Matt Barber Answers Charge that Christians Focus Too Much on Homosexuality

barber-2.gifMatt Barber lost his job at Allstate due to pro-homosexual activism. He says it’s a canard that Christians are “focusing too much” on this issue. Why do some Christians feel guilty about opposing a homosexual lobby that is so brazen it now openly promotes homosexual activity as normal to innocent, young children? (See page from “King and King” children’s book below.)

kingandkinggayprinceskiss.jpg

Folks, my good friend Matt Barber, policy director for cultural issues at Concerned Women for America and Americans For Truth Board Member, is right on in this excellent essay rebutting the increasingly common complaint that Christians are focusing too much on homosexuality. 

I find it curious at this juncture in American history when the homosexual lobby is at the zenith of its power — and on the verge of passing an oppressive, sweeping federal bill creating special workplace privileges based on people’s inclination toward aberrant sex — that Christians of all people would urge a de facto public policy and cultural retreat in opposing that movement.

Why are so many people of faith riddled with guilt in opposing a sin-based movement that threatens everybody’s religious and First Amendment freedoms? Perhaps it’s because many Christians, far from “hating gays,” as the trendy accusation goes, are intimidated by the liberal media and no longer agree with their Creator  that homosexual acts are an egregiously sexual sin.

I will be the first to admit that I, like most Christians, need to love sinners more — and more humbly, for Christ died for uswhile we were yet sinners” — but that does not make it “un-Christlike” to directly and firmly oppose those who would retool “civil rights” to accommodate sin, and promote its acceptance to children. The pro-family side doesn’t even come close to matching the resources and activism of organizations promoting “proud” homosexuality. 

So why the guilt? Let’s face it: today’s youth are bombarded with pro-homosexuality messages, which are having a tremendous effect, even among Christians. See Grove City College associate psychology professor Warren Throckmorton’s blog discussion for a sample of the new “soft” evangelicalism; Warren agrees with objections by surveyed Christian youth (see this story) concerning the alleged over-emphasis on homosexuality. I and Robert Knight of the Culture & Media Institute responded to that argument in the same blog discussion

Homosexuality and Christianity are clearly incompatible — see the website of Professor Rob Gagnon, who knows more about the Bible and homosexuality than just about anybody these days. Thankfully, homosexuals can leave the lifestyle behind, with God’s help. Struggling with sinful temptations is one thing — we all do — but embracing them as an “identity” or inherent nature is quite another.

Perhaps the saddest thing about “sexual orientation” laws like the proposed ENDA bill, H.R. 3685, is that they move America further away from God and force citizens to abide by a concept of homosexuality that is contrary to that of our holy and loving Heavenly Father, who hates sin of any kind but always provides a way out of it. 

If you don’t feel guilty about opposing the abortion lobby, don’t worry about fighting the homosexual activist movement. In fact, we need your help! — Peter LaBarbera

P.S. Matt reports to me that he completely convinced his younger brother. We’re not surprised.

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Homosexuality: What’s all the Fuss?    

Posted by Concerned Women for America, October 30, 2007
By J. Matt Barber

Sexual relativists demand comprehensive acceptance of homosexual behaviors — by force of law.

My 19 year-old brother Jared recently shared his thoughts in a brief essay on today’s politically correct, post-modern concept of “tolerance.” I’m admittedly biased, but I thought he exhibited insight beyond his years. He did, however, open the door for a debate on whether Christians focus too much attention on the sin of homosexuality while giving other sins a pass. His musings and my response follow:

Tolerance?

Jared Barber

“Certain things, if not seen as lovely or detestable, are not being correctly seen at all.” – C.S. Lewis

It has become difficult to hold true to strongly held beliefs. The problem lies in the fact that behaviors, once held simply as sinful actions, are being lauded as definers of identity.

So, when one states that one believes fornication, homosexual behavior, or adultery to be wrong, the modern world calls this person an “intolerant” “oppressor” of “sexual freedom.” Or they are called “hateful.” The rationale is that they are oppressing “the way people love.” Sexual behaviors, in particular homosexuality, are called “identity.” “This is who we are.”

This is a problem, grave and immense. This rationale seeks, in its innermost, to undermine the ability of others to challenge these beliefs. By setting themselves up as minorities, people in this realm make disagreement “hatred,” “bigotry,” “judgment.”

