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Ohio Senator Rob Portman recently announced his support for same-sex marriage. Why he adopted this view is more interesting than the fact he is the first Republican in the United States Senate to publicly do so.

The Senator recently learned his now 21-year-old son is gay. “Knowing that my son is gay,” the Senator said, “prompted me to consider the issue from another perspective.”

In another public announcement recently Mr. Rob Bell, former pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan and the author of the controversial Love Wins, told an audience in San Francisco that he now endorses same-sex marriage. He justified his position by saying, “I am for marriage. I am for fidelity. I am for love, whether it’s a man and a woman, a woman and a woman, a man and a man.”

So twice in a month notable leaders claim love is the reason they now endorse same-sex marriage. According to Senator Portman and Mr. Bell, love explains their dramatic change of heart. Apparently for them, in the words of the Beatles, “Love is all you need.” But is it?

A few years ago when I was serving as the president of a Christian university, a gay rights group called Soulforce demanded entrance to classrooms and chapel. I simply said, “No thank you.” The university did not verbally condemn the young people comprising the group nor did it criticize other Christian institutions that chose to give Soulforce campus access. We just decided to go a different direction.

I received more mail on this decision than any other in which I was involved during my nearly seventeen years as the university president. More than 90% of this mail supported my decision and lauded the university for the stand it took. About 10% or less of the mail on this issue criticized my decision. What interested me most is that of those who disagreed with me nearly all pointed to a loved one, brother, sister, uncle, or dear friend who was gay and that this love changed their mind about the moral legitimacy of homosexuality. In other words, love was their justification for their view.

Since that time I have time and again noted this link. Indeed when a news channel promoted a “teaser” stating the Senator had changed his position, I said to my wife, “I’m guessing his daughter has come out.” I was wrong: his son had come out.

Love is a wonderful human emotion and expression, but love for the wrong things does not make them good, right, or morally defensible.

If a person says he loves to have sex with little children his actions are not made right or righteous by his love. If a sadist loves to hurt people the love for harming others does not make the action right or moral.

After the Civil War had concluded, John Wilkes Booth’s love for the Confederacy led him to kill a President, and of course his action was immoral. It was still murder.

If a person loves to lie, cheat, or steal, these actions do not become good or right bathed in love. If people pursue sexual intimacy with someone not their spouse, because they love the other person, the adultery is not legitimized.

Love for an action or behavior does not determine its morality. What God says about the action or behavior defines its morality. The reason: love is a choice emerging from human hearts born in and tainted by sin. Love is therefore not always a trustworthy guide to moral considerations. Only God’s Word, the God who is Love in its righteous form, provides a trustworthy guide.

I understand Senator and Mrs. Portman’s love for their son, a love they should maintain no matter what he does or who he says he has become. But their love does not make his same-sex behavior good, right, or moral.

I have less empathy for Mr. Bell, who knows better and who is turning his back on his evangelical roots. Sadly, he claims to be expressing his unbiblical affirmation of same-sex marriage in the name of a better understanding of the Christian faith. His desire to express love is admirable, but it is a love based upon a false interpretation of the Bible. His viewpoint is wrong, not because I said so but because God in his Word says so, and Mr. Bell’s love does not change this truth.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2013

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow him at

Many media outlets are using the term “anti-gay” for certain presidential candidates’ convictions that homosexuality is immoral. The term is, or at least could be, misleading.

It’s misleading because one who believes homosexuality is wrong is not necessarily ipso facto “anti-gay,” meaning against people who choose or live a homosexual or lesbian lifestyle.

To be honest, though, it could be. It is unfortunately true that some people who believe homosexual behavior is wrong also reject, demean, or otherwise dismiss gays or lesbians. It’s even sadly true that some of these people hate and a few have done violence to gay or lesbian people. None of this is justifiable under any moral code, of course, but still, these people act as immorally in different ways as they accuse gays and lesbians of acting sexually.

What I object to, though, is media’s easy equation of convictions about the morality of homosexuality with anti-gay attitudes and behaviors. Because one believes homosexuality is wrong, as I noted above, does not mean one is anti-gay—any more than a person believing heterosexual adultery is wrong makes him or her “anti-straight.” This logic is illogical.

I know many people who hold deep-seated views, based upon their religious convictions, that homosexuality in any of its forms is immoral, wrong, and a sin. Nearly all of these people are also compassionate toward those who involve themselves in homosexuality, and I don’t know anyone who wants to make homosexuality a crime. Nor do any of these people want to deny gays or lesbians their civil liberties, available and guaranteed to them like any other American—including immoral heterosexuals.

This means, for example, that one can believe homosexuality is immoral and improper while at the same time working productively with persons involved in gay or lesbian relationships. They can believe homosexuality is wrong yet be friends with, even appreciate the talents and personality of, gay or lesbian people, just like most of them do with heterosexuals involved in any number of immoral activities.

