CIVIL RIGHTS AND GAY RIGHTS

A powerful means of persuading a group of people to agree with you is to take an example on which most everyone would agree and then place the object of discussion into the class already accepted by most people. It would be rare to find a church or organization today with any obvious influence on people generally who wouldn’t agree with the concept that all people are created equal and that there is no super race. The racial background of a person has nothing to do with their ability, character, or opportunity. We fully recognize that the days of slavery left moral scars in every direction. Today if one had a rather large group of people that were not accepted among lots of people, and you wished to change those feelings, one of the first means of trying to accomplish the change would be to declare that your group of people are being discriminated against and the civil rights laws should apply to them just as it does to a minority race.That argument has been made over and over again in the last twenty-five years by those in the Gay rights movement, until many who grew up hearing it are now convinced that it is a valid argument. If one can take a moral issue and re-clothe it to make it a civil rights issue then you will have taken most of the sting out of the topic before you ever enter into a real discussion on the matter.

There are civil rights to which every person can lay claim. The inalienable rights granted to all people are “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” If I grow up in this country and discover in my days of youth that all my desires are for those of the same sex as me, that reality shouldn’t affect my ability to get a job, own a business or vote in the election. In reality it won’t matter how many people agree to the idea that a gay person should be protected by the civil rights act, it won’t change some very fundamental truths. First, no matter whether a gay couple has a marriage ceremony or marriage license, they will never be able through their sexual relations to produce children which is a basic part of marriage. In reality everything that had life that God made was created to reproduce. Second, with or without a marriage ceremony or marriage license it remains the case that God called the sexual relationships of two people of the same sex immorality and a violation of His will. It is often said that Jesus didn’t ever say anything about homosexuality. While it is true that he didn’t mention it specifically he talked freely about sexual immorality and homosexual relations are a form of sexual immorality. Jesus followed the Old Testament definitions of things like sexual immorality and it would have included pre-marital sex, extra-marital sex, sex with an animal, sex with your father’s wife, or brother’s wife and sex with someone of the same sex. In the Book of Leviticus Moses gives a detailed discussion of all these forms of sexual immorality. What is more significant is that in the writings of Paul he explicitly referred to homosexual behavior as a violation of God’s will. In Romans 1:21-ff when he described man’s turn away from God and God giving them up to their immoral way of living he said that men burned in their lust for other men instead of desiring a woman and that women were longing for other women. He called such behavior perversion and unnatural. In I Corinthians 6:9-11 he described unrighteousness that would keep one out of heaven. He mentioned, sexual immorality, adultery, homosexuals, drunkenness, idolatry, thieves, greed, slanderers, swindlers and said they would not enter the kingdom of heaven. He noted immediately that people could change by saying, “And such were some of you. But you are washed, you are sanctified and you are justified in the name of the Lord and by the Spirit of our God.

I realize that as soon as the points are made that I’ve mentioned, it will be stated, “Leon you aren’t taking into account that a person can be born as homosexuals so that early in their life they already demonstrate those tendencies and as soon as they are old enough to have any feelings it is always for one of their own sex. I am certainly aware that some will declare that such a thing can’t be for God wouldn’t make someone in a way that led them into sinful behavior. Others will declare that since God obviously does make some with homosexual desires or longings then it can’t be wrong for them to move forward with such desires. Think about both of these points for a moment. Is it the case that one may be born with tendencies and desires that if fulfilled are wrong? I believe it is. It seems pretty obvious to me that some people are born with tendencies toward alcoholism. Yet it doesn’t make it right for them to become an alcoholic. Most people are born with strong desires for people of the opposite sex. Yet they have no right to fulfill those desires until they are married to the one they desire. If I’m not able to find someone willing to marry me, I never have the right to fulfill the sexual desires at all. Since we live in a world warped by sin one may be born with multiple problems or deficiencies. Just as one may have some kind of deformity physically, they may have such a deformity emotionally, intellectually or spiritually. Think of the fact that some make the same claim of being born with the desire for sex with a child. They argue with the same fervor that there is nothing wrong with them fulfilling their desires. They even convince themselves that it is good for the child. Yet when Coach Sandusky was caught or when some priests have been caught having such relationships it has been interesting to see how little sympathy they receive from others.

Civil rights never change sin into righteousness, immorality into morality or the God forbidden into the God accepted. Civil rights means that we don’t discriminate against a person based on their race, creed or national origin. It isn’t about a determination of right and wrong. But there is a major question to be considered. How would Jesus have treated a person who is involved in a homosexual relationship? And how would he want us as his followers to treat someone in such a relationship? Since Jesus talked a great deal about sexual immorality and made it clear it was wrong, yet lovingly reached out to those in immoral relationships to offer them new life, I would have to assume he would treat the homosexual the same way. Read John 4 and John 8. It would have been easy to look into the eyes of Jesus and see his heart of compassion and love. He longed to help them to change their way of life. When the religious leaders treated the woman caught in adultery with disdain Jesus offered respect and kindness. I think he wants us to do the same. I feel compassion for the man whose desires are for a young boy, but not to the degree I’m willing to accept such behavior. With Jesus it is easy to see he could love the sinner without loving the sin. That is the standard we need to reach as well.

About leoninlittlerock

Preaching minister for Central church of Christ in Little Rock. Author of over 20 books including: When a Loved one Dies, Spiritual Development, Skid Marks on the Family Drive, Challenges in the church, To Know Christ and A Drink of Living Water.
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