Do you have the “red-letter” edition of the Scriptures? If you don’t know what I mean, the “red-letters” are meant to indicate the words of Jesus. The red-letter hermeneutic is the interpretation of the Scriptures that elevates the words of Jesus over and above the rest of Scripture. While we must certainly heed closely the word attributed to come directly from the mouth of the Lord, what is recorded in Scriptures to be said by Jesus isn’t necessarily all that God thinks about a particular issue. Jesus didn’t speak about every subject or issue we deal with culturally, just as he didn’t speak to every issue that Jews may have dealt with in their day. For example, there must certainly have been cases of domestic abuse in Jewish culture, yet Jesus never dealt with this specifically.

Yet this is the hermeneutic that many people appeal to concering the issue of homosexuality. Jesus never said anything about homosexuality and He said we should love our neighbors and our enemies. The conclusion: this must mean that Jesus is telling us to love and approve of homosexuals, right? Wrong. Love them? Absolutely. But love doesn’t necessitate acceptance and approval of one’s lifestyle choice.

Yesterday there was a good discussion on a previous post on this site and I found this article as a follow up. Let’s be clear: the church has not often responded well to the homosexual community, any more than it has to the racist community, which the author of the article points out. The article is written in response to David Gushee, a distinguished university professor at Mercer University, which used to be a Baptist school. Gushee has roots in SBC life.

James Smith, who wrote the article rightly points out:

The problem is the application (Gushee’s) seemingly cancels God’s commands on homosexuality and Gushee’s total silence on the indisputable, unwavering fact that God demands rejection of behavior contrary to His revealed will, including homosexuality.

Smith wisely points out another barrier in how to effectively engage homosexuals with the gospel. The barrier is the political and social activism that permeates the homosexual culture.

Still, must Christianity’s biblically based, historically held understanding of sexuality be questioned today and those who practice homosexual sin patronized, tragically to their detriment?

Why do we not have major theological, societal and political debates in America suggesting such concern for racists, for example? Is racism any more sinful than homosexuality that racists do not deserve similar care from the Christian church, undermining the biblical witness about this terrible sin? Of course, Christians should not hate, bully, and demagogue racists, and we should recognize they, too, bear God’s image and deserve the neighbor love required of Jesus’ disciples.

But who today would think that such sinners deserve to be spoken of as an interest group in need of special treatment, causing liberal Christians everywhere to wring their hands over intolerant ministers who preach against racism? Indeed, Christian liberals rightly complain today that racism is not preached against enough.

Incredibly, not one of Gushee’s 845 words even faintly suggests homosexuality is contrary to God’s Word. In fairness, he concludes, “There is more to be said. But this is at least a place to start.”