By Lewis Willis
When I was a boy, our small-town Baptist church was as strong as garlic on moral questions. They op-posed divorce and remarriage for any cause. They opposed drunkenness. They opposed lying, cheating and stealing. It would have been insulting to those people to have even asked what they thought of homosexuality. Everybody would have known they were against it.
With this background knowledge of the Baptist church, I found it absolutely shocking to read in the Beacon Journal (3-3-92) that a Raleigh, North Carolina Baptist church was giving its approval to “gay nuptials.” By a nearly two-thirds majority, this Southern Baptist church “defied its parent church by voting to bless a gay union.” The preacher said, “We’re taking a stand toward a responsible expression of sexuality. . . It’s a stand of support toward persons who want to commit to a long-term monogamous relation-ship.” Therefore, two homosexual men will be “blessed” at a future service.
There are several things that I want to mention about this matter. The first is, the Law of God has not changed on this despicable sin since my childhood. God has always condemned the practice of homosexuality. Moses wrote the following in the book of Leviticus: “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination” (18:22); “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them” (20:13). When it was time to write the New Testament, the Holy Spirit restated God’s opposition to this abomination. “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet” (Rom. 1:26-27). The Apostle Paul said such unrighteous people would not inherit the Kingdom: “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, or thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9-10).
There is no place in the Scriptures where God has changed his opposition to this sin. What we see here is a case of still another human denomination changing its position on the sin. To them, it will no longer be considered a sin. They voted and decided it was not a sin. I wonder, if it works with homosexuality, will the same process work with murder? Or stealing? Or adultery? Where is that passage of Scripture that says men can vote to change God’s Law? The Episcopalians thought they could do this, and now the Baptists are joining with them. It could only be a matter of time until sanctioned homosexuality will be Baptist church law — like it is among Episcopalians and Presbyterians. Who would have thought that even a single Baptist church would have taken this position? This illustrates what hap-pens when people abandon the Scriptures. The longer they act without scriptural authority, the farther they get from it. The story has been repeated too many times to even need proof.
Incidentally, some say homosexuals are born this way, and cannot change. There were homosexuals at Corinth who obeyed the Gospel. Paul would say, “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:11). If homosexuals can’t change from their abominable life, how do you suppose the Corinthians managed to do so?
This is another of those efforts of men to justify themselves, while practicing that which God forbids. Try as men may, it just does not work! Though I am not a prophet, I predict that it will not be long before we start reading of the debate among Baptists over whether or not they will vote to ordain homosexuals into their ministry. Further-more, I predict that, like these other churches, those who oppose their ordination will lose!
Ladies and Gentlemen, if you are going to violate God’s Law about worship, work and organization of the church, how can you stop those who want to violate that law on a moral issue like homosexuality? The answer is, you can’t. The Baptists don’t know this yet, but they will learn — as all others have who have chosen to walk in that path of disobedience. A word of warning: It does not take an idea a long time to find its way from denominationalism into the Lord’s church. This same kind of shameful report will have to be written one of these days about us, unless we stand at the door of the Kingdom , with the sword of the Spirit, and fight to keep such sin from entering. Are you ready for that battle? Will you fight (1 Tim. 6:12)?
Other Sins Have Already Entered
I read in The Christian Chronicle (Vol. 49:3/March 1992), that two so-called “Christian” Colleges, operated by liberal churches of Christ, each need $1 million to prevent the loss of their accreditation. These colleges are said to be “sup-ported by churches of Christ.” One is “asking churches nationwide to contribute to a special drive on March 15.” I can remember when these liberals would neither ask for nor accept funds from church treasuries. But, not any more. There was no New Testament authority for the church to support educational institutions back then, and there is none now. If someone thinks he has that authority, let him show us the Scriptures! It is nothing but sin when the church acts without authority from its Head, Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:18; 3:17).
No amount of supposed “good” that might come from such an enterprise, will cause the “sin” of it to be turned into righteousness. Those who insist on traveling this course, have abandoned God, and have been abandoned by him (2 Jn. 9-11). We must keep the church true to its mission! We must not involve it in things that are unauthorized. This, too, will be a “fight,” as it has been in the past. Are you ready for that battle? Will you fight (1 Tim. 6:12)? What is the difference between perverting the mission of the church, by having it support human institutions like colleges, and perverting its stand on homosexuality? Both have always been — and always will be — sin! We must never allow ourselves to be caught up in “perversion” — of any kind!
Guardian of Truth XXXVII: 4, p. 17-18
February 18, 1993