I am reading a fantastic book by W.P. Campbell. The book is entitled Turning Controversy Into Church Ministry: A Christlike Response to Homosexuality.
According to a 2013 survey published by Lifeway Research, 64%(nearly two-thirds) of Americans see gay marriage as inevitable. As of this writing, there are 20 states (plus the District of Columbia) in which homosexual marriage is legal, and eleven other states in which bans against gay unions have been declared unconstitutional. In other words, it will not be long before the definition of marriage is permanently changed in the United States.
How does the church of Jesus Christ respond to such a clear violation of the Bible? Campbell wrote that there are two theological “rivers” which flow in Christianity. The one river is grace with compromised truth. This side emphasizes the grace and love of God, and acceptance of homosexuality, but denies the truth that homosexual behavior is a sin against God. This river, Campbell said, is an extreme which needs to be avoided.
On the other side is the river of truth with compromised grace. This extreme position condemns homosexuality and homosexuals alike. Those who are in this river might declare that homosexuals need to “turn or burn.” We must avoid this extreme as well.
As the author pointed out, the correct “river” is one in which grace and truth are united in one. Christ’s way is one full of grace AND truth.(John 1:14) As followers of Jesus, our response to homosexuality should be as follows: We should reach out with love, acceptance and compassion to all who are active in the homosexual lifestyle, as well as those who struggle with same-sex attraction. At the same time, however, we should NEVER compromise the Scriptural truth that homosexual behavior is not acceptable to God and that marriage between one man and one woman is His perfect design. In the same way, we should teach and preach for the sanctity of all marriage, and be willing to speak against co-habitation, adultery and divorce.
To be simple, we should “hate the sin, but love the sinner.” Churches which learn how to have a positive impact on an ungodly culture will thrive. Churches which ignore the issues, or do not engage the issues in a Christlike manner, will die. Churches which embrace sin will suffer the discipline and punishment of God. Jesus said that He is the way, the truth and the life. As we encounter the inevitability of same-sex marriage, followers of Jesus must respond in HIS way, not our way.