Reply 7: Traditional Christians as Haters
<<In response to a final conclusion that sexual behavior is sinful:>> “HAVE FUN IN YOUR SEXIST, CHAUVINISTIC, JUDGMENTAL, XENOPHOBIC LIFESTYLE CHOICE. THE REST OF CULTURE WILL ADVANCE FORWARD WITHOUT YOU.”
We are among those people who come to the final conclusion that the Bible teaches that acts of sexual intimacy between persons of the same sex are judged sinful in the teachings of the Bible as they reveal the mind of God. How do we respond to this response?
First, let’s be clear that the Bible teaches that it is same-sex sexual behaviors that are sinful, not “homosexuality.” Sexual desires directed toward the same sex (i.e., men desiring sex with men or women with other women) are understood in the Bible to be “unnatural” – a sign of brokenness in the human condition – but not necessarily sinful in themselves. The biblical authors and others in ancient world had some concept of stable patterns of such desire, but did not necessarily use the concept of “orientation.” Importantly, in conversation today a lot more complex meanings are casually and implicitly inserted into the concept of “homosexuality” today beyond mere orientation; concepts like lifestyle, gender identity, human and civil rights, and so forth. We therefore stay away from the idea that “homosexuality is sinful.”
The critique of those of us who hold a biblical view of sexuality often bypasses legitimate argument and resorts instead to name calling—we are “sexist, chauvinistic, judgmental, and xenophobic.” Such rhetoric is an attempt to intimidate Christian people into letting go of traditional morality. After years of gay advocates objecting stridently to the characterization of LGBT persons has having made a “lifestyle choice,” it is a thinly veiled insult to characterize sincere religious belief as a “lifestyle choice.” The hidden implication is that people who accept the moral teachings of the Bible are not really coming to sincere religious convictions, but instead are sexist, chauvinistic, judgmental, and xenophobic people use religion as an insincere excuse for their biases.
This may be true for a few people, but not for the sincere Christian. Even so, such scornful terms create incredible social pressure for Christian people to let go of traditional morality.” The Evil One has long used such pressure tactics as the threat of ever-increasing marginalization of the biblically-grounded Christian in contemporary culture to create doubt; make the cost of sincere belief and submission to the will of God high, and at least some people will waffle.
In the face of such pressures, Christ calls us to faithfulness, obedience, and joy in following him. Such threats as these are to be expected from a world that increasingly does not know the God of the Bible.