Two worldviews are in conflict in America. That conflict is becoming more evident.
One side is the Biblical worldview that emphasizes God's absolute moral standards, man's sinfulness, and the forgiveness that God wishes to bestow on all who truly repent of their sins. On the other side is the humanistic worldview that stresses moral relativism, man's basic goodness (although how "goodness" can be defined under the umbrella of moral relativism is an open question), and the total acceptance of all types of behavior. In this worldview, the only behavior that is unacceptable is "intolerance" of all types of behavior.
The humanistic worldview accuses those who hold to the Biblical worldview of being discriminatory and prejudiced toward those who practice homosexuality. Let's define the terms.
Discrimination simply means the act of distinguishing or discerning differences. It is a neutral term. Discrimination can be detrimental or it can be helpful. To discriminate against someone on the basis of skin color makes an external feature the mark of distinction. That would be unfair because it does not take into account moral behavior.
To discriminate, however, on the basis of lifestyle or behavior is another matter. Lifestyle has to do with choice and could be harmful to people. The Bible talks about the necessity of being trained to discern good and evil. We should discriminate--that is, discern the difference--between proper sexual conduct and a perversion of sexuality.
Prejudice means pre-judgment. It implies that a person has taken a position without any basis for his opinion, that he has pre- judged without any pertinent guidelines. But when it comes to homosexuality, those who hold to the Biblical worldview are not pre-judging; they are basing their belief on an absolute standard of right and wrong as explained in the Bible.
The Biblical worldview begins with God. Since he is the creator, he should know how his creation was meant to function. When he gave mankind sexuality, he wanted it to be a blessing and warned man that using sexuality in the wrong way would destroy the individual, the family, and ultimately, the society.
Individuals are being destroyed by AIDS. Militant homosexuals want Americans to believe that everyone is at risk. That may turn out to be true if homosexuality is allowed to continue unabated, but to date, over 90 percent of those with AIDS are either homosexuals or intravenous drug users. Very few are innocent victims; most have the virus because of sexual activity contrary to God's intended purpose.
Now homosexuals want to adopt children, and lesbian couples are promoting artificial means for becoming "parents." Thus the Biblical concept of the family is destroyed. Sodom and Gomorrah offer a poignant testimony of the ruinous effects on societies engaged in rampant homosexual behavior.
In the original Old Testament instructions to the nation of Israel, God made it clear: "Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable." (leviticus 18:22) In the New Testament, in I Corinthians 6:9-10, the apostle Paul warns that homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God. And Romans 1:18- 27, also written by Paul, links rebellion against God with those who practice homosexuality.
In fact, this passage makes it clear that homosexuality is so repugnant that it is something to which God gives people over when they have rejected and renounced him. When a society tolerates this activity, the society has, in effect, rejected and renounced God and is close to being turned over to its own sins. Only judgment is left.
As one column in the Chronicle-Tribune recently noted, an Episcopalian bishop, John Shelby Spong, has written a book suggesting that the Apostle Paul was homosexual. If that were true, Paul would be consigning himself to eternal damnation. One must consider the source.
Bishop Spong does not accept the Bible as the inspired word of God and therefore has chosen to wander into speculation to try to support an idea that has no support. He is free to do so, yet intelligent people should be able to discriminate fact from Spong's fiction.
But what about the message of love and acceptance Jesus brought to this world? Again, we need to discriminate. Is it love to tell people that a lifestyle that separates them from God is no problem? Wouldn't love warn about approaching disaster?
When Jesus associated with sinners, it was for the purpose of calling them to repentance. Yes, he loved them. He loved them so much that he couldn't allow them to stay comfortable in their sins.
When the prostitute washed Jesus' feet with her tears, he was compassionate because of her repentant heart. When the woman was caught in adultery, Jesus forgave her but warned her to go and sin no more. Jesus took sin seriously and told people to repent.
According to the gospel of Mark, when Jesus began his public ministry his message was, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel."
The humanistic worldview objects that a man cannot repent of something he is by nature. Homosexuality is not a choice, we are told. Rather, people are born homosexual and should not be treated as if they are sinners, because they have no choice.
The most recent study attempting to support this claim was conducted by homosexuals with an explicit agenda. Their purpose was to push the idea that homosexuality is genetic. In other words, they had made up their minds ahead of time and conducted the study merely to give credibility to their pre-judgment.
Is this scientific? Yet I have never heard the dominant media culture complain of bias. That is usually reserved for "fundamentalists."
God is a God of love. He would not judge someone for actions over which they had no control. But the Biblical testimony, accepted by all generations until now, is that homosexuality is a choice, a perversion of a gift that God has given.
America in 1992 is described perfectly by the prophet Isaiah: "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet or fitter."
We are at a crossroads as a nation. Acceptance of homosexuality as a legitimate lifestyle which is given special minority protection status by the government is a sign of our rebellion against God and our rejection of his ways. We are on the verge of being given over to our sinfulness. We can still repent, but without that repentance, only judgment is left.