Monday, February 14, 2011

Should Conservative Christians Just Give Up?

In the February 14, 2011 edition of USA Today, Tom Krattenmaker offers some advice to conservative Christians who believe that homosexuality is wrong: give it up!

His point is that our culture has reached a point that homosexuality is generally considered socially acceptable and the Neanderthals who continue to oppose it simply look foolish. He notes the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” and the classification of several extreme anti-homosexual organizations as “hate groups” and comes to the conclusion that it is time for conservative Christian groups to make a decision:

Do they fight to the last ditch, continue shouting the anti-gay rhetoric that rings false and mean to the many Americans who live and work with gay people, or who themselves are gay? Or do they soften their tone and turn their attention to other fronts?
Notice that there are only two alternatives presented in this paragraph. If you believe that engaging in homosexual activity is a sin, your choices are either (a) shout “anti-gay rhetoric” or (b) soften your tone and find some other battle.

The problem with these alternatives is that (a) is mean and an unbiblical way to engage in a disagreement and (b) implies that opposition to homosexual activity is itself synonymous with (a). Essentially, the options Kratttenmaker offers us are: will you continue to beat your wife or will you stop it?  To say we will stop is to acknowledge that at one time we did!

Followers of Christ must be steadfastly committed to loving communication. In fact, we must be committed to loving those with whom we disagree, despite their attitude toward us. I would like to present, therefore, at least a third option that exists for us: continued humble opposition to lifestyle choices that hurt those who engage in them and go against God’s will for one’s life.

Why do we care about homosexual activity? Is it because we desire to control the lifestyles of others? Is it because we want to demonize some sins while minimizing our own? I certainly hope not.

When one minimizes the reality of sin—be it homosexuality or adultery or lying or theft—one minimizes the need for the gospel. Far from being a loving, non-judgmental act, downplaying the reality and pervasivness of sin causes people to doubt their need for a Savior.

P.S. Incidentally, in the article, Krattenaker references a book by Jennifer Wright Knust entitled Unprotected Texts. For a commentary on this book, see Al Mohler’s blog:

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