The Objection of Homophobia
A major reason why people will not become Christians and have less and less time for the Bible and Christianity is the objection of homophobia. It will not be long in any conversation about the bible today that someone will ask you, ‘Do you believe that gay people are going to hell?’ The accusation in the question is clear and a wrong answer will immediately shut down the conversation. For many today this is a gatekeeper issue, if you don’t tick the right box you are not worth continuing the conversation with. To disagree on this issue demonstrates sufficiently to them that anything you have to say is going to be hateful, prejudiced, uninformed, etc.
We live in a day and age where public opinion can change radically in a very short period of time. In a climate of instant reporting, in an age where emotions which are often more effective than arguments are conveyed through visual news, at a time when we can broadcast an opinion or one side of an argument immediately, in an atmosphere where mob rage and media barrages have become effective tools to shape public opinion and pressure establishments to relent, we are at a real disadvantage. We hold to a view that has been held for thousands of years, we may hold it with love, with winsome speech, and even model the proper way things ought to work, and even in the best case scenario we will be submerged in the deluge of negative public opinion. What we want to talk about tonight will not be useful to those who uncritically make up their minds based on what is trending. What we want to say tonight will not help those who have already decided what we believe even though they have never stopped and listened to a careful Christian view on the matter. For those who believe that Christians are benighted haters who are driven by a wild fear for our children to make harsh laws in a political bid to retrieve ‘the good old days’ of patriarchal colonnialism, then stop listening, you’ve already made up your minds. But for those who want truth, who don’t want to be swayed by the mindless mob, who want to know what we actually believe and not with what our opponents are telling us we believe, then what we want to say will be helpful.
There are many things that need to be said in light of such a huge topic but here are a few of things that we will say. We want to draw attention to the way speech and definitions are used in a prejudicial way which leaves the biblical view as a misrepresented strawman. We want to distinguish biblical teaching and methods on this issue from the many wrong-headed and sinful ways some Christians have conducted themselves in this issue. We want to show that love and truth must stand and fall together and that truth telling is form of love. We want to show how all communities are necessarily ‘exclusive’ and ‘intolerant’ including the so called LGBTQIA+ community. And finally we want to stress how Christians are promoted to human flourishing and happiness as God has outlined in the Bible showing how holiness and happiness are friends not enemies.