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Archive for April 27th, 2011

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In David K. Clark’s work on theological method, his chapter on Theology in cultural context made a comment on how only homosexual behaviors are sins, while the desires are not sin:

Regarding sexual orientation, most evangelicals would not see being a homosexual (by which I mean, having homosexual desires) as sin.  Evangelicals do see acting out one’s homosexuality by embracing the homosexual lifestyle and engaging in homosexual intercourse as sin.  (My point parallel alcoholism: being an alcoholic and experiencing desire for alcohol is not sinful; drunkeness is.) [David K. Clark, To Know and Love God, 123].

I believe no evangelical should condemn homosexual feelings, desires, or temptations.  But the evangelical consensus, based upon the Bible, is that homosexual intercourse, even in a permanent partnership, is morally wrong.[David K. Clark, To Know and Love God, 126].

My concern is regarding the omission of homosexual desires as sinful.  Its important to evaluate Clark’s comments biblically.

Biblical ethics for sexuality is confined only within the boundaries of marriage (which by default exclude any sexuality outside of marriage whether by an individual only, an unmarried couple, animals, objects, groups, same gender partners, etc).  It is from this paradigm that even individual lusts that at times can be so private as to be personal to one’s individual’s deepest recess of his or her mind, is also prohibited by Scripture:

But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:28 ESV)

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;  (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 ESV)

Indeed such desires does not come from God and is rather ungodly:

For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. (1 John 2:16 ESV)

Seeing that Scripture even prohibits lust, which is the desire for sexual relations outside of marriage (before it’s proper time, with someone not your spouse, etc) one should be cautious to offer a blanket statement that homosexual desire are not sinful.

Homosexual desires adds more tension to the debate by the fact that it’s very desire is not for an end that God can call good, since it does not desire God’s design of sex within marriage of a husband and a wife.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t write this to condemn those struggling with these desires without being insensitive to the fact that it’s probably hard to combat.

Here we need to be reminded that Christ has saved us from the wrath of God and our slavery to sin.  Easter was just three days ago, and it wasn’t about bunnies and eggs.  It’s about the Savior Jesus Christ who saved us from sins and have the Spirit imparted to believers to work in their lives to transform them.

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