How can Christians answer fellow believers who embrace the new sexual ethic of our day without sounding smug?
These professing Christians will often defend their position by protesting, “Who am I to say that my homosexual friends cannot love each other and be who they really are? It’s not like these homosexual men and women are hurting anyone.”
Well, who wants to disagree with that?
These Christian brothers and sisters have often not been given the tools to engage with the arguments of the broader culture, so, as a result, they have surrendered to the culture. They may even admit that the Bible lists homosexuality as sin but refuse to declare, “Thus saith the Lord.”
When discussing these issues with confused believers, it is important to wrench them out of their culturally defined worldview and place them back into the world of the Bible (which is the real world). Take them back to the beginning…
In the beginning God made everything including humans. He spoke clearly to Adam and Eve about what they could and could not do. God told them to eat from every other tree but not from the one tree, for its fruit was deadly.
Along came a serpent and said that God was wrong. The serpent proposed another interpretation of the fruit. “No, no, no, Adam and Eve, the fruit is not deadly; it is life!”
Adam and Eve had two interpretations set before them. The fruit probably looked like all the other fruit. It was not magic. It did not contain black ooze that would pour from its center the moment its fragile skin was pierced. There was a troubling absence of empirical evidence to aide them in this dilemma. The Word of God set the fruit apart (deadly), and the word of Satan set it apart (life). So Adam and Eve climbed atop the throne of authority in their hearts and minds, ripped God off, and took a seat. From atop this throne, Adam and Eve declared that the fruit was life! But what happened?
No matter what Adam and Eve believed about this fruit, or what the serpent said, that fruit was deadly. Why? Was it really deadly, or had God just arbitrarily declared it to be deadly? Well, the proof is in the pudding, as they say.
Death, spiritual and physical, actually followed the eating of the forbidden fruit. Why? Well, because God’s speech is not like ours, nor is it the counterpart to Satan’s speech. God’s speech is not arbitrary. It is not groundless commentary on what exists.
Remember how God created? He spoke and so it was. His Word brought the universe into existence! Do we really think it is any different with morality? God declared the fruit on that particular tree to be deadly, and so it was deadly.
No matter what the culture says about homosexuality, ("it is love", "It is good", "it is all the same", "it is my true identity", "it is my personal right") the truth remains, it is death. Like all other sins, it is death. Let us now answer the question posed above: "Who am I to say...?"
You are right. You have no authority to declare homosexuality right, wrong, or neutral. Your word is just a word, but the Word of the Lord is authoritative for all. He has said that sin is death, so the most loving thing for you to do is to speak and act in accord with this Word. Remember fellow Christian, if you are able to identify sin, you are able to point the world to the Savior. It takes wisdom to speak such truth in a loving fashion. Yet it is far better to take up this work than to assist the serpent in his endeavors by asking God, “who says?”
For further reading check out The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Butterfield and The Same Sex Controversy by James White