by John Henderson
The same thing is missing from Dr. Boone’s report that was missing from the MidAmerica Nazarene University (MNU) response as reported in Holiness Today. There was no presenting the claims of Christ upon the lost, there was no use of the Scriptures with them (as indicated by this response) nor in the response itself except by an inapplicable reference to having been like Egypt, and there was no prayer for the wayward.
Be that as it may, I suppose Dan Boone’s remarks should receive an evangelical-Scriptural response..
I begin with the knowledge (based on a published sermon) that Dr. Boone considers homosexual behavior and homosexual orientation as not being the same in terms of sin. He says that the behavior is sin and the orientation is not. He has also publically expressed sympathy and support in the past for those who are “oriented” and are “struggling” with being ostracized, condemned, etc. This is in line with the Board of General Superintendents’ published position on the same issue.
A simple answer on such matters is never comprehensive and sufficient, but I must settle for that. My immediate response is that such a position is not in harmony with the Word of God. It is nowhere taught or implied in the Scriptures that a propensity to any particular sin is unrelated to the act itself. If anything, the Bible is crystal clear that sin comes out of the inclination. It actually begins there and, as such, is always sin even in the incubation stages. As an unborn baby is always a baby, unborn sin is just as much sin as when it emerges into action. Charles Wesley penned the phrase, “Take away our bent to sinning,” and we Wesleyans should understand that this is exactly what he meant. While the possibility to sin is always present, the “bent to sinning” (carnality) should not remain and is “crucified with Christ” at the moment of entire sanctification. This may be explained differently according to various doctrinal opinions, but it all comes to this conclusion. The former homosexual who is born again has the great privilege and call to holiness so that the “orientation” is no longer a problem. If being filled the Holy Spirit does not free us from that, then we are preaching a false doctrine and should immediately abandon it and resign ourselves to our own personal rudiments of bondage.
I commend Dr. Boone for not banging the SoulForce people on the head. That is what they were looking for so they could point accusing fingers at those homophobic Nazarenes. He didn’t fall into that trap and that is good. His answers to each issue were fine as far as they went. However, they came up far short of the opportunity to win them to Christ according to the Scriptures. It seems that he was content to settle for dialog, conversation, and understanding and let them depart feeling better about their position. That is tragic because, as Uncle Pek (Richard Gunn) said in one of his poems: “Out there in the dark, a soul is lost I might have won.”
It is not the calling of the Church to “offer a narrative of life that could be lived out in rich community.” Getting along and being friendly with one’s fellow creatures is commendable but that is not the salvation mission.
I know of no evidence where any significant groups of Christians are engaged in “bullying” homosexuals. No committed Christian I know of is engaged in diminishing the personal dignity of homosexuals. I certainly did not as a practicing Christian psychotherapist in dealing with homosexuals. I gave them clear and understandable guidelines from the Bible.
Are homosexuals (practicing and non-practicing) lost? Yes! There is no difference between the desire and the behavior in God’s sight. Therefore, they need to be saved, not coddled. One might as well throw a drowning man an anchor as to tell him he is okay and all he needs to do is talk about it. He needs to repent, not hug the anchor.
There is one more comment by Dr. Boone I want to address. It is: “As Christians, we are taught by our own story to care specifically for the marginalized, the forgotten, the minority. In the words of Deuteronomy…’because you were once such a people in Egypt’”.
That sounds really good—on the surface—but does not address the problem. There is no legitimacy in equating the marginalized, the forgotten, and the minority with self-imposed conditions of the homosexual “community.” They marginalized themselves and demand that we step over onto that margin and embrace them as mainstream by abandoning every value we have on the matter. They are certainly not forgotten or overlooked. Even the Word of God has clearly identified homosexuality as receiving the same judgment as all other rebellious sins against God and they are offered the same opportunity to repent, or else perish.. Also, they make sure we don’t forget they are there. They might be a minority but that is only because the majority of us are repulsed by homosexuality in its various forms (orientation or behavior)—forms that they admittedly represent in SoulForce: gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender, and “queer.” By the way, in case no one noticed, Biblical Christianity is more of a minority in this world than they are.
It should be noted that SoulForce has not distinguished orientation from behavior. That distinction has been ours. I am fully convinced that whenever a homosexual gloms onto the term orientation it is only to distract and intimidate you and me into submission to their way of thinking. They don’t actually see a difference but demand that we “see” it by turning a blind eye to clear Scriptures on the matter.
If I may be plain, it is past time that we stop fiddling with this thing and go Scriptural. It is the gospel they need—desperately need—and we are handing them devilish drivel.