I got some great feedback from a young man in our church after two of my recent sermons from Matthew 5, both of which touched on aspects of marriage (the messages were “Jesus on Lust” and “Don’t Break Your Marriage or Your Word.”) In his mid-twenties, he kindly expressed appreciation for both messages and then went on to voice concern about how I challenged single men to “put down the X-box, grow up, pursue a wife, and glorify God in that relationship” (or words to that effect).
Not long ago, someone asked me how long I’ve been dealing with same-sex attractions. I was surprised to find a big, round number before me: 20 years. Of those 20 years, five and a half have been as a married man and as a father. I’m not gay: I’m a new creation in Christ. I am a Christian struggling with unwanted same-sex attractions (SSA). I am a pastoral worker and a Bible college student, and homosexuality has been a prominent part of my journey as a Christian. I wish that it were not so, though part of me knows that God has been using this struggle powerfully to bring me to himself.
Pitting the gospel against religion stems from two very real and very dangerous problems: self-righteousness and an attempt to please God by good works or good merit. These problems are certainly anti-biblical and need to be called out wherever we notice them.