It always saddens to me see those who once stood with us to go out from us by capitulating to the world and its narrative. It is especially distressing to see this among professing Christians. Dr. Adrian Warnock's recent article, among other things, is a call for Christians to apologize and repent for calling to those with same-sex attraction to faith and repentance. He clearly seems to be advocating the idea that those Christians who proclaim the gospel to those with same-sex attraction are Pharisees because, he believes, very few persons in this category can change, so it is abusive and hurtful to call them to repent of something they are unable to repent from. Never mind what they Bible teaches.
I am wondering whether Dr. Warnock understands that the Bible declares that none of us can change ourselves. Does he think those with same-sex attraction are alone in their moral inability to change? As such would he affirm the following statement which the Bible indicates is true about all sinners?
I was born into this world with certain sinful dispositions and inclinations, and neither therapy nor willpower could produce real change to my fallen human nature. God's holy laws could only expose to me, as a fallen creature, my utter moral impotence and accountability to God (Rom 3:19, 20) but gave me no ability to obey them. The gospel, on the other hand, is not a simple call to behavior modification, but instead, the granting of a renewed heart, a new nature, which loves God's commands (1 John 3:9, 5:1-4; Deut 30:6; Ps. 119:97; Ezek 36:26). And by grace I was declared righteous for Jesus's sake, who fulfilled God's law for me, not because I brought anything of my own to the table. As a result the gospel of grace awakens me to the fact that other sinners are also fallen human beings. So how can I look down on anyone, when God had such amazing mercy on a great sinner like me? I now only want to point others to the light of the gospel of Christ that they might also know Him.
You see, all human beings, including me, were born in bondage to sin and the only hope for anyone, not just persons with same-sex attraction, is to be freed by the grace of God in Jesus Christ. People with all kinds of backgrounds, inclinations, dispositions and pet sins, including me, have found true liberty in Christ. Fact is, the church has a history of rejecting and denouncing sin in all its forms. And I have listened to broadcasts for decades from theologically conservative pastors. Among things they preached about, talk about giving in to the lusts of same-sex attraction was brought up no more than, and perhaps even much less than other sins. This is not something most Christians have been obsessed with, and It has not been on our radar screens until now as the demand for Christians to repent of calling people to repent increases.
Why is this different than other sins? When we call people with other sins to repentance are we hating them? No, if we care about a person we warn him of disaster. It is those who fail to warn them who will have blood on their hands. IN reality, no thinking person believes that Christians hate people captive to the bondage of cohabitation, or who reject monogamy, simply because we call these behaviors "sin" and call practitioners to repentance. So why is this singled out as hateful? Contrary to fallen reason, it is a sign that we love such persons that we want such persons to experience liberty from captivity and forgiveness in Jesus. But this is different, some say. Really? Consider that most males are born with the strong disposition to cohabit before marriage and live like Don Draper (someone who rejects monogamy) after marriage. Just using the law and telling them to stop sinning in this way because God says so will only exacerbate the problem. They also need the remedy. The gospel does for us what we are unable to do for ourselves.. it gives a new heart which beholds the beauty of God, a beauty which eclipses the passing things of this world. A new heart which loves the things of God more than the things of the world. Does this means all struggles are over? No, but it means a real breaking of the chains of captivity.
Contrary to Dr. Warnock's vague and demonstrably false assertions, most theologically conservative churches, including my own have a number of active members who have struggled with same-sex attraction. They have been there for years, for generations even ... but like us, they have found liberation from their captivity in Jesus Christ. But it seems he and others who imbibe the same propaganda broadly sweep these facts aside. Do you think change is easier for me (and others) than for those who struggle to give into same-sex attraction? No. It is impossible for any of us. Change does not come by will-power or by some kind of psychological conversion therapy. No therapist can change a person. Why? Because the Bible declares that people are born with certain dispositions and inclinations, and so therapy simply cannot inwardly change human nature. Only the power of the gospel can do that by enabling people, once burdened by sin, to live in the power of grace..... This is not a theory or something only happening in my church. I know pastors in countless churches and almost all of them communicate to me that they have members in this group that are accepted and loved, but like everyone else, have repented by the grace of Jesus Christ. These dispositions, of course, were not part of God's original creation but a consequence of our fallen world and nature in Adam - consequences we all experience. Thus the need for the gospel. If we don't believe that liberation from sin's bondage is one of the functions of the gospel then we have missed it. (1 John 3:9, 5:1-4). Paul says, "And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Cor. 6:11)
Its as if Dr. Warnock is rejecting the supernatural element in the Christian faith. I really hope I am wrong about a lot of this, but his essay and other things he has recently written does not leave much room for misunderstanding. But if I am wrong then his approach it totally mistaken since he has essentially adopted the entire narrative of the LGBT lobby. Sadly there appears to be a "tsunami" (as James White says) of people in the church we once thought stood with us, who are capitulating to the world and its standards.
Lastly, it should be obvious to any thinking person that there is a vast difference between those who wish to bully, tease or harm persons with same sex attraction, with those who desire for them to be freed, just like us, from the corrupt system of this world. They are not even in the same category. May God have mercy and give us perseverance in the faith, to the glory of God in Jesus Christ.
Answering a couple of questions Dr. Warnock asks,
1) Christian, when you think of gay people what is your immediate thought?
Answer: Now there is a sinner just like me. And if you need more details is what I, and most, theological conservatives think, click here.
2) Do you avoid them? Do you angrily denounce them?
No more than I would avoid my friend who is an atheist or my good friend who lives with his girlfriend. These are all just people like me and many of them are friends. I am no more deserving of heaven than those who give in to their same-sex attraction, the atheist or the person cohabiting with his girlfriend. Salvation is by grace alone so none of us can boast of anything about ourselves. He who boasts can only boast in the Lord.
3) It is no longer considered to be acceptable to be feel such animosity towards people who are of a different race, so why should it be acceptable to react in such a way towards those of a different orientation?
Racism has always been wrong no matter how many people thought it was acceptable. But when we now talk to persons from different races than ourselves we do not say that you need to change the color of your skin to become a Christian. The Bible has no such requirement and, on the contrary, declares that God's people will be purchased by Christ "from every tribe and tongue and people and nation". (Rev 5:9). God does NOT say, however, that he purchased people so they can continue in their sin. On the contrary it declares, that anyone who, by the grace of God, has come to Christ has done so because God has given them a new heart (Ezek 36:26) - a heart which loves God and desires more than anything to follow Jesus Christ. Obedience flows from grace. Declaring the gospel is anything but animosity. It is, rather, to have solidarity with other fallen human beings by telling them how they can ally themselves with Jesus to find life. It has nothing to do with whether we are better or more deserving. Love demands that we tell them the gospel.