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No Stone Throwing

Speaking about Human Sexuality

Rating: 5.00


It’s easy to get angry at someone in open sexual sin. But you might think twice before picking up that stone. I’m Eric Metaxas, and this is BreakPoint.

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Eric Metaxas

Yesterday, I spoke to you about how we should and should not talk about abortion and the sanctity of human life. I noted that sometimes we Christians demonize our opponents instead of loving them. We often forget that, apart from the grace of God, we might well be on the other side of the issue.

This is especially true when it comes to the issue of human sexuality. To understand why, we must first remember that, for the Christian, truth is a person: Jesus Christ. We see the world and our place in it in light of the person and work of Jesus.

So we should never forget that just as Jesus was the incarnation of God’s love, mercy, and compassion for us, we are called to model these for our neighbor.

Now this doesn’t mean that we should shy from calling sin by its name — on the contrary, sometimes this is exactly what loving our neighbor requires. But we should do this in sorrow rather than in anger and never out of a sense of condemnation — because we know that since none of us is without sin, none of us gets to cast the first stone.

So, when we address a hot-button issue like same-sex attraction or same-sex marriage, we should always keep in mind our own struggles and brokenness when it comes to sexuality.

If you are blessed not to have struggled in this area, then recall your struggles in other areas. If you can’t think of any, well, you might want to think about the sin of pride. I’m just saying.

We also need to avoid the mistake that some of our opponents make: treating sex as merely physical. As Christians know, sex is intended to serve a unitive purpose — it’s supposed to be the physical expression of the spiritual union between husband and wife. As the Bible puts it, “the two become one flesh.”

It may come as a surprise to many of us, but many people in same-sex relationships are seeking the same thing. The problem is that they can’t achieve what they are seeking, because they are seeking it in what Catholic moral theology calls a “disordered” manner. Likewise, many advocates of same-sex marriage aren’t out to subvert marriage, at least not consciously. They’re pursuing the goods of marriage, albeit, in a disordered fashion.

Thus when we rightly say that the Christian response to same-sex attraction is chastity, we must remember that chastity is difficult enough for heterosexual Christians — who at least have the hope of expressing their sexuality in marriage.

The same is true with same-sex marriage. As God said in Genesis 2, “it is not good for man to be alone.” We were designed for the deep kind of physical and spiritual connection that comes through marriage. So even while we insist that that kind of connection is only available between a man and a woman, we must empathize with and grieve for those who cannot achieve it.

If we can’t, then we should consider keeping our mouths shut. Because if we forget to offer love and support along with the truth, we aren’t much better than the scribes and Pharisees, whom Jesus rebuked for placing heavy loads on people’s shoulders while not lifting a finger to move them.

The world doesn’t need more Pharisees, it needs people who speak the truth in love — love that never forgets Who is the Truth.

Further Reading and Information
Breaking the Spiral of Silence DVD
Consider hosting an event on April 28, 2012.

Loving Them
Eric Metaxas | BreakPoint.org | April 17, 2012

Get Moving
Chuck Colson | ColsonCenter.org | April 18, 2012

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Comments:

John 17:18
"As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world." 1. Are we as Christians to be led by the flesh still or the Holy Spirit? 2. What does "know no man after the flesh" mean? (2 Corinthians 5:16)3. Imagine if Jesus, His Apostles, and Paul were apathetic and did not "reprove the world of sin?" Yet this is what "Christians" are called to do. (2 Timothy 4:1-5) It is disobedient to preach only what our Lord said in John 3:16 and not include what He said in the same breath through verse 21. EarsToHear.net
Foolishness
I found this article to be unbiblical, appeasing the world, and full of biblical ignorance.

The church is to be "salt" and speak truth not shut up in the face of evil. That is politically correct garbage.

See I Corinthians 13:6, II Timothy 2:15, and actually read the Gospels to see that Jesus wasn't a passive, namby-pamby guy. I wonder how loving you folks are toward me now?
Love rejoices in truth.
I am troubled by the tone of this article and the agreeing comments. The American church is big on appeasing sin so it has become passive. Therefore, even though "lip service" might be given (as seen in this article) to confronting sin, the reality is that many American Christians believe that rebuking sin forcefully is a worse "sin" than deception, homosexuality, abortion, etc. I hope you "loving" Christians writing and commenting on this article can be as loving to me as you tell people like me to be "loving" to sinners. I Cor. 13 notes, "love rejoices in the truth" it doesn't appease it.

Instead of crying, coddling and appeasing this malicious society, more rebuking and bold biblical insights are needed in this society. Christians should stand with each other not effectively take the other, demonic side by appeasing them.

