The issue of homosexuality is a hot topic these days and stirs a wide spectrum of passion. There is no shortage of indignant outrage on the topic from within organized, conservative, evangelical, Christian, religion. I wrote this blog over two years ago, but thought in the light of current events, a revised reissue would be timely.
The essence of homosexuality is the desire for love, relationship, and sexual intimacy with someone sexually identical to one’s self, without the hard work of learning to love someone very different than one’s self, in very profound ways, 🙂 and without the pain, discomfort, and inconvenience of the logical fruit of heterosexual intimacy: children.
Jesus made it clear that before we attempt to extract a splinter from someone else’s eye, we need to extract the log in our own. Western Evangelicalism has a very large log: homospirituality.
On any given Sunday, “Christians” will gather to “relate” with people identical to themselves. We tend to gravitate to those just like our selves: of the same doctrinal perspectives, ethnicity, cultural background, socioeconomic status, and values, even though the scriptures say this should not be so. Some have said that “church hour” on a given Sunday is the most segregated hour of the week in our country.
We also tend to relate with just those who “think like we do.” The basis for denominational association is the demand for identical thought and theology. In some of the more dysfunctional groups, leaders prohibit individual members from associating with others, for fear of contamination through contact with someone who thinks differently. It is dressed up as “pastorally protecting the flock.” In reality it is: “We have the truth and no one else does, or at least we have it ‘better’ than everyone else, so you better stay with us, or you will be in grave spiritual jeopardy!”
We talk much of “intimacy with God.” The bulk of our worship services (especially in charismatic and apostolic/prophetic circles) is specifically designed to facilitate an intimate and personal God-encounter for those gathered. We pay tens of thousands of dollars for sound systems and salaries to enable the “worship team” to “create an atmosphere of intimacy.” (By the way, this a thoroughly pagan concept.).
In the natural, the logical fruit of relational intimacy with someone different than yourself is children. Children are inevitable, if the relating adults are organically healthy and if no actions are taken to prevent conception. Such is the inherent power of life–inevitably.
What is the fruit of years of “intimacy” experienced in many of our “services”?
In many churches, a new convert has not been seen in years, or decades. I was in a meeting once (where the median age was 55+) where an elder told me that they did not want new converts in their “worship” gatherings, because they were the “Zadok priesthood” “ministering unto the Lord” in the Holy of Holies in their praise and worship, and the presence of a sinner would “ruin the anointing/presence,” (exact phrase). “After all, the person said, there can be no sin in the Most Holy Place. God was coming to inhabit our praises and establish His Holy of Holies among us [sic].” I wish I was joking or exaggerating. I am not. In effect, the presence of an unbeliever or new convert or “sinner” . . . “kills the mood” . . . ruins my weekly Jesus buzz.
Good grief! Is that what we have come to? Is this the fruit of 40-50 years of “deeper-walk” and “restoration of Davidic worship” teaching? Disdain for the very ones who need the Lord? I wish I could tell you this sentiment is rare. It is not. So pathetic, and too common: homospiritual narcissism on steroids.
Not only are new converts frequently as rare as bacon at a bar mitzvah, but the social demographers tell us that overall, we are not even effective with our own natural children. By the time they are 21 and “out of the house,” most will never serve the Lord a day again in their lives. Fifty-nine percent of children disconnect either permanently or for an extended period of time from church life after age 15.  Six out of eight (75%) Southern Baptist children raised in our churches have not been won to Christ by age 19 and are “lost to the Kingdom”. [Dr. Ed Young at SBC Pastors’ Conference, June 2006].
“Intimacy with God” has become for many, a theological fig leaf for week after week after week after week of psychic stimulus in a group of people just like me. There is no reproduction—no fruit—no new life. We want the relational ecstasy of intimacy with God, but we are not so thrilled about what is supposed to result from intimacy: new births.
So let’s see . . . . . . . . . . . .
We have relationship with those just like us, we want intimacy with those same folks (and God), but we don’t want to work too hard at getting along with people who are very different, and we certainly don’t want to be inconvenienced with the responsibilities of guardianship and care for a new life.
And we are going to chastise the natural homosexuals? You’ve got to be kidding me! Fifty percent of evangelical pastor’s marriages end in divorce. Close to forty percent have had affairs. The divorce rate for Pentecostal Christians is forty-four percent. Atheists’ divorce rate is thirty-seven percent  . . . . and we are going to act all “morally outraged” at homosexuals? You’ve got to be kidding me.
The issue is not: “Homosexuality: right or wrong?” The question is not whether the “church” should speak out on the topic from a biblical perspective or not. Those questions can and should be debated.
The issue is entertaining the same spirit, and even WORSE spirits, among ourselves which renders our voice spiritually impotent. There’s no spiritual credibility or power behind our indignant finger-pointing at the secular culture.
The issue is about having some self-reflective humility of ourselves individually and the church corporately, instead of moral indignation at our culture. Paul said he was not even concerned with judging those who were “without” the believing community, but that we should focus on judging ourselves! (1 Cor. 5:12). My, how conservative evangelicalism has drifted! I agree with Paul! And Jesus! (See below).
The outrage and fervor on this issue is way out of proportion, and reeks of the rankest spiritual hypocrisy this side of hell. Jesus was very severe with conservative, pretentious, religious hypocrites.
I am not arguing for moral relativism or laxity. I am arguing for removing our beam before another’s splinter, and some self-reflection rather than finger pointing and outrage. I’m for identifying with “sinners” and laying our lives down for them in love, service, and truth, not just slinging “the Bible says” at them and expecting them to change because we have more political power and clout than they do, and we get our way when we win. Jesus’s kingdom is not based on power and coercive authority.
I once read a comment in a book by a well-known author who said: “When we [referring to evangelicals] “take over,” [referring to winning in politics, taking over all domains of culture, buying up real estate, etc.] then “they” [referring to those who do not adhere to biblical values] will have to do what we say!”
So, in the name of “biblical morality,” we are reduced to political power, coercion by force, and MONEY, and this is Jesus’s way?!!? Is this way of agape and laying lives down for one’s enemies? I think not. Sounds more like the Taliban to me. Sounds to me like an unholy alliance of the state and impotent church, trying to accomplish through the power of the state and mammon what only love and transformation of a human heart can do. Sounds like trying to do Christianity on the cheap to me.
Judgment must begin in the house of God if that judgment is to be endorsed by heaven’s authority. At the moment, even if our words and “doctrine” to the world are “right,” there is no authority from heaven backing them up, which makes them the ineffective clanging gongs and tinkling cymbals of crusading, right-wing, moralistic, religious zealots.
 Statistics compiled from: Mike McManus, Harriett McManus and Chuck Colson. Living Together: Risks, Myths, and Answers. Howard Books, 2008; Beyond all Limits by Bill Bright and James Davies. New Life Publications, Orlando, FL.
 Barna Group, September, 2011.
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