I get really frustrated when I watch how most popular Christians answer questions about homosexuality.
In interviews like this one between Piers Morgan and Kirk Cameron I recently came across on YouTube, the Christian is put on the spot with a question like “Do you think homosexuality and gay marriage is wrong/sin?“
They typically respond with something like “I believe marriage is defined by God as one man and one woman.”
The interviews tend to then go on in a back and forth of mental gymnastics as they talk about challenging scenarios. For example, in this particular interview Piers puts Kirk on the spot to ask him if he’d hold the same belief if one of his children were to come out as gay.
Behaviors are rooted in beliefs
The reason I’m frustrated with these conversations is that they’re not productive whatsoever. In fact, discussing this issue on this level drives more of a wedge between people on opposite sides of the issue than anything. They’re like watching evolutionists and creationists debate.
In both situations, opinions about the issues go back to deeper root beliefs. These beliefs form the lens through which you come to conclusions about the world. When those lenses are different, debating on the surface about behavior choices doesn’t get anywhere.
Each person is right…in their own eyes.
Same data, different conclusions
When evolutionists and creationists debate, they use the same data and come to different conclusions. Each of them claim their data supports their position.
How could they do that? Because the way they interpret the data is based on the worldview lens through which they see the data. An evolutionist’s belief that there is no God molds what the data says. A creationist’s belief that there is a God does the same. They use the same data and come to different conclusions.
In the same way, one person interprets sexual attraction between 2 people of the same gender as natural love and happiness. The other interprets it as unnatural sin and destruction.
Paul the apostle showed how he understood this in many of his New Testament letters. He didn’t start his letters addressing behaviors. He started them with riffs on the gospel that were catered to the issues he knew each particular church was facing.
He always started his letters by presenting his take on Truth. Then, he transitioned into the implications of behavior and decisions through the lens of the Truth he presented. He knew if the lens didn’t change, his instructions for how to live wouldn’t matter.
Explore the Truth together
When it comes to any behavior choice, you can’t start and live on the surface. If you aren’t seeing with the same eyes, debating opinions about issues like these is just an exercise in futility. It doesn’t matter if it’s homosexuality or any other behavior choice.
How should Christians deal with questions about homosexuality and gay marriage?
Just like Paul the apostle would do, I would ask to lovingly explore together what the Truth is about the universe, God’s identity, our identity and God’s eternal purpose.
If we worked through that together and agreed, we are now looking through the same lens. We could then move on to explore the implications of the Truth for our life choices together. As equals, we could look beyond one issue and examine the whole of all of our lives and work toward becoming who we were made to be together.
If there was no agreement, I would leave it alone and simply trust God to continue to form our lenses.
This isn’t just how Christians should approach this moral topic. It’s how they should approach any moral topic.