So it is inaccurate for media automatically to describe someone as “anti-gay” simply because he or she believes homosexuality is immoral.

As long as media persists in this inaccurate portrayal it does a disservice to the person being so-labeled, misleads the American people, and sacrifices the reputation of the media involved


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2012

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow him at


Despite conservative outcry, fear-mongering, and dark warnings of a hastened Armageddon the demise this week of the United States military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy doesn’t matter all that much.

Congress voted earlier, and Wednesday this week President Barack Obama signed into law a repeal of the nation’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy toward gays and lesbians serving openly in the United States armed forces. The policy had been in effect since 1993 when the Clinton Administration supported its adoption as a compromise policy allowing gays and lesbians to serve as long as they or their commanders didn’t make an issue of their sexuality. Prior to this time, gay and lesbian citizens were denied entry into the American military and were dismissed if discovered.

Since his days as a candidate President Obama has made no secret of his support for this change. In the sense of a promise made and delivered this is a victory for the Obama Administration. After the President’s brokered tax deal this month he’s on a small roll. He should enjoy it. Given the tough budgetary choices, volatile economy, and chronic wars and rumors of wars facing him he’s not likely to have too many more good days.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell doesn’t matter much for several reasons. Gays and lesbians have been and are serving in the military, sometimes with distinction and rarely with issues developing around their sexuality. Gays and lesbians already have access to virtually every other professional opportunity in the American economy and culture, so why not the military?

If it’s a matter of civil liberties, than it’s a no-brainer. Gays and lesbians, however much some people find their sexual orientation unacceptable, are just as much citizens of a free country as heterosexuals.

A number of years ago I watched as a local school district all but crucified a teacher who'd been outed. He was, by virtually everyone's testimony, a good, effective teacher. His only "crime" or "unprofessional" act is that he was gay. Christians in the community led the charge to oust this person, made national news, and it wasn't pretty. It was awful. Had the man done something inappropriate than surely he should have been held to account. But he had not. This was all about who could be the most moral by casting the first stone. No one "won" in this charade, least of all not the community, the school district, certainly not the teacher. It was politics not moral suasion. It was ineffective and wrong.

Women have been serving effectively in the United States military since World War II, and even before that in non-soldier or sailor staff roles. Since the Persian Gulf War women have flown combat aircraft for the United States. While they yet do not serve in combat arms positions, women serve in virtually every other role in the American armed forces.

So what’s the point? Doesn’t it seem logical that if any emotional or psychological or gender-related issues develop in military situations they are far more likely to develop between straight men and women as opposed to heterosexual and homosexual individuals? For one thing, there’s simply far more straight men and women serving than gay or lesbians serving. In this case, gender tensions are more likely to develop from time to time than any tensions rooted in sexual orientation. So if heterosexual people can manage to serve near one another in the American military, without inappropriate consequences, why can’t homosexual individuals do the same along with them?

And why, pray tell, are conservatives or religious groups so bent out of shape over potential immoral homosexual activities when the armed forces certainly has its share of potential and real immoral heterosexual activities? The reason is, of course, an implication that homosexual immorality is worse than heterosexual immorality, a moral distinction not found in Scripture.

Let me be clear: I do not embrace or condone homosexual behavior. I believe the Bible’s teachings on sexuality, heterosexual, homosexual, and otherwise, are quite clear. Sex is a gift of God reserved for monogamous, lifelong, heterosexual marriage. Sex outside this definition, gay or straight, is in God's eyes immoral.

But I think conservatives and/or Christians have long since lost the culture war on this one—and I've written about it—and need to determine how they are going to live in a society that openly allows homosexuality.

Sure, gay and lesbian interests will declare the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell a great victory and try to use it as a springboard furthering their other social goals. But won’t they work toward those goals anyway?

In the end, when it comes down to it, gays and lesbians can be and have been just as patriotic, sacrificial, noble, brave, or heroic as any other soldier or sailor. I say, “Let them serve.” Address moral concerns with moral living and a moral message, not politics and not the military.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2010

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow Dr. Rogers at


Homosexuality is, according to the Bible, a sin. So are premarital or extramarital heterosexual sexual relationships. So is idolatry, anger, gossip, and using God’s name in vain. While some sins are more heinous than others from a human perspective, morally speaking, sin is sin. There's no hierarchy of "badness."

The mistake Christians and/or conservatives have made is either to consider homosexuality worse than other sins, including heterosexual sin, or to equate LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) individuals with homosexuality. Yet a human being's identity cannot be reduced to an individual moral choice, including sexual sin. In other words, a thief is a person who steals, but is a thief always and only a thief?

So, while I believe a Christian cannot embrace or condone homosexual behavior, I also believe we must not reject, run from, disrespect, or worse, ignore LGBT people.