By the way, it was the Pharisees (I'm also speaking of the writer of this article and his proponents) who stood with the secular Roman authorities to condemn Jesus Christ much the same way it seems many Christians are appeasing the unrepentant world.
homosexuality
Isn't it true that homosexuals are often if not almost always influenced by demons? If so we should have this in mind when we encounter them.
My oldest daughter turned 28 today. Nine years ago, she told us that she was a lesbian. Today, SHE gave me one of the greatest gifts she ever could have given me.

She told me that she was grateful that she knew that we loved her unconditionally, and that we accepted her for who she was. She appreciated the fact that we didn't condemn her lifestyle and that she was assured of our love for her.

Coming to terms with her lifestyle wasn't...and still isn't... easy. She knows that we don't believe that her lifestyle honors God or is consistent with how we as humans are created. We didn't – and don’t – have to tell her that – she knows it. It was part of her upbringing. However, we realized early on that there was greater value in preserving our relationship than in condemning a behavior. I am grateful that our relationship is intact...it means that it can grow. It also means that there is always an open door.

Do I wish it was different? Yeah. But my job is not to change her; it is to love her and to pray for her. It doesn’t mean that we bail her out, but it does mean that we are available for her through His great Love. We choose to believe that He can accomplish a far greater purpose in her life if we relinquish the reins of control to Him. We are certain that He has a much better plan than we could ever imagine.
Cannot agree more!
I agree completely with everything you've said here. While homosexuality is wrong, it's never listed in scripture as being unforgivable.

We must always remember that no one every got "hated" into the Kingdom of God.
Speak Truth in Love
I don't know if Mr. Metaxes reads these comments or not, but I want to say that I enjoyed the books he wrote about William Wilburforce and Mr. Bonhoehoffer. They were wonderful examples of men who decided to go against the powers in their government to do the right thing even if it was not popular.

All Christians need to be firm but loving when we discuss any aspect of mans fallen sexual nature. Be it homosexuality or two hetrosexuals shacking up we need to show compassion BUT also let people know that sexual sin is damaging to them and to the God that made them.
Eric,

When I read things like this from you I am reminded of the way you describe the Nazi officers in the Bonhoeffer book: Goebbels is a vampiric homunculus, another is an albino stoat, etc.

I can't square that language with this post.

I'm tempted to believe it comes down to the fact that this world has decided that the Nazis are condemned and therefore you feel fine about describing them as such. With men who are given to the sin of sodomy (Sodom notwithstanding), condemnation is what we must never do. Strangely enough this is the message of the world too.
Let's be Loving
How about instead of addressing topical issues, we simply address and portray the nature of who God is. God is Love, He loved the world, so He sent His Son, believe in His Son, and your sins have been forgiven. Your old man has died, your new man lives. When we focus on addressing the sin issue more than the Love, joy, hope, peace, and freedom of God, we see more struggle with the sin issue.
Your Article
The other important thing you left out was that there are important resources available for the person who has same-sex attraction who is struggling with chastity. Those resources are the love of Jesus Christ, which is more satisfying than the love of a woman (or man), and the family of Christ in the church. Certainly, the church hasn't been as loving a family for those struggling with same-sex attraction as it should be, but it is designed to be a safe, loving place for all of us who struggle with the battle against the flesh in any form. Thanks for your thoughtful article!
A voice of reason
Thank you Eric for a thought-provoking article. Reflecting the love of Jesus to our broken world is our primary job, not judging and condemning our neighbor. You've done a good job admonishing us to keep our core mission in the forefront of our thinking. May God bless.
Good words, indeed.

I would just add what is surely obvious to Mr. Metaxas. Stones are being thrown from all sides of the so-called culture wars. If I affirm (note: not promote, not seek to impose through democratic processes but merely affirm) the Christian teaching on human sexuality and marriage, I am condemned in unmistakable terms as an unloving, sexually repressive anti-gay bigot. In order to prove otherwise, I would have to renounce the clear consistent witness and teaching of the Church for the past 2000 years, and affirm instead a distortion.

I would hate to think that that is the new standard for Christians is to either keep our mouths shut or renounce what we believe, but that is the standard the World would have us abide by, so I think we need to acknowledge that reality, while still taking the utmost care with our words, not speaking if we cannot speak in love and solidarity. Besides, there is no better witness to the Christian teaching on sexuality and marriage than our own lives, our own marriages.

Thank you for the message.
No Stone Throwing
As the mother of a much-loved homosexual son, I am near tears after reading your sensitive, insightful commentary. Thank you and God bless you.
Thank you!! These are wise words and I appreciate your courage and conviction in speaking them.
-Laura M.