Is the political, culture war approach to homosexuality the way of Jesus Christ? Homosexuality was rampant in the Roman Empire in the first century. Though it was perhaps less perceptible in Jewish society, other socially unacceptable sins such as prostitution, extortion and collaboration with the hated Roman oppressors were widespread there. What did Jesus do with those sinners that were the untouchables of Jewish society? Did he lead a political crusade complete with petitions, letter writing campaigns, etc. to clean up Jewish society once and for all? He ate and drank with them! (Matt. 9:9-12) In doing so He earned the bitter contempt of the religious leaders of His day.
Jesus wasn’t concerned with using political leverage or grass roots campaigns to make social changes in the decaying culture, but rather with reaching individuals, even outcasts, with the kingdom message. So, He ate and drank with them, showing them the better way of God’s love. His followers did the same. Paul’s writings that mention homosexuality such as Romans 1 were designed to teach Christians, not evangelize the lost. Instead, the love of God was able to lead many like the Corinthians who had been involved in all kinds of sexual perversions to be washed, sanctified and justified “in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:11).
Disciples of Christ need to decide whether their primary objective in facing homosexuality is: (a) to focus on culture war and use political and social tools to fight the gay agenda, or (b) to focus on lost individuals and show them a better way through the love of Christ. To focus on “a” is to ignore the example of Christ and also hinders us in our efforts at “b,” to show the love of Christ as a way to forgiveness and transformation. Few homosexuals will sense that we love them if all they see from us are noisy efforts to promote political change.
The way of Christ is always best! Let’s never forget it, even as we grieve over the excesses of our Western culture.