OK, if that’s true, to borrow from the late Francis A. Schaeffer, “How shall we then live?” Here’s my latest effort to answer that question in terms of homosexuality: "Homosexuality Goes Mainstream--What Now?"


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2010

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow Dr. Rogers at


What do we know about human sexuality?

--Gender was created by God, and He created male and female in his image.

--Sex was also created by God, for procreation and pleasure.

--While sex, like gender, is biological and physiological, “sexuality” involves moral choice.

--Biblically, “sexual expression” is to be limited to the boundaries and bonds of monogamous heterosexual marriage.

What do we know about sexual immorality?

--“Abstinence” is a culturally accepted way of warning people about STDs, but since Creation it’s been God’s standard for sex outside of marriage.

--Heterosexual immorality, homosexual immorality, or other forms of sexual immorality are all sin, thus indistinguishable morally in the eyes of God.

--Using the word “perversion” for sexual immorality is a biblical description.

--Historically, cultures that move toward acceptance of homosexuality eventually move toward acceptance of many forms of sexual deviance and immorality, including involving children, animals, etc.

What do we know about sexual labels?

--We should avoid using labels for people because they can imply the existence of unalterable conditions.

--No sin, other than the ultimate and final rejection of Christ, is an unpardonable sin or an unalterable condition.

--A gay person can by moral choice become an un-gay or straight person.

--Saying someone is “struggling with homosexuality” is better than saying someone is “gay,” “a homosexual,” “a lesbian,” for it acknowledges a person is not forever defined by his or her sexual activities.

--”Sexual Preference” may imply choice, but “Sexual Orientation” is a code word for the belief that sexuality is a biological imperative.

What are we learning about Christian responses to problems with human sexuality?

--Christians are commanded by God to avoid sexual immorality.

--There is no biblical defense for so-called “gay bashing” or other forms of hatefulness or bigotry.

--At times, Christians also struggle with homosexuality.

--Far more Christians, or the public generally, struggle with heterosexual immorality, so focusing upon homosexuality as worse than heterosexual immorality is socially if not morally unwise.

--Homosexuality is one of the more divisive and vitriolic issues of our times.

--Christians must learn better how to speak truth with love in terms of the moral category homosexuality, and, even more importantly, in terms of individuals practicing as LGBT.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2010

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow Dr. Rogers at

Homosexuality has become something of a growth industry in the past twenty years. It’s moved out of the closet into mainstream culture despite the protestations of conservatives and Christians alike.

If the experience of other Western nations is a clue one would have to predict that openly practiced homosexuality is here to stay.

If this is true than it begs the question what do we do now? How should Christians respond or relate not just to the moral abstract of homosexuality but to the real and everyday presence of neighbors who are lesbians or gays—or bisexual or transgender (LGBT) individuals?

Our Christian worldview suggests several answers:

-There is no biblical justification for bigotry, hatred, or violence toward LGBT individuals. None. Such acts are expressions of fear not love and not faith.

-There is no logical justification for bigotry, hatred, or violence toward LGBT individuals in the sense that homosexual sins are no different from heterosexual sins. In other words, immorality is immorality, so a person engaged in LGBT behavior cannot, morally speaking, be distinguished from a person committing adultery.

-LGBT citizens are entitled to their civil liberties under the Constitution and under the law just as any other citizen. They are also entitled to their civil rights as established by law, not in my estimation special rights but certainly the same civil rights other citizens enjoy.

-Honoring LGBT citizens’ civil liberties and civil rights does not mean Christians must condone, embrace, promote, or otherwise morally approve of homosexual practice. Perhaps you don’t morally approve of cursing, yet you recognize another person’s freedom in using such language. Perhaps like me you don’t morally approve of abortion, yet for now at least, pro-choice is the law of the land, so a person may legally opt for an abortion without legal punishment. I don’t morally agree, but I must, if I respect our pluralistic democracy, grant people the freedom to be morally other within the law.

-LGBT persons are not defined by their sexual orientation or behavior. It is something they choose to do. Since I do not believe homosexuality is a given at birth I’d say it’s also something they can choose not to do. Consequently, rather than call someone Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender I’d rather say a person has chosen at this time to express their sexuality in these ways. You see, I simply do not believe that “once a thief, always a thief,” “once a liar, always a liar,” “once a gay person, always a gay person.” The Spirit of God always offers and can enable another Way.

-Christians should speak up, speak more, and speak loudly against acts of bigotry, hatred, or violence—including bullying in schoolyards—against individuals who’ve come out of the closet.

-Christians should never be the ones creating environments in which people want to or must hide in closets.

Christians need to learn to express love, acceptance, and support for people even while disagreeing with the person’s moral choices. We must learn to do a better job of emulating Jesus talking to the Woman at the Well. This we must do if we ever hope to win the other’s trust and listening ear.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2010

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow Dr. Rogers at