This week I read that a self-professing Christian advocate of same-sex marriage, Dr. David G. Myers, was a featured speaker at a Behavioural Science Fall Lecture series at the seminary from which I graduated over 40 years ago. David Myers is Professor of Psychology at Hope College, a Reformed Church of America, Christian liberal arts institution. Though Myers lecture series did not appear to address the issue of homosexuality directly, his views on the subject are well-known through the book he co-authored, called, What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage, published in 2005 (HarperCollins).
Myers’ main point, from what I gather (without having read the book) is that marriage is an institution that we ought to work hard at preserving even if it means people have to live out their marriages in a homosexual relationship. He maintains (somehow!) that the Bible doesn’t condemn same-sex marriage relationships because Jesus never spoke against such — that His concern had to do with love of one’s neighbour, humility, grace, care for the poor, etc. Besides, according to Myers, there is no evidence that one’s inclination toward homosexuality is a moral issue in the sense that it is his or her choice. He believes that a very small percentage of the population is physiologically predisposed to same-sex attraction. Myers calls upon various kinds of research that he thinks points in this direction.
It is hard to believe that our denominational educational institution has come to the place where it is willing to have someone of this persuasion be a featured speaker. One can’t help but feel that the leadership at Ambrose is inclined to support this perspective at least in a subtle sort of way. Yet such a position is completely contrary to the integrity of the C&MA’s Statement of Faith that emphasizes the authority of Scripture. Beyond that, the Denomination, has a published statement on human sexuality that condemns homosexual practice as being absolutely contrary to God’s will. One has to wonder how our denominational leaders can reconcile this apparent contradiction.
As for Myers’ point that Jesus had nothing to say in condemnation of homosexuality, one has only to recount His statement in Matthew 19, for example, about His view on marriage. In answer to a question about divorce, Jesus referred to the Scriptures about how “…from the beginning God made them male and female.” He went on to say that this is why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. It seems clearly evident in this statement that Jesus didn’t allow for the marriage of two men or two women.
Of course there are many other Scriptures that demonstrate God’s judgment upon those who depart from His ways to the extent of the practice of homosexuality. One has only to think of God’s revelation through the Apostle Paul in Romans 1. “Instead of believing what they knew was the truth about God, they deliberately chose to believe lies. So they worshiped the things God made but not the Creator himself, who is to be praised forever. Amen. That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned from the natural way to have sex, and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relationships with women, burned with lust for one another. Men did shameful things with other men, and, as a result, suffered within themselves the penalty they so richly deserved” (Romans 1:25-27).
I’d be the first to admit that we need a good dose of Christ-generated grace for those who struggle with same-sex attraction. We need to study the reason for this kind of social aberration thoroughly and to pray for grace about how to serve our fellows in this regard — just as we need to know how to serve those who struggle with any other sexual sin, all the while remembering our own vulnerabilities to sin. But that’s a whole lot different than simply concluding that the Bible or Jesus somehow approved of homosexuality. It seems to me, He would connect and associate with these people, but He would also seek to rescue them from this sin, just as He did by coming into the life of Zacchaeus, the publican (tax exploiter) of Luke 19.