Dear Southern Baptist Convention Members and Leaders:
I am certain you have heard a great number of people commenting on your recent non-binding resolution to sever ties with the Boy Scouts of America because they are now choosing to allow openly homosexual boys to join its ranks. I am responding in kind as well; however, I will try to not rant at you, but rather be more Christian in nature and try to appeal to your theological nature.
I will start simple. Certainly, you agree with Jesus’ words when he stated that the two greatest commandments were to “…love the Lord you God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength, The second is this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31 NRSV). You even state within your resolution that you continue to hate the sin, but love the sinner as evident in your resolution when you state, “we declare our love in Christ for all young people regardless of their perceived sexual orientation, praying that God will bring all youth into a saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (SBC Resolution 6, 2013).
The issue here with your response though seems to be your use of the word “perceived” when it comes to their sexual orientation. That would infer that homosexuality is a choice. Many studies have shown that homosexuality occurs in the natural world. Since humans are part of that natural world as we are the highest form of primate, should it not follow that it could also be a natural occurrence in the human race for some people to be born homosexual? If it helps, Jesus does say something to this effect as found in the Gospel of Matthew when he states:
For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can. (Matthew 19:12 NRSV)
Could it not be that those who were “eunuchs who have been so from birth” are what Jesus knew to be the homosexuals of his time? The Jewish culture that Jesus would have been familiar with did not see eunuchs as simply being those born without testicles, but those men who exhibited characteristics that were more in line with females of the time, much like what is seen sometimes among modern homosexual men. Therefore, it could be seen that Jesus believed that even homosexual men were valuable to God and not an abomination.
I would like to offer another perspective as well. The Apostle Paul has some issues with the Galatians due to the law versus faith. It seems Peter did not want to associate with the Galatian Gentiles because they were not circumcised. This angered Paul, who himself was if you recall a very orthodox Jew prior to his conversion. Paul states in his letter to the Galatians,
Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourself with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:23-29 NRSV).
Just looking at these verses sets the tone as to what God’s kingdom should look like, doesn’t it? People lived under the law until Christ came and saved all who believe in Him. Christianity was meant to bridge the space between men and women, races, and even gender preferences. “No longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28 NRSV), what a wonderful world for Christ we would have then, right?
I do not expect that you will change your position on the Boy Scouts of America or even on homosexuality, but it would be nice if you would just pay closer attention to the Christ in whom you profess to believe. He ate with sinners. In fact, he hung out with them and even made some his disciples and apostles. He did not come for the elite or for those who held themselves tight to the law as seen through eyes that refused to change. Even Paul had to be blinded by Christ in order to see His kingdom more clearly. I, along with many others, will keep praying for your denomination to have a road to Damascus moment as well. Peace be with you.