Homosexuality And The Evangelical

Timothy Tennent has done a great favor to those who believe in sexual orthodoxy* with his cogent answer to the charge:  “why do you evangelicals single out homosexuality?”

Here’s a portion of his reply:

However, the reason the issue of homosexuality has been highlighted so much in recent years is not, as is often said, because this sin is being singled out from all the others. Rather, it is because this particular sin is seeking to be legitimized as normative in the life and experience of the church. I expect the wider secular culture to embrace homosexuality as normative and, indeed, to be regularly bewildered by the strangeness of Christian teaching. The point is, no one in the church has sought to promote the ordination of openly practicing adulterers or to legitimize the practice of usury. If there was a movement among us to ordain oppressive landlords or habitual shoplifters, then I suspect that these issues would be regularly discussed as well. No Christian is now saying that usury is a good thing, or that Christians should no longer consider it important to visit prisoners, or help widows in their distress. However, we do have bishops who are telling the church that it is now permissible for someone to sodomize their neighbor. The result is an attempt to legitimize homosexuality and same sex marriage, moving it from the “sin” category to the “sacrament” category.

So, to put in plainly, the church would rather not focus time and energy on homosexuality. We actually don’t believe that homosexual practice carries a heavier moral weight than a whole range of other sins. However, any attempt to relocate any sin from the New Testament “sin lists” to the celebrative, normative list must be addressed because it strikes at the heart of the gospel itself.

Say it out loud: the theological left wants to move homosexual practice from sin to sacrament.  That line in itself makes the blog worthwhile reading.  

A close second is the reminder that the wider culture will find itself regularly bewildered by the strangeness of Christian teaching.

Yet the larger logic is what bears repeating:  it’s not that evangelicals want to spend time debating what the church teaches about homosexuality; we do so because progressives in our denomination have singled out this one practice above all others as the one now to be legitimized, regardless of what Scriptural consensus teaches.

*celibacy in singleness and faithfulness in heterosexual marriage