This is the fourth post I’ve written about the subject of homosexuality and Christianity.
In all the discussion and debate surrounding issues of sexuality and the Bible, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture. To have one of those “missing the forest because of all the trees” experiences. The debate over these issues often centers around specific passages of scripture. Did God really condemn Sodom and Gomorrah for homosexuality? Why did Paul tell women to be silent in the church? Isn’t Romans 1 really about pagan fertility rites?
These are all important questions, but not the most important question.
The most important question is: why did God create sexuality (defined as God-given gender and sexual desires) at all? God could have created a race of androgynous people who were neither male nor female, just like the angels. But he didn’t. He created humanity as two distinct genders, with each gender having it’s own particular sexual desires.
Why did God do that? What was his reasoning? We see part of the reason in Genesis 1:27, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” God created us as male and female so that we might reflect his image. Men reflect the image of God in a way that women cannot, and women reflect the image of God in a way that men cannot. God has made me a man, and has called me to honor him in a way that only a man can do. God has made Jen a woman, and called her to honor him in a way that only a woman can do.
What we so quickly lose sight of is the fact that ultimately, our sexuality is not about us. Our sexuality is about honoring and imaging God. It’s not about my desires, or even my happiness. It’s about bringing honor to God as a man or woman created by God.
I realize that this is a hard truth, and I don’t say it lightly. I realize that this effects real people who have real desires. I have single friends who really want to get married. They have real, sexual desires. But they also know that they can’t be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t follow Christ, and so they have chosen not to give in to their sexual desires, even though they certainly could if they wanted to. A man named Wesley Hill recently wrote a book about his choice to remain celibate for his entire life rather than give in to the homosexual attractions that he experiences.
This is really hard sledding. But ultimately, the honor of God is at stake in our sexuality.
Sin distorts all sexuality. That’s why I think it’s odd that the church tends to focus so much on homosexuality. Millions of men struggle with sexual lust. That is a distortion of sexuality. Lust diminishes our ability to honor God and bring him glory. Lust diminishes our ability to properly reflect the image of God.
When a man or woman expresses their sexuality within the covenant of marriage, in some way, that reflects the image of God. God delights to see himself reflected in his creatures. The ultimate reason that all sexual sin is wrong is that sexuality is no longer about honoring God, but about honoring self. When we sin sexually, we are no longer honoring God. We have made ourselves the center of reality and existence.
As I’ve said before, these are really tough subjects that affect real people. The reason I do is because ultimately, God’s honor is at stake in all this.