Justify, Justify, Come On Up and Justify!
Sooner or later every openly gay Christian hears an argument that goes something like this:
You offer no Scriptural evidence to justify same-sex relationships in the eyes of God.
Unless you show that same-sex relationships are acceptable to God, they are wrong.
Now, that’s a dangerous style of argument for many reasons. First of all, it implies that we can justify ourselves before God. Rather than accepting salvation and forgiveness as a gift that God freely gives, it becomes something we can demand as of right; that’s not a particularly Christian doctrine.
Another reason why it is dangerous is because it implies that if something can’t be shown to be “right” then it must be wrong. That opens the door to a whole host of difficult problems. Chances are you are reading this on a computer of some kind. Can the use of a computer be “justified” from the Bible? What about wearing clothes made from artificial fibres, or using electric lights? How do we justify modern medicine from the Bible? Unless you are living a life exactly as a person from the 1st Century would have done, then you are doing something that cannot be shown to be right from the Bible.
Requiring someone to show that they are “right” or “justified” is a manifestation of that ugly mindset called legalism. Is it not much more Christian to take a more gracious approach to the Bible? If there is a behaviour that is wrong or un-Christian, then the authors of the Bible, guided by God, would surely have made that clear to us. To think otherwise is to think of God as a tyrant who wants to trip us up, rather than the God that Jesus was speaking of when he said “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32)