Jonathan Merritt has a fascinating interview with Vicky Beeching, Christian musical artist who has recently come out as a lesbian. It’s a fascinating interview on a number of levels. Explaining her view that Christianity is compatible with gay marriage, she follows very closely one of the arguments made by Matthew Vines in his book God and the Gay Christian. I have commented on that argument elsewhere, so I won’t belabor the point here.
I would, however, highlight one portion of the interview worthy of urgent consideration. Ms. Beeching argues that our views about homosexuality ought not to divide Christians from one another. She says that those who affirm homosexual practice ought to be able to have Christian fellowship with those who don’t. She writes:
The church needs to become more comfortable with people not being on the same page about everything. We need the maturity to be able to still extend love to one another despite that. God loves us unconditionally, so we should aim to model that to those who see things from a different angle, even if that’s really hard to do. I’m trying my best to keep extending that love today to all the conservative Christians who are telling me I am “siding with the devil” because they are still my brothers and sisters in Christ.
Ms. Beeching is not the only one who has underestimated the gravity of our differences over these issues. There have been many others. And that is why we have to test her claim by scripture. Are we all really “brothers and sisters in Christ” even when we disagree with one another about an issue of grave moral consequence? No one should relish division for the sake of division. Nevertheless, we should not shrink back from it when faithfulness to Christ requires it. Jesus put it this way:
While He was still speaking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him. And someone said to Him, “Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You.”
But He answered the one who was telling Him and said, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Behold, My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.” -Matthew 12:46-50
Jesus draws a line between those who are his brothers and sisters and those who are not. The line runs between those who are allied to God’s will and those who are in open defiance against it. Jesus is showing us that the great dividing line in humanity runs between those who are his disciples and those who are not. There will be many who claim to be Christians, but they won’t really be Christians if in the end they do not obey him. As Jesus teaches elsewhere,
Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?” And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.” -Matthew 7:21-23
I say this with trembling. Do not be deceived. The path of the revisionists is not the narrow way that leads to life, but the broad way that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14). The stakes are much higher than the revisionists suggest, and we are not helping anyone if we suggest otherwise.