Homosexuality remains a hot topic both in and outside the church. But discussing it at length comes with two inherent dangers: either we see homosexuality as worse than all other sins, or we act as though it’s no sin at all. Last week, I responded to the first danger by reminding readers that Christians who struggle with homosexual desires are just ordinary sinners with the same extraordinary Savior. This week, I’m tackling danger number two.
Amid the gay debates, you’ve probably heard arguments like this: “Jesus never said anything about homosexuality, so it must not be all that important to him.” What they mean, of course, is that his silence is the stamp of approval for homosexuality. Let’s look at five biblical responses:
1. To begin with, the “Jesus never said” argument is too simplistic. What we should say, rather, is “Jesus may or may not have said anything about homosexuality.” John tells us Jesus did many things that were never written down because there aren’t enough books in the world to contain them (John 21:25). Perhaps Jesus had quiet conversations among friends, or heated debates among the masses. But one thing is certain: we can’t say he never talked about homosexuality.
2. So we have no record of Jesus ever addressing homosexuality. What we do have is his take on marriage. In Matthew 19:4-6, Jesus reaffirms the design that God deemed good in Eden: one man, one woman, one flesh. That’s because Jesus, of all people, understood what marriage represents: him and his people. Anything that marred the metaphor, that distorted God’s living picture of the gospel, Jesus most certainly considered sin—homosexuality included.
3. Imagine if we listed all the sins Jesus seems to have never addressed: rape, abortion, pedophilia, gluttony. The list goes on. Does that mean we don’t bother addressing them? Or worse, celebrate them? Rather than assume the silence of Christ is a license to sin, God would have us search all the Scriptures for his will. It’s in more than the red letters.
4. Which brings me to my next point: Jesus may or may not have said anything about homosexuality, but he commissioned disciples to carry his truth to the world. Paul was one of those disciples, and he has a lot to say about the sin of homosexuality (Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Timothy 1:10). Paul’s words, like all of Scripture, are God-breathed and Jesus-approved (2 Timothy 3:16).
5. Read it again: “Jesus never said anything about homosexuality, so it must not be all that important to him.” If you have no other reason to deny this statement, imagine what it sounds like to the person who struggles with homosexual desires: “Jesus doesn’t concern himself with sinners like you.” Where’s the gospel in that?
Truth is, Jesus cares. He cares about every sin that stands between him and us. He cared all the way to Calvary. The blood that flowed from his cross was sufficient to cleanse us from our sins—all of them. Whether or not he ever said a word about them.