It seems like not a day goes by without reading or hearing something about homosexuality and/or homosexuals wanting the alleged right to “marry” a person of the same sex. Story after story is written with one main goal: to normalize homosexuality through desensitizing people to it. Lately, things have become much more intense than I ever can remember. Name-calling, intolerance, and unbridled bigotry are the hallmarks of the contemporary homosexual movement. The latest news story is about a privately owned fast food chain, Chick-Fil-A, known for its Christian values, whose owner publicly stated he holds a biblical view of marriage (ie., a lifelong covenant before God of a man and a woman to one another exclusively). At least three different mayors of some of the largest cities in this nation have vowed to do everything they can to keep out such “intolerant” and “bigoted” businesses, all in the name of tolerance, of course.
But here’s the problem. The stance of CFA is nothing less than normal, historic, orthodox Christianity over the past 2,000 years (not to mention the stance of Judaism before that). Therefore, when a mayor (or any government official) asserts that opposition to homosexuality or the claim that homosexuality is morally evil disqualifies a business from setting up shop in a community, that mayor is not only banishing fast food chains like CFA, but churches as well. Every Bible-believing, Gospel-preaching church in this country believes that homosexuality is sinful and against God’s will for humanity. If CFA is not allowed in Chicago or Boston because of its owner’s view of homosexuality, why should it be any different for a local church whose pastor and membership believe the same thing as CFA’s owner? Once that domino falls, the state will dictate to churches what is and is not acceptable doctrine if a church wants building permits to set up a facility in a given town.
Gospel-preaching churches simply cannot accept homosexuality as good or acceptable for people made in God’s image. This is not a “civil rights” issue; this is a moral issue, specifically, an issue of sexual morality (or immorality, as the case may be). When Christians assert that homosexuality is sinful, we are not saying anything different than when we say that adultery is sinful. It’s not an issue of anyone’s “right” to be an adulterer, nor is it an issue of discrimination or intolerance. It’s an issue of what is right and wrong, and on whose authority. Beyond the moral issue, though, this is a Gospel issue. One of the core symbols given to humanity to explain the Gospel is that of marriage. Jesus is the bridegroom, and the Church is His bride. When marriage is dishonored, whether by adultery or homosexuality, the Gospel is dishonored. Christians cannot accept homosexuality as an acceptable “alternative lifestyle” without denying the Gospel and thereby denying Jesus Himself.
The position the Church must take to maintain her identity as the Church of Christ and the position of the homosexual movement are directly at odds. There can be no compromise on this issue. If the positions of three prominent mayors become the norm, Christians can expect to be mistreated verbally by American culture, and, in time, mistreated through physical persecution. A recent article on time.com asserted that organizations that promote biblical morality are “malevolent,” and society rarely tolerates what it considers to be evil for very long. But none of this should be a surprise. After all, “A slave is not greater than his master. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you…. They will make you outcasts…” (Jn 15:20; 16:2). Through it all, we have this confidence: The gates of hell will not prevail no matter how much they rage against the truth. Jesus Christ has overcome, and so have we in Him.