Orthodox Christians are in agreement that homosexual behavior is wrong and homosexual attraction is a tragic result of the fall. But if we had to articulate clearly why it was wrong in conversation with a homosexual, what might that look like? I want to thank J.D. Greear, Voddie Baucham and Russell Moore for weighing in clearly on this issue in a recent roundtable discussion. (I was annoyed by some other things Moore said in reaction to DOMA, but he brought his good side to this discussion and contributed thoughtful ideas.) All three had pertinent things to say, but I think my favorite is Baucham. Baucham is one of the sanest, sharpest, most clear-eyed pastors in The Gospel Coalition, and he’s great at getting right to the heart of the matter.
One thing he said in this video, which I think isn’t being said enough, is that the people who judge evangelicals for not caring about divorce while speaking against same-sex “marriage” are lying, pure and simple. Orthodox evangelicals have been concerned about the growing divorce culture within the church for a long, long time. Baucham also nailed it when talking about the zero-sum game in the culture war, without using that exact phrase. We’ve seen over and over again that all hope of a “grand compromise” where everyone tolerates everyone else is a hopeless fantasy. Like it or not, this is a culture war where one winner must take all in the public square. This is not (just) about “what people choose to do in their bedrooms.” The very explosion of the “marriage” debate is proof that this is a highly public issue that will not go away until every demand of the homosexual agenda has been granted.
Another good aspect of this discussion was the role of the state in marriage. Some folks of a libertarian bent (hi Kyle!) would argue that the state shouldn’t have anything to do with regulating marriage at all. Greear, Baucham and Moore unpack why that simply isn’t true, or practically feasible.
Finally, all three rightly pointed out that not only does homosexuality in fact harm many people, including the homosexuals themselves, but “hurting someone else” isn’t the only benchmark of sin. A man could cheat on his wife and keep it a secret from her, but clearly he is still committing adultery. Homosexuality is a crime against the natural order in and of itself, and that alone is enough to make it a sin.
Those are just a few things I really liked, but the whole conversation is well worth watching.