Daily Archives: February 19, 2009
Former Episcopal bishop John Shelby Spong (or is it bishop emeritus?) writes next about the treatment of gays in his book The Sins of Scripture. I agree that the church has treated gays and lesbians unfairly. But I disagree with Spong that homosexuality is no sin. Clearly condemned in multiple places, the sin of homosexuality has become some sort of “super-sin” to evangelicals.
The only “super-sin” is blaspheming the Holy Spirit.
Homosexuality, therefore, should be treated as any other sin. The sinner should be confronted about it, and walked through the Scriptures that condemn the practice. If he or she refuses to repent, I don’t think that ostracizing the poor chap is the answer–although a case could certainly be made for it. I think that prayer is the answer, like we would do for any other sin. Of course such a person would be excluded from church leadership, again, the same as with any sin.
Bishop Spong, however, believes that homosexuality is an inborn characteristic and as such is perfectly acceptable. What Spong fails to deal with, however, is that rage and alcoholism are also inborn characteristics. But no one would ever seriously argue that those two things are good, so why is homosexuality any different?
I also happen to believe that we are born with our sexual orientation. It fits perfectly with Jesus’ teaching to deny ourselves in order to follow him. Everyone has sin in their lives that they must deal with. The homosexual person has an orientation that is offensive to God, and he or she must deal with that sin just as the rest of us deal with ours. They shouldn’t get a free pass just because society is coming around to accept homosexuality for the first time in 10,000 years of human history.
Spong deals with three texts of the Bible that are used to condemn homosexuality: the holiness code of Leviticus, the story of Sodom, and Paul’s letters. Throughout his treatment, Spong uses emotionally loaded terms like “bigotry” and “homophobia” to describe people that hold to the Bible’s clear teaching that homosexuality is a sin. He often states that Bible-defenders get angry or upset when confronted with arguments in favor of homosexuality. What he never does is present an argument, or even a concise summary of his opponents’ views.