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Introduction: The Significance and Contention of Homosexuality in the Church

Ah, the ever-persistent matter of homosexuality and its intricate relationship with the Church. In today’s society, it has evolved into a subject of immense significance and intense contention. As a conscientious observer, I recognize that the Church can no longer evade the responsibility of addressing this matter solely by focusing on filling the pews and balancing the books. The collision between LGBTQ concerns and religious freedom, vividly exemplified by the notable Colorado baker  case, who declined to create a wedding cake endorsing same-sex marriage due to his conscientious objections, combined with the U.S. Supreme Court’s redefinition of “marriage” to encompass same-sex unions, has propelled this question to the forefront of global culture.

It is disheartening to observe that Christians who uphold the traditional understanding of a heterosexual lifestyle often find themselves subjected to criticism and unjust labels, even from within the Christian community itself. Unjust accusations of homophobia, intolerance, and even hatred seem to abound. The intimidation surrounding this issue looms large, casting its shadow upon sincere believers. Regrettably, some churches have veered from the historic Christian position and chosen to embrace the homosexual lifestyle, going so far as to ordain practicing homosexuals as ministers. Notably, among these churches are the Lutherans and Presbyterians, who have embraced same-sex marriage and even ordained self-affirmed LGBTQ individuals engaged in committed relationships as elders. This seismic shift in perspective extends beyond the confines of liberal churches, my dear reader.

Indeed, even within evangelicals, a group comprised of individuals who identify as born-again, Bible-believing Christians, a fascinating dynamic unfolds. It is intriguing to note that some members of this group also identify as practicing homosexuals. Their argument rests upon the premise that the Bible neither prohibits homosexual activity nor renders its commands universally applicable in our contemporary context. Rather, they perceive these biblical passages as reflections of the cultural milieu in which they were penned. Remarkably, while these individuals maintain orthodox beliefs regarding Jesus and other fundamental Christian teachings, they assert that the practice of homosexuality is not only compatible but biblically permissible.

Confronted with these multifaceted perspectives, it is only natural to ponder upon our role as observers and judges. Who are we, after all, to assert the infallibility of our own judgments upon seemingly sincere Christians who hold differing viewpoints? Such an inquiry is undeniably valid. However, it beckons us to delve deeper into the realm of philosophical inquiry, wherein lies an even more profound question: Do the notions of right and wrong possess an inherent truth? Before we embark upon the arduous quest to ascertain what is right and wrong in this complex tapestry of existence, it is imperative that we first establish the very reality of their existence.

Dear reader, join me on this potent spiritual, intellectual voyage as we navigate the turbulent seas of homosexuality, faith, and culture. Armed with our unwavering commitment to academic rigor and the wisdom of our Christian heritage,  in the power of the Holy Ghost, we shall embark upon a journey filled with both depth and levity.

Finding the Foundation of Right and Wrong:

Let’s get into the perennial inquiry: What lies at the core of our understanding of right and wrong? The traditional response has resided in the belief that moral values find their grounding in the divine realm (God). As for me, I too am inclined to this viewpoint. You see, God, in His very essence, embodies perfect holiness and goodness. His character encompasses justice, love, patience, mercy, and generosity—all that is virtuous emanates from Him and reflects His nature.

Consequently, God’s supremely virtuous nature finds expression in moral commandments, which establish our moral obligations. For instance, commandments such as “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and strength,” “Love your neighbour as yourself,” and “Do not commit murder, theft, or adultery” delineate actions that are deemed right or wrong. These determinations stem from God’s commandments, which, far from being arbitrary, flow harmoniously from His flawless nature, which He with justification spilled over into mankind.   

This encapsulates the Christian perspective on right and wrong. It is an acknowledgment of the existence of a divine being—God—who fashioned the world and bestowed upon us the gift of knowing Him. He has indeed issued certain commandments. Our moral duty lies in adhering to these commandments and abstaining from transgressing them. Morality is not a mere construct of our minds; it is a tangible reality. When we fail to uphold God’s commandments, we find ourselves genuinely culpable before Him, necessitating His forgiveness. Our predicament is not solely rooted in the sense of guilt we experience; it extends beyond that. Irrespective of our emotional state, I must assert that if we have violated God’s law, guilt truly burdens us.

To illustrate, let us entertain the hypothetical scenario in which the Nazis emerged victorious in World War II, brainwashing or exterminating all dissenters, thereby causing the populace to perceive the Holocaust as a righteous endeavour. Even if the majority were to consider the Holocaust as morally acceptable, it would remain unequivocally wrong. How can I make such a bold claim? Because God has declared it so, transcending human opinions. The bedrock of morality lies within God, unaffected by the ebb and flow of human sentiments.