In reality, it is statement of fact. Morality is what it is. To attempt to rationalize it away is lunacy.

Another problem arises here, though; and it is this: Christians, as a whole, focus too much on the homosexual issue alone. They attack it solely, denounce it, and live whichever way they please. Adultery, fornication, racism, pride, jealousy, selfish ambition, drunkenness; all of these immoral acts take to the background in view of homosexuality, and so we as Christians are set up as anti-gay instead of anti-immorality. We need to end our own hypocrisy, all of us, I as much as any, so that we can more blamelessly broach this subject and others.

And foremost, we must remember that Christ preached one thing above all else: Love. We must love others, with, as [C.S.] Lewis said, “…a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner — no mere tolerance, or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment.” We must hold to the standard of morality which binds all mankind. We must not allow behaviors to define identity. We must do away with “tolerance” in its modern form which simply indulges behavior despite what morality says. But above all else, we must love.

To which I replied:

Incisive analysis, Jared. Nicely done. I think C.S. Lewis himself might have said so. The only sentiment with which I take issue is this: “Christians, as a whole, focus too much on the homosexual issue alone.”

Here’s why I disagree.

You’re spot on when you say that we need to confront all forms of sin, call sin sin and repent of that sin. God hates hypocrisy, no doubt, and as you rightly observe, “we need to end our own hypocrisy, all of us…” Furthermore, you’re absolutely right when you say, “above all else, we must love.” But as you essentially point out, this does not mean that we indulge sinful behavior and call it good. True love does not facilitate immorality, it takes it to task.

However, consider this: A particularly heavy focus on the sin of homosexuality by “Christians as a whole” is not at all gratuitous. There is such emphasis, not because we intentionally and specifically chose to target this particular sin, but rather, because strident moral relativists demand that, in contrast to the other sins you address, the sin of homosexuality not only be “tolerated,” but celebrated. That’s what the euphemistic slogan, “celebrate diversity,” supposes.

Sexual relativists are anything but relative. They are quite affirmative in principle. But the principles they foist demand comprehensive acceptance of homosexual behaviors — by force of law — through federal edicts such as “hate crimes” legislation and the so-called Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) [H.R. 3685].

Unlike the sin of homosexuality, the other sins you cite — the sins of adultery, fornication, racism, pride, jealousy, selfish ambition and drunkenness do not have the benefit of a tremendously powerful and prosperous lobby which is blindly supported by people in positions of political influence, and other leftists in media and elsewhere who have been duped by the crafty and disingenuous rhetoric of “tolerance” and “diversity.”

Proponents, practitioners and enablers of homosexual sin demand that we all renounce God’s express condemnation of such conduct and embrace this spiritually and physically destructive behavior as virtuous — as a wholly equal, alternative sexual “orientation.” They believe that the only thing objectively immoral is to reckon there are things objectively immoral. Yet, when others find freedom from the homosexual lifestyle — as untold thousands have done through the loving and redemptive power of Jesus Christ — those former homosexuals are maliciously maligned for committing a betrayal most immoral. Like that popular hotel in California, “You can check out anytime you want, but you can never leave.”

And so, fervent and relentless homosexual propaganda goose-steps along, trampling upon those who observe traditional notions of sexual morality. This sets homosexual sin worlds apart from the other sins you reference. Therefore, we Christians are left no choice but to assign homosexual sin significance commensurate with that which it demands.

Thus we find ourselves — back against the ropes — in a fight we did not pick, struggling in a culture war we did not ask for. It’s a clash of worldviews in a zero-sum game. Make no mistake; the sin of homosexuality is the bunker-buster bomb in this war against morality.

The very firm response by defenders of Biblical truth to the homosexual lobby’s relentless assault on our nation’s Judeo-Christian tradition is indeed a defensive reaction, not an act of aggression. The sheer mechanics of homosexual conduct very naturally elicits revulsion in most rational folk. Therefore, most of us would prefer not to even imagine it, much less struggle to defend against its wholesale promotion. But regrettably, our hand has been forced.

Scripture cautions, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.” That Scripture becomes manifest in the left’s insistence that homosexual behavior — which God unequivocally condemns and which human biology coldly rejects — be either embraced, or opposed under penalty of law.

Matt Barber is one of the “like-minded men” with Concerned Women for America. He is an attorney concentrating in constitutional law and serves as CWA’s policy director for cultural issues.


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