Vicky Beeching, British Christian singer who is very popular in America, recently announced that she was a lesbian.
In an interview with Patrick Strudwick of The Independent she discusses the anguish that she has endured across the years struggling with feelings condemned by conservative Christianity. He is sympathetic toward her and hostile toward a biblical position on homosexuality.
Some have affirmed her while others have been critical. My purpose in addressing the situation is to think through the implications related to the contemporary evangelical community.
Fruit from the Roots of Contemporary Evangelical Christianity
In the article she asserts, “What Jesus taught was a radical message of welcome and inclusion and love. I feel certain God loves me just the way I am, and I have a huge sense of calling to communicate that to young people.”
This response represents an expression of the contemporary evangelical assertion of God’s unconditional love. This belief is frequently framed in the cliché, “There is nothing you can do to make God love you more, and nothing you can do to make God love you less.” If that is the case, then she is right. God does love her just the way she is. In fact, her statement of the case does not go far enough. Not only does God love her just the way she is, He will also love her regardless of how she behaves. If she chooses to live an openly gay lifestyle with a lesbian partner God will love her just the same. This will in no way alter the fact or the extent of God’s love for her. She has learned well contemporary evangelical theology and is applying it accurately.
On that count, there is no reason for her to go through the struggle of seeking to change her gay orientation, but rather it makes sense just to embrace it and enjoy it.
And if evangelicals are willing to be genuine regarding their belief in God’s unconditional love, they will acknowledge that God loves her the same regardless of her gay orientation and even if she lives in openly gay lifestyle. And on that basis they should extend to her the same unconditional love. She should be just as welcome to minister in evangelical venues as she was previously.
More Fruit from That Root
On this count the person inclined toward pornography, the pedophile, and the married man inclined to have an affair with a woman at the office should feel the same liberty. In fact, instead of fighting that 5 pounds of flab that keeps threatening to encompass my abdomen I think I’ll just opt for the 3C program: couch, Coke, and chips.
The point is that once we conclude that God is okay with us just as we are in one area, that we don’t have to acknowledge and reject sinful inclinations, we have opened Pandora’s box and there’s no end to the carnage.
Each of us as his or her own set of sinful inclinations that make the Christian life difficult for us. Who is to say that my sinful predispositions are harder or easier to deal with than yours or Vicky Beeching’s? Our response should not be to conclude that God is okay with them but rather to acknowledge them as sinful and to deal with them using every means possible.
In the book of Judges we find Israel accommodating the ungodly Canaanites that God commanded them to destroy. They concluded that fighting them was too hard, so they decided to work out an arrangement for peaceful coexistence. The results were loss of God’s blessing, failing to occupy all of their inheritance, and infiltration by idolatry.
Paul warns against this accommodation of sin in teaching, “Neither give place to the devil.” In the pronouncement above, in effect Vicky Beeching is making a deal with the devil. In fact, the teaching that God loves us unconditionally leaves the door wide open for the devil to move in. How would you like to have him for a roommate?