What causes someone to change their mind on the Bible’s view of homosexuality? Part Two
Part Two: Last week we looked at the strong and intense cultural pressure that is attempting to sweep all faith, all religion out of the marketplace of life. But there are other powerful reasons why many Christians today are changing their minds on homosexuality.
One major reason people give in is because of their own personal struggles, or the struggles of someone they love and care about. Dealing with same-sex attraction is not easy, especially so in this culture of anything-goes-sexuality. There is no quick-fix; there is no easy formula that will result in change. Obedience to Christ and his word is a tough path to walk for many, and the struggle can go on for years and years. To struggle against something that is life-dominating is wearisome. That goes for lots of things—addictions like substance abuse or alcohol or gambling; or chronic depression or anger or bitterness over what life has dealt you. The way out is not to just give in and allow yourself to be defined by life-dominating behavior. It never is.
Unresolved personal pain that is hooked together with a poor theology of suffering and sanctification can also cause one to question God’s word. An inability to understand what it means to struggle “with sin” as opposed to struggling “against sin” leads to despair in the face of continued temptation. Add to this an inability to understand the powerful force of our sinful nature and the stage is set for eventual compromise. Around Harvest USA we often say that, “the heart wants what it wants — when it wants it.” That’s its nature! Knowing how to face that reality is crucial.
Personal struggle or personal pain very often is underneath the surface when one changes their mind on long-standing Christian doctrine. Doctrine is life, as Luther once said, so the very understanding of doctrine is not something that is understood apart from the “stuff” of life that hits us all the time. Pain and suffering pushes into doctrine, as it should, but life needs to be informed and understood by doctrine, not the other way around. When one’s sociology informs one theology, we then live in a world where anything goes—and Scripture eventually gets turned on its head and made to say what it clearly doesn’t.
Where does your own pain—or the suffering of someone you care about—press upon you to make you want to alter what the Scripture says? Do you understand the difference between “struggle with sin” as being distinct from “struggling against sin?”