The Gay Christian Movement emphasizes God’s grace, insisting that (if homosexual behavior really is a sin) the Lord will not hold them accountable because Jesus’ blood covers them. In today’s essay I want to focus on people from this camp, temporarily ignoring those who justify homosexuality by twisting Scripture to make their justification plausible. To be clear, I’m addressing people who do believe Scripture forbids homosexual behavior, but argue that God’s grace gives them license to sin.
In one respect, the Lord’s grace indeed covers the sins we commit after becoming Christians. I depend on this grace myself, since I commit unintentional and intentional sins more often than I want to admit. The difference between me and members of the Gay Christian Movement, however, does not lie in the particular nature of a sin. Rather, it lies in my willingness to repent of my sin, and to recognize how deeply I grieve and dishonor the Lord who died to cleanse me from those sins. Grace, if it is understood correctly, motivates the Christian to repent — to walk in holiness and obedience to the Lord.
11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. — Titus 2:11-14 (ESV)
The apostle Paul makes it abundantly clear that grace must lead the Christian towards godly living rather than towards the gratification of fleshly appetites. Gay Christians err by thinking that they can indulge in homosexuality without offending and discrediting the Lord. They forget that true grace calls them to lay aside their homosexual inclinations, along with every other inclination that contradicts God’s law, in favor of obeying the Lord and devoting their energies to honoring Him.
The Bible, as a matter of fact, specifically warns Christians against using God’s grace as a justification for persisting in sin.
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. ~~Romans 6:1-4 (ESV)
Like other Christians, those who battle same sex attractions must consider their homosexuality as dead. Yes, it’s easier said than done, especially for those who can’t distinguish between the sin and their overall identity. But grace can help them choose to walk in obedience to the Lord.
Of course, Gay Christians are not the only professing Christians who abuse the doctrine of grace by turning it into a license to sin. Increasingly, an alarming number of evangelicals twist this doctrine to rationalize a variety of vices that range from explosive tempers to excessive use of alcohol to adultery. And sadly, their churches don’t even bat an eye, lest they appear “unloving” or “judgmental.” The Gay Christian Movement is merely the logical extension of grace misunderstood.
But the extension poses great danger by perverting the sexual model God created to illustrate His relationship with the Church. Jesus Christ is the masculine Bridegroom to the feminine Bride, and Christian marriage should reflect this relationship. As professing Christians become more accepting of homosexuality, getting to the point of validating committed relationships and same-sex marriages, we distort the reflection, turning it into a mockery. Rather than exhibiting God’s grace, we disgrace God!
The grace of God should be cherished and honored, not distorted as an excuse for self indulgence. The Gay Christian Movement, much like other forms of liberal Christianity, weakens the Biblical doctrine of grace, and therefore keeps us from seeing the Lord as He truly is. Grace properly understood, on the other hand, ushers us into His holiness, enabling us to see how glorious and wonderful His grace really is.