Have you seen rainbow flags in windows, on lawns, or on bumper stickers, especially during June? It’s Pride Month, which raises some interesting questions for Christians.
Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #28 of Discerning What Is Best, a podcast applying unchanging biblical principles in a rapidly changing world, and a Christian worldview to current issues and everyday life.
It’s June, so we’re seeing rainbow flags everywhere we look, and Gay Pride events including parades in large cities are scheduled throughout the country.
The rainbow flag was created by Gilbert Baker, a San Francisco activist, and the flag was first flown as a symbol of LGBTQ+ pride at the 1978 San Francisco Gay Freedom Day.
Initially, Pride Month began as Gay Pride Day, held on the last Sunday in June.
As the number of events proliferated the recognitions morphed into Pride Month. In 1999, President Bill Clinton declared June as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month.
In 2012, then President Barack Obama changed his lifelong position and said he believed same-sex couples should be able to marry. In 2015, the United States Supreme Court, ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges, that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples. Also in 2015, Bruce Jenner, 1976 Olympic decathlon gold medalist, said, “Call me, Caitlyn,” and went public on the cover of “Vanity Fair,” with his transition to declaring himself a woman.
With these unprecedented events, the sexual revolution launched in the 60s captured American culture, same-sex issues became de rigueur and almost boring old news, and transgenderism became the next frontier advancing sexual liberation.
Pride Month is now gone culturally mainstream. Professional sports teams and corporations trumpet their support of all things LGBTQ+ seemingly without regard for the fact there is another moral point of view.
The reasons are easy to identify:
- Embraced the morally relativistic paradigm of our day.
- Want to virtue signal that they are on board, in part to avoid litigation.
- Believe their support of Pride Month helps them sell their product.
LGBTQ+ individuals are now visible in every subsection of society, including religion.
In my lifetime, homosexuality has become a point of divisiveness in the Church. The turning point for the debate gets back to something called hermeneutics, how one interprets the Bible. Many individuals no longer acknowledge the authority or divine character of the Bible, so they do not look to it for moral direction.
Others believe God’s Word may be found in the Bible but do not believe the Bible is trustworthy in all its propositions. This perspective leads them to conclude that verses referencing homosexuality are culturally dated and thus not morally applicable in today’s more sophisticated environment. In this approach, experience trumps revelation.
Finally, Christians who adopt a different hermeneutic, those who believe the Bible is God’s inspired Word, therefore also believe that the Bible’s propositions are as morally applicable now as the day they were written. This is my view.
If you believe the Bible is God’s moral will for all times, countries, and cultures, then you’ll embrace these beliefs about human sexuality:
- God defines one’s sex, biologically, at birth as either male or a female (Gen. 1:27); consequently, gender is not fluid.
- Sexuality is a gift of God that is often perverted to sinful ends (Gen. 2:24; 1 Thess. 4:3-8),
- Sexual expression is a moral choice (1 Cor. 6:18-20),
- Godly or moral sexual expression is assigned to the boundaries and bonds of monogamous heterosexual marriage (1 Cor. 7:2-5).
- Sexual immorality, whether homosexual or heterosexual, is sin and therefore indistinguishable morally in the eyes of God (Heb. 13:4).
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By the way, it’s a good reminder to note that far more Christians, as well as the public, struggle with heterosexual immorality than homosexual immorality.
If we could count noses, heterosexual immorality—adultery, affairs—would be the bigger sin in the Christian Church. So, focusing upon homosexuality as worse than heterosexual immorality is socially naïve and morally indefensible.
Ofttimes, it is the nuance of our message that’s important, disagreeing with a moral choice while loving and reaching out to a person. Christ most famously did this in his interaction with the Samaritan Woman at the well (Jn. 4:4-30). He did not condone or endorse her checkered moral history, but he did not reject her either. In fact, he simply spoke the truth with love.
Pride Month is not a time for Christian condemnation or condescension. It’s a time for Christian communication of God’s message of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20).
Think about these practical ways to live our Christian worldview during Pride Month:
- Christians should never be the ones creating environments in which people want to or must hide in closets.
- Teaching biblical doctrines of sin, or specifically not condoning same-sex relationships, is not necessarily homophobia, insensitive, or intolerant. Such teaching could be presented in unloving, condemning ways but need not be. God defines sin but always offers love, forgiveness, redemption, and hope.
- There is no biblical or logical justification for bigotry, hatred, gay bashing, bullying, or violence toward LGBTQ+ individuals. Such acts are expressions of fear, not love nor faith.
- Christians should support LGBTQ+ people in their basic civil liberties and civil rights as Americans.
- Christians should recognize that no sin, other than the ultimate and final rejection of Christ, is an unpardonable sin or an unalterable condition. In my view, LGBTQ+ persons are not defined by their sexual orientation or behavior. The Spirit of God always offers and can enable another Way.
- Christians should understand that speaking the truth, which we must do in love, does not necessarily mean this truth will be well received or that we will be appreciated for our faith and our values. But how can we be loving if we do not speak?
- Christians can and should be openly friendly toward LGBTQ+ persons. Remember, “They won’t care what you know until they know that you care.” It’s simply “love your neighbor as yourself.”
Well, we’ll see you again soon. For more Christian commentary, be sure to subscribe to this podcast, Discerning What Is Best, or check my website, r-e-x-m as in Martin, that’s rexmrogers.com. And remember, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm.
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