Thursday, May 10, 2012

Gospel Coalition essay on Homosexuality

Collin Hansen has an essay over at the Gospel Coalition website that is well worth reading.  His essay is entitled "How to Win the Public on Homsexuality."  The real benefit of Hansen's article is in showing how there is an underlying problem--a root issue that often times the church does not see.  Here are a few selections from Hansen's article:
Same-sex marriage doesn't radically depart from modern morality; it makes perfect sense according to contemporary mores. Blogger Rod Dreher writes:
The reason gay marriage is so widely accepted by young Americans is not because the media have propagandized them (though it is certainly the case that the media have played a significant role in normalizing it), but because same-sex marriage follows naturally from what young Americansalready believe about sex, intimacy, love, liberty, and the nature of the human person.
The sports world recently illustrated Dreher's point. Last week ESPN's Rick Reilly, one of the most influential sports columnists in America, joined the fray over Nebraska assistant football coach Ron Brown's statements critical of homosexuality. Reilly profiled "Ron Brown's top recruit," a 24-year-old man named Brett Major who decided he wanted to be a Christian after hearing Brown speak 13 years ago. Then 11 years old, Major remembers thinking, "Wow. He's cool and he's Nebraska football and he believes in God. And that's all it took for me."
Reilly describes Major as the guy next door who loves football and family, as illustrated by the friendly photos accompanying his column. He's a responsible citizen and gifted student working on a master's degree in psychology at Wake Forest. He remains dedicated to the church. And he's gay.
"I know God doesn't make a mistake," Major told Reilly. "He didn't put me on this earth to be banished to hell. . . . I don't have to report to Ron Brown at the pearly gates."
Look no further for our culture's confessional statement in three points:
  1. God made me this way.
  2. He wouldn't deny my natural desires.
  3. And I don't have to explain myself to you or anyone else.
You won't understand the challenge facing Christians regarding homosexuality until you see how these three points permeate our culture. On the surface, we appear to be locked in a battle of rights we can't win. Christians declare our right to speak out and legislate according to religious conviction in defense of traditional institutions. Gays pursue their right to life, liberty, happiness with regard to their sexuality. But homosexuality fronts a much bigger challenge that threatens us all.
He adds this insightful comment:

We're fighting today over authority, yes, but it's not straightforwardly biblical. Many gay-rights advocates have excused themselves behind a professed love of God's Word. You won't likely win a debate with them by citing Bible verses they've been trained to explain away. Rather, we're losing a more fundamental struggle over the very definition of God. Straight or gay, Reggie or Brett, we're not satisfied with a God who calls us sinners. Who calls on us to deny ourselves. Who calls our gaze heavenward to receive his blessing: "For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace" (Romans 6:14).
The line that is most impressive to me: "Rather, we're losing a more fundamental struggle over the very definition of God."  This is, of course, exactly in line with Paul's thought in Romans 1.18ff.  When the true and living God is rejected for idolatrous substitutes then sexual anarchy eventually follows.