I emphasize this point, as it diverges drastically from the prevailing sentiment in our society. Many individuals today regard right and wrong not as objective realities but rather as matters of personal preference. They view them akin to matters of taste. Consider the taste of broccoli, for instance. There is no inherent truth in asserting that broccoli tastes good. While it may be palatable to some, it may elicit distaste in others. It might not appeal to your palate, yet it finds favor with mine! Similarly, people extend this subjectivity to moral values. Something may appear wrong to you but right to me. The existence of an objective right or wrong is outright denied. It is perceived merely as a matter of individual opinion.

Now, if God were non-existent, I would contend that these individuals are indeed correct in their assessment. In the absence of God, everything becomes subjective and relative. Right and wrong become contingent upon different cultures and societies. In the absence of God, who possesses the authority to assert that one culture’s values surpass another’s? Who has the prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong? From a metaphysical standpoint, where do these concepts find their origins? It is worth noting that Richard Taylor (a prominent American philosopher who is not affiliated with Christianity)  forcefully makes this very point. Let me simplify them for you:

  • If the concept of a higher-than-human lawgiver is disregarded, moral obligation loses its meaning.
  • Without a divine lawgiver, moral values become subjective and vary among different cultures and societies.
  • The rejection of a divine lawgiver in modern times unintentionally undermines the meaningfulness of moral right and wrong.
  • Educated individuals who make moral judgments without considering God, fail to realize that such questions have never been satisfactorily answered without religious foundations.
  • In the absence of God, objective standards of right and wrong do not exist, leading to moral relativism.
  • Proponents of the homosexual lifestyle, who often denounce discrimination, seek to affirm the existence of objective moral standards.
  • Without God, moral judgments lack genuine meaning, and everything becomes a matter of personal preference.
  • Therefore, acknowledging the existence of God is crucial in engaging in meaningful moral judgments.

Taylor’s furthermore, asserts: “The modern age, more or less repudiating the idea of a divine lawgiver, has nevertheless tried to retain the ideas of moral right and wrong, without noticing that in casting God aside they have also abolished the meaningfulness of right and wrong as well.”

Homosexuality in the Absence of Objective Morality: Paradoxes and Dilemmas

Are you beginning to grasp the significance of this non-Christian philosopher’s words? In the absence of God, in the absence of a divine lawgiver, moral law ceases to exist. Without moral law, there can be no absolute right or wrong. Right and wrong devolve into mere societal customs and conventions that vary from culture to culture. Even if unanimous agreement were to be reached on these customs and conventions, they would remain nothing more than human inventions, perhaps stemming from societal conditioning.

Hence, if God does not exist, objective right and wrong are devoid of any foundation. Anything goes, including homosexual behaviour. Paradoxically, one of the most effective means to defend the legitimacy of the homosexual lifestyle is to adopt atheism, even an agnostic worldview.   However, it is important to note that many proponents of the homosexual lifestyle are unwilling to embrace atheism, or the likes.

On the contrary, they desire to affirm the existence of right and wrong. Thus, you often hear them passing moral judgments, proclaiming, for instance, “Discriminating against homosexuals is wrong.” These moral judgments are not intended to be relative to a specific culture or society. They condemn even societies like Nazi Germany, which incarcerated homosexuals alongside Jews and other marginalized groups. In the United States of America, when the state. of Colorado , enacted an amendment several years ago that prohibited granting special civil rights to homosexuals, Barbara Streisand called for a boycott of the state, stating, “The moral climate in Colorado has become unacceptable.” Mrs Streisand’s idea of God, who loves us “from a distance”, maybe, true for her, but the fact remains, no God, or the vague idea of Him, means no grounds for objective morality.   

However, as we have discovered, these types of value judgments lack meaningfulness in the absence of God. If God does not exist, anything goes, including discrimination and persecution of homosexuals. But it does not end there. Murder, rape, torture, child abuse—all these atrocities would not be deemed wrong, for the absence of objective right and wrong nullifies their moral reprehensibility. Everything becomes permissible.

Affirming God’s Existence: The Quest for Meaningful Moral Judgments

Hence, if we desire to make moral judgments concerning what is right or wrong, we must affirm the existence of God. Yet, the question that was initially posed to us—”Who are you to say that a homosexual lifestyle is wrong?”—can equally be directed to the gay activist: “Who are you to say that a homosexual lifestyle is right?” If God exists, we cannot ignore His stance on the matter. The appropriate response to the question “Who are you?” is to humbly admit, “I am nobody! God determines what is right and wrong, and my sole aspiration is to comprehend and obey His commands.”

Conclusion: Unveiling God’s Perspective on the Homosexual Lifestyle

In summary, our inquiry into the legitimacy of the homosexual lifestyle revolves around what God has communicated on the matter. In the absence of God, right and wrong lose their significance, rendering our chosen lifestyle inconsequential. All becomes relative and subjective. However, if God does exist, we can no longer rely solely on our personal opinions. We must endeavour to uncover God’s perspective on the issue.

Part 2 Coming Soon: Exploring God’s Communication on the Matter