Culture,  Personal,  Politics,  Theology/Bible

Interview for the Gospel

The reporter who conducted the interview was Gary Reaves (pictured right).

I got called on today to represent Criswell College in an interview with a local news program (Channel 8, ABC-Dallas) about the upcoming vote on whether to amend the Texas constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman. I only had about an hour or so to prepare for the interview. So I began reading stories from several different newspapers and news sources and tried to brush up on the state of the political debate.

I read websites sponsored by interest groups for the amendment and others that are against the amendment. I was well-prepared to discuss reasons why an amendment to the constitution is needed and why existing state laws defining marriage are not likely to stand. I was also prepared to talk about one interest group’s recent attempt to distort what the amendment is really about, a group that has caused quite a stir here in Dallas (read about it here). Thus, my expectation was that the reporter would want me to talk about the amendment and the upcoming vote.

So I was very surprised when the reporter told me that what he really wanted to know was what the New Testament says about homosexual marriage. He had heard from others that while the Old Testament condemns homosexual marriage, the New Testament does not speak to it specifically. He just wanted me to explain what the Bible really says. So much for politics! That was fine with me. Politics is not my area of expertise anyway.

Obviously for a short interview, I needed to be selective. So I opened my bible to 1 Corinthians 6:9-11:

9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.” –NASB

I explained that Paul very explicitly addresses both halves of the homosexual relationship. The word translated “effeminate” refers to the passive actor in a homosexual encounter, while the word “homosexual” refers to the active partner. I don’t think Paul could have been any clearer that both comprise behavior that is antithetical to the Kingdom. Needless to say, this text was clear evidence that the New Testament in no way sanctions homosexuality, much less any kind of a homosexual “marriage.”

I also noted how Paul told the Corinthians, “and such were some of you”—meaning that some of the Corinthian Christians themselves had been homosexuals and that God had saved them and delivered them from their sin. Thus, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone. There is no special class of sinners (including homosexuals) that are outside of the saving reach of the Gospel. Jesus came for such as these.

We did talk a little bit about the amendment, and I’m not sure what little snippet they’ll use in the interview. My preference is that if they have to choose, they would choose the gospel part, not the political part. After all, while I do support the amendment and think that it would be good for Texas, I don’t pretend that any amendment, legislation, or political remedy will make anyone fit for the Kingdom of God. The only one who does that is the crucified and risen King Jesus. That indeed is news worth broadcasting.

(Update: The report did not air on November 3. Someone in the Channel 8 news room just told me that it will air at 5pm on Sunday, November 6.)

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