Why do Evangelicals Focus so Much on Homosexuality?

Dr. Mohler

A recent commentary on CNN.com by Dr. Albert Mohler got me to thinking: Why do Evangelical Christians seem to focus so much on the issue of homosexuality?

Many skeptics like to point out that the Bible condemns everything from eating pork to wearing mixed fabrics to dishonesty. Aren’t Christians cherry-picking God’s commandments when they choose to focus on homosexuality?

As Dr. Mohler points out in his commentary, many of the Old Testament laws were given to the nation of Israel for the purpose of setting Israel apart from all the other nations. The New Testament makes it clear that these types of laws are no longer binding. As Dr. Mohler writes,

As the Book of Acts makes clear, Christians are not obligated to follow this holiness code. This is made clear in Peter’s vision in Acts 10:15. Peter is told, “What God has made clean, do not call common.”

In other words, there is no kosher code for Christians. Christians are not concerned with eating kosher foods and avoiding all others. That part of the law is no longer binding, and Christians can enjoy shrimp and pork with no injury to conscience.

What about sexual sins? Unlike the ceremonial laws of the Old Testament, the moral laws are continued and extended in the New Testament. For example, Jesus said in Matthew 5:27-28, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” In Mark 10:11-12, Jesus said, “”Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.” Many of the epistles address sexual sin; all affirm the Old Testament teaching that all sexual activity outside of a monogamous, heterosexual marriage is sin. As Mohler writes,

The Bible’s commands on sexual behavior, on the other hand, are continued in the New Testament. When it comes to homosexuality, the Bible’s teaching is consistent, pervasive, uniform and set within a larger context of law and Gospel.

The Old Testament clearly condemns male homosexuality along with adultery, bestiality, incest and any sex outside the covenant of marriage. The New Testament does not lessen this concern but amplifies it.

The moral law of the Old Testament, including laws dealing with sex, are all consistently upheld in the New Testament. Ceremonial laws such as the dietary laws, washing laws, and animal sacrifice, are no longer binding.

Another reason Christians tend to focus on homosexuality is because the culture in general focuses so much on the issue. As Dr. Mohler writes,

Why are Christians so concerned with homosexuality? In the first place, that question is answered by the simple fact that it is the most pressing moral question of our times. Christians must be concerned about adultery, pornography, injustice, dishonesty and everything the Bible names as sin. But when my phone rings with a call from a reporter these days, the question I am asked is never adultery or pornography. It is about homosexuality.

Christian pastors, writers, speakers, and bloggers are currently focusing on the issue of homosexuality because that’s what they’re being asked about. Gay marriage is a topic almost every night on the evening news; in an election year, almost all politicians are talking about it.  The President of the United States has been discussing it.  Christians are addressing the issue of homosexuality, because everyone else is talking about it, too. It’s a topic that is extremely emotional on both sides of the issue. Gay marriage is being pushed on the culture by the other side, so evangelical Christians are pushing back.

A third reason some evangelical Christians focus on homosexuality is pride and arrogance. Many don’t want to focus on the sins they commit; they would rather focus on the sins that other people commit. The church doesn’t talk about divorce and adultery like it used to, because too many Christians are caught up in these sins. Non-Christians are correct when they point out the hypocrisy of this. Again, I agree with Dr. Mohler when he writes,

Christian love requires that we believe and teach what the Bible teaches and that we do so with both strong conviction and humble hearts. The Church must repent of our failures in both of these tasks, but we must not be silent where the Bible speaks.

Are Christians hypocrites in insisting that homosexual behavior is sin? We, too, are sinners, and hypocrisy and inconsistency are perpetual dangers.

The church failed miserably in the face of the challenge of divorce. This requires an honest admission and strong corrective.

At the same time, this painful failure must remind us that we must not fail to answer rightly when asked what the Bible teaches about homosexuality. Love requires us to tell the truth.

Christians must speak the truth in love and humility. The truth is that homosexuality is sin, and sin separates us from God. But, as Romans 5:8 tells us, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Homosexuality is a symptom of the true problem: sin. And, Jesus Christ is the only solution for sin.

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