A few years ago some of my RTB colleagues and I did a couple of Straight Thinking podcast programs entitled “Adult Children of Same-Sex Relationship Parents” (Part 1Part 2). Afterward, a listener contacted me online and raised some critical questions about the content of those programs.

Although time has passed since our respectful exchange, the questions the listener asked remain relevant and I’ve rephrased them here. My brief answers are not exhaustive, but I hope they will serve as an example of the kind of dialogue all of us can have with those who disagree on serious matters.

Q1: Don’t you believe that same-sex families can have a thriving, loving, and healthy family dynamic?

A: I’m willing to grant that there are undoubtedly many same-sex couples who make good parents and who love and nurture their children. In retrospect, I should have represented that perspective in our podcast discussion. However, in my study of the topic, defenders of same-sex parenthood often stack the deck by pitting two loving homosexual parents against two unloving heterosexual parents. If the welfare of the children is to be weighed fairly, then the comparison should be between loving homosexual parents and loving heterosexual parents. In that fair comparison, I think children fare better by having a mother and a father as caregivers and role models.1

Q2: Isn’t it true that in the New Testament Jesus himself makes no mention of LGBTQ transgression? Isn’t it only in the apostle Paul’s words where homosexuality is mentioned? 

A: It is unsound both exegetically and theologically to pit Jesus against the apostle Paul. The words in red (from Jesus) don’t outweigh the words in black (from Paul). All Scripture is equally inspired and, for evangelical Protestants, carries a unique and final authority in doctrine and in life (2 Timothy 3:16).

Jesus quotes the Book of Genesis (1:27; 5:2) in affirming the creation mandate of traditional marriage being between a man and a woman (Mark 10:6–9). Jesus also affirmed the truth and value of the Old Testament law (Matthew 5:17), and the Old Testament identifies homosexual conduct as sin (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13). Thus, Jesus by implication views homosexual conduct as sinful.

The apostle Paul clearly identifies homosexual conduct as morally wrong (Romans 1:26–27). Other New Testament passages do as well (1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Timothy 1:10; Jude 7). Neither Jesus nor Paul refers specifically to LGBTQ relationships because they are summed up in one Greek word, porneia, which appears in a handful of New Testament passages and is usually translated as “fornication.”

Q3: Aren’t you aware that many LGBTQ people suffer from depression and even suicide because of the treatment that they receive from a nonaccepting culture?

A: I recognize that people who are attracted to the same sex often suffer many indignities and sorrows from others.2 My heart grieves for those who suffer in such a manner. Because all people are made in the image of God, all people should receive dignified and respectful treatment. Therefore, even though you and I strongly differ over issues relating to homosexuality and same-sex marriage, I want you to know that I respect you as a person and I appreciate that you brought your questions to me. 

Aim for Civil Discourse
I hope that this interaction allows my readers to understand how important this issue is in our culture today and how important it is to address it in a respectful and civil manner. We can differ with people on critical moral, ethical, and cultural matters but also do it in a gracious manner.

Reflections: Your Turn
What is the best argument in favor of traditional marriage? Can we strongly differ with a person over a moral issue and yet still treat that person with dignity? Visit Reflections on WordPress to comment.

Resources

For a Christian perspective on sexual sin, see John White, Eros Defiled: The Christian and Sexual Sin.

Check out more from Reasons to Believe @Reasons.org

Endnotes

  1. Studies show that the children of traditional marriage are generally healthier, happier, and more well adjusted. See United States Congress Joint Economic Committee, “The Demise of the Happy Two-Parent Home,” July 23, 2020.
  2. While I am not a mental health professional, I do want to strongly encourage anyone who has suicidal thoughts to seek professional psychological help. In fact, someone at the Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) is available to chat right now (24/7).

About The Author

Kenneth R. Samples

I believe deeply that "all truth is God’s truth." That historic affirmation means that when we discover and grasp truth in the world and in life we move closer to its divine Author. This approach relies on the Christian idea of God’s two revelatory books - the metaphorical book of nature and the literal book of Scripture. As an RTB scholar I have a great passion to help people understand and see the truth and relevance of Christianity's truth-claims. My writings and lectures at RTB focus on showing how the great doctrinal truths of the faith (the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Atonement, creation ex nihilo, salvation by grace, etc.) are uniquely compatible with reason. This approach reflects the historic Christian apologetics statement - "faith seeking understanding." I work to help myself and others fulfill Peter's words in 2 Peter 3:18: "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen." As an RTB scholar I have a great passion to help people understand and see the truth and relevance of Christianity's truth-claims. • Biography • Resources • Upcoming Events • Promotional Items Kenneth Richard Samples began voraciously studying Christian philosophy and theology when his thirst for purpose found relief in the Bible. He earned his undergraduate degree in philosophy and social science from Concordia University and his MA in theological studies from Talbot School of Theology. For seven years, Kenneth worked as Senior Research Consultant and Correspondence Editor at the Christian Research Institute (CRI) and regularly cohosted the popular call-in radio program, The Bible Answer Man, with Dr. Walter Martin. As a youth, Kenneth wrestled with "unsettling feelings of meaninglessness and boredom," driving him to seek answers to life's big questions. An encounter with Christian philosophy in Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis led Kenneth to examine the New Testament and "finally believe that Jesus Christ is the divine Son of God, the Lord and Savior of the world." From then on, he pursued an intellectually satisfying faith. Today, as senior research scholar at Reasons to Believe (RTB), Kenneth uses what he's learned to help others find the answers to life's questions. He encourages believers to develop a logically defensible faith and challenges skeptics to engage Christianity at a philosophical level. He is the author of Without a Doubt and A World of Difference, and has contributed to numerous other books, including: Lights in the Sky and Little Green Men, The Cult of the Virgin, and Prophets of the Apocalypse. He has written articles for Christianity Today and The Christian Research Journal, and regularly participates in RTB's podcasts, including Straight Thinking, a podcast dedicated to encouraging Christians to utilize sound reasoning in their apologetics. He also writes for the ministry's daily blog, Today’s New Reason to Believe. An avid speaker and debater, Kenneth has appeared on numerous radio programs such as Voice America Radio, Newsmakers, The Frank Pastore Show, Stand to Reason, White Horse Inn, Talk New York, and Issues Etc., as well as participated in debates and dialogues on topics relating to Christian doctrine and apologetics. He currently lectures for the Master of Arts program in Christian Apologetics at Biola University. Kenneth also teaches adult classes at Christ Reformed Church in Southern California. Over the years Kenneth has held memberships in the American Philosophical Association, the Evangelical Philosophical Society, the Evangelical Theological Society, and the Evangelical Press Association. The son of a decorated World War II veteran, Kenneth is an enthusiastic student of American history, particularly the Civil War and WWII. His favorite Christian thinkers include Athanasius, Augustine, Pascal, and C. S. Lewis. He greatly enjoys the music of the Beatles and is a die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan. Kenneth lives in Southern California with his wife, Joan, and their three children.



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