Life Site News has a good article focusing on the views of Rev. Steve Chalke in the UK, who has come out in support of gay marriage and in acceptance of same-sex attraction. A Christian counselor, Lesley Pilkington, rightly points out that Chalke is not a liberal Christian. Rather, he is an apostate.
There are two strains in the modern church which are leading homosexuals to Hell. The first is a conservative strain which is so busy bashing homosexuals, ostracizing them, and otherwise barring the door to heaven to them that it has forgotten to offer them love and salvation. However, we were not put on this earth to judge: Such people are already under judgement. Rather, we were put on this earth to offer salvation.
As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 5: 9-13:
I wrote you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people. In no way did I mean the immoral people of this world, or the greedy and swindlers and idolaters, since you would then have to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who calls himself a Christian who is sexually immoral, or greedy, or an idolater, or verbally abusive, or a drunkard, or a swindler. Do not even eat with such a person. For what do I have to do with judging those outside? Are you not to judge those inside? But God will judge those outside. Remove the evil person from among you.
“What do I have to do with judging those outside (the church)? Are you not to judge those inside (the church)?” This cuts to the very heart of the matter. An impure, unsanctified church is spending its time judging, condemning, and cutting the people of the world off from salvation, without even noticing the log in its own eye. How readily we flock in support of fallen televangelists and pastors, who should be shunned, while we bar the doors of heaven to those in our own community who do not know Christ!
Many Christians are zealous in wanting to purify society. Yet, society cannot be purified without having first been transformed, and that transformation can only occur one heart at a time. In this light, it is important to remember that it is God’s kindness, and not judgement and condemnation, that leads people to repentance (Romans 2: 4). This has been completely forgotten by many people in the body of Christ.
And then at the other end of the spectrum are those who try to minimize the sin of homosexuality in an attempt to win people over. These come in two strains. One group says that homosexual acts are not inherently sinful. Another group says that while homosexual acts might be sinful, a homosexual orientation is not.
The first idea is self-evidently unbiblical. The second idea is also unbiblical, but feels right, as it appears to conform to the common (unbiblical) wisdom that God judges the sin and not the sinner.
In 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11, Paul writes,
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
While many (most?) modern translations focus on homosexual acts, in Greek Paul uses classifications for people–his focus is on identity and orientation. Two kinds of homosexuals are described–those who have taken on an effeminate style of clothing and speech (and who more often than not are offering themselves out as rent-boys), and those who have maintained a masculine style of clothing and speech. He plainly says that both kinds of homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God. Please note that in the same breath he condemns people who are sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, people who are verbally abusive, and swindlers. He does not grade such people on a sliding scale of evil or single out homosexuals as worse than everyone else. He merely states that none of these people will inherit the kingdom of God.
Let us also be clear that Paul was addressing the church, and not pagan society–he was calling the church to purity. His letter was not addressed to people outside the church community at all. His call to pagan society was never to good works or purification, but to Christ and Christ alone. Indeed, how can pagan society be purified, without first coming to Christ? And what profit are good works, if one does not know Christ? In this important sense, Paul was not a gay basher, and had little in common with many conservative evangelical leaders today.
At the same time, Scripture is clear–one cannot be a homosexual (even one who refrains from homosexual acts) and enter the kingdom of God. Part of the hope and salvation we offer the world must be changed lives–that someone has become a new creation in Christ, transformed to his image. This does not mean that a person merely stops actively sinning. It means that a person’s heart has been changed.
People who maintain that homosexual acts are not a sin or that homosexuality (as an identity) is not a sin are not just minimizing sin–they are minimizing salvation, and in the end presenting a weak and ineffectual gospel that will not and cannot save humanity. This gospel is nothing more than a variation of the false gospel of good works and being nice.
This is the very essence of their apostasy. By saying that Christ does not save us to the uttermost, but that he only leaves us in just a slightly better condition than before, they are essentially saying that Christ does not save at all, because humanity does not need salvation. Nothing could be further from biblical truth.