Homophobia? Theopobia is More Like It
Over the past few years, a word has found its way into the contemporary culture that is often used to describe Bible–believing Christians. That word is “homophobic.” In our politically correct world there seems to be this dreaded disease known as “homophobia.” Those who believe that homosexual behavior is wrong are afflicted with this “disease,” which fills one with a “hatred” for all who practice a “gay” lifestyle.
As one who has been accused of being “homophobic,” I want to dispel that notion. I do not fear homosexuals. As a pastor, I have counseled many men and women who have struggled with desires for members of the same sex. I have ministered to those who have engaged in a wide variety of homosexual practices. I have prayed for the deliverance of those wanting out of the “gay” lifestyle. I have never been afraid of a homosexual or lesbian, nor have I ever wanted to physically harm one. In fact on occasion, I have been moved to tears by the stories of those trapped in this sin.
My problem is not “homophobia,” but I am afflicted with another, more encompassing, more consuming “phobia.” I must confess that this fear controls my life. It has such a grip on me that it controls where I go, with whom I associate, and even on what I will allow myself to think about. I am “theophobic,” I have a fear of God. Even though I believe God loves me, I also believe that He judges disobedience.
The Bible clearly teaches that God is displeased with homosexuality, in passages both in the Old and New Testaments. He also hates murder, adultery, lying, and pride. He not only states His displeasure with such things, He warns of judgment against this behavior. He is not impressed by man’s ignoring His instructions and will one day bring about justice. This is what the Bible says. Ultimately, those battling “homophobics” are in reality not fighting against men’s prejudices, but with God Himself.
Thus homophobia is not the real issue. One should not fear homosexuals. Neither should homosexuals fear “homophobics.” Instead we should all fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell (Matt. 10:24). Homosexuality is only one issue. God calls upon all men everywhere to repent of their sins and look to God for mercy. The Bible points out our sins, but it is also quite clear that God shows mercy to those who repent and trust in Christ. Having done that, He gives the power not to continue in sin. We are fools if we make no preparation for eternity, and life is far too short to put it off – we must respond to the gospel.
Appeared in Kansas City Star “As I See It” (August 27, 2001)