As frustrating as the oxymoronic “same sex marriage” debate is and as destructive as it is to the church, there is a bright side: It enables you to spot false teachers and churches with great precision. They not only deny what the Bible clearly teaches about sinful behavior but they encourage the behavior.
As I’ve often noted, all Christians are saved and at least a little confused in that none of us have an absolutely perfect grasp on theology. But at some point people aren’t just confused but are outside the realm of Christianity.
While Romans 1 has the clearest and most emphatic condemnation of homosexual behavior as sin in the New Testament, there is so much more to the chapter and the book.
Paul was laying out how upside down the world is, morally speaking, and how people suppress the truth about God in unrighteousness and what a grave sin that is. He describes how their worship has gone completely wrong, and how they worship and serve created things rather than the creator.
18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. 21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
Then he gives an example of just how wrong the world has gone behaviorally. What does he pick? Homosexual behavior is the prime example, where people mock their creator by using their created bodies in the opposite way from which they were intended.
24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
Then he lists other acts of rebellion. Note the last section where he notes how they don’t just do these things but they encourage them:
28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
Ignoring sins is bad enough. But when “churches” openly promote sin they are just poster children for Romans 1. That is what you get with theologically liberal churches today. They promote homosexual behavior, abortion (see the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice) and more.
As irritating as these false teachers are, at least they are waving a big warning flag. They snuck into the church pretending to be authentic, just as Satan masquerades as an angel of light. But they are quickly abandoning all pretense of subtlety.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.