Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 4:14-16 NIV
We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.
1 Timothy 1:9-11 NIV
Steve Chalke, the well known Baptist pastor, who is often seen on religious UK TV chat and discussion shows with celebrities, has recently written a paper called “A Matter of Integrity” which explores the subject of same sex relationships in the church, and in the eyes of Scripture, as he sees it. Basically, Steve has opened up a can of worms, because his interpretation of Bible passages does not go along with any mainstream thinking. In fact, he sees long lasting and committed homosexual relationships as equal to heterosexual couples in all aspects in the church, but also in the eyes of God. Basically, he rewrites all scriptural and fundamental theology on the subject, saying we have it all wrong and he is right in his reading of the scriptures on the subject. I am not a lettered theologian, but I know what I read in the Bible, plainly and simply. I don’t see the subject as complicated, although there are those who would have us think so. Steve is well known and has a platform for his statement, and has taken a great risk in using it.
Steve does a bit of juggling and Biblical somersaults in his interpretation. At the moment he is a lone evangelical voice when he talks about “homosexual Christians”, but the debate is open and the upcoming Government changes to ‘upgrade’ the definition of marriage to include any combination of men and women will ensure we will not be ignorant of the ramifications of change. Steve Chalke has successfully set himself up in the vanguard of a move to downgrade sin as described in the Bible. Undoubtedly the homosexual lobby group Stonewall will be delighted, and will be happy to welcome this new convert to their ranks.
This running sore will not go away anytime soon, and we will have to take a personal stand on the subject while we can. I trust we can speak the truth in love, while recognising the Biblical definition of sin when it is clearly stated, no matter the celebrity status of anyone else who speaks with apparent authority. While Steve Chalke speaks in support of homosexual marriage, other equally sincere pastors have moved out of their parishes, and in fact some have been moved out involuntarily because they took a stand against same sex marriage. This hot topic is certainly a can of worms, or a minefield. Either way, churches, pastors, and members will have to make some tough decisions about the definition of sin, while speaking the truth in love, and that my friends will not be easy!