Saturday, 12 November 2016

Idolatry in Gomorrah

There are occasional announcements of various Christians claiming that after some intensive research, thought, and prayer, that they have come to the conclusion that Christianity allows for same sex relationships. When this position is criticised the push back is quite furious with claims of judgmentalism, adiaphora, lack of love. Some deny that Christians can even comment on whether others are saved: how can anyone deny that homosexuals and advocates of this lifestyle are part of the kingdom of God?

Now this kind of critique can have merit. God sets the criteria for those he saves. As Christianity is about following a person; in a large degree it concerns the direction of our lives not whether we hold to specific doctrines. Even so, Jesus condemns a group for making their disciples twice the sons of hell that they are (Mat 23:15) and he asks them whether they can escape hell fire (Mat 23:33). Paul demands that people be put out of the church (1Cor 5:2). John warns against welcoming those who do not hold true doctrine else they share in their wickedness (2Jo 1:10-11). So while we may not know the exact status of all men—and many will be surprised that Jesus never knew them (Mat 7:21)—it seems that we can know that at least some men are under God's wrath.

This means that criticism of Christians who warn against accepting a homosexual agenda is often unwarranted. Warnings of the danger of the gay lifestyle are needed.

Even so, there is a more sinister issue attending this debate. Those promoting same sexual behaviour have placed sexual desire and behaviour above Christ.

Jesus tells us that we are to follow him. We are to deny ourselves and pick up our crosses (Mat 16:24). All our lives are to be under the lordship of Christ. Jesus came dividing households against each other: father against son, mother-in-law against daughter-in law (Luk 12:53). Those who leave their houses, land, family, for the sake of the kingdom are rewarded (Mat 19:29); which implies that such leaving is a preferable action even if it is not a necessary one. To follow Jesus means that we are to place him first. At times following him means we are to give up even good things: things that are not intrinsically sinful. Now sodomy is clearly condemned throughout Scripture. If we are to put off good things for the kingdom how much more do we rid ourselves of sin. Those promoting homosexuality as a righteous behaviour deny that such desires should ever be suppressed. Yet we see that God demands that he is primary. We must put God first. To refuse to leave something behind that God demands we abandon is putting that thing above God: it is idolatry. Same sex desire and behaviour is the one thing that the gay activists within the church deny should be denied for the sake of the kingdom. It is not just that they are wrong concerning the sinfulness of sodomy, they place the desire and the behaviour above God.

In his letter to the Ephesians Paul says that we must avoid sexual immorality, impurity and covetousness (Eph 5:5). Covetousness he identifies as a form idolatry, which he also does in Colossians 3. When we desire things above God we make them more important than God and thus they are an idol. It is interesting that covetousness is so often connected to sexual immorality. Sexual sin drew the Israelites into idolatry at Moab (Num 25).

Scripture makes it clear that sodomites who do not repent will not inherit the kingdom. But further evidence that it is immoral is that its apologists refuse to submit homosexuality to the lordship of Christ. Their idolatry shows the bankruptcy of their position.


For those who struggle with same sex attraction, you need to submit your whole self to Christ. It is true that the adulterer needs to abandon his adultery, the fornicator his fornication, and the sodomite his sodomy. Sexuality is a major and key area that we need to repent of. But it is not just your sexuality that needs to come under the lordship of Christ it is your whole life. God doesn't just want your sexuality handed over to him, he wants your time, your money, your friendships, your conversation, your job; he wants all of you.

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