Desensitizing Evangelicals to Homosexuality

Secular Homosexual Dominance

The homosexual agenda has gained complete victory in the secular world, not only providing homosexuality with acceptance but celebration and favor. It seems to gain increased influence with each passing day, the resignation of Brendan Eich being the latest display of raw gay power.

Evangelical Response

This leads to the question of how evangelicals will deal with this new situation that confronts them.

A Non-Option

One alternative that ultimately is not an option is to ignore the situation and continue with business as usual.

This is not an option because the historic evangelical position is diametrically opposed to the position of the secular cultural development. These two worlds are bound to collide. A second reason why ignoring the situation won’t work is that the homosexual movement will not let it rest. They are coming after evangelicals in every conceivable way, which ultimately will force evangelicals to respond in some way.

A Good Option

Evangelicals could respond by developing a crystallized statement on the biblical teaching regarding homosexuality and a companion statement outlining a biblical response. At first blush it would seem that this might be a simple task, but especially the biblical response becomes complicated.

For example, do we treat those with homosexual tendencies but who are not acting on those tendencies the same as we would treat a person was heterosexual tendencies? In today’s climate an inclination may be to answer strongly in the affirmative. “Homosexual desires are no worse than unbiblical heterosexual desires, and what man can claim he has none of those?” However, what do we do about homosexuals teaching children? Do we allow them to be leaders in a youth ministry? Do they qualify as elders? If the answer to any of these is no, then we are not treating them the same.

Despite the complexities, it seems that it would be a good thing if evangelical leaders would form a church council that would biblically and carefully address these issues and come up with solid answers which all could adopt. Then we could circle the wagons, assert that we believe this to be a biblical position, and with Martin Luther say, “Here we stand, we can do no other.”

Failing a unified response like this or similar to it, it will be easy for evangelicals to be divided and conquered. Failing to develop a definitive biblical position it will be easy for the evangelical position to erode.

A Bad Option

Though I would prefer to see such a Council meet and a definitive position stated, I fear that this will not happen. If past inclinations are any indication, it seems to me that evangelicals are too splintered and too inert to join and take action.

What will be the result of such inaction? I believe the outcome might be described with three words: desensitization, infiltration, and capitulation.

I see the desensitization process beginning with an incident like the World Vision event, in which that organization changed its policy to include the employment of married homosexuals. Under pressure from its constituency World Vision reversed that position. This stalwart response by evangelicals is good news.

Desensitization

The bad news, though, is that this is the way desensitization begins. The first salvo consists of suggesting the unthinkable. Though this event turned out well, it served to make such a policy at least thinkable.

Now a new challenge to the evangelical position has arisen. An article by Matt Barber reveals that Convergent Books, an imprint of WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, is preparing to publish God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships by Matthew Vines.

WaterBrook Multnomah has historically been a Christian publishing house, which has published the books of some very well-known evangelical authors such as David Jeremiah and Kay Arthur. As this article explains, in this case an imprint is merely a different publishing name, with the administrative headquarters, the staff, and the equipment all being the same as WaterBrook Multnomah. Therefore, in reality WaterBrook Multnomah is entity that will be publishing this book.

It will be interesting to see if evangelicals will again rise to the occasion, or whether this time the compromise will be allowed to ride. Regardless, each such incident carries with it the prospect of compromise, and each one serves to make evangelicals a little more comfortable with the idea.

Yet another means of desensitization comes with articles that I have seen warning against being mean-spirited toward homosexuals but instead responding with the love of Christ. Though we certainly should not be mean-spirited and we should manifest the love of Christ, such articles can serve to desensitize evangelicals by not clearly stating what such love looks like, and especially what it does not include. These articles are also problematic in the absence of counterbalancing articles delineating the dangers. Such sentiments weaken the resolve of evangelicals, making them more inclined to accept a World Vision or Multnomah compromise.

Our Response

Time will tell. I hope I am wrong regarding the prognosis described above. However, with the elevated evangelical emphasis on grace, the outcome above seems like the default reaction.

The challenge for each of us is to delineate in our own hearts and minds how we will respond in the event of capitulation by the evangelical church.

4 comments on “Desensitizing Evangelicals to Homosexuality
  1. Tina Lansing says:

    Excellent article. Since this became an issue in the workplace I emailed the pastor of my church on how to deal with a recent same sex marriage. His excellent response was given in a 3 part Sunday sermon.

  2. Jo Ann says:

    Excellent article. Thank you, Paul. I am reminded of the warning I received from a very godly/mature young couple who work with us in outreach to internationals. Back when NC was voting on making an amendment to the constitution defining marriage as one man/one woman they said that MANY of their college aged friends would vote “no” for this as they do not see the need to define marriage as one man/one woman. Many of them simply don’t want to “rock the boat”. Some simply don’t KNOW what God has spoken on this. Some don’t care. It’s become a “non-issue” for a lot of them.

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