I don’t know about you, but every conversation I have about homosexuality (well, at least in the Christian context) inevitably circles back to one issue.
We’re all familiar with the spectrum of opinion. There are those who vehemently argue that the very desire for someone of the same sex/gender is sinful. There are those who – no less vehemently – insist that queer love and physical intimacy, like all love and physical intimacy, is God-given and, therefore, intrinsically not sinful. And there are those who uneasily hold a middle ground, saying, for instance, that it’s not sinful for a woman to be in love with another woman, or even to live with her in friendship and companionship, so long as they don’t, um, “act on it.”
No matter where they fall on this spectrum, however, most Christians think that homosexuality – and, for that matter, all sexuality – has something to do with sin.
In my next few posts, I’m going to probe a bit deeper into this common assumption. I believe that our thoughts on homosexuality reveal something important about our usual notions of sin. They reveal – to put it bluntly – that our theology of sin is often not really Christian. This is because, when we talk about sin, we habitually begin with nature and law, not with Christ and the gospel.