Matthew 19: 4 “Haven’t you read…that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’
We are living in very interesting times. Some would argue that these are progressive times, while others would argue that they are morally regressive. Wherever people stand on moral issues, all must admit that there has been a massive change in the cultural norms, particularly in western society. My challenge with these times is less with societal changes than the shocking change within the “Christian” church. One such polarizing issue has been the debate surrounding homosexuality and gender identity.
I have always considered myself a proponent of critical thinking when I comes to my faith in Christ. Like the Apostle Paul, I believe it is good to commend those who don’t blindly accept teaching, but rather search the scriptures for themselves to find truth. “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” (Acts 17:11). The challenge I see, however, is that Christians are not being swayed by their deeper study of scripture, but rather by the intense pressure of society. Each needs to consider if their moral stance has changed through pressure of the Word, or pressure of the world!
I was recently incredibly inspired by the courage of a young Christian lady on the U.S. National Soccer team, Jaelene Hinkle. Listing “personal reasons”, Hinkle recently bowed out of playing matches where her team was to wear “gay pride” rainbow jerseys in support of homosexuality[i]. While she did not explicitly state her reasons for pulling out, it is fairly obvious from her previous Instagram posts. When the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in 2015, she converted the rainbow flag into a cross and posted: “I believe with every fiber in my body that what was written 2,000 years ago in the Bible is undoubtedly true … It’s not a pick and choose what you want to believe. You either believe it, or you don’t. This world may change, but Christ and His Word NEVER will.”
While Hinkle is taking a strong stand, it is also clear that she is not speaking without love like a “clanging gong or a resounding cymbal” (1 Cor. 13:1). In her Instagram post Hinkle also posted: “My heart is that as Christians we don’t begin to throw a tantrum over what has been brought into law today, but we become that much more loving. That through our love, the lost, rejected, and abandoned find Christ.”
If you are a Christian, if you believe the Bible is the Word of God, then there is no grey here. This issue is not what Paul called a “disputable matter” (Romans 14:1), but rather sin and not something to be celebrated. Every time I speak with someone or hear of a “Christian” teacher revising their stance on these matters, it is always based on some personal experience, rather than a scholarly interpretation of the scriptures. God defined sexuality clearly in Genesis 2: 23-24, and Jesus clearly reiterated it again in Matthew 19:4-6.
Lines are being clearly drawn and everyone reading this will have the opportunity to make a choice. You can take the much easier path which is to conform to the new societal norms (which by the way continually change), or you can cling to the One who never changes. When you make that decision, weigh it carefully because your decision will have real consequences. Will it be the Word or the world? (Matthew 10: 32-33).