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Human Sexuality and Fundamentalism

August 13, 2015

With all the furor right now about homosexuality, it is clear the ones who would like to reshape American culture have made acceptance of homosexaulity a fundamental tenet of their faith. According to these ones to participate in American society one must affirm homosexual marriage and accept all sexual behavior as valid for it’s participants.

As a fundamentalist, I too want to know if homosexaulity is an issue that needs to be viewed as a fundamental of the faith. To determine the importance of human sexuality to the faith, two questions must be answered. Is a right understanding of the Bible’s instructions regarding homosexuality necessary for salvation? Should Christians enter into Christian fellowship- that is, partner together in ministry, fellowship together within the local church or enter together into the Christian ordinances- with those who affirm, promote or accept homosexuality?

Fundamentals of the faith are those things which must be affirmed to be saved. Jesus is God who died to pay the penalty of sin is a fundamental that must be affirmed. One cannot be saved without an active belief in Jesus’ deity and His atonement for sin. Fundamentals of the faith are those things which cannot be denied and one be saved. The virgin birth of Jesus is a fundamental that cannot be denied. One may know nothing of the virgin birth and be saved. One may be uncertain concerning the virgin birth and be saved. To deny the virgin birth has has such dire consequences that an active denial is a denial of who Jesus is. Fundamentals are those things which are so intrinsic to the gospel that to deny them is to deny all the gospel.

Fundamentals of the faith are also doctrines which do not affect salvation, but whose rejection has such sweeping impact on the doctrines taught in the Bible that it is impossible to treat one who rejects these fundamentals as a Christian brother. An error in these kinds of doctrines demands the Christian refuse to extend cooperation and fellowship to the erring one. Christian communion cannot be maintained with one whose doctrine is erroneous in these matters.

Does homosexuality fall in this scope of fundamentals? Most Christians would be reluctant to insist that believing homosexuality to be sinful is a prerequisite of salvation. The Bible never presents right opinions of sexuality as a part of the gospel, yet a life of homosexuality is contraindicative to the gospel. The practice of homosexuality is a behavior that explicitly denies the transformative work of the gospel. Homosexuality defames the profession of faith. In 1 Corinthians 6:9 Paul lists homosexuality as a lifestyle that precludes salvation. In other words, one can hold wrong philosophies about homosexuality and still be saved, but one cannot be a genuine Christian and an unrepentant homosexual.

Modern Christianity finds itself in the strange position of having many vocal promoters of a sinful behavior not practiced by its supporters. Ministry leaders wishing to appear relevant, inclusive or compassionate have begun to profess support of homosexuality. Surely the promotion of homosexuality fits the depictions of false teachers found in the New Testament. They are pagans who purvey perverse passions, promoting all profligacy for personal profit. The rejection of the clear statements of the Bible on homosexuality does such damage to the Biblical text that it undermines the entire message of the Bible. One who accepts homosexual behavior as right for others does such severe damage to the doctrines of the gospel that to extend any form of Christian cooperation to him would do severe harm to the name and cause of Christ. One who stubbornly supports homosexuality in the face of all Biblical evidence shows himself to be a denier of Scriptures, a false teacher and a despiser of the grace of God. Yes, the acceptance of Scripture’s parameters of human sexuality is fundamental to the faith.

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