Written by Sam Logan
Tuesday, 22 May 2012 00:00
NOTE- This is the first of three blogs on this difficult but important subject. The next two will appear over the next two days.
Anyone who is “linked in” to the various social media knows that one of the latest “hot discussion topics” has been President Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage.
I find it very difficult to know what to say about this topic because there are so many variables.
In my judgment, of course, some things are NOT variables and, for me, these are the NONvariables:
1) All sexual activity outside a monogamous heterosexual marriage relationship is sinful and this includes (but certainly is not limited to) homosexual sexual activity. I believe that such Scriptural passages as Romans 1: 18 – 32 make this clear. I further believe that the Romans 1 passage builds upon numerous other such passages in both the Old and New Testaments and that the best discussion of this subject is still Robert Gagnon’s The Bible and Homosexuality.
2) Any activity proscribed by Scripture is sinful. I believe that the linkage of homosexual activity in Romans 1 with such other activities as covetousness, deceit, and gossip makes this clear. I further believe that one of the best explications of how the sin of homosexual behavior must be understood in the context of all other sin is Tim Keller’s YouTube interview which is posted at this location - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTwugmG4hoA
3) Even the smallest single sin causes the committer of that sin to be deserving of the judgment of God. I believe that Romans 3:23 combined with Romans 6:23 makes this clear. I further believe that Jonathan Edwards’s explication of why even one sin OF OMISSION warrants God’s judgment remains the best discussion of this matter – see his Treatise on Original Sin, Part I, Chapter I, Section 3.
4) The most fundamental desire of any Christian’s heart must be that God receive the honor and glory and worship which He deserves. I believe that Matthew 6:33 combined with I Corinthians 10:31 make this clear. I further believe that Edwards’s Treatise on Religious Affections (the most important work ever written by a human being) provides the best defense of this biblical idea.
The above are, in my judgment, NOT variables. They have historically been affirmed by the Christian church and, in just the past three years, they have been re-affirmed by a wide variety of global Christian groups. The following are just three examples of this reaffirmation:
1. The Cape Town Commitment of the Lausanne Movement [http://www.lausanne.org/en/documents/ctcommitment.html, See section II e. 2.
2. The Statement of Faith of the World Reformed Fellowship
http://www.wrfnet.org/c/document_library/get_file?folderId=20&name=DLFE-46.pdf See section XI. 4.
3. The Church of England Evangelical Council Statement on Marriage
Nevertheless, many others – indeed, many other evangelical Christians – may disagree with the above statements and with my claim that the above four items are not variables. And I think that it may be yet another NONvariable that I must not treat such individuals as though they are non-Christians just because they disagree with me on what is or is not a variable.
There are numerous things, however, which do seem to me to be variables from culture to culture and even from subculture to subculture and these are the areas where I need (and am asking for) help –
See tomorrow’s blog for this list –
And don’t hesitate to register your approval or disapproval of the above material.
Sam Logan is Special Counsel to the President and Professor of Church History at Biblical. He is an ordained minister of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and he is President Emeritus at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. In addition to his work at Biblical, he serves as International Director of the World Reformed Fellowship ( http://www.wrfnet.org ). He is married to Susan and they have two sons and two grandsons. See also http://www.biblical.edu/index.php/samuel-logan