SBC leader confronts ‘gender confusion’
Southwestern Seminary President Paige Patterson says ministers must both preach boldly what the Bible says about homosexuality and feel compassion for individuals tempted by same-sex attraction.
By Bob Allen
While gay marriage is now “perfectly OK” with the United States Supreme Court, the Bible labels homosexual acts as “shameful,” the president of a Southern Baptist seminary reminded students and faculty in a chapel sermon Sept. 4.
President Paige Patterson of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary termed it “critically important” that seminarians have a “godly response” to the issue of “gender confusion.”
“When we look at Genesis 1 and 2 we find out that God has a plan, a purpose, a design,” Patterson said, “one man for one woman for life.”
“Anytime you violate the purpose of God, it is a serious affront to the Living God,” Patterson said. “God made us a certain way, and even though it may not seem like it at the time, if you follow that way you have the blessings of God. If you don’t you incur the judgment of God.”
Patterson said one reason same-sex acts are unnatural is because they cannot conceive children.
“Although God has several wonderful purposes in sex, one of those purposes is to perpetuate human life in the image of God on the earth,” he said. “And when you do something else with the sexual life, then you violate God’s purpose and plan. That’s why we call it sin.”
“Not only that, but the organs involved, to involve one’s self in homosexual sin, particularly where males are involved, is not healthy,” he continued. “It is not that for which the body was made. It is hurtful and often destructive. God didn’t create anything hurtful and destructive. He said everything is very good, and it is man’s perversion of it that makes it unhealthy and sickly.”
Patterson said scientists have not found a “gay gene,” just as they have not found a genetic cause for other sins like adultery and covetousness. “It’s all the hardening of our hearts and the darkening of our minds due to sin, and it renders all of us weak in certain areas.”
Patterson said many individuals are being truthful when they say they cannot help but have “a tendency toward homosexuality.” In such cases, Patterson said Christians must navigate a path “between telling the truth of God and being compassionate as we do so.”
“We have been justly called out by much of the gay community for ungodly attitudes toward those who happen to be struggling with that,” Patterson said. “And when we have an ungodly attitude toward it we are no better than anybody else. God’s not going to bless that.”
“It is a narrow path that we have to walk,” he said. “On the one hand, we must stand for and hold to the righteousness of God and what he says is true no matter who takes issue with us, even if it becomes the law of the land.”
“It doesn’t matter,” Patterson said. “God’s law is a higher law, and you by virtue of claiming that Jesus is Christ and your Lord are obligated to hold to and preach, whatever the cost, the whole truth of God, but you will be equally responsible for doing so compassionately.”
Patterson said simply believing that marriage is between a man and a woman doesn’t necessarily make Christians more righteous than other people.
“The gay community says, ‘You people are woefully inconsistent; you want to talk about our sin and yet you’re overrun in your churches by divorce,’” Patterson said. “And I say they’re exactly right.”
© 2014 Associated Baptist Press, Inc.