AT ISSUE: Could it be celibacy, not homosexuality?
ZEPHYR HILLS, Fla. (BP)--In light of the Empire State's recent legalizing of same-sex marriage and of Dr. Albert Mohler's recent assertion that our Southern Baptist Convention has practiced a "certain form of homophobia," I believe we are in desperate need of a solid biblical foundation to find the necessary sure footing to take a firm stand in regard to this contemporary hot topic.
We cannot cower in our church corners and allow this debate to be framed by a politically correct culture in league with something falsely called science (1 Timothy 6:20). Instead, we, as faithful stewards of the Word of God, must shine the light of Scripture upon this important public debate. It is to this end that I submit the following for prayerful consideration among all Southern Baptists.
The Apostle Paul was undoubtedly as gifted a Christian as has ever lived. In 1 Corinthians 7:1-9, he professed to possess the gift of celibacy. Thanks to this fact, Paul, unlike the vast majority of other men, had no need for a wife. Consequently, he was able to devote himself entirely to the service of Christ (1 Corinthians 7:32-35). When you add to this gift of celibacy Paul's extraordinary gifting, it is easy to understand why God told Ananias that Paul was "a chosen vessel unto [Me], to bear [My] name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel" (Acts 9:15, KJV).
In today's twisted world, Paul's gift of celibacy would most likely be misinterpreted as homosexual tendencies.
Those exhibiting such "tendencies" frequently are poked fun at by their peers. Often a gifted boy is an embarrassment to his father because he prefers playing the piccolo in the school band rather than middle linebacker on the football team. Likewise, many a mother has been embarrassed by a tomboy daughter who prefers rebuilding carburetors to baking cupcakes. And even in the church, we often find ourselves struggling with how to deal with these atypical adolescents.
In the end, these exceptional youth often are persuaded by peers, parents and the church that something is wrong with them.
Feeling like outcasts, they turn to the one community willing to receive them with open arms: namely, the homosexual community. Once embraced by homosexuals as one of their own, these extraordinary young people are indoctrinated into the homosexual lifestyle, which is chosen and learned, not natural and intuitive.
There are two things about today's homosexual community that have always intrigued me.
First, it is a very affluent community made up of extraordinarily gifted people. Homosexuals are often very creative. They are frequently found among our finest artists and academics.
Second, many admit that their first homosexual encounters were distasteful, if not downright disgusting. Still, falsely believing themselves to be homosexuals, they persist in their perversion until their consciences are seared and their sinful behavior dismissed as their natural sexual orientation.
Although many today are being misled to believe by so-called science that all behavior, both moral and immoral, is traceable to biological factors, the Bible teaches that man's problem is spiritual, not physical. It is not a result of how God forms us in the womb, but of our deliberate choice to sin against God. Granted, some biological factors may make us more susceptible to certain temptations, but none excuse our succumbing to temptation.
Despite the fact that homosexuality is undoubtedly proven unnatural by the biological design of the human body, particularly our reproductive system, modern-day science persists in its erroneous contention that certain biological factors hot-wire individuals for sexual perversion.
Unfortunately, what modern science misinterprets as a predisposition for perversion may well be, according to the Scripture, a predisposition for extraordinary service to God.
As a result, those so predisposed are not being told of their spiritual potential but are being tragically pushed by parents, peers and parish into the arms of today's homosexual community, a community within which they are brainwashed into believing that what God meant for good was really meant for evil.
Don Walton is an evangelist and pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Zephyr Hills, Fla.