19 March 2021
Many things have changed in my lifetime. One of the most dramatic changes has been the acceptance of same-sex relationships. To put it simply, they have gone from ‘unacceptable’ to ‘acceptable.’ Films, dramas and BBC News stories contribute by presenting same-sex relationships in a positive light. Not to mention that same-sex couples can now legally be married. Now, for anyone to question whether this development is wholly good is seen to be out of date, misguided, mean-spirited, and increasingly unacceptable.
It must be admitted that people in same-sex relationships, and those who experience same-sex attraction, have been and still are treated appallingly, sometimes as almost less than human, sometimes sadly by Christians. Some of us still need to repent of such thoughts and actions.
So why do some of us still think that same-sex relationships are less than God’s best for humanity? That, in the end, they are not good for the people in them? There is much more to be said, but the best place to start is where God started, with the way he made human beings. That’s where Jesus himself started. Genesis 1 tells us that “God created mankind in his own image … male and female he created them.”
Being male or female is an essential part of what it means to be human. The difference in gender was there before there were different races. Each of us is not simply a human being, but a man or a woman, each equally made in the image of God. Indeed, it is only together as women and men that we reflect the image of God.
Mankind, male and female, is part of the creation of which we read that “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” That’s how he meant it to be. Male and female, equal and different: equally in God’s image, yet not the same or interchangeable; different, yet neither superior nor inferior to the other.
This also helps us in thinking about transgenderism. If it is a mistake for a man to lie with another man as a man lies with a woman, then it is also a mistake for a woman to try to become a man, or the other way round. One can only feel deep compassion for those who struggle with same-sex attraction, or who feel they are in the wrong body. Sadly, such experiences are part of living in a fallen and broken world. But surely it’s better for us if we can help one another to see that God’s ways really are for our good? Male and female he created us.
Father, thank you that you are good, and you want what is good for us. Help us to want what is good, always. Amen.
Chris Hobbs, Senior Minister