Wednesday, August 29, 2012

‘Painful’ Truth?

There is a very good article posted at the Christian Standard on “Scripture and Homosexual Practice.”  What is not so good is the editor’s very defensive and ‘apologizing’ introduction to this article.

It seems to be standard practice today:  if you are going to say anything negative about homosexuality, you must qualify, qualify, and qualify it some more.  I suppose there are those who are just nasty about the topic, and perhaps that has been more the standard practice in the past.  But today, with culture screaming “homosexuality is good” and the church generally afraid to answer those screams with anything more than a whisper (when you even get that), the time for qualifying and apologizing is long past.

The title of the editor’s introduction is “Painful Truth with Overwhelming Love.”  It makes me wonder:  why is the truth about homosexuality any more painful than the truth about adultery, theft, or murder?  Is it because our culture has made a pet project of promoting homosexuality just now?  (I suppose that, in our culture, adultery, theft, and murder were given the moral green light in many circumstances decades ago.)

The editor urges us to be sensitive to those with homosexual feelings, and careful to distinguish between ‘homosexual practice’ and ‘homosexuality.’  While I understand this distinction, I wonder why we are not so careful to make it in other areas.

Why not distinguish between ‘the desire to murder’ and ‘the practice of murder.’  There is an important distinction here, but it doesn’t prove there is no moral problem with ‘the desire to murder.’

What about ‘an attraction to consuming human flesh’ versus ‘the actual practice of cannibalism’?  What should the Christian attitude be with those who find themselves attracted to the idea of eating human flesh?  Isn’t that, in itself, a bit of a problem?  Should we make a point of assuring people who want to eat human flesh that they don’t really have a problem unless that actually partake?  [OK, I’ve never known anyone who fits this category.  It’s just an illustration!]

How should Christians respond to bestiality?  Should we tiptoe around the feelings of those who desire sexual contact with animals just as long as they don’t indulge those desires?  (Side note:  how long will it be before a lobby to allow human/animal ‘marriages’ is in the news?)

Picture a time and a culture when cannibalism becomes popular, gains a sub-culture to lobby for it, and the church needs to respond.  (And it’s probably not as far away as you think.)  Will we carefully apologize for even the most gentle criticism of cannibalism in both thought and deed, or will we just condemn it?

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