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The Henry search for church harmony?

"The Henry search for church harmony?" Continued...

Thus, he argues that the Christian church should accept and celebrate same-sex marriage. He also argues, just like the Protestant liberals of the early 20th century, that Christianity must revise its beliefs or face the massive loss of reputation before the watching world (meaning, we should note, the watching world of the secular West).

But the believing church is left with no option but to deny the revisionist and relativizing proposals Vines brings to the evangelical argument. The consequences of accepting his argument would include misleading people about their sin and about their need for Christ, about what obedience to Christ requires and what faithfulness to Christ demands.

Vines demands that we love him enough to give him what he desperately wants, and that would certainly be the path of least cultural resistance. If we accept his argument we can simply remove this controversy from our midst, apologize to the world and move on. But we cannot do that without counting the cost, and that cost includes the loss of all confidence in the Bible, in the church’s ability to understand and obey the Scriptures and in the gospel as good news to all sinners.

Biblical Christianity can neither endorse same-sex marriage nor accept the claim that a believer can be obedient to Christ and remain or persist in same-sex behaviors. The church is the assembly of the redeemed, saved from our sins and learning obedience in the school of Christ. Every single one of us is a sexual sinner in need of redemption, but we are called to holiness, to obedience and to honoring marriage as one of God’s most precious gifts and as a picture of the relationship between Christ and the church.

God and the Gay Christian demands an answer, but Christ demands our obedience. We can only pray—with fervent urgency—that this moment of decision for evangelical Christianity will be answered with a firm assertion of biblical authority, respect for marriage as the union of a man and a woman, passion for the gospel of Christ and prayer for the faithfulness and health of Christ’s church.

I do not write this response as Vines’s moral superior, but as one who must be obedient to Scripture. And so, I must counter his argument with conviction and urgency. I am concerned for him, and for the thousands who struggle as he does. The church has often failed people with same-sex attractions and failed them horribly. We must not fail them now by forfeiting the only message that leads to salvation, holiness and faithfulness. That is the real question before us.

From God and the Gay Christian? A Response to Matthew Vines. Reprinted with permission of SBTS Press (press.sbts.edu).

Listen to John Stonestreet of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview discuss Matthew Vines’ God and the Gay Christian on The World and Everything in It:

R. Albert Mohler Jr.
R. Albert Mohler Jr.

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