christians don’t think that they are expected to never commit any degree of those sins. They understand that circumstances and normal human weaknesses must be taken into account before condemning any transgression…they do, that is, for all sins except homosexuality” (emphasis original). In other words, he asserts that heterosexual Christians employ a gross double standard when they apply an absolute standard of morality to homosexual sins, which they are not tempted to commit, while accepting a relative standard of morality for those sins that they do commit. But is this so? Clearly not!

I will freely admit that Christians lust, lie, and some even drink; but I know of no case in which those caught in such behavior argue that because it was their “besetting sin” the church should accept and even celebrate it. To the contrary, true Christians face their sin with brokenness. They acknowledge its wicked character and ask God for deliverance from it. As for the church’s response to the sin of its members, by defining such behavior as “sin” churches are condemning it. And what they condemn, they are obligated to confront. Thus, when a person’s sin becomes known, unless it is confessed and forsaken, biblical churches confront that individual to the point that he or she either repents or is expelled from the congregation. They are, therefore, not employing a double standard but are rather being perfectly consistent.

Mr. Shore writes indefatigably on behalf of the LGBT community. Unfortunately, his zeal is not according to knowledge. Rather than showing his compassion, he reveals his ignorance of the Bible’s content, its intent, and especially its Author.


2Proverbs 3:12

3Cf. Hebrews 12:6

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