Should Christians Support Same-Sex Unions as a Matter of Justice? Dr. Michael Brown Responds to Jim Wallis

dr_michael_brown.jpg Dr. Michael Brown says that Jesus Christ did not simply accept outcasts, He changed them, and that evangelical leftist Jim Wallis has “lost sight of the fact that homosexual practice is always wrong.” (Wallis today, in parrying off a question about the Biblical view of homosexuality as sinful, said, “Abomination is a pretty strong word.”) Wheaton College has invited Wallis to speak tonight to its Center for Applied Christian Ethics. TAKE ACTION: to contact Wheaton College President Duane Litfin regarding Wallis’ speech, e-mail Or call and ask for President Litfin’s office during office hours at 630-752-5000.


TAKE ACTION: we urge all those who love and appreciate Wheaton College’s great contributions to the advancement of Gospel of Jesus Christ to contact Wheaton College President Duane Litfin ( regarding the college’s invitation of evangelical leftist Jim Wallis as a speaker. Wallis favors homosexuals “rights” legislation including “civil unions,” and takes issue with the Biblical text of homosexual behavior as a sinful “abomination.” At the very least, you can suggest that Wheaton now invite an orthodox Christian speaker like Dr. Brown who is faithful to the Bible, to counter Wallis’ more socialist, revisionist, pro-homosexual-activist worldview. E-mail Wheaton President Duane Litfin at Or call and ask for President Litfin’s office during office hours at 630-752-5000.

DETAILS ON WALLIS SPEECH: tonight (Tuesday) at Wheaton College (Billy Graham’s alma mater in Wheaton, IL): Free and open to the public, the lecture will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Kresge Room, located in the east wing of the Edman Memorial Chapel at Washington and Franklin streets in Wheaton (campus map).

The following statement (emphasis added) was issued by Dr. Michael Brown, at the request of Americans For Truth, in response to evangelical leftist Jim Wallis’ writings in favor of homosexual “civil unions” laws:

As Christians, it is only natural for us to side with the outcast, to be moved with compassion for those whom society rejects, to reach out to the marginalized and disenfranchised, just as Jesus, our Master did, setting an example for us to follow. In fact, in the words of Prof. Jeffrey Siker, many gay-affirming theologians argue that “Jesus’ merciful attitude of inclusion should be a guide to the contemporary church,” specifically with regard to the gay and lesbian community, the outcasts and marginalized of today. (See Homosexuality and Religion: An Encyclopedia.)

Left-leaning, Christian author Jim Wallis espouses a similar position, arguing in his newest book, The Great Awakening, that “justice” requires us to support (and even bless) same-sex unions. After all, many of these couples have been devoted to each other for years, yet they remain stigmatized by both the world and the church, bereft of the most basic benefits extended to married couples (from hospital visitation rights if their partner is on his or her death bed, to the ability to collect their partner’s social security payments after death). And, to add insult to injury, many of them are committed, churchgoing people. How can we harden our hearts to their plight? Surely, justice – let alone the example of Jesus – would require us to recognize their unions and fight for their “rights.” Or would it?

Having heard the stories of many such couples, it’s easy to sympathize with their pain, and certainly, they deserve our compassionate understanding, forcing us to explore issues such as hospital visitation rights and the like. But the questions remain: What would Jesus do and what would justice require?

To help jar us back to reality, consider this quote from the late John Hopkins professor, John Money:

“Pedophilia and ephebophilia [referring to sexual attraction felt by an adult toward an adolescent] are no more a matter of voluntary choice than are left-handedness or color blindness. There is no known method of treatment by which they may be effectively and permanently altered, suppressed, or replaced. Punishment is useless. . . . One must simply accept the fact that they do exist, and then, with optimum enlightenment, formulate a policy of what to do about it.”

To be sure, I am not comparing homosexuals with pedophiles, but it is striking that almost identical arguments are used by advocates of homosexual practice – just substitute the word “homosexuality” for “pedophilia” and “ephebophilia” in Dr. Money’s quote – yet we categorically reject pedophilia and ephebophilia as wrong, regardless of the claims that they are innate and immutable. On what basis, then, should we sanction same-sex unions, even monogamous, non-abusive, long-term unions? Are they not also wrong in God’s sight? Where does Scripture even hint that “abusive” same-sex relationships (such as pedophilia) are wrong but “non-abusive” ones are right?

Former American Psychological Association president and gay rights advocate Dr. Nicholas Cummings recently critiqued the APA’s endorsement of same-sex marriages, asking, “Does any serious scientist regard as evidence the following: loving relationships are mentally healthy, gay marriage is a type of loving relationship, therefore gay marriage is mentally healthy. Good grief! This statement is so elastic it could be stretched to justify polygamy, marriage to your own mother, or even your lovable pet dog.” Yet parallel arguments are now being advanced in the name of biblical justice. How can this be?

Wallis and others seem to have lost sight of the fact that homosexual practice is always wrong, representing a fundamental violation of God’s order, and they appear to have forgotten that God’s ways (which, from creation, have included male-female unions only) are always best. Yes, true justice requires us to recognize that He knows what is best for the family and for society and that His standards are ultimately in everyone’s best interest – be they heterosexual, homosexual, or other. In fact, agreeing with His standards is the path to liberation, even for those involved in same-sex relationships.

What about the fact that Jesus reached out to the disenfranchised and marginalized? To be sure, in doing so, He rebukes a lot of our stiff religiosity, a religiosity that is afraid to get its hands dirty. But let’s read the Gospels rightly: Jesus did not simply accept the outcasts, He changed them. Yes, He touched the leper, but that touch healed him. Yes, He ate with the prostitutes and tax-collectors (who were notoriously dishonest), but He didn’t encourage them to be better prostitutes and more proficient tax-collectors, He transformed their lives and brought them to repentance.

The inclusion Jesus practiced and that we must practice today is a transformational inclusion. Otherwise, we are hurting people more than we are healing them, and that is certainly not the path of justice.

Michael L. Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the director of the Charlotte-based Coalition of Conscience and president of FIRE School of Ministry in Concord, North Carolina. He can be reached by phone at: 704-782-3760; and by email at:

Brown is involved in reaching out to the gay and lesbian community of Charlotte while at the same time working to resist the gay activist agenda, and he is a speaker for the Focus on the Family “Love Won Out” conferences, focusing on mobilizing communities for godly activism. He has produced two extensive DVD series, “Homosexuality, the Church, and Society,” and “Can You Be Gay and Christian?” and he recently debated Harry Knox, director of Religion and Faith for the (homosexual activist group) Human Rights Campaign. His book, A Queer Thing Happened to America, is scheduled for release in 2009.

Brown has preached around the world and appeared on numerous TV and radio programs, and is a published Old Testament scholar, a leading Jewish Christian apologist, and the author of twenty books. His website is:

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