When Honesty Is Not That Honest

Chris Ayers, a pastor in Charlotte, NC, wants the church to be honest about biblical interpretation when it comes to homosexuality:

Homosexual Christians do not need churches that force them to live a lie. They need love, acceptance and affirmation. Saying homosexuals should be tolerated is not enough. Saying homosexuals are welcome in a church just as all sinners are welcome is not enough. Saying gay and lesbian clergy can be clergy as long as they are celibate is not enough. It’s time for the Church to be honest about biblical interpretation. It’s time for the Church to boldly tell the world homosexuality is not a sin.

It’s difficult to say with certainty what exactly Ayers is getting at here—he avoids making any real distinctions between homosexuals and homosexual behavior, but the tone of his argument seems to indicate that homosexual behavior is not a sin.

If this is so, it’s curious that Ayers should call on the church to be honest about bibiblical interpretation. The bulk of biblical scholarship agrees with the consistent teaching of 2000 yeas that homosexual behavior is sinful. Perhaps what Ayers is really calling for is to be honest that in this case, Ayer’s own experience trumps biblical interpretation.

I understand Rev. Ayers’ emotional arguments. It’s hard to tell someone their behavior is sinful. But it’s also much more loving to do that than to deceive them into thinking that such behavior is honoring to God. Jesus had strong warnings against doing such a thing. [Matthew 18:6] Sin affects us all, and to affirm someone in their sin is to but lead them further away from God. Love is not mere sentimentality. Sentimentality is safe, warm, and can mislead the best of us. Love, on the other hand “does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.” [1 Cor 13:6]

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