“If me being gay was a choice, it was a choice that was made far, far above my pay grade…. And that’s the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand. That if you got a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me — your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.”
This quote, reported in a recent news article, comes from Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana. He is openly gay and married to a man. He is also campaigning to be the presidential candidate for the Democratic National Party.
For anyone watching the news, the media is making somewhat of a poster boy of Mr. Buttigieg and making much of his attempt to shape the minds of Americans as it concerns how to think of God, homosexuality, and the possibility of choosing to be gay or not. What are we to think as Christians about his comments?
For anyone who is a Christian leader, we will only find ourselves challenged on this issue time and again. Several wings of Christendom already gave up on the Bible long ago and ordain homosexuals to their clergy. It follows that America will increasingly elect and approve of homosexuals in political leadership. Buttigieg’s arguments are nothing new, and neither are Christian responses. For example, Matthew Vine argued that homosexuality and Christianity are compatible, a notion well-discredited, for example, by the faculty of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Kevin DeYoung has a helpful book that helps Christians to think through homosexuality as well.
But, for the moment, what are we to think about his Buttigieg’s comments?
Genesis 19 reminds us that God judged Sodom for, among its many sins, homosexuality. The men of the city were so consumed with their sin that they sought to abuse Lot’s visitors in the same way that Lot offered his daughters to be abused (Gen 19:5, 8). Leviticus 18:22 reminds us that it is abominable for a man to lie with a man as a man would lie with a woman. Whether it involves men or women, Romans 1:26–27 reminds us that homosexuality is in and of itself God’s judgment upon these sinners. He has given them over to dishonorable passions, allowing them to shamelessly do what is contrary to nature. 1 Timothy 1:10 reminds us that homosexuality is contrary to sound doctrine. 1 Corinthians 6:9–11 reminds us that, whether it is this sin, thievery, greed, drunkenness, or the like, people who live for these sins will not inherit the kingdom of God. This passage also reminds us that these sins once characterized some of the Corinthian readers before they become Christians. In being saved from these sins, they were washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God, an example of what we hope for those who are characterized by these sins today.
Scripture—the Bible, passage by passage, the living words of God, interpreted as the original readers would have understood them then and properly applied today—this is what guides our thoughts about Mr. Buttigieg’s comments. God condemns homosexuality and will not give His kingdom to homosexuals. God’s words of judgment imply that they chose this particular sin over the gospel and His instruction about homosexuality, meaning their homosexual desires were sinful and originated with them and their sin. For specific questions related to a theology of homosexuality, I would simply refer someone to the resources mentioned above.
Whether Mr. Buttigieg or anyone else, the heralds for homosexuality in our society will continue to do what Satan did in Genesis 3—attempt to persuade us that God didn’t really say what He said and that His Word should be reinterpreted. After all, they say, if what’s true is really true, then God Himself is immoral by keeping something desirable away, and anyone following such a God is immoral as well.
Mr. Buttigieg has captured the values of the day, receiving much applause, and it’s not surprising to see an immoral America give a megaphone to his message. With God supposedly on the side of those who practice and promote homosexuality, and with a gay champion who could lead and influence legislation for their agenda, I fear what will happen to America as a whole. More so, I fear particularly for men like me who are God’s spokesmen in His churches. America will eventually attempt to silence us in the name of God, claiming that we are the abomination.
May God give peace so that it never comes to this (cf. 1 Timothy 2:1–2). And if it does, like John the Baptist, may God give us courage as leaders to keep identifying sin as sin, whatever the cost may be. And more than that, may God save many from this sin, Mr. Buttigieg included, as we continue to preach the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ.