Are Christians Homophobic?

In this special series on homosexuality, I’ve talked about the agenda of AIDS activists and some of the gross distortions in sex education. When dealing with these emotionally charged and often politically explosive issues, Christians have to be careful to maintain a biblical balance. Homosexuals are eager to paint us as homophobic. A review in a very liberal journal called my book Gideon’s Torch homophobic simply because I told a true story about AIDS activists hurling blood at others. We’re often called intolerant because we view homosexuality as a sin. But this makes it all the more important that we give no cause to anyone to say that we engage in gay bashing or that we’re homophobic. So here’s the first side of the ledger. Christians, of all people, have no business being self-righteous. We know we are sinners saved by the grace of God and we ought to look at people in the homosexual lifestyle, not with contempt, but with genuine love, compassion, and a deep desire to bring them out of it. When I visit prisons for example, I always ask to tour the AIDS wards. I’ve often found myself embracing people dying of the disease. While in Spain last year, I visited a retreat run by friends of Prison Fellowship. I was deeply moved by the Christians who were caring for the residents, all of whom were dying of AIDS. Of all people, we should be reaching out with love in Christ’s name. We should not be judgmental; we should be trying to help those who are engaged in sin—any sin—or suffering its consequences. But many homosexual activists want much more than love and compassion—or even tolerance: They are demanding that their lifestyle be considered morally equivalent to heterosexual behavior. And that presents the other side of the ledger, because this is the kind of approval Christians can’t give. The Bible, after all, clearly states that homosexuality is a sin. Societies around the world and through history have universally recognized that the normative expression of the family is that of a man and a woman who have children and raise them to be law-abiding citizens. No society has ever accepted the homosexual conception of a family. So it is not inconsistent with Christian compassion to insist that society maintains certain normative moral standards for the larger benefit of all. Sum it up this way: On the one hand, homosexuality is no worse than many other sins—don’t be judgmental; don’t gay bash. On the other hand, we must defend the traditional family and resist the aggressive homosexual agenda. That doesn’t make us intolerant. It simply makes us the defenders of the established moral order as understood and accepted by civilizations throughout recorded history. This is the balance Christians must seek: being loving and compassionate toward the homosexual, yet firm in our convictions. Only then can we bring genuine hope and healing to the homosexual—and preserve the moral order of our society.


Chuck Colson


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