Observations and Affirmations #4

Observation: The 1994 PCC Statement on Human Sexuality affirms that there is no sin in having same sex attraction but rather in its indulgence and particularly in its promotion – just as it is when one is attracted outside of marriage to the opposite sex.

Is the word “sin” is still in your vocabulary? If so, good. It is now missing from common usage, or is downgraded to merely an adjective before the word “chocolate”. But if “sin” is to remain in one’s vocabulary, is any definition as good as another? Can sin be defined by personal taste, or is there somewhere a right definition within its context of morality? Ravi Zacharias points us in the right direction: “Morality is the fruit of your knowledge of God.” (The Grand Weaver, p.89). Why might we get the best definitions about sin and morality from God? Because God is our Creator. He knows us better than we know ourselves. The basic choices we have for our morality are broadly defined in 1 Peter 4:2 – “Live the rest of your earthly lives controlled by God’s will and not by human desires.” (GNB) To God’s Word we must go to seek sin’s definition.

In Greek, the word “sin” means to “miss the mark”. To find out what that mark is in same sex issues, we must go back to Genesis. Why? “In any worldview the concept of creation is foundational … it shapes everything that follows … Christianity … stands or falls with its teaching on ultimate origins.” (Nancy Pearcey, Total Truth, p. 150). For example, the Darwinian world view of origins, expounding the “survival of the fittest”, is unable to explain the survival of same sex unions nor give credible explanation for the evolutionary transmission of non-biological realities such as morality. The first few chapters of Genesis are about origins: specifically, creation and how it is ordered. Separating is usually the first step in any ordering, and so we read that light was separated from darkness, time and light separated nights from days, the waters above were separated from those below, land from water, differing plants from one another and then, finally, God separated woman from man making man male and female. Genesis 2:24 informs us that the marriage of a male and a female person is to become “one flesh”, i.e. to reclaim the original state. “Marriage goes beyond biology to recover an original state … her identity is that she is … his other half.” (John H. Walton, The Lost World of Adam and Eve, p.81). “One flesh” is the recovery of Adam and Eve’s other half. To make marriage less than this would be to sin and to miss God’s wondrous mark. N T Wright further adds to our original identity: “The creation of man and woman in their two genders is a vital part of what it means that humans are created in God’s image.” (Surprised by Scripture, p.64). One’s view of origins is therefore critical to same sex issues, defining morality and for Christians to not “miss the mark.”

The matters before the PCC, then, are not just simply about sin or sex, but about where we go to find God’s plan for humanity. The Psalt Leadership Team invites the reader and the PCC to dust off and fearlessly endorse God’s original plan for humanity as found in Scripture, to admit that we have all strayed into a minefield and that we will need each other to get out of it together. Let the PCC reboot its confessed biblical stance by deliberately choosing to endorse male and female distinctives and resist the pressure to ignore God’s biological, scientific, and DNA goal posts that so clearly give us our identity. And let us affirm God’s goodness in his original “one flesh” intention for marriage – lest we miss the mark.