Westboro Baptist Church, Homosexuality, and Lust

Chances are, if you asked the average American “What are the two most controversial topics floating around in the public sphere today?” they would likely say, 1) Abortion, 2) Homosexuality. Both issues have their roots deep in the soil of human liberty. Both issues are passionate, sensitive, and worthy of our careful reflection and examination. I always write my posts from a Christian perspective, and it seems almost comical for me to write a post about abortion or homosexuality for this simple reason: regardless of whether or not you are a Christian, you probably already know the stance that most Christians take on these issues. However, I want to take a moment to discuss the topic of homosexuality in a way that I hope will not be trite; instead, I hope this will add another dimension to the overall paradigm. In this post, I’m not attempting to make an argument for or against homosexuality (though I will briefly state the premises of the argument), but I will actually be addressing Christians for the simple reason that I would like to level out the playing field on this topic. In a future post, I plan to address Matthew Vine and issue forth a couple of points on homosexual practice—but this post is about homosexual principal, and I’m gearing it towards heterosexual Christians. The point that I hope to make clear is that homosexuality presents a paradox that must be understood by Christians. This is not a political post, but a post regarding morality, spiritual blindness, and hypocrisy. Let me begin by stating the basic argument against homosexuality.

The Classic Argument:

As Christians, we believe that the Biblical perspective of marriage entails one man and one woman in a special and exclusive relationship, separable only through death (Matt 19:4-6). The beautiful image of Christ and his church casts a symbolic shadow—called marriage—which represents Christ’s love, sacrifice and commitment to his people. Within marriage, the freedom of sexual practice between two individuals is permitted and encouraged. Keep in mind, (from a Biblical perspective) marriage is the only circumstance under which any sexual expression is permitted by anyone, and the parameters for what makes marriage legitimate are clear. This is the well-known, explicitly stated, hard-driven message and argument against homosexuality.

Chances are if there is a drop of conservative Christianity in your blood, you stand by this argument.

Westboro Baptist Church (www.godhatesfags.com) has done an excellent job chasing the red herring by completely misunderstanding the actual issue behind homosexuality, all the while flaunting their arrogance and self-righteousness for the world to scoff at. You wouldn’t see them with a “God Hates Heterosexuals” sign; despite the fact that heterosexuals are also, you know, sinners. Somewhere along the line, we’ve cherry picked certain sins to get excited about, and left other destructive sins unnoticed.  The gospel leaves no room for hypocrisy in our lives.

The real problem behind homosexuality is a problem that we all have: The real problem is lust. And if you aren’t careful, you’ll be duped into believing that mere external sexual expression is the real issue, when it is, in fact, not.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28)

This is a verse we almost wish wasn’t in the Bible, because the sting is deep and the pandemic is rampant. It hurts because Jesus is essentially saying that any lustful thought is equivalent to adultery—and adultery was not handled well by Jewish authorities back in the day. In fact, the same penalty pronounced for homosexuality is also given for adultery. Now this puts every one of us on trial, facing capital punishment. The verdict is clear: you are an adulterer, and I am an adulterer. Everyone is an adulterer. And we are adulterers because of our lust. Be slow to cast steep judgments on homosexuality, when heterosexuality has caused so much pain and disease as well. I’ve heard many men describe homosexuals themselves as being “sick” and “twisted,” all the while completely oblivious to their own perversions. I am not advocating homosexuality, but I am trying to even the playing ground. When Christ speaks of adultery or sexual perversion, he is speaking of a condition in every human heart. Many people have wondered why Christ is silent on the subject of homosexuality. What we need to realize is that his message transcends homosexuality, and goes straight to the root of all sexual immorality.

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

And such were some of you. If you’ve ever had a lustful thought, you fit at least two of the criteria above. Paul might as well have said, “And such were all of you.”

The true issue is the lustful bent of the licentious heart that is in all of us. Tim Keller once said, “Homosexuality is not what sends someone to hell, any more than heterosexuality is what gets a person into heaven.” What separates a person from God is the heart. As heterosexuals, we must realize that our sin is no more permissible than the homosexual’s. And we are all guilty. So before we go too far, let us first remember the dirt in the arteries of our own heart. Otherwise we’ve deceived ourselves.

Let me make one final note as I conclude this post:

Many people will have a hard time understanding the Law within the Bible, thinking it to be harsh and impossible to keep. But maybe it’s because we don’t understand its purpose. Keeping the Law does not make a person clean and pure. Ravi Zacharias once put it this way: “We see the Law as a mirror. And it reveals to us the dirt (sin) on our faces. But you do not use the mirror to clean the dirt off of your face. We need something else to do the job.” And the key is here: “you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” We cannot be clean by effort alone.

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