Thursday, July 11, 2013

Islam and Homosexuality: Two Great Gospel Challenges

As I look at the world today, many challenges stand in the way of the spread of the gospel. Various belief systems and/or lifestyles are at odds with the good news of Jesus Christ. They are too many to list here. However, when I think about the big picture of missions, two great challenges in particular come to mind: Islam and homosexuality. Both are worldviews. Both are lifestyle choices. Both are directly at odds with the gospel of Christ.

My purpose is not to equate Islam and homosexuality. They have some obvious differences. Islam is a world religion that is hundreds of years old. It has set beliefs and practices. Muslims is general are very much against homosexuality.

Homosexuality is more a lifestyle choice than an organized religion. Its adherents are generally more focused upon embracing specific sexual behaviors than they are on specific beliefs about God. Some homosexuals even claim to be Christians (I'll leave that one for another blog post).

Despite their differences, Islam and homosexuality have one thing in common: they are at odds with Christianity. Specifically, both Muslims and homosexuals have a heart problem - a spiritual heart problem. That problem is the most significant problem anyone can have. Their heart problem is that they do not know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Thus, their hearts are still far from God.

What are we, therefore, to do?

First, let's avoid the trap of letting politics confuse us. I'm determined to steer clear of any sort of Republican vs. Democrat fighting on these topics. I have no interest in fighting foreign wars in Muslim nations or in fighting culture wars against homosexuals here in the USA.

The important war is in the spiritual realm. Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:12, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Ultimately, the gospel is a war that God has already won over Satan.

Our duty, then, is to endlessly love and pray for both Muslims and homosexuals. Let's develop relationships with them. Let's lovingly and truthfully tell them all about Jesus Christ. Let's treat them with respect as humans made in God's image. Let's love them even if they hate us.

Muslims and homosexuals need Jesus Christ just like everyone else. Only Jesus is powerful enough to break their chains of sin. He did it for us. Let us literally pray that he does it for them as well.


Chris Jefferies said...

A great post, Eric. I think both Islam and homosexuality are issues many Christians shy away from.

We don't like tackling anything difficult or troublesome. What other difficult issues do you think we avoid?

Here in the UK I'd say political correctness is one of them. In order to be seen to be fair, government departments and other official bodies sometimes take action against believers.

As an example there have been cases of people losing their job because they wore a crucifix. (It might offend other religions.)

Aussie John said...


For someone who has left blogging for a time you are doing well:)

Excellent thoughts. Far too often many claiming to be Christian negatively approach all unbelievers as enemies.

Eli Chitaka said...

if 'missions' is reduced to getting as many people as possible to identify as evangelical christians then yes i suppose those 2 things can be big hurdles.
Personally I don't think much has changed in 2000 years in terms of where resistance to christ is found. Just look at the gospels and fast forward to present times where the exact same dynamics are at work just with somewhat different titles.
Christianity as a 'religion' is just one of many options, sometimes worse depending on who is representing it. Jesus christ as a historical and living reality is very compelling.

Eric said...


Thank you. Political correctness is out of control here as well. Additionally, atheism is the religion of the day at the university level - at least as far as the hard sciences are concerned. Although most of the USA still believes in some sort of God, the cultural elites are trying by the day to shove God out of spheres of influence. As followers of Christ, we are becoming more and more of a minority each day. I suppose that makes sense at some level due to the demands of following after Jesus.

Eric said...


It amazes me that so many Christians forget who Jesus spent much of his time with. Those tax collectors and sinners weren't the religious leaders of the day. I wonder why we tend to avoid those who Jesus targeted.

Eric said...


Thanks for your comment. As for missions, I believe a good definition is sharing the gospel with those who haven't heard it. God does the saving; we're commissioned to do the telling.

Jesus Christ is certainly compelling. He's much more wonderful than anyone else who has ever lived. As his church, we can do a lot to gain an audience through sacrificially loving and serving others (much like Jesus did).

Seth said...

Eric, from what I've seen homosexuality is not a life style choice, unless you're talking about certain actions an individual may take. Being gay is an internal, uncontrollable attraction to one's one gender. There's no choice involved with that part. It's more than fine to believe gay marriage is wrong, but if you start telling people that being gay itself is a choice, that's where the church starts losing the conversation as it appears close to telling people that the sun revolves around the earth.

Eric said...


Thanks for your comment. Regarding homosexuality, I don't know what causes same sex attraction. Like other temptations, I suppose it can all be traced back to the fall of mankind.

Acting out those attractions is the lifestyle choice that I'm referring to. Only Christ can help homosexuals overcome their sinful behavior. My guess is that there a many Christians who love Christ and are still tempted by homosexual feelings. Like with other things, the sin is not the temptation but the giving in to it.

Seth said...

Eric, I think you're still missing the point. Homosexuality itself is not a temptation or life style choice, it's more of a state of being. Due to no choice of their own, gay people are attracted to their own gender. We can certainly believe that gay sexual relations are sinful, but that's different than being gay itself. We don't say that autistic people (bad analogy, but still helpful) are a temptation just for existing. Similar thing with being gay.

Eric said...


My point in this post was not to get into the cause of homosexuality. Rather, it's that homosexuals need Jesus. Any sexual activity outside of marriage between one man and one woman is sin. Therefore, homosexual sex is sin (and is a choice on their part). Only Jesus can help them overcome this sin. He'll do this regardless of the causes of their homosexual temptations.

Seth said...

Eric, I'm also not talking about how homosexuality is caused. In your post, you said that homosexuality is a "choice" and a "worldview." I'm positing that this statement is incorrect. You just agreed with me that there is a difference between the attraction and acting on those attractions right? If so, you can't continue to say that homosexuality is a choice and a worldview. That's like saying Autism is a choice and a worldview. Whereas if someone with Autism acts in such a way so as to break a law or God's law, that situation is obviously different. You're also disrespecting many gay celibate Christians by saying they can't be a real Christian by virtue of nothing they personally have done. Eric, I'm just challenging you to use exact language to define what you mean, instead of the Pavlovian knee-jerk conservative language that is so imprecise. You normally have great, thoughtful, and helpful posts that think outside the box here. It sucks to see such a crappy one that's so poorly thought-out.

Eric said...


You've now commented three times about this issue. Each time you've stated in one way or another that, "Being gay is an internal, uncontrollable attraction to one's one gender. There's no choice involved with that part." What evidence do you have to make such a firm statement? Is is based on anything objective or is it just due to personal testimonies?

Additionally, your last comment started to get a little nasty. Let's keep a standard higher than that. Thanks.

Seth said...

Sorry Eric, ive commented these three times because i found your original statement offensive. im not trying to be a troll, but i am trying to point out your word choice doesnt have the meaning you may think it does. my definition of gay comes from numerous conversations, books, and articles with/about/by gay people. I don't see the bible commenting at all about orientation. But I do think personal testimony is a valid source, especially in the absence of conclusive scientific proof either way.

Seth said...

Eric, before you group all gay people into the same basket of making a lifestyle choice and of having the same worldview, can I suggest you read a book by Wesley Hill called Washed and Waiting? I think his "worldview" would give you cause to reconsider.

Eric said...


My point in this piece was not to delve into the cause of homosexuality. Rather, the purpose was to say that the homosexual lifestyle presents a challenge for Christians. I'm referring to homosexuals who choose to act upon their temptations by engaging in homosexual sex. Taking part in this type of sexual activity is a choice. It is also sin. That said, in my piece I wrote that we should develop relationships with homosexuals, love them, and pray for them. Like everyone else, they need to know that only Jesus has the power to overcome sin.